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    Re: Long-range airplane navigation
    From: Ken Gebhart
    Date: 2004 Dec 1, 22:54 -0600

    on 11/30/04 7:15 AM, Jim Thompson at jim2{at}JIMTHOMPSON.NET wrote:
    
    > What years were your 707 deliveries by CN, Ken?
    >
    > I found an interesting personal anecdote from an American WWII bomber crew
    > member which suggests that both aircraft speed and EN development
    > contributed.  At
    > http://39th.org/39th/hc/hiroo-ball.htm
    > he writes, in a communication with a Japanese man who had been a boy on the
    > ground at one of their targets: "It was not until February, 1945 when Iwo
    > Jima was secured that we were able to set up transmitters. The master
    > transmitter was set up on Saipan with slave transmitters set up on Iwo Jima
    > and Pelelieu. About the first part of May, 1945, they installed the Loran
    > set in our plane. Up until that date we had to use celestial navigation. We
    > sure were happy to get the Loran sets. We could get a fix in about 30
    > seconds as compared to about 20 minutes when shooting the stars.".
    >
    > Jim Thompson
    > jim2{at}jimthompson.net
    > www.jimthompson.net
    > Outgoing mail scanned by Norton Antivirus
    > -----------------------------------------
    >
    >> -----Original Message-----
    >> From: Ken Gebhart
    >> When I was with Boeing, we routinely ferried ?green? 707s
    >> across the north
    >> Atlantic.  Green meant that the planes had only the bare rudiments of nav
    >> equipment, effective within 150 miles from land.  Oceanic navigation was
    >> purely celestial (usually one sextant, one man, and a box lunch).  Apre?
    >> flight analysis usually revealed that the plane could be kept to
    >> within 4 nm
    >> of intended track  by taking a series of sextant sights every 40 minutes.
    >
    Jim,
    
    I don't know when they began, but the last trips were around 1983.  As was
    mentioned earlier, there are quite stringent requirements for spacing of
    airplanes on the north Atlantic tracks, due to the high volume of traffic. I
    think it is as little as 4 miles spacing. When we made trips using celestial
    only, we were careful to advise Oceanic Control that we were doing so, and
    that they should allow additional spacing.  I don't think they knew what to
    do with that information, because we frequently saw other enroute aircraft
    nearby. Nevertheless, we were able to keep quite close to our track with
    celestial.
    
    Ken Gebhart
    
    
    

       
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