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    Mileage of rhumb line compared to mileage of great circle
    From: Gary LaPook
    Date: 2011 Jun 3, 16:23 -0700

    It is easy to use the normal sin-cosine formula for calculating the great circle distance but the rhumb line formula is more complex. But if you want to see the difference between the two distances, so as to decide if it is worth the complication of planning a great circle course, then you have to do both computations. Until now.

    I recently reviewed my set of Astronomical Navigation Tables, H.O. 218, each volume of which covers a band of five degrees of latitude. Each volume contains a unique table that I have never seen in any other navigation table or textbook. These tables show the additional distance of a rhumb line between two point as compared to the great circle between those points. To make these tables available to everyone I have scanned them all into one file covering all latitudes from the equator to 65° and I have attached this file.

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