A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: David Pike
Date: 2016 Mar 16, 14:58 -0700
Has anyone ever used a working gyro sextant horizon or had one to pieces? There must still be a few Plath K30 models around from WWII. Which direction is the spin axis? Presumably vertical and Earth tied like an aircraft artificial horizon instrument. As they weren’t run up until just before they were required for use, then presumably they can never be more accurate than the accuracy of their Earth tying system. It’s easy to see why they worked in U boats. Run it up in the stillness of the deep, then quickly up on deck after surfacing in the dark. Were there limit stops? Did you have to carry it up the ladder fairly carefully? Was that why the carrying handle was at the top? Was it one hand on the ladder and one for the sextant? They’re probably less practical inside an aeroplane, though toppled artificial horizons do re-erect in the air in steady flight.
The Admiralty Research Laboratory tested surrendered ones after WWII and found them to be useable, but that they would never replace a natural horizon if one was available. So, has anyone ever used one or taken one to pieces? If this topic has already appeared in earlier years, I apologise. DaveP