Welcome to the NavList Message Boards.


A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding

Compose Your Message

Add Images & Files
    Re: Sextant boxes.
    From: Bill Morris
    Date: 2008 Nov 15, 14:08 -0800

    1) The earliest aircraft sextant I have is a Brandis Aeronautical
    sextant Mark I, Model 4., dating from 1931. Its form is that of a
    small nautical sextant of radius 125 mm, but, sensibly, it has legs on
    the front so it can be placed face downwards. It has the usual shades
    and also has a battery handle so that the scales can be illuminated
    with a tiny lamp. This handle also provides power to light the bubble
    cell, from above, of a Willson telescope. The sextant is also provided
    with a sighting tube.
    The box is of mahogany, with box-comb corner joints and solid base and
    lid. It differs from normal sextant cases in having a separate sliding
    lid, secured by two hooks and eyes and a drawer lock. Let me know if
    you would like photographs.
    The UK Mark IX series of aircraft sextants had from the start cases
    made of a phenolic resin plastic, held together with brass screws and
    nails, though occasionally they are found in sheet aluminium cases.
    Hughes and Son also made "Flying Boat" sextants, which were
    essentially nautical micrometer sextants of reduced size, used for
    taking anchor bearings. These too were made of the same type of
    plastic, but were of standard shape, with interesting circular latches
    of a type previously seen only on the wooden boxes of their top-of-the-
    line nautical sextant.
    The US aircraft sextants showed as much variety in their boxes as in
    their design. I can go into this if you like, but I understand your
    question to be about early aircraft sextants of traditional form.
    2. Perhaps the best person to answer your second question is Ian
    Paine, who has corresponded extensively with WWII RAF navigators and
    made many dry land observations with Mark IX series sextants. I will
    alert him to your enquiry. For my part, I find the Brandis sextant
    rather difficult to use on dry land, so can only imagine what it must
    have been like to use in the air.
    On Nov 16, 9:31�am, "Jackie Ferrari"  wrote:
    > Dear Listers,
    > I have two questions that I am hoping someone might be able to answer.
    > I understand mariners' sextants �were sometimes carried in aeroplanes in 
    addition to octants, in the early days of aerial navigation.
    > 1. Were their boxes modified ie made of aluminium perhaps ?
    > 2. How much use were sextants in the air?
    > Thanks,
    > Jackie Ferrari
    Navigation List archive: www.fer3.com/arc
    To post, email NavList@fer3.com
    To unsubscribe, email NavList-unsubscribe@fer3.com

    Browse Files

    Drop Files


    What is NavList?

    Join NavList

    (please, no nicknames or handles)
    Do you want to receive all group messages by email?
    Yes No

    You can also join by posting. Your first on-topic post automatically makes you a member.

    Posting Code

    Enter the email address associated with your NavList messages. Your posting code will be emailed to you immediately.

    Email Settings

    Posting Code:

    Custom Index

    Start date: (yyyymm dd)
    End date: (yyyymm dd)

    Visit this site
    Visit this site
    Visit this site
    Visit this site
    Visit this site
    Visit this site