A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: David Pike
Date: 2016 Dec 26, 02:58 -0800
I’d never really thought about it before, but if you’d booked on Concord, you could have watched the Sun moving backwards.
Pictures of the Wellington Airport Vulcan after ‘arrival’ back at Ohakea appear in several Vulcan ‘nostalgia’ books. I met the Navigator-Plotter, Bryn Lewis, a couple of times. He was certainly still around last January and used to give talks about it to his local organisations. http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/capital-life/8420667/Retired-wing-commander-remembers-near-miss , http://www.buryfreepress.co.uk/news/russian-medal-for-flying-arctic-weatherman-1-7733233/amp .
How did the Navigator of the Catalina shoot his astro? Was there an astrodome or did he shoot through those huge blisters on the sides? DaveP
Re: The Sun does not stop for anyone
From: David C
Date: 2016 Dec 25, 23:15 -0800
Not exactly standing still, but on March 10, 2014 while flying from Dublin to Chicago I took 10 sun shots. From the first shot at 1333 Z at 52-03 N, 30-35 W to shot 10 at 1616 Z at 48-22 N, 59-43 W the sun's azimuth stayed nearly south and only changed about 14 degrees from 168.5 to 182.2 degrees. During this two hour 43 minute period we covered 1,132 nautical miles averging 417 knots. I had planned to take additional shots but I fell asleep.
The thread heading still applies to me because I have never had the privilage of travelling in the the cockpit of a commercial jet, let alone flying in a V-bomber. However I was at the Wellington Airport opening day in 1959. The pilot of a Vulcan damaged the undercarriage when he mis-judged a touch and go (he touched too early) and had to divert to Ohakea for an emergency landing. Fuel was leaking from the aircraft as he climbed away.
I believe that at the same airshow a Sunderland flying boat also performed a touch and go. It must have been a minor scrape because I have never seen a report of a Sunderland sinking after landing (-;
To keep on topic here is some info about a flight from Auckland to Wellington in a Catilina in 1948. The journey time today by A320 is less than one hour (typically 47 min) and rergretfully the sextant and drift sight have been replaced by VOR/DME/GPS. Cruising altitude is more than 20,000 ft above Mt Taranaki/Egmont (8262 ft.).
"Finally, at the end of a long and tiring day we all boarded the Catalina once more and flew north to Auckland [from Wellington]; but because it was now dark and the Catalina had no clever navigational gear, we flew out around Cape Egmont [Mt Egmont is now called Mt Taranaki]. The days of “electronic navigation” etc had not yet come over the horizon so we had a navigator working at his desk and taking star sights to fix position etc as we went out to sea and around the Cape Egmont. Ian Russell was designated as Navigator and with a sextant and radio bearings to ensure we were clear of Mt Egmont, we flew north. He was kept busy taking star sights and radio bearings and observing drift from small target flares dropped from the rear of the Catalina. Then when west of Whenuapai we turned and descend on the Whenuapai radio range [ That is an ancient bit of navigational gear that was based at Whenuapai] to approach for a landing at about 10pm back at Mechanics Bay. It was a flight of 3 hrs 30 and is listed as “night” in my Log Book}."
The full text is at https://friendsofthesolentflyingboat.wordpress.com/maurice-mcgreals-tales/