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    Re: What is a "Class A" sextant?
    From: Frank Reed
    Date: 2014 Jan 19, 21:12 -0800

    Hi Brad,

    My understanding of the Kew "Class A" rating was that it was an overall rating. It was the certification required for sextants given to Royal Navy cadets. It combined several factors, and the instrument had to meet various standards on several tests.

    You may remember a NavList discussion a few years back about tables of "star distances" published in about 1905 for use with Lord Ellenborough's method of testing sextant arc error at sea (*). In the introduction, the authors say that a "Class A" certification implies among "other things" that the centering error (or "arc error" as we would call it today) amounted to less than 1' of arc maximum. Classes B and C would presumably permit progressively greater arc error, and this same source says that the sextant would be "rejected" (in other words, worse than class C) if the arc error was greater than 3'.

    *that discussion was in March 2010, and here's my first message on thee subject, specifically addressed to you personally, in fact. :)

    -FER

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