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    Re: Which Nav-Station is this?
    From: Paul Hirose
    Date: 2018 Jun 20, 10:44 -0700

    On 2018-06-19 15:15, John D. Howard wrote:
    > On second look, they may be pix of a trainer or simulator of a B-52.
    If it is, that's an extraordinarily realistic simulator. All the
    controls and displays look absolutely real and fully functional, even
    the most minor details.
    Due the angle and framing of the photos I don't see how it's possible to
    know the people are not sitting in ejection seats. Activity at the nav
    station frequently has you leaning forward. In most if not all the shots
    the people seem to be sitting that way, so it's not surprising the seats
    aren't visible.
    Regarding the headsets and no helmets, the practice goes way back. "The
    use of the much more comfortable headset during 'noncritical phases of
    flight' was an Arc Light gray area. Everybody used them in Southeast
    Asia, and the brass looked the other way; whereas during Stateside
    nuclear practice sorties, even during the Vietnam War, the custom was
    not tolerated." (Robert O. Harder, "Flying from the Black Hole: the B-52
    Navigator Bombardiers of Vietnam," chapter 11, footnote 2).
    Note the fairly large tables in front of the navigators. For us
    maintenance troops this was convenient since there was room to set up
    your oscilloscope, voltmeter, synchro angle position indicator, etc., as
    well as the ever present thick manuals and some tools. Back in the day
    there was more space without those keyboards jutting out. There are
    pyrotechnic actuators which retract the tables during the ejection
    sequence. Similar devices disconnect and stow the pilot control columns
    against the instrument panel during ejection.
    Full web page:
    A few pictures on that page:
    "B-52H Navigator captain aviatrix"
    The thing displayed on right edge of the monitor, partially visible at
    extreme left of photo, is the scale for the radar altitude ribbon. Not
    applicable at high altitude. From left to right, top to bottom, are
    control panels for FLIR, computer system (program #4 is loaded in all
    three processors), TV. On the doppler panel (orange digits) sea mode is
    selected. Ground speed 374, drift 3.5. On the old fashioned round
    instruments, TAS 440, altitude 34,900.
    The left hand monitor in front of the navigator is the "modern" type
    that appeared when the system went digital in the 1980s. On the right,
    displaying a FLIR or TV image, is the old type monitor from the 1970s.
    Scales for elevation and relative azimuth of the sensor are visible on
    left and bottom.
    Both types of monitor have a 9 inch tube and 875 line raster scan
    format. They can display any color you want, as long as it's green.
    This photo has a subtle clue that it wasn't taken in a sim. Note the two
    identical air compressor control panels (one above the other) just left
    of the navigator's nose. These keep radar equipment pressurized to
    prevent electrical arcing at high altitude. The upper panel controls
    radar waveguide pressure, which seems to be right on the arrow that
    marks the nominal 50 inches Hg absolute.
    Back in my day the other panel controlled the nominal 34.5 inches
    absolute to the radar receiver transmitter and the doppler. Nowadays
    this system appears to be deactivated, or the pressure set point is very
    low. The switch guard is closed, which forces the switch to ON, yet the
    gauge indicates only about 22 inches absolute. That happens to be the
    cabin pressure of a B-52 flying at 8000 to 35000 feet (22 inches Hg =
    8000 feet cabin altitude).
    It's hard to believe any simulator would strive for that much fidelity
    in this minor system. In fact, I doubt the pressure pump panels would be
    present at all. Thus I believe the photo was taken in flight. Other
    clues are the water bottle and gloves.
    (The pressure gauge numbers are unreadable in the photo. I have the
    advantage of a picture of the gauge in my old maintenance manual.)
    "Bombardier & Navigators in working" (laptop comp on table)
    Note gloves hanging from ceiling.
    "Bomber officer capt."
    Water bottle by right hand. Proportional dividers stowed at top edge of
    "Bombing Officer during operation"
    Altitude 550 feet. Finger on power button for the offensive avionics
    complex. Right of his finger are power buttons for the inertial nav
    units #1 and #2.
    Radar presentation control panel by his left wrist. At top left, coaxial
    knobs for STC (sensitivity time control — reduces receiver gain after
    each pulse is transmitted, then increases gain as the pulse proceeds
    outward to equalize brightness of near and far returns) and BW
    (beamwidth). Note button to select FREQ AGILE. Button for RCVR MODE
    (linear or logarithmic). VIDEO GAIN in lower right. Range mark intensity
    control at lower left.
    STV (steerable TV) control panel on other side of his wrist. At lower
    left is the BIT control which selects among several built-in tests. At
    lower right is the OFF - STBY - OPR control. At top left is a knob to
    manually control the camera gain. When active, the orange MAN light
    comes on. Normally it's fully counterclockwise in the detent to select
    auto gain. At top right, beneath a hinged transparent guard, is the
    button to toggle between HI RES and HI GAIN modes. The latter gives more
    light amplification at the cost of reduced resolution.
    Above the man's finger is the small control panel for the doppler.

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