Thursday, February 18, 2010
HEADLINES fROM POTTSVILLE MINERS JOURNAL
SAVE MY SHIP
This story is an amazing story of one of those old pioneers of aviation, Stanislaus Felix Hausner. A fearless aviator who tried to fly the Atlantic alone.
I found this story in a series of Pottsville Miners Journal Newspaper articles in May and June of 1932.
STARTS OVER SEA
The headline in the Pottsville Miners Journal Read:
May 28, 1932… New York.
Stanley Hausner a virtually unknown Polish American flier, started today from Floyd Ben net Airport on a non stop trans-Atlantic flight which he hopes will take him either to London or Paris. He left the airport at 4:07 p.m.
He started in the face of warnings from Trans Atlantic veterans including Col. Clarence Chamberlain, who flew from New York to Germany, and Rodger Q. Williams, who flew from Newfoundland to Rome.
The skies had been clouded. Only this afternoon did the sun burn through the thick atmosphere and permit semblance of visibility, Then Hausner decided he would go, advised friends, kissed his wife and rolled the plane down the runway.
After only a few minutes warming up he sent the heavily laden aircraft away, making a beautiful take off about midway of the long runway.
Hausner’s papers were all made out for “Warsaw, Poland” and he told officials he hoped to make a non stop flight to London and then proceed t the Polish capitol after a stop in England.
Hausner says good bye to his wife Martha
June, 3rd, 1932
Atlantic Flight Fails A POLISH airman, Stanley Hausner, set out from
Linden, Floyd Bennett Field New Jersey, on May 29, with the object of flying across the Atlantic to Europe. After six hours, however, he returned, having encountered adverse weather conditions
and experiencing trouble with his instruments.
Pottsville Miners Journal
June 3rd, 1932HAUSNER STARTS ON PROPOSED FLIGHT FROM N.Y. TO POLANDMotion Picture Operator, 32, Is very nonchalant as he kisses his wife and flies away with Warsaw as his goal.
Polish American Flier will pause in England if necessary. But hopes to make non stop dash: His plane has no radio!
Floyd Bennett Airport
Floyd Bennett Airport, N.Y. June 3.
Stanley Hausner, Polish American aviator started from Floyd Bennet Field today in an attempt of flying non-stop from New York to Warsaw, Poland. Hausner’s flame colored Bellanca monoplane the Rosa Marie, left the long concrete runway at 9:46 A.M. The ship had been wheeled out at 9A.M. and Hausner, usually close lipped about his plans announced he would try to reach the capital of his native Poland without a stop.
The Rosa Marie was fueled with 525 gallons of gasoline and 25 gallons of oil.
“When I get to London, “he said, “I may land but if the plane is in good shape I’ll continue.”
Hausner spent the night at the airport and was up and about at 6 a.m. His wife Martha was with him and at 7 o’clock father Paul Knappck, pastor of the Polish catholic Church of Newark arrived, father Knappck taught Hausner in school and is one of his closet friends.
The smiling flier had breakfast with his wife at a roadside stand and then prepared some food to store in the plane. He took a quart of ice water four chicken sandwiches and some fruit.
As the Rosa Maria was wheeled onto the field, Hausner, wearing a business suit, turned to his wife and remarked:”Well, its time to go” He kissed her and stepped jauntily down the field to the plane.
Hausner said he would fly the great circle route, following the ship lanes. He was told by the weather bureau officials that conditions along that route are favorable.
The takeoff was perfect. The plane left the 4,200 foot runway after a run of about 3500 feet.
Hausner took of last Saturday in his first attempt to fly the Atlantic but turned back after reaching Nantucket because of dense fogs and a broken artificial horizon.
WIFE TRAILS IN ANOTHER PLANE.
He was extremely nonchalant about his start today. One airport official described him as “Transatlantic commuter” and remarked that he seemed no more concerned about his venture as if he was catching the 9:46 train for work. Mrs. Hausner wept as the plane shot down the runway. Then she got into another plane piloted by John Coyne, to fly with the Bellanca a short distance.
The Rosa Maria, which carries the figure NR7085, is powered by a Wright whirlwind motor of 220 hp. It was originally built for a South Pole flight and was used by Brock Schlee in an endurance flight at Miami, Fla. In this flight it stayed aloft 59 hours. Hausner hopes to keep the air at least 50 hours.
Hausner has no radio. He is carrying a parachute flares.
A Navy plane which accompanied Hausner to Fire Island-75 miles out reported he was flying steadily at good altitude and waved them farewell as they turned to port.
JUNE 4, 1932
HAUSNER IS UNREPORTED ON SEA HOP
Flying conditions are described as ideal but no definite word is received of flier.
PLANE HEARD LAST NIGHT OVER N.F.
50 or More Ocean Liners Along His Route Are Notified To Be On The Lookout For Rosa Maria
London June 4th , 1932
Stanley Hausner, Flying Pole” seeking air honors in an attempted flight from New York to Warsaw, was unreported late today though careful watch for him was set along the coasts of Ireland, England and France.
Weather was in his favor. Early reports of trying conditions were supplanted by later tidings that atmosphere conditions had so improved over the eastern Atlantic that they were ideal for flying.
The only hopeful word received was a message from Newfoundland, where residents of McCallum on the south coast reported having heard the roar of an airplane overhead at 7:40 o’clock EST last night. They thought it must be Hausner.
The weather along the last stretches of the great circle route was reported sunny and windless, though a brisk headwind and low visibility, were reported earlier today.
50 SHIPS ON LANES
The 50 or more ships in the North Atlantic lanes appraised of Hausner’s takeoff at Floyd Bennet Airport, New York, yesterday morning were keeping a sharp lookout for his Bellanca monoplane, Rosa Maria, but wireless dispatches indicated Hausner had not been sighted.
Lack of knowledge as to Hausner’s cruising speed made it difficult to estimate the approximate time of his arrival over Ireland and England. Though it was thought, that with good fortune, he should be sighted by nightfall.
Before takeoff at 9:46 a.m. Hausner ranked as an amateur in aviation but confident of success said he would head for England and from that point would go for Warsaw. If his ship was not in good condition over England he intended to land at Croydon Airport here.
Hausner is 32, a naturalized American citizen. His home is in Linden, N.J. His wife is staying at the home of her brother, Walter Wates, in Jersey City during the flight. She cried a little after her husband hopped off , but was sure he would succeed.
TRAGEDY IS FEARED
LONDON, JUNE 6TH 1932
Some Observers Think Sleet Probably Forced Hausner’s Plane Down In Ocean.
Wife Is Hopeful, Prays.
Airdromes from London to Warsaw and air officials of several European nations who waited in vain for word from Stanislaus Hausner on his projected New York-Warsaw flight feared he had been lost in the Atlantic.
The only possibility was that he might have landed somewhere on the continent where he would be out of communication with the world. His fuel supply would been exhausted early Sunday.
A garage proprietor at Cork, Ireland, over which the great circle route would carry a flier over St. George’s Channel reported he heard the motor of a powerful airplane early Sunday. Officials could find no other residents of the district who reported hearing an airplane.
THINK PLANE DROPPED INTO SEA
St. John’s N.F…. Stanislaus Hausner, Polish American Atlantic flier, probably went down into the ocean, his plane progressed very far from the coast of New Found land, Members of the Master Mariners said today.
They expressed the opinion that on the night of June 3, when he would have passed this coast, the weather was such that no plane could navigate. There was a strong northwest wind with fog, rain and soft snow early that evening, turning colder at night and near the freezing point. They believed the plane would have been weighted down by ice and sleet.
WIFE HOPES AND PRAYS
Mrs. Martha Hausner “knows” her husband Stanislaus is too good a flier to be lost. Despite the fact that airport officials in Europe feared he had fallen victim to the Atlantic on his projected flight to Poland.
Mrs. Hausner spent much of her time Sunday in prayer at the church in which she and Stanislaus are parishioners.
Atlantic Airman Rescued
PERHAPS one of the most remarkable rescues in the history of aeronautics is that of Mr. Stanley Hausner, the Polish-American airman who left New Jersey on June 3 on
a flight across the Atlantic to Warsaw. As previously reported in FLIGHT, he was long overdue on this side of the Atlantic, and practically all hope for his safety had been
abandoned. On June 11, however, Capt. Wilson, of the British steamer Circe Shell, bound from Antwerp to New Orleans, was taking observations during evening watch
some 550 miles off the coast of Portugal, when an object— thought at first to be a buoy—was observed in the water some four miles off. Closer inspection revealed it to be the
tail of an aeroplane one third submerged. The Circe Shell at once approached and later a figure was seen clinging to the machine. A blast from the steamer's siren brought frantic waves from the figure, and a lifeboat was at once lowered. On reaching the machine the figure called " I'm
Stanley Hausner ; save my ship," and then he literally fell into the lifeboat. Hausner was taken on board the steamer where, saying " Thanks very much Captain, I have been waiting for you for eight days," he collapsed. He was terribly exhausted, but otherwise unharmed, and at
the time of writing is making satisfactory progress, although unable to give a full and coherent account of his experiences. It is, perhaps, a happy coincidence that " Shell " have not only supplied the petrol for this unsuccessful Atlantic flight, but have also assisted in his timely rescue—" Shell Service " indeed!
HAUSNER WAS ADRIFT A WEEK ON HIS PLANE.
June 13, 1932 Pottsville Miners Journal.
Captain of Vessel Which Picked Ocean Flier up 500 Miles Off Coast Of Portugal Gives Few Facts.
Aviator Too Weak To Supply Details.
Asks That Wife Be Informed. He Is Exhausted But Un Hurt.
Was Forced Down: Plane Not Salvaged.
By Captain James H. Wilson. Master S.S. Circe Shell.
Aboard S.S. Circe Shell of Azores en route to New Orleans, June 13. Stanislaus Felix Hausner was making slow but favorable progress aboard my ship today after drifting at sea for a week in his wrecked monoplane, forced down on a projected New York – Warsaw flight.
Hausner was still in a very weak condition unable to give a coherent account of his experiences. He had a scant rations during the week from June 3 until he was picked up by the Circe Shell Saturday. Fortunately the sea had been calm.
He has not been able to tell much about his flight, but asked me to express his thanks for radio messages sent to him and to send his love to his family . Please inform Mrs. Hausner her husband is exhausted but uninjured.
We were forced to abandon Hausner’s plane, A red Bellanca number 7385 at 2200 GMT at latitude 42:041 N and 20.004 west about 500 miles off the coast of Portugal
Hausner made a force landing at 9 p.m. GMT on June 3. When the Circ Shell spotted him it was dark. We were unable to salvage his plane. He is proceeding with our ship to New Orleans, where we are due June 27.
The monoplane was last sighted drifting southeastward at about one knot. Hausner asked that any passing vessel try to salvage it as he believes it is in fairly good condition. The calm sea and fine weather prevailing all the time he was adrift probably prevented the plane from going to pieces on the water.
WIFE NEVER GAVE UP HOPE
Mrs Margaret Hausner, dark, slender wife of Hausner rescued after eight days adrift on the Atlantic” never gave up hope” that her aviator husband would be found.
“I had faith in Stanislaus and I prayed for him constantly,” Mrs. Hausner told reporters.
“People told me that I had better reconcile myself to being a widow., but I knew better. I knew he was somewhere alive and I prayed that somebody would find him before it was too late. Mrs Hausner said.
HAUSNER’S RESCUE READS LIKE A NOVEL; SIGHTED CLOSE TO DUSK
“Save My Ship”
He mutters as he falls into Lifeboat, utterly exhausted after being tossed about the ocean on his plane for eight days.
POTTSVILLE JOURNAL JUNE 14, 1932
“Thanks very much captain; I have been waiting for you for eight days.” Murmured Hausner, Trans Atlantic flier, as he collapsed on the deck of the Circe Shell, which rescued him 650 miles off the coast of Portugal after he had drifted for a week in his disabled plane.
The dramatic story of Hausner’s rescue is told for the first time in the following radio dispatch TO THE United Press International from Capt. James W. Wilson master of the S.S. Circe Shell. He reveals that Hausner is an extremity of exhaustion and half dead, thought first of his plane, and his first words to the rescue lifeboat were, “Save my ship”
By Captain James W. Wilson
Master S.S. Circe Shell
The Circle Shell left Antwerp bound for New Orleans on June 7, carrying creosote.
Nothing of note occurred down the channel. The Lizard, our last view of home, was left late in the afternoon of the eight. I decided to deviate from the usual seasonal course, ”The hole in the Wall” Providence Channel, in consideration of our cargo.
We steered for the pass between the westernmost Azores. The weather turned unusuall cold on the ninth and persisted with westerly windows and light sea. The Chief Officer made the discovery when he was observing to the westward and myself to the eastward. My attention was drawn to the chief who thought he observed a buoy on the starboard bow abou5t four miles off. The Circe Shell motors were put to slow and we approached to about one mile. Daylight was falling rapidly. Both engines were stopped close on the derelict.
We were amassed to see a figure which seemed lashed to the machine, the plane heaved in the increasing sea.
We blew the siren. The figure moved and waved frantically. It was obviously not lashed.. The life boat was ordered away with eager volunteers under the second officer.
He called in English through the megaphone and the answer came back in English. “ I am Stanley Hausner, Save my ship”
Hausner literally fell into the life boat. He was helped aboard in almost complete darkness, to be greeted by the whole crew of excited Chinese 45 minutes after first be sighted.
His need for water after eight days must have been great. How his plane managed to survive the rigors of the tossing North Atlantic so long is amazing.
Capt. Wilson is an Englishman, a seaman of many years experience. He made several rescues of torpedoed vessels during the war. He was making his first trip as master of the Circe Shell.
Mrs. Hausner is planning a big dinner for her husband when he returns of steak and mushrooms, the flier’s favorite dish. “He’ll be well enough to eat by then” She said.
POTTSVILLE MINERS JOURNAL
JUNE 23, 1932
HAUSNER IS GIVEN WELCOME IN MIAMI
Wife and reception Committee Go Out in Tug To Greet Him;
DESIRES TO TRY AGAIN.
This vacation city declared a holiday of its own today for Stanley Hausner, unknown motion picture operator who clung seven days without food or water to his wrecked plane, then told folks here that “if I had a plane, I’d be willing to try the same flight tomorrow.
The flier had been forced down at sea on an attempted non stop flight from New York to Warsaw financed by donations from friends. He was rescued by the tanker Circe Shell after seven days during which his wife praying daily in Newark, N.J.” never gave up hope.”
Hausner was reunited with that wife in a dramatic scene aboard the Circe Shell here just before last midnight at a point some 12 miles off shore where the Circe Shell paused enroute to New Orleans. She and the party of forty had left Miami on a gally decorated yacht, the seven seas, once a training ship in the Swedish navy.
Hausner told his story to friends aboard a tug, repeated it as soon as he reached land, and then told a crowded theater full of celebrating vacationers the same story early today.
“I had covered approximately 2800 miles when engine trouble developed at 9 a.m. After 29 hours in the air. I couldn’t find the trouble and decide d I have to land.
“Between the time I decided to land, and the time I actually landed I saw 15 ships, but none saw me.
“I landed between two big waves. Due to empty gas tanks, and the buoyancy of the plane, it nosed a bit into the water and remained afloat.
“I lost every bit of food and water aboard. For seven days I was literally without either Until Captain Wilson came along with his Circe Shell.
“At no time did I lose hope of rescue, I never even thought of giving up.
“If I had a plane, I’d be willing to start on the same trip tomorrow.”
Hausner was paraded through the streets here today, and a big reception was planned for him at Jacksonville where he will stop later in the day enroute to Newark by airplane.
August 19, 1932
Hausner's Aeroplane Saved
The Italian steamer Escambia has reached Genoa with Mr. Stanley Hausner's Bellanca monoplane Rosa Maria, which the steamer picked up on July 24 after it had
been afloat since Hausner fell into the sea on June 4 during his Atlantic flight. Hausner, it will be remembered, was rescued, after eight days' afloat, by a Shell tanker.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
PAN AM DC-6 CLIPPERS N6532C AURORA TOP N6528C MIDNIGHT SUN BOTTOM
NAVIGATING ON A PAN AM DC-6
Pan Am’s DC-6’s utilized equipment typical of most airline practices, the differences varied on a small scale between airlines.
The Pan Am DC-6 carries duplicate V.H.F. communications sets giving it at least 50 different channels, HF R/T receiver and transmitter, A Loran Receiver two M.F. receivers with ADF, loops and cockpit indicators, two V.O.R. receivers with cockpit indicators, duplicated I.L.S., equipment, a Sperry zero reader, Sperry A 12 auto pilot and radio altimeter.
The Loran receiver, the V.O.R. receivers and the I.L.S. equipment are used principally in conjunction with the related ground installations. The M.F. receivers, on the other hand, are approximately equivalent to normal medium frequency receivers and can be used for a variety of purposes. With out the loop they can pick up ordinary radio broadcasts, special meteorological information transmitted by various agencies. Actually the automatic loops tied to each receiver are used to obtain a bearing, relative to the aircrafts fore and aft axis, of the station transmitting.
The normally accepted radio range is an MF aid picked up via the M.F. receivers, which take the form of the aural signals (Morse As and Ns) transmitted in four lobes so arraigned that at the intersection of the various lobes, the As and Ns merge to give a continuous tone in the pilots headphones. NOTE(This is your standard LF freq. radio range, such as the airways utilized in the U.S. and Europe during this time period.) The signal areas on the airways form a track guide in certain directions to indicate the exact position of the airway.
EVER WONDER HOW TO FLY THE OLD LF AIRWAYS?
Where ranges are located with the signal tracks following the airway, an aircraft will fly outbound along a certain leg until it reaches a point where it meets the inbound leg of another range. In order to show when the intersection is reached a beacon known as a FAN MARKER is placed there. When passing the Fan Marker which usually transmits on 75 mc the signal is picked up by and independent marker beacon receiver in the aircraft and in turn causes a light to be turned on in the cockpit. When this occurs it tells the pilot to tune the next radio range frequency and follow the new track. All along these airways there are reporting points, some voluntary but most of them are compulsory reporting points. Here the pilot will report his POR (position over report). In early 50’s radio ranges were the main ATC method for flying on the airways. By 1955 almost all the airways had changed over to the V.O.R. which there was complete coverage. In this early stage the actual V.O.R. transmitter was not necessarily placed on the airway, but may have been off to one side of the original airway. To help flying via the V.O.R. a system of VICTOR AIRWAYS was set up. This simplified the method of navigation by the aircraft being able to fly outbound along a V.O.R. radial until it reaches a point where the radial intersects a given radial from another station, the receiver is then tuned to the next station. V.O.R. (VHF Omni Range) consist of a station transmitting in the V.H.F. band with a continuous series of signals in every direction. This causes a needle on an instrument dial to indicate the bearing of the station. Our modern day airway flying procedures. We don’t need to go over that. It more import to understand the methods of the early system.
OVERWATER NAVIGATION SYSTEMS
The type of system described in the above paragraphs give position fixes by providing information on bearing and distances from a given point.
For over water flight the system used was of the hyperbolic, or the (Area Coverage). These systems transmit a hyperbolic lattice wave pattern which can be picked up in aircraft by use of special receivers, from which the recorded signal can then be interpreted with the aid of special charts to give the actual position. Most of these receivers worked in the HF band using a group of stations called “Master” and “Slave” patterns.
One of the first navigation systems was used during WW2 called “GEE”, it had a range of about 300 miles. The problem was the accuracy was affected by ground and atmospheric signals. Actually the airlines never used the system, but was used by military bombers for bombing runs into Germany and France.
Out of the GEE system grew one of the longest utilized navigation systems. LORAN, using master and slave stations on the L.F. band. LORAN was accurate for position fixes up to 2,000 miles. Accuracy was again affected by atmospheric and terrain conditions.
Another system utilized by the airlines was CONSOL, which was originally a German military aid used during WW2. CONSOL could be picked up by the normal M./F. Receivers on the aircraft. CONSOL consisted of a long range electrically rotated beacon which transmits its call signal every minute, followed by a steady stone for 30 seconds which the pilot could use his A.D.F. receiver for a bearing. This was then followed by a series of dots and dashes which the navigator counts as they are received. By knowing his approximate bearing from the station and then finding the exact radial near this bearing on the consol chart where the combination of dots and dashes occur, he will find the bearing of the station.
SEGMENT OF OLD AERO LORAN CHART EAST COAST US
TAG PHOTO TO ENLARGE
Loran and Consol, was utilized on overwater flights because of the longer range than V.O.R. or M.F. facilities. In the 50’s the Eastern Atlantic seaboard was covered by consol network. LORAN stations were located at Seville, Spain, Lugo Northern Spain, Quimper Britain, Bush Mills, Northern Ireland and Stavanger, Norway.
A Pan Am DC-6 flying from New York’s Idlewild airport, (JFK) to Shannon, Ireland, will first use LORAN and then CONSOL as available. Naturally a constant position and track will be made by the navigator using the astro-navigation method, using sextant and tables. During the crossing the Clipper will report its position to the Atlantic control stations every hour via H.F. or wireless, mostly by the H.F. frequencies, Which by the way is still used on the North Atlantic run in this day an age, reports being sent to New York, London, Gander, Shannon Keflavik and Santa Maria. These stations are all in contact with one another so that all position reports by aircraft can be reported to the appropriate ATC or company. At this time Pan Am’s New York station watched all aircraft out to 30 deg. west, when the Pan Am London office took over.
SECTION OF OLD LORAN CHART OCEAN STATION CHARLIE LOCATED BOTTOM
TAG PHOTO TO ENLARGE
Pan Am’s standard procedure for its navigators was to use D.R., LORAN and Consol and the crews could also make use of the facilities offered by the ocean weather station ships. These ships are distributed over the North Atlantic. Each ship has a radar capability of about 90 miles. They also have V.H.F. for in range communications and direction finding, along with non directional M.F. beacons on which the aircraft can take a bearing with their A.D.F. Weather can be transmitted to the aircraft via the ships forecaster. The one point is the ships did drift and did not maintain their position with the accuracy of a land beacon. But many ocean stations helped many aircraft in need. A special lattice system was printed on the navigation chart, from which the can tell the aircraft where she lies in relation to her position.
When the Pan Am Clipper left New York it was given permission by ATC to fly out through a particular control zone called ADIZ (Air Defense Identification Zone ) these zones surround most of the coast of the U.S. All flight s had to report at certain points during transition. After the ADIZ the flight was flying on its flight plan.
On all Pan Am DC-6’s the practice was to carry a Captain and two first officers, (all pilots) one of whom will be a trained navigator. A flight engineer and a radio operator. The navigator used a chart 1; 5,000,000 scale Mercator conformal covering the whole distance from New York to London. The chart will show ADIZ zones and boundaries, LORAN lattices and CONSOL bearing roses, weather ship positions and most important latitude and longitude lines.
The navigator will if possible, in view of weather conditions and load factors fly as direct a route as possible after leaving the U.S. ADIZ. Actually he will try and navigate directly to the south leg of the Shannon radio range located over the sea, it is known as South Shannon. From another point out in the Atlantic a branch is drawn direct to the Shannon Airport. Either of these tracks can be followed by the navigator. If the Captain decides to fly to South Shannon, he must then decide whether to continue or turn north to Shannon. He must have fuel remaining for two hours holding there, or if he decides he can continue non stop to London and declares it as his alternate, he needs fuel for only one hours holding. Usually because of fuel he has to choose Shannon, and flies there, using the southern range leg and beacons.
The time from Shannon or his final leg to London will be a short one and this time the flight will be entirely within the airway control.
What I found out that is quite interesting in this time period was, once the flight was past the ADIZ the navigator is free to plot his course more or less where he finds the best conditions and it can make use of pressure pattern navigation. This means that for a given route the shortest way to a destination may not necessarily be the quickest one, because of wind conditions. An advantage may made by the navigator by following a line of constant barometric pressure, thus taking advantage of the favorable wind patterns on one or the other side of the track. This is why the navigator had to have a good sense of meteorology and wind patterns to be able to utilize the weather maps to his advantage. A lot of time there was a big discrepancy between forecasted weather maps and actual conditions, but could be checked with a radio altimeter against the standard pressure altimeter. All Pan Am DC-6’s carried a radio altimeter.
This is a great article written by none other than P.V.H. Weems himself.
Three navigators and a radar operator are kept fully occupied in navigating a B-29 to the Pole and back.
AÍR FORCE NAVIGATION, 1948
By CAPTAIN P. V. H. WEEMS, U. S. Navy (Retired)*
Through the courtesy of the Alaskan Air Force Commander the writer flew as an observer from Fairbanks to the North Pole and return (Ptarmigan Flight of July 21, 1948), and from Anchorage to San Francisco (Stork Baker Flight of July 27, 1948). These routine AF weather flights permitted a study and a comparison of navigation equipment, methods, and techniques. Previous flights have been made in over-seas naval and commercial aircraft. The Ptarmigan Flight permits a comparison between normal navigational methods and the special methods required for high latitudes.
Shortly after take-off at Ladd Field Air Force Base, Fairbanks, Alaska, we flew through an overcast, steering by the flux gate compass. After breaking out above the overcast, our astro-compass observations showed an error of some 20° in the flux gate compass, quickly illustrating one of the special difficulties of polar navigation. Normally the flux gate compass performs better than this, but above 70° latitude principal dependence is put on the astro- compass for setting and checking the course.
The B-29 plane, Lazy Daisy May, took off at 0550, weighing approximately 130,000 pounds, and returned 15 hours, 35 minutes later, weighing 90,000 pounds, having used 40,000 pounds, or 20 tons, of fuel. To give a clearer mental picture of the quantity of gasoline used, it would be the weight of ten 4,000 pound automobiles, or 130 fifty-gallon drums of gasoline. Only a rich nation, and one on such an important mission, could afford the expense. The data collected permits longer range and more accurate weather prognostications and at the same time provides valuable crew training.
* The opinions or assertions in this article are the private ones of the author, and are not to be construed as official or reflecting the view of the Navy Department, the A ir Force, or the services at large.
Survival Equipment included rubber boats, hunting and fishing gear, foul weather clothing in abundance, food, water, radio, etc. In case of emergency, it is believed that the crew could survive indefinitely, if they succeeded in reaching land, ice, or water alive.
A photo of the restored Nav's station from the Restored B-29 Blog
Special Problem of Direction. Due to the nearness to the magnetic pole, to the rapid convergence of longitude meridians, and to the radical changes in compass variation, the most difficult problem of polar navigation is the accurate determination of direction. The confusion caused by the convergence of meridians is largely overcome by the use of the "grid system." The Grid System uses arbitrary chart direction as a reference line in polar areas where the meridians converge rapidly. All directions are referred to this chart line or chart lines parallel to it. The Air Force has adopted as the reference meridian the direction given by an observer standing on the Greenwich meridian and looking across the North Pole to the 180th meridian. This may be visualized either as north on the Greenwich meridian or south on the 180th meridian. The advantage of this reference meridian is the convenience in converting grid directions to true, and the reverse. The rule for conversion is:
Grid = True-)-Longitude West,
True = Grid —Longitude West,
A Graduate of the Naval Academy in 1912, Captain Weems was retired in 1933, but returned to active duty in World War II as Convoy Commodore. He is best known, however, as an air navigation specialist, being the author of the Line of Position Book, Star Altitude Curves, Marine \avi- gation, etc. He is the inventor of Mark II Aircraft Plotter and the Second Setting Watch. He has written more than 25 articles for the ProceedIngs.
The magnetic compass, with poor performance due to weak magnetic directive force and rapidly changing variation, is supplemented by the astro-compass. Direction is determined by astro-compass observations taken at 20 minute intervals above 70° latitude. This method of setting course is accurate, and, if made automatic, would be highly satisfactory. As it is done at present, these astro-compass readings and resultant paper work require most of the time of one navigator.
The astro-compass is similar in principle to the equatorially mounted astronomical telescope. The latitude of the observer, and the declination and hour angle of the observed body (in this case, the sun), are set on the astro-compass and its sighting vane is pointed toward the sun. With these conditions met, and the instrument leveled, the azimuth scale indicates the plane's true heading. It is used in the same manner as an azimuth circle is used on a ship's compass.
Drift was determined by three independent methods: (1) Gyroscopic drift indicator, (2) Radar, and (3) Bellamy pressure pattern drift. On one occasion the observed drift taken almost simultaneously was +4° by gyro drift indicator, +3° by radar, and +3|° by the Bellamy method. This is a most impressive performance, considering the relatively inaccurate drift observations of a few years ago.
Radar drift on the polar ice field, regardless of overcast, was accurate and available. The new Bellamy drift method, which computes the drift angle from the pressure pattern, gives a surprisingly accurate wind drift, but does not give the force or direction of the wind. There is a special computer for solving for Bellamy drift, or it can be solved on the E-10 Computer, a development of the Dalton E-6B computer. f Celestial Navigation was the sole means of fixing position over the polar cap, due to the absence of electronic methods. Only the sun was available on this flight, the moon being approximately 180° from the sun (full and declination 24° S) and not visible in high north latitudes. Even so, excellent results were obtained by First Lieutenant Anderson, who methodically observed the sun at 26 minutes, 30 minutes, and 34 minutes of each
hour, and at other times as needed when nearing the pole. These observations indicated wind shifts and the plane's track.
A Bendix Sextant (the "coffee grinder") gave good results. Time was read from a watch set to the exact second of Greenwich Civil Time. The Air Almanac and H. O. 230 (restricted) were used to reduce the observations to positions. The actual computations were made on scratch paper and thrown away. The observer began a series of observations at 25 minutes after each hour by starting the sextant averaging timer which ran for exactly 2 minutes, and making coincidence during this interval. The resultant average altitude was recorded as having been made at 26 minutes past the hour. Similarly, observations were made from 29 to 31, for 30 minutes, and from 33 to 35, for 34 minutes. Only the middle set of observations, that for 30 minutes, was worked out, but the observations for 26 minutes could be plotted from an assumed longitude 1° to the east, and the 34 minute observation from 1° west, and thereby use the same computed altitude and azimuth for all three sets of observations, since the hour angle would be the same in each case. An old hand soon gets on to wrinkles in each case, which will save time and drudgery.
Duties of first navigator, Captain Breeze, consisted of hours of detailed work: recording an immense amount of data, applying repeated drift corrections, plotting celestial lines of position, observing radar scope, giving data for position reports, etc. Except for a few moment's relief, Captain Breeze sat almost continuously at his desk for 15 hours and 35 minutes, fully concentrated on navigation work an estimated 95 per cent of the time. The second navigator was busy with the astro-compass, and the third navigator with the sextant and drift indicator, and computing lines of position.
Comparison of Pilot and Navigation duties indicates that we have made much greater progress in piloting than in navigating aircraft, especially in polar regions. The crew jokingly said they could identify pilots by "barnacles on their bottoms and corns between their forefingers and thumbs!" The pilot and co-pilot had little to do while on gyropilot other than to "twiddle" the knurled control buttons. This condition is not to the credit of the guild of navigators, since we urgently need more nearly automatic navigation equipment.
An analysis of Ptarmigan flights indicates that each person added to the crew represents a pay-load loss of 2,550 pounds. We therefore discussed the possibility of reducing the number in the crew, (a) by cross- training the co-pilot and engineer, (b) by cross-training the 2nd navigator and radar operator, (c) by using the new automatic tracking system with the sun or a star to give the true heading continuously, and (d) by automatically and continuously feeding the altitude of the observed body to the navigator's station. With the altitude and azimuth of the sun or of a star continually available, one navigator should be able to navigate the plane without undue strain.
Under present conditions in polar regions, three navigators plus a radar operator are not only needed, but all four are kept extremely busy. This excess personnel should not, however, be considered a complete loss, due to the extremely valuable and much- needed special training the Ptarmigan flights afford.
Stork Baker Flight
While the equipment and methods for the Ptarmigan and the Stork Baker Flights were essentially the same, the techniques differed widely. The principal difference was the availability of the magnetic compass and Loran. W'ith the problem of direction satisfactorily solved by the flux gate compass, the astro-compass was used only a few times and merely as a check. This saved full time for one navigator.
Drift was determined principally by the gyroscopic drift indicator. Little or no use was made of radar drift beyond land range. Polar ice fields gave better drift observations than open water. Bellamy drift was used a few times, but more as a novelty than as a serious check on drift. Since the Bellamy pressure pattern drift does not give either the force or the direction of the wind, and since an overcast prevented sufficient celestial navigation, and finally since Loran fixes were not available due to long range for a considerable portion of the flight, full use
was made of double drift observations with the gyroscopic drift indicator. Frequent double drift observations were made on white caps, the plane altering course 45° to right and 45° to left of course during observation, with an estimated time loss of only one minute for each observation.
Loran was used effectively, when available, and was especially valuable during the last portion of the flight, and just prior to making a radar land fall. At times only single loran lines could be observed due to erratic scope images from the second pair of stations. The large loran chart, scale 1:2,000,000, was used for all navigation, although this required frequent folding of the chart. The first navigator, Captain Halsell, suggests the use of a smaller scale, approximately 1:4,000,000, for off-shore navigation. The smaller scale chart could then be spread flat for convenient use, and would cover the entire flight.
Celestial Navigation was used relatively little on the Stork Baker Flight due to overcast, in contrast to its extended use on the Ptarmigan Flight. Also by an unusual situation, celestial navigation was made more difficult. Navigators are required to carry a complete set of H. O. No. 218 tables, but apparently someone had miscounted the list before take-off, with the result that the available tables extended only to 44° north latitude, whereas the D R position at time of sight was near 49°. Actually, the tables were used by assuming Lat. 44° and using a long altitude intercept to lay down lines of position. Unfortunately, while flying at 1,000 feet the sky was almost continuously overcast. On the 500 mile leg at 10,000 feet, both the sun and the moon were visible most of the time. For some as yet unexplained reason, after we were within the range of the tables, the celestial fixes were apparently not as accurate as usual, with the result that by the time celestial navigation should have been effective, loran lines were proving more satisfactory and were used to a greater extent.
Duties of the Navigator on the Stork Baker Flight were less arduous than on the Ptarmigan Flight, but even so, First Lieutenant Hickey, who was brushing up on his navigation after a tour of duty in Korea, was kept plenty busy observing and plotting celestial lines of position, taking frequent drift observations, observing radar scope, observing and plotting position by Loran, recording data, etc. Normally only one Navigator is carried on Stork Baker Flights. Wrinkles and Suggestions (by Captain Halsell);
(a) Prefers a sextant which permits direct observation of stars. On this flight there was never darkness, but only twilight, before sunrise, making it difficult to locate stars, especially Polaris. He mentioned the Link Sextant for this purpose, and this should be available. He used the Fairchild A-10-A sextant.
(b) Suggests rearrangement and simplification of the Flight Record form. In discussion it was agreed that where forms are too intricate they are seldom filled out completely, since to do so would require too much time.
(c) For demonstration, took bearing of plane's shadow to get reciprocal relative bearing of the Sun.
(d) Found ground speed by timing white caps with drift indicator using formula:
Altitude in feet _ Ground speed
Time in seconds Factor*
A special wind drift computer used by the weather observer, for the rapid solution of drift by the Bellamy method. The same problems may be solved with the E-6B computer when a latitude scale is added. Incidentally, the E-6B Dalton navigation computer is used by weather observers and radar operators and by B-29 engineers as well as by the navigators.
In view of changing conditions in air navigation, it is suggested that H. 0. 218 tables be replaced by short tables giving an accurate solution under all conditions, even where the solution is slightly longer. When it takes 12 to 15 minutes to get a set of observations, it does not appear unreasonable to
* This factor was 1 when timed between the 50° wire and the 70° wire in the drift indicator. The actual problem worked was:
9975, X = 199 = Ground Speed.
We had been using G/S 198. The absolute altitude as furnished by the weather observer was used, as well as a special timer reading to tenths of a second.
work 10 to 20 seconds longer to get a more accurate solution under all conditions with short tables which replace several volumes of tables.
The effectiveness of radar was illustrated when the first definite land-fall appeared on the radar scope. The navigator soon reduced his strenuous exertions (and perspiration!) with sextant, loran, and drift indicator. As the plane approached the Golden Gate Bridge, the usual but impressive radar bombing run was made on the left bridge tower. With the radar operator in control, "bombs away" was given at a point to insure a hit.
The crew teamwork showed to good advantage throughout the flight. It is obvious that we are working on correct principles and that our efforts should be directed toward still further improving the methods of putting these principles into effect.
There appears to be a need for a standard navigation work book for the orderly solution and permanent record of the various problems to be solved by the navigator. Where lives and property depend on the calculations and observations of the navigator, it would appear desirable to keep these solutions in an orderly way both for the benefit of the navigator and as a check on his work. All too frequently important work is written on scratch paper and thrown away at the end of the flight.
It is obvious that navigation equipment should be more conveniently arranged and made more nearly automatic, in order to relieve the navigator from unnecessary drudgery and to increase the_over-all efficiency of aircraft.
While the equipment and methods as used gave excellent results, it is believed that some improvements would result in following the suggestions made by various persons as follows:
(1) Provide automatic recording features to as many of the navigation instruments as possible, including the astro-compass.
(2) Place loran, radar, and sextant observation positions near the navigator to save time and drudgery.
(3) Supply at least one sextant, such as the Link, which permits direct observation of faint stars.
4) Replace H. 0. 218 and H. 0. 230 with personnel. The policy of the Navy has been one volume, such as the New Line of Posi- to have the pilot and co-pilot trained to do t ion Tables, which would work for all lati- the navigation, while the Air Force has a tudes, altitudes, and all bodies. group of navigation specialists. In theory, at
(5) Use Star Altitude Curves as a pre- least, there is an advantage in having as the computed method. plane commander an expert in navigation.
(6) Adopt a standard navigation note On the other hand, due to training and book for recording and preserving the navi- psychology, a good pilot might be a poor gator's work. navigator, and the reverse. In any case it is
expensive to give training either as a pilot or
A comparison of the navigation equip- as a navigator. Furthermore, as World War
ment, methods, and techniques as used in II demonstrated, to get the volume of pilots
the Air Force, the Navy, and on commercial and navigators required, it was necessary to
airlines will show that while the equipment train each as specialists.
and methods are not greatly different, the Considering all angles, the writer is of the
techniques differ. Since commercial airlines opinion that navigators should be specially
operate under CAA orders requiring a relief trained, but if it is found necessary to give
for more than 8 hours work, an extra navi- broader training, this training should be in
gator is required on certain runs; otherwise the field of electronics, including loran, radar,
the airlines, as may be expected, utilize the radio, and radio D/F, since this broad field
latest equipment to reduce the number of overlaps that of navigation.
Most mechanics, techs or flight engineers and some of the old pilots who have worked on or flew on aircraft with recip engines would be very familiar with this chart. These old R4360-3350’s R 2000 to name a few could put out a lot of smoke and sometimes fire. On the C-124, C-118, C-54 or C7A Caribou we learned what to look for on start up or while in the air.
Here is a great guide, put out by Eastern Airlines in 1953, on understanding the cause and actions for various engine smoking or fires.
FROM THE PAGES OF EASTERN AIRLINES FLIGHT OPERATIONS MANUAL
UNDERSTANDING YOUR ENGINES.
TAG PHOTO TO ENLARGE