[WWI] Roland D.VI wing mounted compass
reason108 at hotmail.com
Mon Jan 10 17:57:38 EST 2005
>From: Steve Cox
>And where exactly in an aircraft is level for more than a few seconds at a
The floating needle/ball/wheel/whatever of a compass will be level, for the
most part, when an aircraft is in a state of sustained straight and level
Magnetic compasses are subject to variation and deviation errors. Variation
is the angle between true north and magnetic north and varies with the
compass' position on the earth.
Deviation is caused by magnetic fields in the vicinity of the
compass,(electromagnetic fields generated by running engines, radios, etc.)
Magnetic compasses in aircraft are also subject turn and bank errors, and
iirc, acceleration/deceleration errors.
True, a fighter plane in a skirmish is rarely in a state of sustained
stright and level flight. BUt in a skirmish, a pilot isn't too concerned
about compass headings anyway. At least I wouldn't think he his. Never
having been there myself, I'm only guessing at that.
My point is this: a compass with it's axis aligned parallel to the horizon
won't work properly.
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