B-17 Nine-O-Nine

Feb 052013
 
Astro Compass

Astro Compass

The Navigator’s Information File has a description of the Astro Compass (or Astrocompass) .  This device was used by navigators to determine the true heading of the airplane, to steer a true heading, to identify a star, or as a pelorus, a device without magnetic needles used to read bearings.

It is unclear to me if, or how often, this device was actually used.  I ran across an Astro Compass while visiting the United States Air Force Armament Museum at Eglin Air Force Base, near Fort Walton Beach, Florida.

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Oct 072012
 

WingsLike pilots, cadets who trained to be bombardiers and navigators were assigned to different air fields for different phases of their training.  They had preflight, gunnery and either bombardier or navigator training, or both.

Here are the phases of bombardier and navigator training as they were in 1944, adapted from The Official Guide to the Army Air Forces (New York:  Pocket Books, Inc., May 1944).

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