A collection of various tools, instruments and items used for navigation by aircrews.
Before the outbreak of World War II navigation duties were shared between pilot and co-pilot, the latter doing most of the navigating and less of the flying. Prior to 1942 there were no non-pilot navigators. The air Observer role was developed during World War II, and included an extensive list of duties. The most challenging task was to master dead reckoning - a complex process which required careful calculations, accurate measurement, and general rules by which navigating without the use of any external aid could determine the position of an aircraft in flight and plot its course from one point to another. Course work for navigators was done both in classrooms as well as in the air, the air time being crucial as trainees needed to demonstrate how well they could measure speed, time, and distance when plotting a course. What could be done in the comfort of a classroom was made uncomfortable once the trainee was within a military aircraft, contending with hot or cold temperatures, nausea, noise and eventually danger.
Non-navigational subjects for air observers included meteorology, aircraft recognition, current affairs, physical training, Morse Code, as well as training in gunnery and bombing. With the appointment of Air Marshal Arthur Harris as Commander-in-Chief in February 1942, the realization of overworked air observer resulted in Harris’ addition of the air bomber.
Following this was the training of specialist navigators within the BCATP beginning in June 1942, and the training of observers was gradually phased out by October. The syllabus for navigators was similar to the observers however the bombing and gunnery portion was removed and less emphasis was placed on Morse Code, the course was extended from twelve weeks to twenty, and the passing standard was raised. As a result the attrition rate among student navigators rose from eleven to seventeen percent, weeding out borderline and those students with incurable airsickness.
RCAF navigation computer type E-6B Reference No. 6B/517 with brown leather case. The metal computer with plastic slide rule was used to determine certain elements and preform calculations for fuel burn, wind corrections, time en rout and other navigation related items. "MJS Leeson'"scratched along bar on rear surface.
Dalton Dead Reckoning Computer Model G used for Air Navigation. Manufactured by Stanley Manufacturing Co./ Limited out of Toronto, Canada. Computer is comprised of a black metal box frame with a fabric chart inside seen through a circle clear plastic viewer, with a metal cover attached to bottom of main frame by a hinge. Cylinder attached to proper right to hold pen. The two dials on proper left side control paper chart and metal ring with compass headings and degrees marked. Dials are used to determine course corrections due to drifting caused by wind. Etched identification filled in white on front along bottom edge reads: DALTON DEAD RECKONING COMPUTER MODEL G STANLEY MANUFACTURING CO. LIMITED TORONTO, CANADA and serial number located in centre of rear surface reads: X.Y. 5468 Cover contains a metal dial computer for making corrections to air speed and height. Dial is comprised of a central circle shaped dial with two windows for viewing "Air temp" in "Centigrade" and Ind. Height" in "Thousand Feet" when determining corrections. "I.C.A.N. CALIBRATION" in back text located on front of cover along bottom edge. Incremented markings are in black, with explanations "FOR HEIGHT CORRECTIONS" and "FOR AIR SPEED CORRECTIONS" given in centre of dial. Centre dial labled in black text "
I.C.A.N. Calibration Aircraft Navigation Computer, Dalton Dead Reckoning Computer Model G Metal faced instrument has Khaki canvas leg straps with metal fastening buckles. Hinged front opens to reveal a Time Observation note pad with no entries.
FAIRCHILD A-10 AIRCRAFT SEXTANT WITH WOODEN STOWAGE CASE. A-10-A Sextant from B-24 Liberator with varnished mahogany wooden case, attached metal handle and two metal fasteners. The bottom left side of the case is missing a section of wood panel. The metal identification plate on the sextant reads, "PROPERTY. AIR FORCES. U. S. ARMY SEXTANT, AIRCRAFT TYPE: A-10A, SERIAL NO. AF 44-14942. ORDER NO. W30-053 AC 1470 SPEC. NO. E320 K1". Also included in the case are white plastic discs for Fairchild A-10 & A-10-A sextants, and a metal casing for batteries (powerpack) 4.5 volts max. The metal plate attached to the woodn stowage case reads, "SEXTANT TYPE A-10 A, SERIAL NUMBER AF 44-3874".