Sunday, October 5, 2008

Aernonautical Navigation

Yesterday I had my second day of ground school. I learned to navigate and plan a flight. In aviation, the emphasis is on safety. This means that protocols are pretty sacred. It also means that the people in aviation are pretty conservative. They are unwilling to abandon their tried and proven methods.

That is why I am currently educated in the use of obsolete technology. And I am expected to demonstrate my affinity with technology that is so old, it predates world war II.

For example, consider Automatic Direction Finder, or ADF. It allows you to determine the relative direction between a radio transmitter and yourself. This technology is so old, only in the most remote parts of the world it is still used.

The successor to this technology is called VHF Omnidirectional Range or VOR. It stems from the 1950s.

Of course, all this technology has long been superseeded by a system that is far more advanced, far more accurate, cheaper and easier to use: GNNS. Everybody is familiar with the US implementation of this, called GPS.

Why burden young pilots with this ADF and VOR stuff? Surely, GPS is the tool to use.

1 comment:

Bram Stolk said...

Aah, prachtig, allemaal dingen waar ik meer verstand van heb als mijn zoon. Ja, zo hoort het, pracht stukjes van fijn mechanica die de Basic Tee vormen met een Flight Stick Controller er middenvoor. Niks Glass Cockpit met digitale beeldschermen en Side Stick Controllers. Altijd even tikken op de meterglaasjes om de frictie uit de naaldaanwijzers te halen. Zelfs dat ''tikken'' is gespecificeerd....tap the meterglass with the eraser end of a pencil too see if indication changes.

Ik was ILS/VOR specialist, ADF was zelfs in mijn tijd al verouderd er zijn talloze gevallen bekend dat de TO-FROM indicator 180 graden verkeerd stond en de piloot uiteindelijk met ZERO fuel moest uitstappen....