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Old 11th Jan 2017, 19:14   #21 (permalink)
 
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n5296s

Spoken like a true child of the magenta line.........

Shall I get my Astro compass ?
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Old 11th Jan 2017, 20:01   #22 (permalink)
 
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:-) I'm amazed how long it took someone to say this.

I love vintage things as much as anyone. I have a fantastic example of a 1950s electromechanical calculator sitting on my desk, but I don't use it to do my taxes. I use 1950s era valve amplifiers to listen to music, but my avionics are all firmly solid state. I'm a huge fan of the vintage computer work going on at the National Computer Museum, but I use a Macbook to do actual computing.

I can and have navigated with everything available, yes even including ADF/NDB - even flew an NDB approach to perfection on my IR checkride. But that doesn't mean it's a good idea.

The ONLY role of ADF/NDB in the 2010s is to get through checkrides etc that demand it. It has no more role in practical (and safe) navigation than the four-way range or the large arrows formed on the ground across the western USA. The FAA has (finally) dropped them from its written tests (so I'm told - they were still there for mine). Just as well, because there are very few NDBs left here.

The CAA seems to operate on the basis that it is still 1949. That's just something you have to live with if you want to fly in the UK, but it doesn't make it a good recipe for practical flying skills.
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Old 11th Jan 2017, 20:05   #23 (permalink)
 
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Agreed.

Morse and signal squares are relics of a bygone era.

Airfield NDB's with morse idents were just an additional pilot workload.

The USA used weather and airfield info on the NDB instead of morse code.

The old ADF system was useful in its time.
Quote:
Other information transmitted by an NDB[edit]
Apart from Morse Code Identity of either 400 Hz or 1020 Hz, the NDB may broadcast:

Automatic Terminal Information Service or ATIS
Automatic Weather Information Service, or AWIS, or, in an emergency i.e. Air-Ground-Air Communication failure, an Air Traffic Controller using a Press-To-Talk (PTT) function, may modulate the carrier with voice. The pilot uses their ADF receiver to hear instructions from the Tower.
Automated Weather Observation System or AWOS
Automated Surface Observation System or ASOS
Meteorological Information Broadcast or VOLMET
Transcribed Weather Broadcast or TWEB
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-directional_beacon
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Old 11th Jan 2017, 20:07   #24 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by n5296s View Post
The CAA seems to operate on the basis that it is still 1949. That's just something you have to live with if you want to fly in the UK, but it doesn't make it a good recipe for practical flying skills.
Sure, I totally agree. But how do I fly an ILS approach at say Cambridge, where I need an NDB...if I don't have one? Do I use SkyDemon (which in all truth is probably more accurate, but would technically be illegal)?
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Old 11th Jan 2017, 20:13   #25 (permalink)
 
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Have a play with it...you'll have fun.
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Old 11th Jan 2017, 20:31   #26 (permalink)
 
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how do I fly an ILS approach at say Cambridge, where I need an NDB
You have an ADF installed in the plane, just in case you get ramp-checked. Then what you actually fly is using your installed, approved GPS. I'm sure you're not seriously suggesting that someone would be flying for-real IFR in 2017 without a GPS in the aircraft.
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Old 11th Jan 2017, 20:33   #27 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by n5296s View Post
You have an ADF installed in the plane, just in case you get ramp-checked. Then what you actually fly is using your installed, approved GPS. I'm sure you're not seriously suggesting that someone would be flying for-real IFR in 2017 without a GPS in the aircraft.
For a start it isn't my plane, unfortunately.

I am. It's not a legal requirement and, as much as I agree with you it is necessary I don't think it will happen. I will campaign with the owner but I doubt he has 10k to spend...
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Old 11th Jan 2017, 20:40   #28 (permalink)
 
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For a start it isn't my plane, unfortunately.
Fair enough. In that case you buy an iPad and run some appropriate nav software on it (Foreflight in the US but not sure that exists in the UK), and a nice yoke mount. It's not approved but it has a much smaller chance of flying you into the nearest thunderstorm.

If you're a student then my comment about for-real IFR doesn't really apply. You probably should figure out how to tune the thing, even though it belongs to the era of Buddy Holly and cars with tailfins. Make sure you have a supply of replacement valves for it too. Those ECC88s hate being shaken about.
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Old 11th Jan 2017, 20:44   #29 (permalink)
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Yeah, that's what I was thinking but I don't think we have a Foreflight equivalent over here - the closet would be SkyDemon but that is VFR only.

I'm not but I was taught on steam gauges, however this rotating dial thing is a little too old even for me!
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Old 11th Jan 2017, 21:10   #30 (permalink)
 
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The old ADF system was useful in its time
I agree, as long as you don't confuse it with something you'd use for navigation. I was quite sorry when mine died and I had it removed. It was great for keeping track of how many times you'd been round the pattern. You could listen to AM radio (not that I ever did). And since there's a 100MW or so* AM station very close to my home field, I could see the direction to home from cruise altitude anywhere in California. Reassuring though not enormously useful.

*<pedant_alert>Really 50KW</pedant_alert>

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the closet would be SkyDemon but that is VFR only
Even if it's VFR only, if it will give you a magenta line to the navaid in question it will do the job. IT doesn't know you're on an IFR flight plan.
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Old 11th Jan 2017, 21:13   #31 (permalink)
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Even if it's VFR only, if it will give you a magenta line to the navaid in question it will do the job. IT doesn't know you're on an IFR flight plan.
Yeah, I think I'm rather resigned to using SkyDemon given my options. It does have a rather good airways mode to be honest...!
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Old 11th Jan 2017, 21:35   #32 (permalink)
 
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I'm sure you're not seriously suggesting that someone would be flying for-real IFR in 2017 without a GPS in the aircraft.
Plenty of them still around.
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Old 11th Jan 2017, 21:41   #33 (permalink)
 
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Is it an old Bendix T12?
I've been around long enough that I immediately figured out the controls in Jay's picture, except for the unmarked knob next to the test button. Is that for fine-tuning?

MW AM radio - that takes me back. Who says nostalgia ain't what it used to be!

Radio Luxemburg 208
Radio Caroline 199
Radio London 266

I remembered the first two but had to look up Radio London's wavelength.
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Old 11th Jan 2017, 22:04   #34 (permalink)
 
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When I started flying it was this sort of ADF along with a ribbon DI
http://thumbs.ebaystatic.com/images/...roP/s-l225.jpg

Nowadays you can visualise where the needle should be on the DI, with the ribbon DI you really had to work it out in your head.
Even worse was doing the RN Observers course in the Sea Prince, in that you were often working off marine beacons - these only transmitted for a set period, IIRC something like 2 minutes every 10 minutes, it was a "coffee grinder" ADF setup operated by the pilot where you set the frequency, idented the beacon then actually rotated the aerial to get the bearing! This was then called down to the nav students in the back of the aircraft!
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Old 11th Jan 2017, 22:29   #35 (permalink)
 
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The red test button confirmed if the ADF needle was live, i.e. not stuck.. The black knob to the right was for volume (audio output).

One would have to consult the Bendix Operator's Manual, but CW could also mean Continuous Wave: i.e. Morse Code transmission.

A continuous wave or continuous waveform (CW) is an electromagnetic wave of constant amplitude and frequency; a sine wave. In mathematical analysis, it is considered to be of infinite duration. Continuous wave is also the name given to an early method of radio transmission, in which a sinusoidal carrier wave is switched on and off. Information is carried in the varying duration of the on and off periods of the signal, for example by Morse code in early radio. In early wireless telegraphy radio transmission, CW waves were also known as "undamped waves", to distinguish this method from damped wave transmission as effected by early spark gap style transmitters.
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Old 11th Jan 2017, 23:20   #36 (permalink)
 
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I am boggled by the inability of anyone flying without an Ipad.

What is wrong with a map, a line and a bit of basic nav?
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Old 11th Jan 2017, 23:25   #37 (permalink)
 
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What is wrong with a map, a line and a bit of basic nav?
Doesn't work very well in IMC when you're trying to line up with a runway.
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Old 12th Jan 2017, 03:33   #38 (permalink)
 
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I'm sure you're not seriously suggesting that someone would be flying for-real IFR in 2017 without a GPS in the aircraft.
Well, me (waving hand). Though it was 2015. But there I was, having to fly what amounted to a for real IFR approach, in what was generously agree were special VFR conditions. The 182 I was flying is equipped with a KX165 (ILS & Glideslope) and a KR87 ADF. It also is equipped with a Garmin GTN750 GPS Comm, Garmin G500 glass cockpit, and a full set of "steam gauge" instruments. And, a complete set of approach plates for the airport.

I'm confident that the GTN750 coupled to the G500 is ultimately capable of presenting everything a pilot could want to fly an awesome GPS approach. But, the KX165 and KR87 provided what I needed. I flew the approach as best I could relative to the approach plate, with the tower's concurrence, and did just fine. I ignored the GPS so as to prevent task saturation, and everything worked out just fine - just as it always did when I would fly several actual ILS approaches in the Aztec each week in the early '80's - before GPS was known.

I do accept that ADF and ILS will be decommissioned, and some of us dinosaur pilots will have to learn new techniques. But, in the mean time, the equipment is there, it is reliable, and happily easy to understand.

I have flown long night winter legs over unpopulated areas with an ADF being the only means of navigation, and it worked just fine. My friend and I flew the length of Africa in a Twin Otter, in which though there was a VOR/ILS, the two ADF's turned out to be the better means of long range navigation at Twin Otter altitudes. Again, before GPS (though my friend had some kind of pre GPS sat nav unit (about the size of a typewriter), which consumed a lot of his interest, with him merely popping up from time to time to tell me I was on course.

To my amusement, and his frustration, I found a trick. This aircraft had dual RMI's, with no directional gyro (so the compass cards behine the ADF pointers would show the magnetic heading based on a remote wing mounted compass head). The RMI's would fail from time to time while we flew. They would drop a flag, and the card would no longer turn. No longer useful as a heading indicator - or were they?

He confirmed with his sat nav, over disappointingly long intervals that I was keeping my heading really well, considering that the most I had to use was the wet compass. How was I doing it? I would not tell. At the end of the trip, I had to answer up, so he did not explode with curiosity. I noticed that if the RMI card failed and stuck on the desired heading, I could use the RMI slaving meter as a quasi VOR indicator. If I turned even a degree off course, the slaving meter would try to slave the RMI face back, but could not, so it would show "unslaved". I could reslave by returning the aircraft to the required heading by reference to the slaving meter indication. It worked a treat, and very precise. But the downside was that it required an RMI to fail on the desired heading.

The very long distance [away] NDB's supplemented this crude navigation means, because the ADF could receive those signals. .
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Old 12th Jan 2017, 08:37   #39 (permalink)
 
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I flew the length of Africa in a Twin Otter, in which though there was a VOR/ILS, the two ADF's turned out to be the better means of long range navigation at Twin Otter altitudes.
Works well until the ADF decides that a Cb is more attractive than the NDB you are trying to use!
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Old 12th Jan 2017, 14:27   #40 (permalink)
 
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I'm sure you're not seriously suggesting that someone would be flying for-real IFR in 2017 without a GPS in the aircraft.
Did it yesterday and will probably do it again next week - not a problem.
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