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Thread: RAF compass/navigation question

  1. #1
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    Default RAF compass/navigation question

    I have a, admittedly, very basic question on the RAF compass. Going though the operations of a 35 Sqn air gunner (and other BC operations) I have been transcribing a compass course for the bomb run many times, e.g. the bombing of Hanau on 6 January 1945:

    "18000 feet. 141 T. 155 knots."
    cf. http://www.danishww2pilots.dk/sorties.php?id=1023

    My question is: This means that they flew TOWARDS 141 degrees of 360, i.e. in a SE'ish direction, right? And what is the significance of the "T"?

    My confusion is that during this raid, according to Middlebrook and Everitt (2011, p 649) the "village of Mittelbuchen was also badly hit." The ORB entry of my man seems to indicate, if I understand it correctly, that the force overshot what they identified as the target. ("Skymarkers were seen to fall continously up to +7. Last marker to ignite was at +8 and lasted until +11.").

    Therefore I was trying to establish if Mittelbuch was on the run into or out from the target.

    Thanks

    Mikkel
    Last edited by Mikkel Plannthin; 29th December 2012 at 10:37.
    Britain's Victory, Denmark's Freedom. Danish Volunteers in Allied Air Forces During the Second World War
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    Mikkel,
    I seem to recall that 'T' relates to True, thus 141 true bearing. From wiki....
    "A true bearing is measured in relation to the fixed horizontal reference plane of true north, that is, using the direction toward the geographic north pole as a reference point, while a magnetic bearing is measured in relation to magnetic north, that is, using the direction toward the magnetic north pole (in northeastern Canada) as a reference."
    But I'm sure more knowledgeable will give chapter and verse.
    Paul H

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    Default "T"

    Yes, pretty sure it's 'True' (as opposed to 'magnetic', compass) bearing.

    Ian

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    And yes, flying on the quoted course (not be confused with 'heading" which is the actual direction in which the centreline of the aircraft is heading to maintain a desired course, making allowance for contrary winds, etc, which wiil affect the exact direction the pilot has to fly the aircraft to "make good".) Hope I have all that right!
    David D

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    Paul, Ian and David
    Thank you for your answers!

    Mikkel
    Britain's Victory, Denmark's Freedom. Danish Volunteers in Allied Air Forces During the Second World War
    fb.me/britainsvictorydenmarksfreedom
    danishww2pilots.dk - a resource on Danish aircrew during the Second World War

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