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Did Early Airliners Have Navigators?  
User currently offlinec5load From United States of America, joined Sep 2008, 917 posts, RR: 0
Posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 3439 times:

I've seen in the C-141 and the C-5 cockpit there used to be navigators in the olden days. Nowadays its just a work table but it got me wondering, did any early airliners around the same age use the navigator position?


"But this airplane has 4 engines, it's an entirely different kind of flying! Altogether"
8 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently onlinelonghauler From Canada, joined Mar 2004, 4915 posts, RR: 43
Reply 1, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 3409 times:

The last aircraft in Air Canada's fleet with a navigator was the DC-8, up to the DC-8-61. From the DC-8-63 and on, were built with INS, (including the B747-100/200 and L1011), then from the B767-200 on with IRS.

Eventually, the DC-8-61, and DC-8-50 were refitted with INS, and the Navigator position was retired.

The navigator table and seat though, existed right up until the last DC-8-73 was retired.



Never gonna grow up, never gonna slow down .... Barefoot Blue Jean Night
User currently offlinegemuser From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 5621 posts, RR: 6
Reply 2, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 3399 times:

All long distance airliners had navigators up to the late B707/DC8 era. QF's B707-338s had a crew of 5, two pilots, flight engineer, navigator and radio operator.

Gemuser



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User currently offlinekanban From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 3402 posts, RR: 26
Reply 3, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 3386 times:
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Quoting c5load (Thread starter):
I've seen in the C-141 and the C-5 cockpit there used to be navigators in the olden days.

Boy I cringe when people talk of the C-5 as "the olden days"... heck they're just recent history... Now in the Olden Days, they only flew during the day following the railway tracks.. (or a guy on a horse carrying a torch)      


User currently offlineJetlagged From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 2543 posts, RR: 24
Reply 4, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 3349 times:

Quoting c5load (Thread starter):
I've seen in the C-141 and the C-5 cockpit there used to be navigators in the olden days. Nowadays its just a work table but it got me wondering, did any early airliners around the same age use the navigator position?

The VC10 had a navigator in the crew before the advent of INS. RAF VC10's still have a navigator in the crew, but they are for tactical navigation related to air refuelling and so on, rather than giving directions to the driver (they have INS, GPS etc for that).



The glass isn't half empty, or half full, it's twice as big as it needs to be.
User currently onlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 24909 posts, RR: 22
Reply 5, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 3344 times:

Quoting Jetlagged (Reply 4):
The VC10 had a navigator in the crew before the advent of INS.

VC-10 navigator using the periscopic sextant.

http://cache.wists.com/thumbnails/d/53/d53e83651b6ebfd695b5abf45eb29d61-orig


User currently offlinestarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17002 posts, RR: 67
Reply 6, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 3335 times:

Technically, airliners have navigators today. And just like now, pilots were navigators back in the "olden days", which I would define as 1920s and 1930s.


"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineFabo From Slovakia, joined Aug 2005, 1219 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 3299 times:

Soviets would keep navigators in crews all the way up to Tu-154. With their navigation systems, good thing too. Many airlines outside USSR started retiring them though, as different navigation systems became available and lumped into the planes. CSA, for example, never used navigators in their Tu-154s (which they only started using in late 80s)


The light at the end of tunnel turn out to be a lighted sing saying NO EXIT
User currently offlinefanofjets From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 1964 posts, RR: 3
Reply 8, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 2548 times:

The early-model Boeing 707s also had that sextant - in the cockpit sections at the Cradle of Aviation Museum (El Al Boeing 707-458, 4X-ATA, built 1961) and the New England Air Museum (Pan American World Airways Boeing 707-320, N714, built 1959) you can see the protrusions in the cockpit ceiling (thought they are retracted).

Going to much more modern times, the USAF VC-25s (747-24GB) actually have human navigators aboard!

Now, let's go to the Soviet Union. I'll mention just a few examples: The early Tupolev Tu-134s had the best navigator stations in the sky!


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Even more recent, the mighty Antonov An-124 and even mightier An-225


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