c5load
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Did Early Airliners Have Navigators?

Fri Dec 07, 2012 11:07 pm

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?
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longhauler
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RE: Did Early Airliners Have Navigators?

Sat Dec 08, 2012 12:23 am

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.
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Gemuser
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RE: Did Early Airliners Have Navigators?

Sat Dec 08, 2012 12:36 am

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.

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kanban
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RE: Did Early Airliners Have Navigators?

Sat Dec 08, 2012 12:54 am

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)      
 
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Jetlagged
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RE: Did Early Airliners Have Navigators?

Sat Dec 08, 2012 2:48 am

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).
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Viscount724
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RE: Did Early Airliners Have Navigators?

Sat Dec 08, 2012 3:08 am

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

VC-10 navigator using the periscopic sextant.

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Starlionblue
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RE: Did Early Airliners Have Navigators?

Sat Dec 08, 2012 3:35 am

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.
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Fabo
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RE: Did Early Airliners Have Navigators?

Sat Dec 08, 2012 5:40 am

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)
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fanofjets
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RE: Did Early Airliners Have Navigators?

Wed Dec 19, 2012 4:56 pm

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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