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Aircraft Sextant

Interest in aeronavigational instruments arose with the demonstration of the military potential of aviation during World War I, and built slowly in the 1920s. The introduction of commercial transoceanic flights in the mid-1930s, together with growing international unrest, led to increased attention to this technology. The military services purchased large numbers of these instruments in the early years of World War II, and again during the Cold War, as did commercial airlines in the post war period.

With a marine sextant, the observer brings the image of a celestial body into coincidence with the actual horizon. Similar instruments designed for aeronautical use are equipped with an artificial horizon of one sort or another. Most of these instruments measure angles up to 90o but are referred to as sextants nonetheless.

Materializing the Military (London, 2005), pp. 95-120.

Peter Ifland, Taking the Stars. Celestial Navigation from Argonauts to Astronauts (Newport News, 1998).

Ref: "Sextant, Aircraft," in Robert Bud and Deborah Warner, eds., Instruments of Science. An Historical Encyclopaedia (New York & London, 1998), pp. 532-534.

Collection:

Bausch & Lomb Bubble Sextant (#23)
Bausch & Lomb Bubble Sextant (#24)
Bausch & Lomb Bubble Sextant (#26)
Bausch & Lomb Bubble Sextant (A-8)
Bausch & Lomb Bubble Sextant (AN5854-1)
Brandis Bubble Sextant (#3193)
Brandis Bubble Sextant (#5296)
Brandis Bubble Sextant (#5675)
Brandis Bubble Sextant (206-7)
Brandis Bubble Sextant (206B-39)
Brandis Bubble Sextant (206B-40)
Brandis Bubble Sextant (206C-109)
Brandis Bubble Sextant (206C-134)
Bubble Sextant
Bubble Sextant (RAF)
Bunge Bubble Quadrant (#1452)
Bunge Bubble Quadrant (#860)
Fairchild Bubble Sextant (A-10-A)
Felsenthal Bubble Sextant
Felsenthal Bubble Sextant
Gyroscopic Sextant
Hughes Bubble Sextant
Keuffel & Esser Bubble Octant (Mark II, Mod 2, s/n 2-29)
Keuffel & Esser Bubble Sextant (#18446)
Keuffel & Esser Bubble Sextant (#57321)
Keuffel & Esser Bubble Sextant (1-32)
Keuffel & Esser Bubble Sextant (3-29)
Keuffel & Esser Bubble Sextant (3-32)
Keuffel & Esser Bubble Sextant (5-32)
Keuffel & Esser Bubble Sextant (7-29)
La Precision Moderne Gyroscopic Sextant (#1983)
La Precision Moderne Gyroscopic Sextant (#1984)
Lesher Bubble Sextant
Link Bubble Sextant (A-11)
Link Bubble Sextant (A-12 with horizon)
Link Bubble Sextant (A-12)
NBS Bubble Sextant (Model 2, No. 4)
NBS Bubble Sextant (Model 2, No. 4)
NBS Bubble Sextant (Model NO. 2)
NBS Bubble Sextant (Model No. 2)
Pioneer / Bendix Bubble Sextant (A-7)
Pioneer / Bendix Bubble Sextant (Mark IV)
Pioneer Bubble Sextant
Pioneer Bubble Sextant
Pioneer Bubble Sextant (342-1)
Pioneer Bubble Sextant (342-3)
Ponthus & Lepetit Gyroscopic Sextant
Ponthus & Therrode Gyroscopic Sextant
Sewill / Heath Sextant
Spindler & Hoyer Bubble Sextant (#1590)
White, D. Bubble Sextant (Ball Recording)