Dave Bitzer and Mark Beaumont are known to many 'classic' aircraft fans for their various freeware releases for the FS2004 Douglas DC-3. These include improved air dynamics, fuel management devices, panels, kneeboards and other work. Dave and Mark have also produced unofficial modifications for the latest FS2004/FS2002 MAAM-SIM DC-3.
Now Beaumont & Bitzer are delighted to announce, after many months' work, the release of a first for FS in the form of an aircraft 'bubble' sextant. Based on the typical RAF Mk.IX variant, this gauge can be used with any FS2004 aircraft, enabling realistic celestial navigation within the simulation. Included are a comprehensive browser-based manual and other references.
As travel by air developed and matured, navigation over long distances also developed and improved. In the early days, however, air navigation essentially used ship navigation techniques adapted for aircraft. Without "landmarks", the navigators used Ded Reckoning (DR) and the stars. Celestial or Astronomical Navigation provides a means of obtaining Lines of Position (LOPs) from these stars. Crossing LOPs will fix a position. Celestial Navigation requires a chart, and a planned course on that chart, with waypoints specified by Latitude and Longitude, an assumed time of arrival at each waypoint, and stars (including the Sun, Moon, or planets) in view.
In the 1940s, extensive tables of star positions were made available to air navigators to be used with sextants to obtain these LOPs. In the tables, all times involved are GMT. This data is now available from the Internet in "ready to use" form. Beaumont & Bitzer's gauge simulates the sextant, and the process by which one obtains a LOP, or crossing LOPs to obtain a position, or fix.
"We're very excited to be able to offer this small but significant freeware gauge to the FS community" says Mark Beaumont. The beauty of flight simulation today is that we all have the chance to try out many different types of aircraft and fly them in the way they should be, or were, flown. Dave and I are particularly keen on the Douglas DC-3 and aircraft of her generation; this gauge brings a level of realism to that era of navigation that has not been available to date. There's a learning curve involved in using this sextant properly (or at all), without doubt; but we encourage you to put aside your DME, GPS and FS Navigator software for a while and to learn how demanding accurate navigation could be in the formative years of many of the world's airlines".
By Dave Bitzer and Mark Beaumont
File name: DC3_BBSX.ZIP