Walter Stevens

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    Walter Stevens was a WWI instructor pilot and taught his students how to calculate drift on cross country flights by watching shadows of the airplane’s wings over the earth. Does anyone have any more information about this or other practices in instrument flight or navigation that had been used commonly in the war? I am doing a comprehensive study on air navigation and instrument flight. Thanks so much!

    Allen Turco


    AWB used a US Navy sextant for navigating across the Atlantic in 1919, though it is uncertain how this would have been useful as there was no ‘fixed’ horizon.

    ‘Airship Navigator’ by EA Johnston, recounts the author’s father’s appointment by Daimler Airway to prove that it was possible not to get lost flying on days when the weather wasn’t perfect – the main excuse used by pilots not to fly which went against Frank Searle’s (then) novel idea that aeroplanes only made money when they were in the air.

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