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31 Oct 2014, 00:41 [ UTC - 5; DST ]


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 Post subject: Concrete Arrows/ Old time navigation
PostPosted: 08 Jul 2013, 20:07 
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Posts: 1588
Post Likes: +51
Location: Concord , CA (KCCR)
Aircraft: 1967 Baron B55
>Subject: Giant Concrete Arrows...AVIATION

>
>This Really Exists: Giant Concrete Arrows That Point a Way
Across America

>
>
>
>Courtesy of _Aviation Archaeological Investigation & Research_

http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
>
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>Every so often, usually in the vast deserts of the American
Southwest, a
>hiker or a backpacker will run across something puzzling: a
ginormous
>concrete arrow, as much as seventy feet in length, just sitting
in the middle of
>scrub-covered nowhere. What are these giant arrows? Some kind
of surveying
>mark? Landing beacons for flying saucers? Earth’s turn signals?
No, it's…
>
>
>
>
>
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>The Transcontinental Air Mail Route
>
>
>
>
>_Expand_
http://www.cntraveler.com/dam/daily-tra ... route2.png

>
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>

>
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>A re-creation of a 1920s map showing the route of airmail planes;
the dots
>are intermediate stops along the course.
>
>
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> * On August 20, 1920, the United States opened its first

>coast-to-coast airmail delivery route, just 60 years after
the Pony Express closed up
>shop. There were no good aviation charts in those days, so
pilots had to
>eyeball their way across the country using landmarks. This
meant that flying
>in bad weather was difficult, and night flying was just about
impossible.
> * The Postal Service solved the problem with the world’s
first
>ground-based civilian navigation system: a series of lit beacons
that would
>extend from New York to San Francisco. Every ten miles, pilots
would pass a
>bright yellow concrete arrow. Each arrow would be surmounted
by a 51-foot
>steel tower and lit by a million-candlepower rotating beacon.
(A generator
>shed at the tail of each arrow powered the beacon). Now mail
could get from
>the Atlantic to the Pacific not in a matter of weeks, but in
just 30 hours or
>so.
> * Even the dumbest of air mail pilots, it seems, could
follow a
>series of bright yellow arrows straight out of a Tex Avery
cartoon. By 1924,
>just a year after Congress funded it, the line of giant concrete
markers
>stretched from Rock Springs, Wyoming to Cleveland, Ohio. The
next summer, it
>reached all the way to New York, and by 1929 it spanned the
continent
>uninterrupted, the envy of postal systems worldwide.
> * Radio and radar are, of course, infinitely less cool
than a
>concrete Yellow Brick Road from sea to shining sea, but I think
we all know how
>this story ends. New advances in communication and navigation
technology
>made the big arrows obsolete, and the Commerce Department decommissioned
the
>beacons in the 1940s. The steel towers were torn down and went
to the war
>effort. But the hundreds of arrows remain. Their yellow paint
is gone, their
>concrete cracks a little more with every winter frost, and
no one crosses
>their path much, except for coyotes and tumbleweeds. But they’re
still out
>there.
>
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 Post subject: Re: Concrete Arrows/ Old time navigation
PostPosted: 08 Jul 2013, 21:14 
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That's very interesting.

If you ever stop at J.A. Air in Aurora, IL (KARR) check out the flight planning room. There is an aviation map from the 1940s showing the electronic ranges that were used for IFR before the VOR system was installed.


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 Post subject: Re: Concrete Arrows/ Old time navigation
PostPosted: 08 Jul 2013, 22:31 
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Username Protected wrote:
That's very interesting.

If you ever stop at J.A. Air in Aurora, IL (KARR) check out the flight planning room. There is an aviation map from the 1940s showing the electronic ranges that were used for IFR before the VOR system was installed.


Believe it or not, some historical group whipped up a 4 course range and made a video about flying it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-VqtNY8vpw

Best,
Rich


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 Post subject: Re: Concrete Arrows/ Old time navigation
PostPosted: 08 Jul 2013, 22:45 
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Company: USAF
Location: Las Vegas
Aircraft: 1969 V35A
That's cool, navigation at its easiest! I love it!

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 Post subject: Re: Concrete Arrows/ Old time navigation
PostPosted: 08 Jul 2013, 22:49 
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Joined: 09/02/09
Posts: 3915
Post Likes: +373
Company: OAA
Location: Oklahoma City - PWA
Aircraft: CIRRUS SR22T
Username Protected wrote:
Believe it or not, some historical group whipped up a 4 course range and made a video about flying it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-VqtNY8vpw

Best,
Rich


Thanks for posting that Rich. I have wondered about that ever since reading "North Star Over My Shoulder". That's pretty cool that there is somewhere it still exists.

If you look up 4 course range on Wikipedia there is some pretty good information about how it works. There is also a copy of a January 16, 1957 approach plate for Joliet, IL which is really not that much different than a modern one.


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 Post subject: Re: Concrete Arrows/ Old time navigation
PostPosted: 08 Jul 2013, 23:40 
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Aircraft: Bonanza M35
There's one in Sierra Blanca Texas. I thought it was steel, but its large and was supposedly part of the route out to El Paso.


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 Post subject: Re: Concrete Arrows/ Old time navigation
PostPosted: 09 Jul 2013, 11:40 
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Joined: 12/12/07
Posts: 14229
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Company: M.B. Kahn Construction Co.
Location: Columbia, SC (KCUB)
Aircraft: 2003 Bonanza A36
I've very surprised this navigation system is not on the FAA written test?

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 Post subject: Re: Concrete Arrows/ Old time navigation
PostPosted: 09 Jul 2013, 12:07 
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Joined: 08/10/11
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Company: Redstone Arsenal Flying Activi
Location: Clay, Alabama & Redstone Arsenal, Alabama
Username Protected wrote:
I've very surprised this navigation system is not on the FAA written test?

HUSH They have enough flakey ideas of their own without your "suggestions"

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 Post subject: Re: Concrete Arrows/ Old time navigation
PostPosted: 09 Jul 2013, 13:45 
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Company: Applied Fabric Tech.
Location: Buffalo N.Y. 9G0
Aircraft: Baron 58
A while ago I found an American Airline 4 course approach plate for Toledo Ohio and ElPaso Texas in the back of a Navy flying manual published in 1940. the plates were from the same period. I had them framed to hang on the office wall. I have no idea if they were worth anything but the frame cost me $150 bucks !! the book was 10 bucks. and included the plate.

Not sure if I could fly one after doing coupled GPS approaches on the GTN 750 while listening to the Pops on XM tunes!!.

I guess we have gotten back to the simple days of following a yellow brick road, albeit in slightly better comfort most days
PL


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 Post subject: Re: Concrete Arrows/ Old time navigation
PostPosted: 09 Jul 2013, 14:13 
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Joined: 12/18/07
Posts: 10053
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Location: Chicago
Aircraft: Sold my V35B :-(
Ernest Gann has a great description of flying the range into Newark with local lightning crashing in his headphones while trying to hear the difference between A and N. (Fate is the Hunter)


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