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Well-known member
Jun 14, 2002

How do military planes navigation systems differs from those of civil aircraft - other than the different types of 'radar' they used relative to the GPS ?

I heard that there's abutton on the plane where you can just press to change Mag. North to True North? How true is this? Where's the button?

If there's is some problems with the panel on the aircraft such that it does not help you 'navigate', how would you navigate then? -celestrial naviagation-? Pilot's i've come across and spoke to doesn't seem clear of celestrial navigation or it's just my luck.


True Celestial Navigation is mainly done by boat and ship captains, I have never heard of a pilot doing this and if you did, you would need someone to fly the plane while doing the formula.
Our navigator was required to do a celestial fix on every flight in the P-3. That was as of two years ago, and I'm guessing they probably still do it. On the P-3, a military plane with relatively archaic nav systems, we have GPS, two inertial navigation systems, Omega (which uses VLF signals from stations worldwide to develop a fix...similar to Loran C), tacan and a couple of VORs. Yes, you can move back and forth between true north and mag north. Generally, we use true north when using the computer, and use mag when we are simply flying off navaids. Wouldn't want to have to depend soley on celestial, but mariners and aviators for years did okay with it. Hope that answers your question.
Thanks for the reply...

My question...

What if their was a system failure...you can't rely on those nav system... what sort of navigation do you turn to then? Since now adays, pilots doesn't seem clear of celestrial navigation...what do they do then? Say you have too lost radio contacts too... all alone... (and there are thousand of lives in your hands?)
That's a pretty unlikely situation due to the redundancy of systems. With multiple systems powered by different sources with battery backup, it would take a pretty bad day to lose everything. However, if worse came to worse, there's always the magnetic compass and your watch for dead reckoning.

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