In lieu of Aviatrix’s recent post on navigation, I thought it might be worthwhile to post these World War II era approach plates. We have a few mid-40s sectional charts of the west coast hanging on the walls at Sunrise — in mind condition, no less — but they’re behind glass and would be tough to scan.
I always find these artifacts fascinating to study. These plates are not that different from what we use today. Charted plan and elevation views of the approach procedure on the front, and textual descriptions on the back. I guess the major difference is that the Washington, D.C. approach procedure uses the ancient four-course A/N audio navigation system.
I love historical aviation material. Charts. Logbooks. Manuals. Speaking of logbooks, Lesley has her grandfather’s aviation logbook. He was a Naval aviator prior to World War II and completed primary flight training before the war. Unfortunately, there were no aircraft for him to fly, so after sitting around for a while he volunteered for the silent service and ended up commanding a submarine.
Someone who reads my site sent me a British constant speed prop manual (or “hydromatic airscrew” as it was called back then) from the mid-late 30s, complete with handwritten mechanics notes. Seventy years later and the constant speed prop is essentially unchanged. That really says something about the elegance and simplicity of the design, and is undoubtedly the reason the CS prop is considered to be one of the greatest inventions in aviation history.