Aircraft compass characteristics

Peterson, John B Smith, Clyde W

A description of the test methods used at the National Bureau of Standards for determining the characteristics of aircraft compasses is given. The methods described are particularly applicable to compasses in which mineral oil is used as the damping liquid. Data on the viscosity and density of certain mineral oils used in United States Navy aircraft compasses are presented. Characteristics of Navy aircraft compasses IV to IX and some other compasses are shown for the range of temperatures experienced in flight. Results of flight tests are presented. These results indicate that the characteristic most desired in a steering compass is a short period and, in a check compass, a low overswing.

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