The drift of an aircraft guided towards it's destination by directional receiving of radio signals transmitted from the ground

Edward P. Warner
naca-tn-220
Jun 1925


Following a curved path increases the distance to be flown, and a type of radio navigation that forces the adoption of such a path is therefore less efficient than one that marks out a definite straight line between the point of departure and the intended destination, and holds the airplane to that line. To determine the loss of efficiency resulting from curvature of the path, calculations were made for two particular cases by the method of step-by-step integration. The calculations were based on the assumption that the pilot makes straightforward use of his radio for navigation and makes no allowance for drift. Results are given in tabular form for two airplanes flying 200 miles at 100 mph, one with a cross wind of 50 mph wind across course, and the other with a 20 mph wind across course. It is shown that the following of the curved path increases the time of flight and the air distance flown by 17 percent and 2.5 percent in the two cases.

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http://naca.central.cranfield.ac.uk/reports/1925/naca-tn-220.pdf