The Theory and Computation of Single Heading Flights

Irving I. Gringorten 17 N. 5th Ave., Long Branch, N. J.

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Single-heading flight is a relatively new and simple system of navigation which generally saves flying time and fuel. To date its use has been restricted to regions where geostrophic winds prevail. The present article presents the theoretical derivation of the formula for single heading and a method for plotting the expected track of the airplane. The use of single-heading flight may be extended over the whole earth, and for variable airspeeds and altitude of flight. This article shows under what circumstances this type of flight planning will yield the path of shortest flying time.

* This article is part of a larger study initiated at the Headquarters of the Air Weather Service, Washington, D. C. Mr. Gringorten is now with the Geophysical Research Division, Watson Laboratories, Red Bank, N. J.

The writer of this article is very much indebted to Dr. D. T. Perkins of the Air Weather Service for his guiding assistance, during several discussions, in the preparation of this report.

Single-heading flight is a relatively new and simple system of navigation which generally saves flying time and fuel. To date its use has been restricted to regions where geostrophic winds prevail. The present article presents the theoretical derivation of the formula for single heading and a method for plotting the expected track of the airplane. The use of single-heading flight may be extended over the whole earth, and for variable airspeeds and altitude of flight. This article shows under what circumstances this type of flight planning will yield the path of shortest flying time.

* This article is part of a larger study initiated at the Headquarters of the Air Weather Service, Washington, D. C. Mr. Gringorten is now with the Geophysical Research Division, Watson Laboratories, Red Bank, N. J.

The writer of this article is very much indebted to Dr. D. T. Perkins of the Air Weather Service for his guiding assistance, during several discussions, in the preparation of this report.

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