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Aero Navigation - Part 10 Through 35 of 35

Ed Yung, PE & Pilot

Course Outline

A course for Registered Professional Engineers to inform them on the very diverse, highly technical field of Aero Navigation.

Although Engineers are largely responsible for development of concepts, procedures, devices & instruments for most of an enormous variety of Aero Navigation systems, few Engineers are aware of either the variety or the number of concepts involved.  In fact, only a minority of professional pilots are aware of more than 5 or 10 Aero Nav systems.

This course is intended to inform Engineers on background, concepts, theory, accuracy, & diversity of optical, mechanical & electrical instruments involved.  

The course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of the course materials.

Learning Objectives

This course offers a general introduction as opposed to a functional, complete education on some of the more complex systems. The goal of this course is to inform PEs on the theory & application of 35 distinctly different Aero Navigation systems. Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

Intended Audience

Any PE, in particular. 

Any flying enthusiast or would-be pilot.

Any pilot (very few USAF or airline pilots are familiar with more than 10 of the Aero Nav systems in this course).

Basic background & concepts for any educator who may be interested in teaching a course on Aero Nav systems, or even nautical navigation.

Benefit to Attendees

Broaden knowledge base including many complex Aero Navigation systems, & the associated instrumentation & avionics.

Course Introduction

This introduction contains a wealth of preliminary info that is necessary for a basic understanding of all 35 Navigation systems in this series; most of which are Aero Navigation systems.

It describes history, basic concepts, theory, accuracy, equipment required, operational techniques & methods, some cost information, & accuracy of 35 different Aero Navigation systems; including 3 non-Aero Nav systems; one of which is 5,000 years old.   Some are extremely accurate; others have a large area of uncertainty.  Some of the Aero Navigation systems could be described by one or more of the following terms: 
 Highly Technical 
      Difficult to Implement   
            Very Simple
                User Friendly
                    Extremely Important in 2009
                       Extremely Important in the Foreseeable                                                                                                                          
                                Advancing the State-of-the-Art
                                   5,000 years old; precise
                                      Very Old
                                          Obsolete, but in use

Actually, portions of even the very old Aero Nav. systems are still in use in 2010.

It Illustrates in detail, or in some cases, in general, how Aero Navigation is performed using each existing Aero Navigation system.  To enlighten Engineers on the technical & practical aspects of a surprisingly large number of Aerial Navigation systems, or methods & tools.   In fact, 35 distinct Aero Navigation systems are discussed & described in this course.   Aerial Navigation systems or methods include past, present, state-of-the -art, & anticipated advanced systems. 

To provide sufficient background & considerable ancillary info to facilitate the learning process. 

Aero Navigation is somewhat more elaborate & complex than navigating a car; or even a boat.  It requires a working knowledge of at least a few Aero Navigation systems, as well as specifications & flight characteristics of the plane to be flown, & sufficient knowledge of the atmosphere to safely accomplish a flight.  It involves some simple, & a variety of very complex computations, including forward & reverse wind vectors, celestial computations & measurements, the original LORAN, & some complex programming operations. 

The author is a PE who is also a serious & very enthusiastic pilot holding most available FAA flying licenses & ratings, including that of Aero Navigator.  He has enjoyed flying 45 types of planes including turbojet, turbo prop, glider, blimp, hot air balloon, amphibian, aerobatic biplanes, monoplanes; trigear, mono gear, & taildragger.  His ability to smoothly & precisely land an airplane has been admired by many, including professional pilots; but very few envy some of his lesser flying skills or shortcomings.

Unsigned words of wisdom found on the internet:  Remember that the science of Navigation can be taught, but the art of Navigation must be developed from experience. 

Aero Navigation is like much of Engineering in that no 2 flights (projects) are exactly the same, & perfection is generally illusive.

Course Content

In this lesson, you are required to download and study the following course content:

Aero Navigation - Part 10 Through 35 of 35

Please click on the above underlined hypertext to view, download or print the document for your study. Because of the large file size, we recommend that you first save the file to your computer by right clicking the mouse and choosing "Save Target As ...", and then open the file in Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you still experience any difficulty in downloading or opening this file, you may need to close some applications or reboot your computer to free up some memory.

Course Summary

Provides details on 35 different Aero Navigation systems.

Very few professional pilots or Aero Navigation teaching professionals have any knowledge of more than 10 of the 35 methods described in this course.

Includes background, theory, accuracy, cost & application. 

Compares operational examples & comparison of rudimentary with more advanced methods of Aero Navigation.

Fully describes, with illustrations, the 60+ year old manual vector computer that still has no serious competitor. 


Once you finish studying the above course content, you need to take a quiz to obtain the PDH credits.

Take a Quiz

DISCLAIMER: The materials contained in the online course are not intended as a representation or warranty on the part of PDH Center or any other person/organization named herein. The materials are for general information only. They are not a substitute for competent professional advice. Application of this information to a specific project should be reviewed by a registered architect and/or professional engineer/surveyor. Anyone making use of the information set forth herein does so at their own risk and assumes any and all resulting liability arising therefrom.