Sunday, March 28, 2010

Wellington Aero Club Open Day 2010 # 5: DH Devon: Static

This [and the next] post are photos of the de Havilland DH 104 Dove/ Devon. This aircraft [registration ZK-XNZ] previously served with the RNZAF as registration NZ1828. While in RNZAF service, the aircraft's primary role was as a navigation trainer. The aircraft is still painted in the RNZAF trainer scheme but is now registered to a Christchurch address.

Pictures start with an early morning shot as the sun was still low in the sky, followed by some external pictures, then the interior.

Looking at the interior, the panel is surprisingly "sensible" for a British design :-) The final picture is of the "very much pre-GPS" navigation equipment located in the perspex roof. If anyone can explain how to use a sextant etc, I'd be interested to know, although I'm somewhat unlikely to ditch eyes, charts and GPS :-)

The next post will show the startup of those Gypsy Queen 70 engines and the departure.


Anonymous said...

I know I'm, oh, four years late, but for giggles I googled XNZ and found this. XNZ is my father's aircraft, as it happens.

The 'sextant' in the dome in the canopy is an NDB (Non-Directional Beacon) coil, which is tuned from the box in front of it with the circular face. There aren't too many NDB shacks left in New Zealand - the one in Wellington (up on Palmers Head near the bunker) was pulled sometime in 2013, it appears.

The idea is you tune the radio to a frequency you know the NDB shack is transmitting on (each site is on a different frequency and they send out the airport's code in morse) and the flip the track switch and the coil will begin spinning on its gimbal and turn back-and-forth until it finds the strongest track to it. It points a needle on an instrument on the front panel to the source of the signal and off you go.... except it can't tell if the source is in front of you or behind you, so if you're really lost, it doesn't always help :)

For what it's worth. And thanks for taking the pictures. Nostalgia. (I live in the US, so I don't see XNZ too often)

Rodney said...

Hello, and thanks for the details! It's always good to get some real info [even if 4 years later! :-)]