Monday, 28 December 2009

The Obalob Method of navigation

I was looking for a cylinder which would wrap around my leg to provide a "slippery" map-board which could allow me to rotate a map around my leg (see this earlier experiment). Then Lizzie, a keen gardener, suggested using a plastic flowerpot! Genius!

As an aside, watch Bill and Ben, the Flowerpot Men (BBC, 1953),
as only anyone of my generation will remember where obalob comes from.
(whiz past first three minutes)

I cut the base off one and slit it top to bottom. Then I colour copied 2xA4 views from my 1/4mil chart of England South, stuck them together and laminated them (interleafing two A4 pouches carefully to make a longer one), mounted the chart around the pot with duck tape and then tightened the pot around my suited leg, securing it with a final bit of tape (in the final version I think velcro might be more suitable).

Ordinarily, I could expect to get a map of the route from Sutton Meadows to Sackville on one leg, but my new method allows a flight North-South from say Sutton to Peterborough or East-West from Sutton to Leicester. That isn't a massive distance (45 x 25 Nautical Miles), granted, but one leg-map would cover all my favourite
airfields, including Sackville, Sywell, Leicester, Bakersfield, Deenethorpe, Grafton Underwood, Kimbolton, Chatteris, etc. And for a novice like myself, that is more than enough to be getting on with while I hangar at Sutton for the next few months. (see 2nd Update below!)

I will risk the ridicule. It is a "potty" solution but an efficient one, which will allow me
good access to undercarriage controls and a clear view of the countryside below me and instruments in front.

I have now fitted it out with velcro, so that it is fully functional; no longer just a prototype. I made a point of putting the fluffy side closest to my leg (wrapping a length of it along the inner and outer of the rough edge), so that the inner surface will slide easily against my suit. I will secure it on top of my leg then just slide it round. Simple.

I am really pleased with it.

2nd Update
While fixing the pot to my leg just now, I realised that I still have room for another 35 or 40 nautical miles under my leg (near the fixing velcro)! This could be a different route . . . leg, if you like, ahem. . . or the space could be used for landing / circuit info for the destination!

Sweet as a nut!


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