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05 January - Harold Gatty said "NO" to the President of USA

Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 12:56 pm
by Max ADU
Australian Birthday Today - 5th January
** see video below - archive footage of world flight

Harold Charles Gatty
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(5 January 1903 – 30 August 1957) was an Australian navigator and aviation pioneer.

Gatty was born on 5 January 1903 in Campbell Town, Tasmania

Charles Lindbergh called Gatty the "Prince of Navigators".

In 1931, Gatty served as navigator, along with pilot Wiley Post (a famed American aviator during the Golden Age of Aviation,) set the record for aerial circumnavigation of the world, flying a distance of 15,747 miles (24,903 km) in a Lockheed Vega named the Winnie Mae, in 8 days, 15 hours and 51 minutes.

Early life to fame
Harold Gatty began his career as a navigator in 1917, at age 14, when he was appointed a midshipman at the Royal Australian Naval College.

Later after World War I, he became an apprentice on a steamship in the Australian merchant navy, learning star constellations while standing night watch.

Gatty became an expert in celestial navigation and served on many ships, some sailing between Australia and California.

After leaving the Navy Gatty worked in Sydney Harbour provisioning vessels anchored there.

In 1927 Gatty moved to California USA and opened a navigation school, teaching marine navigation to yachtsmen. The following year in 1928, his attention turned to air navigation.

Starting of Gatty's adventures
In 1929, Gatty navigated a Lockheed
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Vega on a flight from Los Angeles to New York City for Nevada Airlines, to demonstrate the feasibility of coast-to-coast passenger service across America.The initial flight made four stops and the journey taking 19 hours and 53 minutes, setting a transcontinental airspeed record for a commercial airliner.

In 1930, Gatty prepared a coast-to-coast route and navigation charts for Anne Morrow Lindbergh, for the record attempt. Charles Lindbergh and his wife Anne as the navigator set a record for cross-country flight of 14 hours and 45 minutes.

Around the world in 8 Days
The next year, Wiley Post asked
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Gatty to accompany him on an effort to break the world record for circumnavigating the earth, which was previously set at 21 days by the Graf Zeppelin airship. Gatty accepted, hoping to demonstrate the effectiveness of his navigation methods.

The journey a 15,000-mile course across Europe, Russia, and Siberia began on 23 June 1931 at Roosevelt Field in New York because of lack of suitable airfields nearer the equator.

Post and Gatty crossed the Atlantic in a record time of 16 hours and 17 minutes and continued to Berlin, Moscow, and Khabarovsk, then crossed the Bering Sea, landing on the beach near Solomon, Alaska.

Post and Gatty
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continued their trip to Edmonton, Alberta, arriving finally back at Roosevelt Field after 8 days, 15 hours, and 51 minutes. The pair received a tickertape parade in New York City.

Air navigation in Gatty’s time used dead reckoning. When setting out for a destination the aircraft heading is taken with respect to a compass. Motion over the earth is determined by the wind triangle. Heading must therefore be compensated for wind speed as well as drift rate.

In 1931 Popular Mechanics published an article featuring Gatty’s invention consists of an endless film cut across by fine parallel lines and method for computing the wind drift experienced by an aircraft.

The article also praise the artificial horizon and turn and bank indicator that Post and Gatty used, which was developed by Lawrence Sperry and manufactured by the Sperry Gyroscope Company.

A year after the circumnavigation with Wiley Post, the US Congress passed a bill allowing civilians to receive the Distinguished Flying Cross. President Herbert Hoover at the White House on August 18, 1932.pinned the medals on Gatty and Post.

Also Gatty was offered
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American citizenship and the newly created position of Senior Aerial Navigation Engineer for the US Army Air Corps. Gatty expressed his wish to remain associated with Australia and Congress passed a bill allowing foreign citizens to hold that post.

In 1934, Gatty formed the South Seas Commercial Company with Donald Douglas, with the plan to deliver air service to the islands of the South Pacific. However, the company was soon sold to Pan Am who brought Gatty into the company to organise flight routes in that region.

World War II
During the Second World War, Gatty was given the honorary rank of group captain in the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and worked for the US Army Air Forces (USAAF) in the South Pacific.

He was later appointed director of Air Transport for the Allied forces, based in Australia, under General Douglas MacArthur. Gatty later moved to Washington, D.C. in 1943 where he worked on a navigational supplement to a survival kit for Air Force personnel flying over the Pacific in the event they should become castaways.
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Gatty lead a full life.
After World War II, Gatty relocated to Fiji with his Dutch-born second wife where he formed Fiji Airways which later became Air Pacific. The company name was changed in 2013 back to Fiji Airways.

Gatty served two terms in the Legislative Council of Fiji. A fellow of the Institute of Navigation, England and author to many books.

Gatty was writing of ocean
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currents and the migratory habits of birds when he suffered a stroke (cerebral haemorrhage) and died aged 54 on 30 August 1957

He was buried in Fiji.

A monument HAROLD GATTY MEMORIAL was erected at Midland Highway & Pedder Street , Campbell Town, Tasmania, commemorating Gatty's round the world flight was erected at his birthplace in 1961..

Watch on youtube.com