Monday, 26 March 2012

Aeronautical Roller Map, 1911


Maps were, and still are, essential for aviators. In an open cockpit, with a confined sheltered space just enough for the legs, torso and arms of the pilot and occupants, opening a large map is not practical, and so one of the earliest navigational aids to early aviators was this, the roller map. A relatively thin but long map would be in a box with two rollers, so as the pilot flew along, he could roll the map to show his present position and planned route - this meant that maps had to be prepared for specific routes, but was still an ingenious device and very practical. This roller map shows the course from Hendon, north London, to Harrogate, north Yorkshire, and was used by one of the competitors in the July 1911 Daily Mail 1010 mile circuit of Great Britain Air Race

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