Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Aircraft Compasses
Name: Fuzzy M.
Status: Educator
Age: 30s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: N/A


Question:
Do the magnetic compasses in aircraft have weights to compensate for the magnetic dip of the Earths magnetic field?



Replies:
Hello Fuzzy -

I have been around airplanes for over thirty years and have never heard of compensating weights in compasses. It is an interesting thought, but might have a lot of problems to solve to make it work. Magnetic dip is very different in different locations on the earth and is affected by the bank of the aircraft. It works the opposite in the northern and southern hemispheres and is also contingent on the current direction of the aircraft.

I would not want to discourage invention, but this might take a lot of inventing! Good luck trying.

Larry Krengel



Click here to return to the Engineering Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (help@newton.dep.anl.gov), or at Argonne's Educational Programs

NEWTON AND ASK A SCIENTIST
Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory