Be careful, watch out for rope burn!
Gavin and I ended up on a historical tangent last week and thought it would be a fun topic to share and get feedback on.
I’ll go out on a limb and assume you haven’t tossed a log and line (photo right) out of the back of your plane and counted the knots as they whizzed past. [Though please do share on social if you have]
However it’s likely that you’ve used the measurement knots recently, and probably referenced it with something looking a little closer to the gauge below, or maybe a high-tech option like the Proline Fusion?
Aeronautical navigation took many components from its nautical ancestors. Even the name is the same with the added prefix of “Aero” to denote that it’s way cooler than its gravity-bound brethren.
The distance of one nautical mile has been internationally fixed to 1852 meters (6076 ft; 1.151 mi), which lends itself to the derived measurement of a knot, one nautical mile per hour.
Historically the distance of a nautical mile is determined by the circumference of the globe via a ‘Great Circle’ (or orthodrome if you like). Using the great circle, you split the distance into 360 degrees, then split each of these into 60 minutes, and you have a nautical mile. The standardization to 1,852 meters is required as the earth
is flat isn’t a perfect sphere.
A semi-related fact that could come in handy if you’re into trivia is that one meter (metre) is one ten-millionth the length between the north pole and the equator. Not sure you’ll come across a need for that, but you never know.
If you’re looking for a little more Aviation and Nautical crossover, take a look at this post from SingleFlyer with a couple of the common terms you’ll hear in both industries.
What's your favorite fact?
Do you have a favorite historical fact that still ties across to daily life? We would like to hear from you on any of our social channels if you have a moment to share.