Compass Systems – The Vertical Card Magnetic Compass

in Flight Instruments

The Vertical Card Magnetic Compass

The floating magnet type of compass not only has all the errors just described, but also lends itself to confused reading. It is easy to begin a turn in the wrong direction because its card appears backward. East is on what the pilot would expect to be the west side. The vertical card magnetic compass eliminates some of the errors and confusion. The dial of this compass is graduated with letters representing the cardinal directions, numbers every 30°, and tick marks every 5°. The dial is rotated by a set of gears from the shaft-mounted magnet, and the nose of the symbolic aircraft on the instrument glass represents the lubber line for reading the heading of the aircraft from the dial. Eddy currents induced into an aluminum-damping cup damp, or decrease, oscillation of the magnet. [Figure 7-37]

Figure 7-37. Vertical card compass.

Figure 7-37. Vertical card compass.

Lags or Leads

When starting a turn from a northerly heading, the compass lags behind the turn. When starting a turn from a southerly heading, the compass leads the turn.

Eddy Current Damping

The decreased amplitude of oscillations by the interaction of magnetic fields. In the case of a vertical card magnetic compass, flux from the oscillating permanent magnet produces eddy currents in a damping disk or cup. The magnetic flux produced by the eddy currents opposes the flux from the permanent magnet and decreases the oscillations.