Museum logo

Object Record

  • Email This Page
  • Send Feedback
Title Link A-12 Sextant
Date ca. late 1930s
Collection Western Airlines Onboard Items
Object Name Sextant
Catalog Number 1987.127.1
Description Sextant in original case. Sextant is black with white accessories. Green paper last-service tag. Olive green coated fabric covered wood case lined with rust-colored felt. Top of case has a brown wrapped handle and metal latch and lock. Bottom of case has two metal hinges and four black feet.
Artist/Maker Link Aviation Devices, Inc., Binghamton, NY
Depth (in) 10.75
Height (in) 11
Width (in) 12.5
Provenance Sextants assisted in determining a plane's location while in-flight by using the heavenly stars' positions.

According to the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution:
The Link A-12 sextant was designed with the assistance of Philip Van Horn Weems just prior to World War II and made by Link Aviation Devices, which produced the Link Trainer.

The A-12 sexent represented a new generation of “averaging” sextants that compensated for “Dutch roll” in airplanes by taking multiple sightings and computing an average without manual calculations.
Search Terms Western Air Express
Western Airlines
Subjects Sextants
Airplane equipment
Airline pilots
Navigation
Stars
Credit line Western Airlines