Video Tip: How to use a mechanical E6B flight computer

1 min read

Most students today prefer to use an electronic E6B flight computer when planning a flight or preparing for the FAA knowledge test.  The electronic E6B is actually the evolution of a mechanical E6B flight computer, often referred to as a whiz wheel. While the mechanical E6B may take a little longer to learn compared to its electronic counterpart, the learning process is a fun challenge. 

The E6B got its start in the late 1930s and 40s as a circular slide rule developed for military aviators. The name “E6B” actually comes from its original part number for the US Army Air Corps around that time. It went through many iterations during World War Two and eventually evolved into the version most pilots recognize today. Today’s mechanical E6Bs still use the same core circular slide rule logic as those from World War Two, but also include some additional capabilities. This week’s tip shows you the basic operation of the front side circular slide ruler and how to compute basic aviation conversions.

This video clip is from Sporty’s complete Learn to Fly Course