You’ve seen it on the weather charts and likely heard it on the ATIS, but you have no idea what it actually means. You are not alone. Zulu time is a foreign concept, especially for those with no military experience. It is an important concept, but once you understand it. It will become fairly easy to translate Zulu time into “normal” time. This article will tell you what Zulu time is, how to calculate it and read it. What Actually is “Zulu Time” and Why do Pilots Use it? Zulu time is the military name of Universal Time Coordinated (UTC) and Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). It is a standard time, sometimes referred to as a geographically fixed time, across all time zones. That means while it may be 4:00 PM in Atlanta but 3:00 PM in Fort Worth it is 2100Z in both time zones. It is based on the time in Greenwich, England. Why Greenwich? Nothing other than it was where the first major center dedicated to navigation, astronomy, and timekeeping was built by King Charles II in 1675. The name “Zulu” is not a special name either. It simply comes from the shortening of “zero meridian time” to “z-time”, which is the military phonetic alphabet is “Zulu”. For a while, when the “z” phonetic abbreviation was “zebra” this was called “Zebra time”. Zulu time’s first major usage was by the Royal Navy in the 19th century. Zulu time is most often used by the military, pilots, and by mariners. The reason is standardization. For the military, it is extremely important when multiple countries are coordinating across different time zones that events occur at the exact same moment. How many military/action movies you’ve seen where they “synchronize watches”? As ships and airplanes began to cross multiple time zones in one journey it became more and more important to standardize time. How is Zulu Time Calculated? How Zulu time is converted to and from local time depends on where you live. Here are some good general steps to calculate Zulu time from your local time. In this example, we’ll convert 2:00 PM Eastern Standard time into Zulu time. Step 1: Convert local time to a 24-hour time 2:00 PM eastern standard time becomes 14:00. Anytime before 12 noon will just be the same number, so you can practically skip this step. Step 2: Use the Zulu conversion factor See table...Read more
[vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DieeMp8hXH0″ align=”center”] Please support the D-Day Squadron on their journey to Normandy France next year. EAA AirVenture 2018 in Oshkosh. What a blast this year! It’s certainly a place for me to get work done and network, but it’s hard not to have a little fun along the way. This year I decided to …Read more
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