Welcome, Guest
Username: Password: Remember me
Photobucket image links are no longer allowed, as a matter of forum policy.
Your Mods have been doing a massive job in sorting out the photobucket issue, please assist them by posting directly to the thread and not through a 3rd party host.
Read More...
  • Page:
  • 1
  • 2

TOPIC: Aerodrome Beacons - Any Pictures? Any Information?

Aerodrome Beacons - Any Pictures? Any Information? 30 Jun 2011 22:51 #11

  • jamesinnewcastle
  • jamesinnewcastle's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Junior Member
  • Junior Member
  • Posts: 51
  • Thank you received: 0
Thanks Guys

I'll have to look up SD264and AP3236 now!

I'm still open minded about the actual arrangement at Oakington, since they could hardly be bothered to get the grass runways swapped for concrete ones I suspect the same lethergy was applied to producing a DREM/Circle type system - at least in May of 1941.

I'm still attracted to the idea that a pilot would not stray far from the lights of a runway having found it in the dark. If there was a circle type system you note that the pilot would not be more that 3-400 yards from the outer lights - equally with just a string of goosenecks I suspect he would stick just as close to that string of lights. In either case three miles still seems too far out to be a point on the circling on either system.

I'm going to scan the relevent pages from AP 129 and post them.

Cheers
James

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Aerodrome Beacons - Any Pictures? Any Information? 30 Jun 2011 23:41 #12

  • jamesinnewcastle
  • jamesinnewcastle's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Junior Member
  • Junior Member
  • Posts: 51
  • Thank you received: 0
OK

Here are the relevant pages of AP129 The RAF Flying Training Manual - 1937 reprint and studiously updated/amended in 1939 and 1950. So in theory a document that even in 1950 was being updated. OK the first 5 anyway

James

Attached files

This image is hidden for guests.
Please log in or register to see it.

This image is hidden for guests.
Please log in or register to see it.

This image is hidden for guests.
Please log in or register to see it.

This image is hidden for guests.
Please log in or register to see it.

This image is hidden for guests.
Please log in or register to see it.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Aerodrome Beacons - Any Pictures? Any Information? 30 Jun 2011 23:43 #13

  • jamesinnewcastle
  • jamesinnewcastle's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Junior Member
  • Junior Member
  • Posts: 51
  • Thank you received: 0

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Aerodrome Beacons - Any Pictures? Any Information? 10 Jul 2011 17:30 #14

  • sailormoon_01_uk
  • sailormoon_01_uk's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Senior Member
  • Senior Member
  • Posts: 138
  • Thank you received: 1

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Aerodrome Beacons - Any Pictures? Any Information? 19 Jul 2011 00:08 #15

  • jamesinnewcastle
  • jamesinnewcastle's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Junior Member
  • Junior Member
  • Posts: 51
  • Thank you received: 0
Hi Sailormoon

Thanks for that - Looks like an amazing beast!

I'm not sure what that would look like going off - I'll google the name and You-Tube it!

I'm nearly ready to produce 1941 landings at Oakington with Goose necks, Chance lights, Aircraft Landing Lights, in dry weather and fog. The Pundit light is the last one to model!

James

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Aerodrome Beacons - Any Pictures? Any Information? 30 Jun 2018 14:20 #16

  • TerryClark
  • TerryClark's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Senior Member
  • Senior Member
  • Posts: 155
  • Thank you received: 32

jamesinnewcastle wrote: Ah

By Googling around I got back to this site via Pundit Lights

www.airfieldresearchgroup.org.uk/forum/a...rk-beacon-site#45429

Looking like a searchlight pointing upwards may be a red herring!

Interested in the 'neon' though - I'd have thought that neon light was a little feeble for a powerful light. Xenon is used in strobe lights but the flash is very short and you would be hard pressed to set up dots and dashes!.

And now I need to research that just top satisfy my curiosity......

James

A searchlight pointing upwards is nothing to do with a navigation aid;. it is operated by the Met office
An 'alidade' is positioned near the Met Obs station pointing roughly in the direction of the searchlight. The alidade is moved upwards to the point where the searchlight beam disappears in cloud. From the angle of the alidade at this point, the cloudbase can be calculated.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Last Edit: by Carnaby. Reason: Link fixed

Aerodrome Beacons - Any Pictures? Any Information? 02 Jul 2018 03:31 #17

  • TerryClark
  • TerryClark's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Senior Member
  • Senior Member
  • Posts: 155
  • Thank you received: 32

jamesinnewcastle wrote: Hi All

I am still researching the Runway Lighting at Oakington in May 1941!

I have a copy of AP129 (1938 Reprint), it is full of information about runway lighting.

I have also been talking to a W/O who flew on Stirlings in 1940 but sadly not at Oakington.

The connection between the two pieces of information is that he tells of an airfield Identification searchlight that shone straight upward and flashed the Morse Lettering associated with the airfield.

In AP129 it talks of 'Aerodrome Beacons' which were portable and flashed a red neon 'characteristic' to indicates the position of the airfield. It was always positioned at the same point on the airfield.

AP129 also talks of Aerial Lighthouses These flash a white characteristic visible at up to 60 miles. These are situated in various parts of the country and they are intended as an additional aid to navigation at night.

Neither is quite a vertical searchlight though! Does anyone have any information on these lights? They are not Chance lights - these are talked about later in AP129.

Photos of the lights in operation would be great as I am fiddling about with various 3D simulations. Search 'You Tube' for chickenduckquack for all the current and latest of these - they will be going up slowly as time goes by!

If you guys can come up with the goods - I'll simulate it and you can tell me what you think!

Cheers

James

Nowadays the beacon flashing the morse ident of the airfield is called an 'Ident Beacon' often referred to as a 'pundit'.
You know those 2 letters painted next to the signals square? Well the Ident Beacon flashes those same 2 letters in morse. Military airfields use a red pundit and civil ones a green pundit and they are usualy fixed rather than mobile although having said that, their use at civil airfields in the UK has practically died out. I had great pleasure in November 2002 of sending a NOTAM stating that the Farnborough pundit had changed from 'red flashing FH' to 'green flashing FH'. I watched the electricians changing the tubes out of the tower window and sent the NOTAM when they switched it on!!
Another type of beacon is the Aerodrome beacon which in the UK can take either of 2 forms:-
An alternating white and green light (white and red for military airfields) or
where there is no chance of mistaking the airfield where there might be another nearby, a white strobe light.
There are only 3 airfields listed in the UK AIP (page ENR 4.5-1) as having the alternating white/green aerodrome beacon, which usually consists of a double ended searchlight angled at about 20 deg with green filter over one end, these being Hawarden, Redhill and Southampton, but their use is widespread in other countries; on departing from Kos in the mddle of the night, I noted it had both an aerodrome beacon and an ident beacon and departing Newark Airport, New Jersey heading southwest at night, I could see literally dozens of aerodrome beacons flashing west of NYC.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Last Edit: by TerryClark.

Aerodrome Beacons - Any Pictures? Any Information? 02 Jul 2018 11:24 #18

  • ChrisTheAncient
  • ChrisTheAncient's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Senior Member
  • Senior Member
  • Posts: 193
  • Thank you received: 21
Going back the' vertical searchlight'...

A device used by the Meteorological section!

Points straight up and and using a protractor type thingy, the height of the bottom of the cloudbase could be determined. Harder to determine the %age cover coz it needed to be watched for a while!

Used to watch the met officer watching as the 'protractor type thingy' was on the corner of the wall just outside the Radio Room (in ATC) where many nights were spent during night flying.

A more accurate and scientific replacement was built. A light still shone upwards but scanned through an arc and a reception device some distance away measured the 'illuminated patches' angle from vertical and the result read from a chart. It also worked out the %age cloud cover and from different cloud levels. I assume that there was some form of modulation to the light emitted - otherwise things could be interesting.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Aerodrome Beacons - Any Pictures? Any Information? 02 Jul 2018 12:59 #19

  • TerryClark
  • TerryClark's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Senior Member
  • Senior Member
  • Posts: 155
  • Thank you received: 32

ChrisTheAncient wrote: Going back the' vertical searchlight'...

A device used by the Meteorological section!

Points straight up and and using a protractor type thingy, the height of the bottom of the cloudbase could be determined. Harder to determine the %age cover coz it needed to be watched for a while!

Used to watch the met officer watching as the 'protractor type thingy' was on the corner of the wall just outside the Radio Room (in ATC) where many nights were spent during night flying.

A more accurate and scientific replacement was built. A light still shone upwards but scanned through an arc and a reception device some distance away measured the 'illuminated patches' angle from vertical and the result read from a chart. It also worked out the %age cloud cover and from different cloud levels. I assume that there was some form of modulation to the light emitted - otherwise things could be interesting.

The protractor type thingy was the alidade I mentioned.
The later device you mention was called the 'Cloud Base Recorder' or CBR which was often positioned on final approach to the main runway. As you say it did the same but the main advantage was it fed to a recording device of a pen leaving a trace on a rotating small 'drum' shaped chart so you had a record of the cloudbase for 24 hours plus it could be used during daytime; the other system could only be used at night with daytime assessments taken using a small helium balloon, timing it from release to the time it went into cloud.
I operated a CBR during my'stint' at Sumburgh. There were no Met personnel established so the controller had to do his own obs. I would arrive just before 8am and prepare the ob using the CBR, watching the trace for a while. It was normal at most places to leave the CBR running but when the manager came in and had checked my Ob, he would pointedly turn the CBR off; it used too much power and added to the electricity bill!
This system has now been replaced by laser sensors which not only give cloud base, but can 'see' through the layers and tell you the height of other layers of clouds.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Aerodrome Beacons - Any Pictures? Any Information? 02 Jul 2018 18:28 #20

  • Carnaby
  • Carnaby's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Moderator
  • Moderator
  • Posts: 4511
  • Thank you received: 259

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Plan A is always more effective when the problem you are working on understands that Plan B will involve the use of dynamite :twisted:.
  • Page:
  • 1
  • 2
Time to create page: 0.409 seconds
Powered by Kunena Forum

We use cookies to improve our website and your experience when using it. Cookies used for the essential operation of this site have already been set. By continuing to use this site you are agreeing to this. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

  
EU Cookie Directive Module Information