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TOPIC: 'Amber Pairs' April 1944

'Amber Pairs' April 1944 08 Nov 2014 14:25 #1

  • Garth Barnard
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Not sure if this is of any use to anyone, but I was just going through the 17 OTU - RAF Turweston log and saw this sketch on one of the pages. There's no other information, just the sketch.

[IMG]/community/152921=18718-Amber Pairs.jpg

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'Amber Pairs' April 1944 08 Nov 2014 21:08 #2

  • Carnaby
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Taxi track lighting used blue screened lamps on the inside and amber ones on the outside of the track. A short distance before the track reached a runway threshold, an extra blue light fitting was installed on the inside edge adjacent to an existing fitting. That extra light was powered from the flarepath. Thus any aircraft taxying would see two blue lights as he neared the threshold of the active runway. These pairs were called the taxi post lights, the modern term being the holding point. Twelve pairs were installed of which only four would be illuminated at any time - i.e. both ends of the runway in use.

This configuration is depicted on the Air Ministry Drem Mk.II drawing. The sketch above is clearly an unofficial mod and provides taxi point lights on both sides of the perimeter track. There were a significant number of local mods to airfield lighting and this one clearly serves a useful purpose. Note in the normal system if one bulb had failed in the 'pair' then a pilot might just not realise that he had reached the threshold.

I note that the AM drawing does not show the end bar lights (shown on the above drawing). I have found these lights at a number of WWII stations. All FAA airfields had them, known as the 'round down' lights after the curved / dropped end of an aircraft carrier.

I wonder if all six runways had the mod.

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Plan A is always more effective when the problem you are working on understands that Plan B will involve the use of dynamite :twisted:.

'Amber Pairs' April 1944 08 Nov 2014 22:13 #3

  • Garth Barnard
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Thanks for the explanation Carnaby. I find this all fascinating!

The date on the sketch (3rd April 1944) is in line with previous entries and those after, so would say that was the date of entry in the log.

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