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Thread: Spanish Air Navigation Aids in WW2

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    Default Spanish Air Navigation Aids in WW2

    Hello All,
    Does anybody know if Spain, as a Neutral(??), in WW2 kept its air navigation aids operating Ďas normalí?
    I am particularly interested in the lighthouse at Cabo Tourinan (43 03N 09 18W) in Galicia. Was there any sort of NDB operating at that lighthouse in WW2, and did it keep operating? Alternatively, was there, nearby, any sort of Spanish domestic MF/LF radio transmitter?
    TIA
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Hi Peter,

    Not sure about the lighthouses but the most heavily used by Coastal Command was the German Sonne transmitter chain Norway to Spain - even to the extent of the British arranging supply of parts for the Spanish Transmitters when it broke down!

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonne_(navigation)

    The British called it Consol - it became Loran after the war.

    Ross
    Last edited by Ross_McNeill; 15th September 2017 at 10:24.
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    Ross, Hi,
    Mni tks for the Sonne heads-up. It's cracked the problem (or, at least I think it has!!).
    From time-to-time the Met Team re-visit the members of the Met RoH (new, revised, info, etc). On the date anniversary of any loss(es) I often write a couple of paragraphs for the Mob Met Unit closed group. A few days ago (10 Sep) it was the anniversary of the loss of Sgt L G Groves (and one other MAO). This resulted in his parents instituting the L G Groves Memorial Prizes/Awards for Air Safety, etc. They are still awarded.
    They had been doing an EPICURE Met Recce sortie from Brawdy. I had a look at the EPICURE route in “Even The Birds Were Walking” (Kington & Rackliff, Tempus, 2000). The first (outbound) leg is 275nm on a track of 201deg. That takes it right over Scilly/St Mary’s. Makes the visual, and radio, nav a bit easier! The first TP comes at 47 30N 07 30W. Can’t see any immediate location checks for that, so it must just be ‘navigationally tidy’!
    The next leg is 389nm on a track of 230. Extending it either end doesn’t give any obvious clues. It misses Brittany, and the Azores. However, it terminates at the second TP, which Kington & Rackliff give as 43 03N 14 18W!! Very odd? Why turn at such a strange lat/lon (The Oggin has remarkably few visual ident features thereabouts!)? So the clue must be in radio-nav signals?
    Now when I did my Nav familiarisation bits (many years ago in Lincolns, Shackletons, Austers, etc) a fierce hairy old Flt Sgt Nav said “Always make your calculations/turning-points/times as easy as possible.”. So I looked for clues as to the location of this TP. The lighthouse at Turinam bears almost precisely 090!! This is why I was asking about possible NDBs! BUT . . . . if you extend the 090 line from EPICURE TP2 to the lighthouse it goes right through Vigo!!!
    Now I knew there was a long-range radio-nav transmitter in NW Spain, but I thought it was well post-WW2!! So, problem sol-ved!
    And to clear EPICURE up, at TP2 it’s a climb to c.18,000 ft and head for Brawdy. But at 10W it descends back to low-level (1500-ish ft ASL). This descent to low-level occurs on a number of standard Met recce sortie routes. Doesn’t need too much pressure altimeter error, and/or a poor vis (either fog or storm), and/or no horizon at night/dusk, and it would be easy to fly straight into the sea. At least one did just that. There may have been others.
    I wonder if any other Met recce TPs have a similar history?
    HTH and tks Ross!
    Peter Davies
    Last edited by Resmoroh; 15th September 2017 at 14:23. Reason: QSD
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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