Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: Aviation & Coastal Navigation Aids in, and post-, WW2

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Reading, Berkshire, UK
    Posts
    3,608
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked 12 Times in 12 Posts

    Default Aviation & Coastal Navigation Aids in, and post-, WW2

    Hello All,

    Several questions – as a result of my not being able to force Mr Google to tell me. They are all connected with re-visitations - and/or modern reconstructions - of the events leading to various casualties occurring on the Met Office RoH.

    1 When WW2 broke out were all the aviation NDBs (in UK) switched off, and replaced by visual identifiers (airfield Pundits, aerial lighthouses, etc)? And when were the NDBs switched back on post-WW2?

    2 Were the coastal marine lighthouses permanently switched off? Or only switched off when enemy activity was known to be occurring in the area?

    3 I have read that there was a system, involving searchlights on, or near, airfields, called SANDRA. Does anybody know what she did?

    TIA
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Stockholm
    Posts
    1,051
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 10 Times in 9 Posts

    Default

    Happy New Year's Peter,

    http://www.rafharrowbeer.co.uk/about.htm

    SANDRA LIGHTS

    This system comprised three search lights positioned around an airfield which could be directed skywards to form a cone. In the case of low cloud-base a glow could be seen from above.

    Regards,

    Dave

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Reading, Berkshire, UK
    Posts
    3,608
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked 12 Times in 12 Posts

    Default

    Dave,
    Mni tks yr prompt response re SANDRA!
    Tks yr NY greetings - they are returned!
    Hope yr "wing" now fully functional!
    Rgds
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    1,735
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 6 Times in 6 Posts

    Default

    An example of Sandra in use at Harrowbeer [from No. 35 Squadron's ORB]:

    The aircraft was “homed” by searchlights and after further difficulties reached the aerodrome at Harrowbeer, the flare path of which was extremely feeble. The Captain landed the aircraft halfway along a runway, 1100 feet in length; the aircraft overshot, the undercarriage collapsed in rough ground where the aircraft came to rest, no casualties occurring.
    Main areas of research:

    - CA Butler and the loss of Lancaster ME334 (http://rafww2butler.wordpress.com/ )
    - Aircrew Training (Basic / Trade / Operational / Continuation / Conversion)
    - The History of No. 35 Squadron (1916 - 1982) (https://35squadron.wordpress.com/)

    [Always looking for copies of original documents / photographs etc relating to these subjects]

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Reading, Berkshire, UK
    Posts
    3,608
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked 12 Times in 12 Posts

    Default

    Pete,

    Tks for that. The "flarepath" at Harrowbeer would, I presume, have been paraffin goosenecks? (not much use in a wind over 10kts?)

    We are trying to find out what a "projector platform" did. There was one at Port Etienne when the RAF were there. Perhaps something has got lost 'in the translation' from a French map (both by Google, and a French citizen who has puzzled his brains for us!).

    There was an aerial lighthouse at El Adem in the mid-50s. It was a revolving contraption with one large bulb. It had two horizontally opposed lenses - one white, one green. When switched on it revolved at about 6 rpm(?). Thus - from a distance - it 'flashed' alternate white/green every whatever seconds. You could see it from miles away, at night, in a lumbering Beverley (done it). There was supposed to have been ones at Benina and Idris. These airfields were built (inland, and beyond the range of the then naval gunfire range) to defend the major ports (Tobruk, Benghazi, Tripoli) during the Italian colonisation period. Whether the one at El Adem, when I was there, was the original - or whether the RAF installed it when they re-built the ATC twr, post-WW2, I know not. Certainly no visiting aircrew (of various nationalities) expressed any surprise that we (at El Adem) had an aerial lighthouse. They were, apparently, commonplace in them parts, and at that time.

    Tks again,

    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •