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Thread: Lorenz Blind Training 1939

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    Default Lorenz Blind Training 1939

    Hi,

    In 1939 selected pilots of 218 & 88 Squadrons were dispatched to RAF Mildenhall for a Lorenz Blind Flying Course. WAs the Fairey Battles circa May 1939 equipped with this device?

    TIA

    Steve
    No.218 (Gold Coast) Squadron Association Historian
    No.623 squadron Research

    ~~IN TIME ~~

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    Steve,
    Malcolm’s RAFWEB states that No 3 Blind Approach training Flt was only at Mildenhall (27 Jan - Oct 1941). (It then became 1503 BAT Flt).
    But TNA has:-

    COMMUNICATIONS. Aviation: Navigation: Purchase of two sets of Lorenz Blind Approach...
    This record has not been digitised.
    Reference: T 161/1379/7
    Description: COMMUNICATIONS. Aviation: Navigation: Purchase of two sets of Lorenz Blind Approach Radio Beacon Equipment for Heston and Gatwick aerodromes
    Date: 1937 June 28-1938 Nov 22

    Blind Approach ground installations: Lorenz beacons
    This record has not been digitised.
    Reference: AIR 14/367
    Description: Blind Approach ground installations: Lorenz beacons
    Date: 1940 July-1941 Feb.

    Might give you some starting leads?

    HTH
    Peter Davies
    Last edited by Resmoroh; 22nd August 2019 at 08:48.
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Morning Steve,

    I've not heard of any Battles being equipped with Lorenz, although that isn't of course to say they weren't. However, towards the end of 1938 and into 1939 there were grave concerns being raised at the highest levels of 1 Group and the Air Ministry at the weight of a Fairey Battle due to modifications to increase fuel capacity, self-sealing fuel tanks, and also provide some armour plating to protect the crew. Greg Baughen's "The Fairey Battle", pages 34 and 35 make reference to this, and the search for a replacement engine that would give the aircraft more power, which as you know was its achilles heel. With that in mind, at the time, I wonder if the idea of burdening the Battle with yet more weight, by way of installing Lorenz equipment, was simply not in the minds of senior RAF staff? Certainly Baughen makes no mention of fitting any Battles with Lorenz in his book, which is as comprehensive an account of the Fairey Battle as I've seen anywhere.

    Not the definitive answer you were looking for, I know Steve, but hopefully it'll give you an idea. All the best matey,

    Greg
    "You can take the boy out of Wales,
    But you can't take Wales out of the boy!!"

    Greg Harrison
    100 Squadron and 100 Squadron Association Historian
    100 Squadron Researcher 1917 - present day
    1 Group Researcher 1940 - 1945

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    Steve,

    Take a look at this: -

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AI_Mk._IV_radar

    It's Wikipedia, so I give you all the usual warnings about double- and triple-checking any of the information therein, but it might give you some clues. Scroll down to the section entitled "Working Design".

    Also, have a look at page 119 of "The Battle File". There's some interesting stuff about three Battles used for testing AI Radar. I know that AI wasn't what you asked about, but the development of AI came about as a natural consequence of Lorenz. Again, there may be some leads for you :)

    L/O

    Greg
    "You can take the boy out of Wales,
    But you can't take Wales out of the boy!!"

    Greg Harrison
    100 Squadron and 100 Squadron Association Historian
    100 Squadron Researcher 1917 - present day
    1 Group Researcher 1940 - 1945

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    Hi,


    In Michael Cummings "Beam Bombers" there is mention page 13 of Sqn Ldr R S Blucke giving, pre war, instruction on VHF Blind Approach at Mildenhall.

    The word Lorenz is not used but is mentioned in previous paragraphs !

    Peter

    Blucke went on to BAT&DU at Boscombe Down

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    Blucke ended up in a senior position in 1 Group much later in the war!!

    L/O

    Greg
    "You can take the boy out of Wales,
    But you can't take Wales out of the boy!!"

    Greg Harrison
    100 Squadron and 100 Squadron Association Historian
    100 Squadron Researcher 1917 - present day
    1 Group Researcher 1940 - 1945

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    Gents,

    Thank you for your contribution, very helpful.

    Indeed, Squadron Leader Robert Stewart Blucke AFC was the instructor for the crews of 218 Squadron. Interestingly the aircraft flown were Ansons and Percival Gulls!


    The squadrons started training May 15th 1939.

    Regards

    Steve

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    From Sturtivant's "Flying Training And Support Units since 1912"...
    No.3/1503 Blind/Beam Approach Training Flight.
    Formed wef. 9.12.40 as No.3 Blind Approach Training Flight with Wellingtons at Mildenhall. in No.3 Group; 31.10.41 became No.1503 Beam Approach Training Flight.

    Tony Broadhurst

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    Tony,

    Thank you. The log book copies I have only state 'Lorenz training (blind flying) RAF Mildenhall' These are dated May 1939, so not sure what the unit carrying out the training was called prior to No.3/1503 Blind/Beam Approach Training Flight.

    Steve

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    Steve, (et al),
    It does look as if this kit was first bought by/for Civil Aviation? So the guys at Mildenhall doing the teaching/training might have been from Imperial Airways prior to the RAF setting up its own BAT Flt? Just a thought?
    HTH
    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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