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Thread: R/T in aircraft ?

  1. #1
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    Default R/T in aircraft ?

    Hi,

    I have a log book entry for May 8th 1940, where No.218 Squadron are carrying out a series of formation practise flights using R/T. Would this have been air-to-ground, or air-to-air transmissions?

    Can anyone tell me was this a new introduction to the Battle squadrons of the AASF. I have never seen his recorded before in the log books I have from the period.

    TIA

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

    ~~IN TIME ~~

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    Steve,
    Almost certainly this would indicate that R/T was used air-to-air (for formation flying, most useful if the set worked, far better than hand-signals which was probably the only alternative at this time.) R/T was equally capable of being used air to ground/ground to air (that is exactly what it was intended for after all), although useful range was very variable under varying conditions, as the standard type at that time was the infamous TR9 - see if you can find anything with Google using this designation! The TR9 appeared in successive versions up to at least TR9F, and the later ones were definitely better (with crystal-locked frequencies for both transmit and receive, I think!), but in 1940 I am not certain of the exact type in front-line service - however it would have been fitted in most front-line aircraft of the time, as required - bombers generally used it most for communicating with what passed for air traffic control in those days, in mistaken belief that the signals were so weak that the Germans couldn't pick them up. Never underestimate the Germans!
    David D

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    I agree with David that in May 1940 it would have been TR9 sets in the 218 Battles.
    After 1940 Fighter Command started using the TR1133 VHF set (much improved range/clarity).
    A limited number of spit and hurri sqns did have TR1133 sets in May 1940 but they were mostly 'handbuilt' sets (not yet in large scale production) and during the BoB these sqns had to convert back to TR9 sets (HF) - sqns did start to convert back to VHF sets from Aug 1940 but it was a fairly slow process obtaining enough sets/ground installations.

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    As far as I know, it was possible to establish R/T communication with the standard bomber W/T sets, but this required the assistance of the WOp/AG. The improvement introduced later with the TR9F was mainly to give complete control of R/T exchanges to the pilot.

    Best wishes,

    Jérémie

  5. The Following User Says Thank You to Jérémie Tarpon For This Useful Post:

    Steve Smith (24th October 2019)

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