View Full Version : Never mind the length, what's the width?

29th Jan 2010, 22:53
I wonder of someone might have a suggestion or two. I'm told that most "V" bomber bases had runways of 9000-10,000 feet. What would the width have been (it's all to do with making a diorama for a modelling friend).

30th Jan 2010, 09:41
My 1979 Pooleys (I do not believe in wanton replacement) says that nearly every RAF runway was 46m wide. If you can give me a name I can supply the dimensions.

Manston was 61m wide, but that's due to its role, I guess. So was Waddington, as it happens, evidently..

Lossiemouth, Coltishall, Finningley, Leuchars; all 46m, to name a few.

Perhaps Pooleys did not list V-bomber bases; if so I can't help!

Nowadays the civil standard is 50m, which is why people have trouble landing at Southend. I imagine that 46m might be 50 Yards.

30th Jan 2010, 11:01
The width of the runway at RAF Negombo (Katunayake) in Sri Lanka was I was told when I was stationed there in the late 1950's the widest in the RAF, can't remember the exact width but 75 or even 100-yards rings bells.

I went back there in the early 1980's but don't remember whether the runway was still as wide as is was in the 1950 - 1960's.

Photos from my album:


Finals to runway 22.


RAF Negombo (Katunayke) runway 04 as it was in 1958.


And yes V-bombers did use Kat's runway as this view of two Valiants, a Comet, Hastings, Valleta, Shack, Connie and something else in the background (Twin Pin?) shows.

Lightning Mate
30th Jan 2010, 11:16
In old money, most were 150 feet wide.

That was enough for us to be able to do a 3-ship vic take-off if necessary.

30th Jan 2010, 13:24
The thing in the background. A Devon?

30th Jan 2010, 14:57
Manston was 61m wide, but that's due to its role, I guess

When first constructed in 1943, Manston's runway was 250 yards wide. Along with the equally wide runways at Carnaby and Woodbridge, it was available for crippled bombers returning from Europe.

30th Jan 2010, 16:25
150' it is then. Thanks for that. The bloke I'm building for is modelling a V base "somewhere in England" circa 1964. He's intending to build four Victors and display them on a pan at the end of a runway. My job is to build the base and the first (1:72 scale) 200 yards of runway. He has a huge shed that it's going in.

30th Jan 2010, 17:22
Is this what you're after? RAF Coningsby today. In 1964 the ORP was identical to that shown, trust me - T shirt. The ORP would take 4 Vulcans; you can see the taxi marks for positions.

Runway width 200 feet ( I don't do metres.)
ORP + Runway, 400 feet.
ORP length (width, as viewed) 970 feet, this includes taxiway.

Any help? By the way, the ground equipment needs to be painted blue, not green.


31st Jan 2010, 12:54
Then again - RAF Wittering, with Victors, was a slighty different layout although dimensions were the same. I'd say you have a choice unless you can prove that all Victor ORPs were the same as Wittering.


See http://www.avrovulcan.org.uk/1_group_presentation/colorpwad.jpg

This shows a 60s layout with the on-site power supplies. I'd use this layout. I'd say Coningsby has had the original grassed area concreted over.

Double Zero
31st Jan 2010, 13:55

If by ' thing in the background ' you mean the one behind the Comet, how about Oxford or ( dare I say it ) Beaufighter ?, tail-sitter so not Devon, and larger.

There's something in front of the hangar too indistinct to make out, looks a touch Vampire-ish to me, or could even be a Devon, can't make it out properly.

Also there appears to be a blue/green & white ' bendy bus ' by the Comet- Red Ken must have pinched the idea !

31st Jan 2010, 14:13
The one behind the Comet and the one behind the RH Valiant are Shackletons (Mk 1s?). The two I'm looking at (behind the LH Valiant) certainly have tricycle undercarriages and wing-mounted engines. If not Devons, I'll go for Meteors, although they don't look quite right. Any advance, anyone?

1st Feb 2010, 08:51
On reflection the one in the far background I thought of as a Twin-Pin is almost certainly a Royal Ceylon Air Force (as they were then) Devon.

1st Feb 2010, 13:58
Would that be a Brigand behind the Valiant? were they still around in '58? Looks to have a twin tail, a bit out of alignment and small for a single fin....

1st Feb 2010, 14:04
Brigand? I thought that, but apparently not.

No. 45 Squadron converted to de Havilland Hornets in January 1952 while 84 Squadron was disbanded in February 1953. Soon after this, the Brigands were grounded and withdrawn from service. Brigands were also used operationally over Aden by 8 Squadron from 1950 through to 1952. In 1952, after it was found that the Brigand's mainspars were suspect the Brigands were replaced by de Havilland Vampires.

Bristol Brigand - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bristol_Brigand)

1st Feb 2010, 15:14
Definitely two buses - troops for the transport of, in front of the Comet. Little bit short-sighted, can't see further than that.

1st Feb 2010, 16:50
Any advance on 2 Valiants, 2 Shacks,1 Comet ,1 Connie,1 Hastings,1Valetta,1 Devon/Dove, 3 buses,1 bowser,and a `char-wallah` with the rations on a bike....!

1st Feb 2010, 17:02
2 GPUs and a set of steps?

terrain safe
1st Feb 2010, 20:34
Isn't Filton 90 metres wide?

1st Feb 2010, 20:35
How about a lost B17. The Indian Navy were flying Liberators in 1962.

1st Feb 2010, 20:52
Having examined the tranparancies it's clearly 2 Devons and the aircraft half hidden by the Valiant's tail is a Shack (the right-hand tail fin is visible).

Two other photos from the same year (1957 - I'm guessing August was the month) with RCyAF Devons and Pioneer.

The Valiant in the last photo looks rather smart, just a routine Far East deployment or could it have been on its way to/from Op Grapple on Christmas Island?