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LHR Old Runways

Old 15th Sep 2004, 21:06
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LHR Old Runways

I've just tried the search facility and found some information on runway 05/23, but can anyone please advise me of the runway numbers and dates taken out of use (where applicable) for ALL previous active runways since the airport was built.

Any old plans and/or aerial photos would be of great help as well.

Thanks
airsmiles
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Old 15th Sep 2004, 21:58
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O5/23 was originally 05R/23L and there was a parallel 05L/23R. The third of the triangles was 15R/33L with a corresponding 33R/15L. There is also mention of a 16/34, but I do not recall that runway. Old charts show what might have been a 23 Centre, but I do not know if that was ever a full runway. In the early days I believe that was the piece of tarmas referred to by ATC as "Waites Alley" because a captain of that name attempted to take off on it in poor visibility. (Facts that would definitely need confirming!)

33L closed around 1968 and 23R around 1970. 05R closed many years later but so far as I know 23 (L) is still available today - at some notice and with no ILS.
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Old 15th Sep 2004, 22:09
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Officialy it is only NOTAM'd out of action, although the likelihood of it ever being used again is often doubted on these forums by the people that usualy know what they're talking about
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Old 15th Sep 2004, 22:10
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Ver precise HEATHROW DIRECTOR

Very precise posting HEATHROW DIRECTOR!

The old photos of the low vis "departure" from "23C" were rather disturbing. It took hours to cut the Captain out of his seat, but he was OK (thankfully).

Would I be right in saying that the hatched area between the outer and inner taxyways was this infamous 23C (it was never an actual runway). I presume the reason it was hatched (and not even used for taxying) was to stop a recurrence.

The approach to 23R was very interesting as the threshold was just beyond the tunnel entrance.
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Old 15th Sep 2004, 22:31
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05R became 05, obviously after 05L/23R closed. Then when Terminal 4 was completed, or maybe just before, 05 became unavailable. I will stand corrected by the true aviation buffs.
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Old 15th Sep 2004, 22:35
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A radar vector to Rw 23 ILs was always very welcome when the aircraft cross wind limit was exceeded for the westerly Runways.
The removal of this runway and ILs were not requested by the pilots.
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Old 15th Sep 2004, 23:23
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airsmiles check ur PMs...
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Old 15th Sep 2004, 23:57
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There are many reasons why 23 is NOTAMed out of action (and probably won't ever come back):

-The top seven stories of our new tower is being built just by the royal suite....Due to move on October 28 now....
-There are two remote parking stands just off 23 in the old grass area between the old blocks 74 and 54
-There's a big white pointy thing parked on the shoulder of 23 abeam the touchdown point.
-Permanent concrete barriers have been placed to along the edge of 27L to the north at the 23/27L intersection to restrict that intersection to the width of a taxiway rather than the width of runway 23.
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Old 16th Sep 2004, 15:14
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Shame about 23. I don't know how many people on here have seen a "real" 23 wind.. but when it happens you will sure wish you still had that runway. 23 SRO was fun - in the very strong winds you could get departures away in 3m gaps!
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Old 16th Sep 2004, 16:27
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I've seen it get to 190/35G45 before. That was fun watching the 340s and 146s!!!!
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Old 16th Sep 2004, 16:31
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Yeah... and it was fun watching the odd 707 take 27L in those conditions!!
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Old 16th Sep 2004, 18:59
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I remember a very interesting morning duty, many years go, when traffic was landing on 05 and departing on 10R.....of course as an atca at the time, I found it merely interesting, it wasn`t til some years later that I learned to appreciate the hard work required.
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Old 16th Sep 2004, 19:07
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You're so right Loki! You had to clear one for take off on 10R before the 05 lander had crossed it.. I did this with a Speedbird VC-10 and the guy said "We'll just wait a minute as we're a bit concerned about the one landing on 05". I said something like "It's the one behind him I'm worrying about".. the VC-10 rolled!
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Old 16th Sep 2004, 21:54
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lHR Runways

Lots and lots of lights in an out as pax-never landed on 23 but in March 1977 I landed on 05 BA Trident 3 from Faro back to a freezing windy snowbound UK.

Very odd approach I believe I clearly remeber looking down on LHR as we started a long left turn presumeably back out over Staines and then another 180 and back to land,
My other memory of that runwaywas as a teenager in Stanwell watching the ill fated BOAC 707 ablaze and missing an engine make an emergency return billowing smoke and being even more horified a minute or so after it passed from view at a huge black plume of smoke as it exploded on the ground-amazing almost everyone got out..

As for the SE/NW runways I have a feint recollection of seeing what was probablya DC3 approach over approximately the junction of the A30 with the Stanwell Road- that must have been around 1960 but never saw much action on those which is no doubt while they went first.

Now its down to two runways and when the tower goes it will never be quite the same again to me
PB
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Old 16th Sep 2004, 22:30
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Pax, the old tower will stay there as our contingency in case the vending machine in the new one breaks down!
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Old 17th Sep 2004, 09:17
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Only until October 28 when it moves!
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Old 17th Sep 2004, 12:52
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Mike, the top seven storey section of our new tower is being built by the RS, and on the night of October 28 it will be put on a big low-loader and moved across 27L to it's eventual location between T3 and T5.
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Old 17th Sep 2004, 13:29
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So whilst we are (more or less) on the subject, can anyone confirm the fact that in (I think) 1990, with high winds causing all sorts of mayhem, I saw the evening Concorde DEPART on RWY 23? Never been able to confirm what I saw, some corroboration(sp?) would certainly be nice! Sorry I can't be more definite with the date!

PHX
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Old 17th Sep 2004, 14:55
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The first ever Jumbo N735PA landed on the old 10R on the morning of 12 Jan 1970, my first day in the job. There are some marvellous old black and white films that show an occassional glimpse of the old multi-runway era.
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Old 19th Sep 2004, 20:52
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Thanks for all of the interest in my original post.

I've done a bit more digging around the question of old LHR runways and found a 1956 Ordnance Survey map that clearly shows 3 parallel runways on the 15/33 axis. They are placed as follows:-

33R/15L runs from threshold of current 27L north-west to stop just short of the 09L/27R runway.

33C/15C runs from junction of current 23/05 runway with 27L/09R, north-west to a taxiway NORTH of 27R/09L.

33L/15R runs from just SOUTH of current 27L/09R runway (approx cargo area) north-west to just short of 09L threshold area.

If anyone wants a photocopy of LHR on this map send a PM with address or fax number. (I haven't got a scanner unfortunately).

HEATHROW DIRECTOR, there's only one reference to a 23/05 runway and thats the current one. However, there is the outline of what could be a 23R/05L runway (due to its width) but it's very short. This runs North-East from a point just north of the Perry Oaks sewage/water works.

Interestingly, having looked at the taxiway north of the current 27R/09L runway again on the map I see that there appears to be a large apron at the eastern end of it. I guess this would be roughly where the Heathrow Visitor Centre now stands. I have a recollection of a Pan Am B707 parked NORTH of the then 28R/10L in the early to mid 70's, but I've never managed to verify it. May be it was parked on this apron for some reason.

Does anyone have any recollection or documentation to explain this apron or the parked Pan Am B707 ?

airsmiles
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