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Gatwick radar antenna gone

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Gatwick radar antenna gone

Old 3rd Mar 2012, 15:47
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Gatwick radar antenna gone

I've just realised that the radar antenna that was located about half a mile south of Gatwick airport (here) has been taken down.
Does anyone know what it was used for and why it's been dismantled? It looked like a full primary + secondary radar system, but I used to see it in operation very occasionally. I guess it was some sort of back-up radar.
I must remember now when I give directions, as I used to refer to the roundabout next to it as "the roundabout next to the radar".
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Old 3rd Mar 2012, 15:57
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It was used for engineering test, the building next to it used to be the main NATS engineering base. NATS moved the engineers to Whiteley a few years ago but left the radars on a temporary lease. NATS has replaced the radars of that type over the last few years so it's probably no longer required.
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Old 3rd Mar 2012, 16:04
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Among other things, (which hopefully we will find out about), I believe it was used to provide a subject for the NATS official photographer. A black-and-white image of this radar features extensively in the Wolff-Olins NATS 're-brand' that occurred during the 'Red Barron' era.
I always wondered which radar it was as it's mounting is unusual.
Its picture appears at least once in the corridors at nPC and also adorns the ops-room wall just behind the stationery cupboard at the end of the W2 LAG.

I think it was an HSA 23cm radar head, similar to the one at Heathrow.
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Old 3rd Mar 2012, 16:55
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Sir George Cayley
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Sure it wasn't Eastern Europeans stealing it for the metal?

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Old 3rd Mar 2012, 17:04
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Nice one, Sir George - but beware the thought police.......
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Old 3rd Mar 2012, 17:44
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Pikeys strike again.
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Old 3rd Mar 2012, 18:11
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Interesting thing about this huge, and in some people's eyes, ugly structure....and according to at least one in the know, true.....

NATS wanted the radar for tests, trials and development but expected to have to site it some way from the Engineering Centre because the planning rules looked like the Local Authority wouldn't or couldn't approve something this big, even in the light industrial area in which it's located. When they put the planning application for the mounting in it was described as a 23cm radar support structure or something similar. The council did the math quickly and said if it's only 2ft high it can't be a problem and approved it.

I guess when they asked to put the turning gear and antenna on top they either didn't want to admit the error or though 'What the heck, it can't make it any uglier!'
 
Old 3rd Mar 2012, 18:17
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Sounds like my ham radio tower. I applied for a structure to support radio antennas, which was approved. The fact that I put up an antenna at 60 ft that would contain an average house didn't seem to matter!
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Old 3rd Mar 2012, 18:56
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Spitoon/HD, - love it.
Local councils.......bless 'em.
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Old 3rd Mar 2012, 19:25
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2 sheds is online now  
Old 3rd Mar 2012, 21:44
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The title of this thread reminds me of a great song title, - 'Another Mind Gone" by one of Sheffield's finest, Mr. John Robert Cocker.
Seek and Ye shall enjoy!
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Old 3rd Mar 2012, 21:56
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Yep, that's the one, 2 sheds. It will also live on for a while in Google Street View, in case anyone missed it.
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Old 4th Mar 2012, 22:31
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It was there when I went to Colditz for a meeting on 9 Feb.
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Old 4th Mar 2012, 23:32
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Cushty.
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Old 19th Mar 2012, 20:59
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I believe the land owners want the site back. Also these type of radars are being replaced and it's role reduced. Gather the SSR part may go to the RAF - rest for scrap. Rumoured to have made men in CAA SRG Aviation House sterile when turning (the radar not men).
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Old 20th Mar 2012, 00:57
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I think both the antenna and the kit are going into storage. Antenna was a bit sad apparently due corrosion (bird stuff which is a problem as it spent a lot of time stationary), but a bit of TLC and grease and into stores.

Next one down is LHR H23....some time in the summer I believe.

...now that will be a landmark that will be missed

CTG
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Old 20th Mar 2012, 08:26
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What will replace the Heathrow 23cm?
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Old 20th Mar 2012, 09:03
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Originally Posted by HEATHROW DIRECTOR
What will replace the Heathrow 23cm?
NATS got planning permission to site a new radar on former MoD land at Bovingdon (presumably on the old airfield). The locals were not happy...
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Old 20th Mar 2012, 18:06
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NATS got planning permission to site a new radar on former MoD land at Bovingdon (presumably on the old airfield). The locals were not happy...
It's about half a mile south of the old airfield, on the Long Lane site where the old lattice mast used to stand, and has indeed gone down like the proverbial lead balloon with local residents:

Bovingdon residents against National Air Traffic Service plans to build a mast in Long Lane (From Watford Observer)
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Old 20th Mar 2012, 20:09
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Radar at Bovingdon? Splendid idea.
Most of stack traffic will be in the 'overhead'.

Why not replace the one at EGLL? People are used to seeing radars at airports FFS. They're one of the things you've got to have. PAX derive comfort from seeing a radar head rotating, unlike the residents of leafy Bovingdon, who obviously do not.
So much for NATS 'Vision 2011 Acting Responsibly' initiative.

Aw, sh1t, sorry, it's 2012.

Last edited by ZOOKER; 20th Mar 2012 at 20:51.
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