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Sharjah. OLD airport

Old 18th Aug 2007, 10:49
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Sharjah. OLD airport

I have seen the closed thread on this airport, and would appreciate some input, as to the exact loaction.

Nothing seen on google earth, and I would hope that perhaps reference to current location, in the expanded and developed area.

There is an open area nearer to Ajman, that looks like it was an airport, even ahs a windsock, but GE shows nothing.

I often drive from RAK to Dubai, on the coast road, and would like to visit, to see the site, and perhaps more up to date pics.

Regards all,

glf
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Old 18th Aug 2007, 10:57
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Try this - http://l.garey.googlepages.com/rafsh...lmahattamuseum
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Old 18th Aug 2007, 11:23
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Your probably looking too far out of town, the tower is still easily visible as you drive past the immigration offices right in the centre of town, thats all thats left.
25°20'44.78"N
55°23'42.74"E
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Old 18th Aug 2007, 11:30
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PS. Gulfstream. Don't ignore the old office buildings. There's a movie the staff will run for you on the old Imperial Airways operations. A must see.
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Old 18th Aug 2007, 11:39
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Flew the 'Friendly Fokkers' into there for Gulf in the early 70's. Any pics old and/or new out there?

FW
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Old 18th Aug 2007, 11:48
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We used to take a BAC1-11 in there in the early/mid seventies for GF, arrive late at night having just done half of what was known as the "Gulf Air Easy Six",
(BAH-DOH-AUH-SHJ and return), day off in Dubai then early start back to Bahrain next morning. Shared the tarmac with an Air Ceylon Trident!
Most of the original airport has been built on now. If you can find a copy of "Beyond The Blue Horizon" by Alexander Frater I think you will find some pictures in there, including the fort.
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Old 18th Aug 2007, 15:34
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Sharjah 1970, 208 Sqn (with the Boss in the piccy too):

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Old 18th Aug 2007, 17:37
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Landed there in the `60s with Ace. Will never forget the airman sweeping the tyre marks off the sand as we were driven to ATC!
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Old 18th Aug 2007, 17:46
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Presumably all that's left of the 'old' Sharjah is the International Aeradio tower. I note the CONCRETE in that 1970 photo - not what was used in the 50s!! Then, it was oil soaked sand, lovingly tended by a dedicated chap with a steam roller!! He was unamused by our arrivals and departures 'cos we broke up his nice smooth runways and parking areas.
A 208 Sqn member, IIRC, made an unofficial (and unfortunate) record at Sharjah at the time of Suez as making the lowest, attempted, flypast. The airfield boundary was a series of 50 gallon oil drums half buried in the sand - he hit one, with predictable results.
I was stuck there for 10 days once - the airfield was FLOODED!!!
During the French war in Indo-China, (reputedly) a Connie with a full load of 'ladies' destined for the official 'troop comfort' establishments lost an engine and had to divert into Sharjah. The passengers were accommodated in the Sgt's Mess and (it was rumoured) a good time was had by all
Memories?? Air conditioning (unheard of in Aden!), weevil bread and 'somebody's' Readymeal - a sort of thick tinned stew which was necessary for survival. Life was definitely different then
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Old 19th Aug 2007, 05:20
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And a door marked 'TV Room' in the Officers Mess, which led to the desert!
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Old 19th Aug 2007, 09:23
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TM I seem to remember that was Masirah.

Landed at Sharjah many times and even spent time there at the Gulf War that never happened in 1961. Found the old fort from Imperial Airways fascinating seem to remember that International Air Radio were using it.

Was it Sharjah or Eastleigh where a big bell was rung to warn the local population who were wandering about that there was an aircraft movement? Old age DOES weary you!!
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Old 19th Aug 2007, 10:32
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TM I seem to remember that was Masirah

IIRC that is/was the case.

Memories of crayfish at MI!

FW
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Old 19th Aug 2007, 10:56
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Don't remember a TV Room in Sharjah but I have seen many a visitor go through the door in Masirah!
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Old 19th Aug 2007, 12:41
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I could have sworn it was Sharjah, but probably you are right and it was Masirah. Memory going; anyway great days!
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Old 19th Aug 2007, 14:09
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Sharjah Anson

Forget...The Anson G-AKVW is a Mk19 and I spent 17 years putting it together, working most Sundays in the village of Friockheim, near Arbroath. In addition to your very informative narrative, I'd like to point out that this is a twin stick machine. It also has the wire bracing tags on the finpost in anticipation of being fitted with a wooden tailplane per the original build contract. I have plenty of photographs of the build throughout the years and maybe some day I'll get round to forming a website to show them off. TX183 belonged to the late Michael Fraser, ex Swissair. He also owned WD413 which is now at Coventry.
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Old 19th Aug 2007, 14:17
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In addition to your very informative narrative.......,
Not mine. I can't take credit for that It's all from Laurence Garey's Site http://l.garey.googlepages.com/home
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Old 20th Aug 2007, 07:37
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Al Mahatta Museum, ex RAF Sharjah

I was very interested to read the piece by Sandy Hutton about the Anson at Al Mahatta Museum, Sharjah on which he worked. Although the Anson is not in its original markings, like the other 3 aircraft in the museum, it is great to see these planes preserved in such good condition.
http://l.garey.googlepages.com/rafsharjah,almahattamuseum

Another aspect of RAF Sharjah is its involvement in the Jebel Akhdar conflict in the late 1950s:
On 20 July 1957 four Venoms of 8 Squadron flew from Aden to RAF Sharjah to take part in the campaign against “rebels” in the Jebel Akhdar mountains of Oman. The day after their arrival, the Venom pilots were flying in Shackletons to see the area in which they would be operating. The next two days were spent flying the Venoms, accompanied by Shackletons, to drop leaflets to warn the population about impending attacks. Dropping leaflets from the Shackleton was not too difficult, but for the Venoms they had to be stored in the flaps from where they would fall out when the flaps were lowered. On 27 July 1957 the Venoms attacked enemy towns. The same day 6 Venoms of 249 Squadron arrived at Sharjah from Nairobi. 8 Squadron returned to Aden a month later, only to fly back to Sharjah from October to November 1957. The squadron was back again for various detachments throughout 1958, finally leaving Sharjah on 3 October 1958. The pilots found life difficult. The runway was hard sand, which blew up clouds of stinging dust as aircraft took off. The accommodation and other facilities were bad. It is still possible to see parts of RAF Sharjah to this day. Some of the buildings of the old fort are used as the Al Mahatta Museum, and the control tower still exists, though rebuilt. The runway is now covered by King Abdul Aziz Road in the centre of the town! For whatever reason the Venom squadrons suffered many accidents, and stories abound of the number of wrecked aircraft that could be seen around the airfield in the late 1950s. Altogether 8 Squadron Venoms flew 1315 sorties, and 249 Squadron flew 163 sorties. They fired 3718 rockets and 271,060 20mm shells.
On 30 August 1958 a Venom failed to return to its base at Sharjah. It was reported that the aircraft had crashed and that the pilot had died. In October 2003 I visited Jebel Akhdar to find the site. We searched the area around the main village of the plateau, Saiq. Villagers still tell stories of the bombing by the “Americans”. In one village we came across a basin shaped piece of heavy steel casing with a tight screw-thread at one end, which I interpreted as being a piece of a 1000 pounder. We found the Venom, by the roadside at GPS coordinates N23 04’33.4, E57 39’36.4 Only the engine, the central parts of the wings (with the main wheels still retracted in them), and part of the fuselage remain. Records mention that Venom FB4 WR552 of 8 Squadron went down on 30/8/1958, and Colin Richardson, author of the excellent book Masirah, Tales from a DesertIsland confirmed that this was the Venom in a letter to me in December 2003. He was a former Venom pilot on 8 Squadron himself, and a friend of Flight Lieutenant Owen Watkinson, the pilot, flying from Sharjah. It is said that he was strafing goats, and that he was not shot down, but misjudged the pull out from his attacking dive. Alongside the wreck is a small stone cairn, marking the grave of Owen Watkinson.
A fuller text and illustrations can be found on
http://l.garey2.googlepages.com/home
or by a link to The Jebel Akhdar War from
http://l.garey.googlepages.com/home

Last edited by l.garey; 6th Sep 2007 at 13:22.
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Old 21st Aug 2007, 07:33
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Sharjah Anson

Further to my comment about Sandy's Anson, I wonder if he can solve the mystery of the id plates. I quote from my site http://l.garey.googlepages.com/rafsharjah,almahattamuseum

The Anson "G-AKVW" is ex TX183, built at Yeadon in 1946. With Bomber Command Communications Flight at Booker (from where I used to fly), then Abingdon (where I lived) Station Flight, before moving on to No.1 ANS at Hullavington. Later to Shawbury, and A&AEE Boscombe Down where its service career finished in 1968. It was then sold to the Shuttleworth Trust, who were planning on a restoration programme, but that never came to fruition. Registered as G-BSMF. The flaps are half lowered, so you can see id plates on both sides. It is quite clearly marked as "Type no 652A" and Mk XXI on one side and Mk 21 on the other! The flaps carry the dates 22/10/48 on one side and 9/1/51 on the other! To find that it is a Mk21 is a surprise as that serial batch is usually quoted as C19s. Maybe the flaps were taken from a Mk 21, and fitted to a C19 airframe.

I wonder if Sandy can confirm that the data I quote are correct, and can he explain the plates saying this is a Mk 21!?
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Old 21st Aug 2007, 08:18
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l.garey's corrected his bad link on the The Jebel Akhdar War, see his Aviation history and photos: http://l.garey.googlepages.com/home

............ just in case you missed the correction.

A cracking good read as they say.
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Old 22nd Aug 2007, 09:24
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TX183

Garey, The aircraft is a Mk19 and I can confirm this many times over. The answer to the flaps is that these parts are interchangeable so could easily have been swapped at some time over the years in service. believe me, I know this aeroplane inside out, having crawled through, in, out, over and under it for all those 17 years.(I wouldn't like to try getting into the nose bay through the cone now though) The Constructors plate is under the fabric on the starboard cockpit and although I don't have the number to hand, 4363 rings a bell with me. It had flown 5031 hours at the point of retiral and you will perhaps note some 50 skin repairs on the centre section top and bottom, none by me I hasten to add. I only set fire to the fabric on the tail...fresh dope, hot iron, whoosh!! Oh, and I have a copy of the F700T from Boscombe Down, dated 6/67. The final travelling log entry is 28/2/68.

Please feel free to PM me if you need any more. Nice to see it's looking so good though.
Sandy
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