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When did airway colour naming end?

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When did airway colour naming end?

Old 6th Feb 2019, 19:50
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Originally Posted by kcockayne View Post
I wouldn’t make a definitive statement that it was 3000 ft., but when I took up air band listening in the early ‘60s the lowest level allocated on Red 1 south of IBY was regularly FL40.
kcockayne, the lowest even flight level is 40. I can't recall whether the quadrantal system applied within the airway but either was 40 was the lowest westbound flight level.

Transitioning from QNH SPS and a flight level depended on the transition layer. FL30 could be above or below TA. If it was below TA the next available FL would be 35 or higher depending on magnetic course being flown.

Then the allocated FL also had to allow for safety altitude. This would be the MSFL or minimum safe flight level.

Last edited by Pontius Navigator; 6th Feb 2019 at 20:01.
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Old 6th Feb 2019, 20:00
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Are Purple Airways still created for short periods,or did that concept disappear when the Royal Flight was disbanded ?
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Old 6th Feb 2019, 20:05
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Ex82, apparently no longer used but Royal Low Level Corridors are used for helos.
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Old 6th Feb 2019, 20:14
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The earliest AERADs I have are from 1970/'71, and the TA, outside CAS was generally 3000'.

In the EGCC TMA, in 1979, TA was 4000', allegedly because of the proximity of 2 of The U.K.'s highest land-based obtsructions. Winter Hill and Holme Moss were both close to 2,500' AMSL.
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Old 6th Feb 2019, 20:18
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Zooker, I think the Lyneham and Honington zones were also much higher but I can't remember specifics. Both were larger zones because of the congested military airspace. In the case of Lyneham it pushed the lowest airway FL up. East of Lyneham the lowest height was 5,000 and to the West 7,000 with the Brecons causing it to be higher still.
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Old 6th Feb 2019, 20:37
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Thanks Pontius,

I'll have to dig them out and check. I'm always on the lookout for aeronautical/airways charts dated between 1945 to 1971. If you have any, or know someone who has, please get in touch.

It's for my own personal interest, but also for GATCO's atchistory project.
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Old 6th Feb 2019, 20:43
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Do an image search for the chart at #4. You will find a blog up That may interest you.
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Old 6th Feb 2019, 20:45
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Originally Posted by dook View Post
ATC after dinner speaker.

"what goes up might come down".

Very famous speech.

Part of it was how to give instructions to pilots.

This is not accurate but you'll get the idea:

"You go up the green one, then the red one and then the blue one".

I remember the last line:

"And does anyone know why the toilets in Concorde have frosted glass ?
"Bugger! I thought I had reached the age of retirement without missing anything. Now I will never be able to fly the Concorde to find out :-)
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Old 6th Feb 2019, 20:47
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PN,thanks for that.- I'd forgotten about the LLCs.
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Old 6th Feb 2019, 20:58
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Appreciative of your reply. I was just reflecting that the use of FL40 was indicative of the use of 3000 ft. as the transition altitude. Obviously, the lowest actual available FL on the airway would depend on the regional QNH.
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Old 6th Feb 2019, 22:53
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Flight levels on Airways were not allocated according to the Quadrantal Rule ie odd 500' levels were not used.Generally,even levels were used for Westbound flights,odd levels used for Eastbounds.There would ALWAYS be 1000' between aircraft when separation was provided by height alone.However,above FL 290,the minimum vertical separation was 2000',thus the first available level above this would have been FL310.Bear in mind however,that airways were etablished only in the lower airspace(FIR),up to FL245.Above that lay the UIR (Upper Information Region),which was all controlled Airspace (Special Rules Airspace to be exact),and there were not Airways,but Upper Air Routes.Things have now changed of course,with the advent of RMVSAs (Reduced Minimum Vertical Separation Areas),and 1000' separation is pretty much standard at all levels.

Last edited by ex82watcher; 6th Feb 2019 at 23:15.
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Old 7th Feb 2019, 02:10
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Originally Posted by ex82watcher View Post
Are Purple Airways still created for short periods,or did that concept disappear when the Royal Flight was disbanded ?
The 'Royal Flight' was not disbanded, it wae elevated to squadron status and still exists in the form of No 32 (The Royal) Sqdn RAF.
Purple airspace was dispensed with however and if and when extra airspace for Royal Flights is required, AUS will notify the creation of temporary controlled airspace in the form of a Class D CTR around departure and destination airfields plus temporary Class A airways joining the Class D CTRs to the national airways system.

Last edited by chevvron; 7th Feb 2019 at 11:11.
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Old 7th Feb 2019, 02:12
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Originally Posted by Pontius Navigator View Post
Ex82, apparently no longer used but Royal Low Level Corridors are used for helos.
RLLCs are not regulated airspace but are merely advisory for the benefit of other trffic.
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Old 7th Feb 2019, 02:20
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Originally Posted by NRU74 View Post
Not quite sure why but In those days, 1962, our navigation ceased at the entry point some 15 miles from base when we were picked up for an AR7 approach. Our base had no nav aids except the pundit.
PN Remind me (did you mean ACR7) was that azimuth only ?
I think one of the surviving ACR7s was at Topcliffe (until the mid to late 60’s).





ACR7 or Decca 424 as it was known in the civilian world was a 3 cm pencil beam radar suitable for providing half mile SRAs; it had no glidepath element therefore its decision height sorry 'procedure minima' was higher than that used for PARs.
I saw the ACR7 at Topcliffe in 1971 when I was there for summer camp, there was another at Lindholme until late 1972 and as far as I'm aware, only one survives at Lasham airfield however this has got serviceability problems due lack of spares. Talkdownman of these pages is one of the controllers at Lasham.
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Old 7th Feb 2019, 07:48
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Originally Posted by chevvron View Post
The 'Royal Flight' was not disbanded, it still exists in the form of No 32 (The Royal) Sqdn RAF.
Disbanded in the sense that that particular name ceased. What happened to the Captain of the Queen's Flight? Does the sqn cdr hold that historic title of has it lapsed?
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Old 7th Feb 2019, 10:06
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Slight thread drift, but when did TA come down to 3000ft? AFIR in the 50s it was up at something like 10000ft. Below that we were all on QNH - no QFE even in the circuit - which meant mental arithmetic for BABS/ACR7 approaches.
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Old 7th Feb 2019, 11:14
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Originally Posted by binbrook View Post
Slight thread drift, but when did TA come down to 3000ft? AFIR in the 50s it was up at something like 10000ft. Below that we were all on QNH - no QFE even in the circuit - which meant mental arithmetic for BABS/ACR7 approaches.
Thank you Binbrook; that's what I suspected and why I queried the depiction of ASRs on the IFR airways chart; there would be no need to depict the ASRs if the TA was 3,000ft as everybody would be using ISA.
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Old 7th Feb 2019, 11:39
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A further thought - AFAIR the upper limit of UK airways in the 50s was something like 12000ft, not that we had the nav kit to use them. I have a vague memory that we could go through airways at X000+500ft, but maybe that was only in emergency. Anyone out there got an old RAFAC?
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Old 7th Feb 2019, 11:48
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Originally Posted by Pontius Navigator View Post
Ex82, apparently no longer used but Royal Low Level Corridors are used for helos.
If that's correct, it's a pointless exercise because as from a few months ago they are no longer published.

AIC Y009/2018, which was the relevant one, has been cancelled.

Last edited by ShyTorque; 7th Feb 2019 at 12:22.
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Old 7th Feb 2019, 12:18
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Chevron, we used the Regional pressure setting in the event of flight below transition away from an airfield so that everyone would be measuring altitude on a common datum.

It was also to calculate the MSFL.
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