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Imperial Airways Nav Aids

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Imperial Airways Nav Aids

Old 13th Nov 2019, 13:14
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Imperial Airways Nav Aids

I was listening to a radio programme earlier today and as part of a query section someone asked about a 'Lamp Room' that he'd seen in the tallest lying house in a village near Orpington where apparently Imperial Airways had installed Nav lights back in the day to aid the aircraft coming in and out of Croydon Airport. There were no lights or equipment when the person visited the property. The question was also posed if there were other such Nav Lights etc at other points in London and it's surrounds. I'm assuming that this would have been pre-WW2. I thought some of the great minds that contribute to AH&N might know some answers.
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Old 21st Nov 2019, 11:09
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I do not know of any off airport lighting as such other than red lights on masts but LHR used to have an enormous flashing green beacon on the South Side of the airport which kept going long after VHR ATC and radar were the norm. Also, the famous Gasometers (themselves a thing of the past) north of LHR which sometimes confused crews whether they were heading for LHR or Northolt and the one for Northolt had the dual purpose NO in huge letters on the top.

So I am not surprised that pre war high locations on an approach path to Croyden or later Northolt (Harrow on the Hill is close by) might have had some kind of beacon on them given that visibility around London in the days of smog wasnt that great at times
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Old 21st Nov 2019, 15:41
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When I bought my first house in Bedfont, that green beacon used to illuminate my bedroom!
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Old 21st Nov 2019, 17:15
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Originally Posted by creweite View Post
When I bought my first house in Bedfont, that green beacon used to illuminate my bedroom!
No prizes for guessing where it was located.

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Old 21st Nov 2019, 17:27
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If Memory serves
Civil airfield pundit beacons were green and Military red.
Regarding other aids to navigation, a/c carried a RO (Radio Officer) who via HF and MF radio could obtain QDMs QTEs and QUJs to produce position lines for a navigator to plot.
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Old 21st Nov 2019, 18:33
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Camel Sat

Slightly off piste, just trying the bindings before the new season but does anyone know if Imperial ever used the ox furrow route between Cairo and Baghdad laid across the desert by the RAF in the mid 1920's
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Old 21st Nov 2019, 22:01
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There's an interesting and long article online about the early Cairo to Baghdad air route that among other things mentions the making of the furrow in the desert.
See here:
https://web.archive.org/web/20141026...the.furrow.htm
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Old 21st Nov 2019, 22:05
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Prangster
There's an interesting and long article online about the early Cairo to Baghdad air route that among other things mentions the making of the furrow in the desert.
See here:
https://web.archive.org/web/20141026...the.furrow.htm
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Old 21st Nov 2019, 22:14
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Prangster
There's an interesting and detailed article online about the early Cairo to Baghdad air route that among other things mentions the making of the furrow in the desert.
See here:
https://web.archive.org/web/20141026...the.furrow.htm
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Old 21st Nov 2019, 22:23
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Prangster
There's an interesting and detailed article online about the early Cairo to Baghdad air route that among other things mentions the making of the furrow in the desert.
See here:
https://web.archive.org/web/20141026...the.furrow.htm
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Old 22nd Nov 2019, 11:56
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There were Aerial Lighthouses as well. The glass dome structure of the one from Hatfield was outside the Squadron at North Weald for a fes=w years. It has now been returned to the university campus at Hatfield for restoration.

https://www.mycetes.co.uk/a/page16.html
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Old 22nd Nov 2019, 12:49
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As you say the Beacon lives on in the road name and I am not surprised it lit up your hose in Bedfont-I lived in Stanwell and we couldnt see the beacon directly but on low cloudy nights the reflection was pretty clear. It used to flash morse but I have forgotten what identifier it used .

I think the Americans used light beacons in the early airmail days because you cant see railway lines at night
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Old 22nd Nov 2019, 13:38
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Don't ask me where I found it (temporary memory failure), but this image shows the aviation beacons in use in The Netherlands in the 1920s/30s (best guess). As there is a marking labeled 'London', I would guess that the line of beacons extended at least to the point on the coast where the airliner would set off across the Channel, but perhaps beyond that to an airport near London. The dotted lines are shown as a 'nachtvluchtroute' which translates as a route for night flying. Five pointed stars are coastal lighting, while the other type of star denotes a 'luchtvaartlicht' or aviation light beacon. This ties in with the description of aeronautical lighthouses in Rallye Driver's link above.
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