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British airliners - radio installations

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British airliners - radio installations

Old 4th Feb 2023, 20:44
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British airliners - radio installations

Who were the preferred manufacturers, if any, for VHF and HF radio systems for 'golden age' British airliners ? For example, the Heron, Viscount, Britannia, Herald, HS748, VC10, Trident and 1-11. I have an idea that Marconi may have been the go-to for British 1-11 operators but not necessarily for American customers.

Thankyou.
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Old 5th Feb 2023, 09:46
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The One-Elevens I worked on:-
Most had Collins 618M VHF comms but I saw a few with King KTR9000s ? I think.
HF was Collins 618T if fitted.
The VOR/ILS nav fits were Collins 51RV1 or 2 on most I saw.
Marconi ADF receivers.
Autopilots were by Elliot except the 510s for BEA.
Flight directors were Collins FD105 or 108 except BEA.
The Oman AF had Canadian Marconi Omega nav. when new.
A few VIP ones had Litton 51 or 71 INS
Marker receiver and Transponder by Collins.
Weather radar Bendix or EKCO
My memories.
Dixi.
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Old 5th Feb 2023, 12:19
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Originally Posted by dixi188
Weather radar Bendix or EKCO
.
Ekco a name from the past. Eric Kirk COle Limited or something. Mainstream 1930s British radios and pioneer television manufacturer, inevitably got swept into aircraft comms equipment in WW2. Valve production was the centre of such industries at the time. Our first ever television was by them. Get a mention in my Avro Anson book as owning one in the 1950s, not sure whether as exec transport or for instrument development. I think they ended up taken over by Philips in the 1970s.
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Old 5th Feb 2023, 15:30
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Originally Posted by WHBM
Ekco a name from the past. Eric Kirk COle Limited or something. Mainstream 1930s British radios and pioneer television manufacturer, inevitably got swept into aircraft comms equipment in WW2. Valve production was the centre of such industries at the time. Our first ever television was by them. Get a mention in my Avro Anson book as owning one in the 1950s, not sure whether as exec transport or for instrument development. I think they ended up taken over by Philips in the 1970s.
G-ALIH . Saw it at Guernsey in very early 60s. Very smart colour scheme.
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Old 5th Feb 2023, 15:58
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Originally Posted by kcockayne
G-ALIH . Saw it at Guernsey in very early 60s. Very smart colour scheme.
There was also G-AGPG - the nose of it is in the Museum at Woodford. Both seemed to have bulbous none standard noses, so used for trials?
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Old 6th Feb 2023, 07:23
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The suppliers for the radios and navigation boxes are not listed as major suppliers, they are covered under typical customer specified items at the bottom right.


I will have a look at some manuals to see if I can narrow this down a bit further.

Edited to add:
VHF: Marconi AD160/King KTR 9100
SELCAL: Marconi AD2880
HF: Collins 618S
HF2: Collins 618T
ADF: Marconi AD.360
VOR/ILS/GS: Marconi AD 260
Marker receiver: Marconi type 6403
DME: A.V.Q.70 R.C.A.
Doppler: AD.560
Weather radar: EKCO E190
LORAN: 345A/600T/LRN 700 (note: LORAN 345A not normally fitted)
Transponder: Control unit type SSR 1601/4

Last edited by Jhieminga; 6th Feb 2023 at 07:36.
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Old 6th Feb 2023, 09:15
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This headset is what prompted the thread. It's an old airliner Astrolite but the microphone isn't amplified, unlike modern aircrew headsets. I know that BEA/BA used these same headsets in their Tridents and Viscounts ( a different variant was used in the TriStar and Concorde) so it got me wondering what make or model of radio they were compatible with.
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Old 6th Feb 2023, 12:05
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I could not find anything about headsets in the VC10 OM, but the 'interphone' subchapter included this bit:
INTERPHONE
CREW I/C
Depress I/C button on Station box for reception, adjust volume by turning button. Check that the correct technique is selected on the microphone selector panel (BOOM - EM., MASK - CARBON) .
Set I/C - RT switch to I/C and speak.
So apparently it was a headset with an electret microphone. The plug does appear to fit the connection boxes on the VC10 flightdeck, but that's just my guess.
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Old 6th Feb 2023, 15:10
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The plug is an AM671, also known as a UK NATO plug. The mating socket was commonly fitted to British airliners, even machines as recent as the BAe ATP. The microphone in this headset is a noise cancelling magnetic type - no power required and not amplified to carbon level.

I don't know what 212 CEA means - probably a customer identifier or part number. I've also had a 212 Bea.
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Old 6th Feb 2023, 15:43
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Originally Posted by Mooncrest
The plug is an AM671, also known as a UK NATO plug. The mating socket was commonly fitted to British airliners, even machines as recent as the BAe ATP. The microphone in this headset is a noise cancelling magnetic type - no power required and not amplified to carbon level.
Also used on the external ground crew headset connector.
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Old 6th Feb 2023, 19:21
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Originally Posted by Mooncrest
The mating socket was commonly fitted to British airliners, even machines as recent as the BAe ATP.
You can see the sockets in several of the photos on this page: https://www.vc10.net/Photos/FlightDecks.html. Most clear on the F/E throttle quadrant photos further down on the page.
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Old 9th Feb 2023, 08:03
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Ekco

Radar on Trident..main factory adjacent to Priory park, Prittlewell, Southend on sea and an Anglo Saxon burial ground. Massive fire in the late fifties destroyed the factory and the stock of recently made obsolete TVs. My father referred to it as a ****** stocktake when we went to view the blaze.
Different headset used on the VC10 as the Trident iirc (BEA pilots had individual headsets). Intercom used on the latter, on the ten we lifted the inner headset speaker and conversed loudly…have tinnitus in the right ear from HF.
Smiths flight director kit on the Trident. Collins VC10.
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Old 19th Feb 2023, 15:49
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Mooncrest , I've an Astrolite [ Racal Acoustics ] headset like yours , but converted to 2 plugs . Came with me off Tridents in Dec. '85 . Still working in back seat of Pa28s doing experience flts when Compton Abbas shut [ temporarily ] in Jan'23 .
Blind P.. concur on Ekco wx radar on Trids , worked very well even with orange screens .
And of course A/P FD on Trids was by Mr Smith's of Glos/Cheltanham , the FD a later version of a ' zero reader .'
Were the longhaul headsets more rigid with a single metal bar across the top of head ?

hope this helps .

rgds condor .
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Old 19th Feb 2023, 15:58
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PS . Forgot the Trident stopwatch ..or 2 .
Mine serial no.1683 type no NL1395 [ DH ].
by Camerer Cuss of New Oxford St. London WC1 , elapsed time clock ... last overhauled in 7/76.
Registerd trade mark piccy. of the Grim Reaper complete with scyth .......
That's all that is written on the back , came off G-AWZZ when we delivered her to BHX fire services in Nov '84 ... Still works ok in our group aeroplane .
It's oppo from Capt's side still works in his a/c .

rgds condor .
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Old 20th Feb 2023, 06:14
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The long haul headsets were probably the old Airmed Airlite 62. Also used on the Britannia and still being made today. Astrolites came in a number of configurations, either with or without a (carbon level) amplified microphone. Those with the amplifier would likely have been more readily suited to other civil aircraft radios, such as the Cherokee. They also work nicely with the David Clark intercom systems fitted to many deicing vehicles! Better than the head-squashing green domes!!
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