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-   -   Navigation markings on the ground, N. Africa (https://www.pprune.org/aviation-history-nostalgia/647517-navigation-markings-ground-n-africa.html)

AnotherFSO 29th Jun 2022 13:00

Navigation markings on the ground, N. Africa
Hi all.

Over the years I've seen just a couple of references (with scant details) about navigation markings being laid out along the ground on long routes in northern Africa in the early days of aviation there, pre-radio navigation.

One suggestion I've seen is that there was an entire, unbroken line marked out on the ground along a route (I can't recall which one) of some hundreds of miles by digging a trench or some such. And perhaps large arrows or mounds as well.

Does this sound right? Does anyone have any details?

Thanks in advance.

chevvron 29th Jun 2022 13:35

Google 'Plain of Nazca'.

renfrew 29th Jun 2022 13:39

In 1921 the RAF was surveying the proposed route between Jordan and Iraq and ploughed a furrow to help navigation.

India Four Two 29th Jun 2022 14:09

Flying the Furrow


AnotherFSO 29th Jun 2022 14:20

Magnificent, thank you very much for the quick replies!

staircase 30th Jun 2022 08:48

I once asked an old Transport Command navigator about navigating across the desert in the 1950’s and 60’s.

He said that it was easy; you just followed the oil slick that the Beverley’s had left over the years!

OUAQUKGF Ops 30th Jun 2022 19:10

Alex Henshaw may or may not mention 'Markers' . If I remember rightly he followed tracks in the sand on his Trans-Saharan Flights. Read his super memoir ' Flight of The Mew Gull ' available in paperback.

meleagertoo 1st Jul 2022 15:39


India Four Two 1st Jul 2022 17:26

Read his super memoir ' Flight of The Mew Gull ' available in paperback.
I've read it twice. I am truly amazed that he survived the trip, given the number of close shaves he had, never mind nearly passing out from exhaustion when arriving back at Southend.

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