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First Airborne Radar

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First Airborne Radar

Old 19th Jan 2022, 14:44
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by MightyGem View Post
A bit of a shot in the dark here, but I'm trying to find information for some elderly friends regarding their father, a William Wilkinson.

He worked for Shorts Aircraft in the 30s and 40s and served in the Army during the war. By their accounts, he was involved in the installation of the first radar set in an aircraft.

Initial internet search doesn't come up with anything concrete, so if anyone has any knowledge or links, that would be much appreciated.
I have no personal knowledge to offer, but I wonder if the attached link to the MALVERN RADAR AND TECHNOLOGY HISTORY SOCIETY may be helpful, vide https://mraths.org.uk

Jack
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Old 19th Jan 2022, 15:17
  #22 (permalink)  
 
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Goering

ďand no-one in command ever really had an overall picture of the air battle.Ē

Didnít Goering one night try to take personal control with disastrous results ?
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Old 19th Jan 2022, 19:33
  #23 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
I thought that was all down to Major Hirst.
Yes, he was the guy in charge, but my friends are adamant that their father was involved, also with the rank of Major.
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Old 19th Jan 2022, 19:34
  #24 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Union Jack View Post
I have no personal knowledge to offer, but I wonder if the attached link to the MALVERN RADAR AND TECHNOLOGY HISTORY SOCIETY may be helpful, vide https://mraths.org.uk

Jack
Thanks for that, Jack.
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Old 20th Jan 2022, 10:10
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Probably worth remembering that information didn't flow as a freely in those days and there may even have been classified projects they were not privy to. One group of people working on what they perceived to be the first airborne radar set were probably quite unaware of another group doing the same around that time, or possibly even years earlier. Still, a good tale to tell the grand kids I suppose.
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Old 20th Jan 2022, 19:56
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Hanbury Brown was plucked out of Imperial College to work with radar and went onto work on airborne sets. He was involved in the early Blenheim flights. I would post a link but I haven't posted enough.

He had been awarded a first at 19 and was a founder member of the University of London Air Squadron in 1935.
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Old 20th Jan 2022, 22:27
  #27 (permalink)  
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Not everyone, of course, had to be a theorist. Many would have been those already experienced in matters such as radio valves, cathode ray tubes for B-scopes and the PPIs, aerial design etc and could well have been moved from team to team and project to project as their particular abilities lay.

Not every artisans name ends up in th history books. None of those who actually built the first steam engine or parts for the first radar are remembered.

https://www.dos4ever.com/EF50/EF50.html
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Old 21st Jan 2022, 06:16
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Fascinating thread. Thank you for the links ORAC.
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Old 23rd Jan 2022, 10:39
  #29 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Dan Winterland View Post
German radar was more technically advanced than Britain's. however, as most military historians will tell you, the outcome is rarely about who has the best kit. The Chain Home High and Low systems were basic, but as a component of an integrated air defence system, they became very useful tools, and this system was instrumental in the Luftwaffe's defeat. In comparison, the Germans never really organized their air defence to the same capability. They had reached a point where they were close with the Kammhuber line, but they were still relying on single control units controlling just one fighter. The concept of a plan position indicator never occurred to them and no-one in command ever really had an overall picture of the air battle.
Sorry , a bit off topic, but I was of course talking purely about technology , not tactical or strategical use. which of course you are 100% correct. In 1939-40 the Germans were about 4-5 ahead of the Brits technologically wise, . Only after getting a magnetron from the French in 1940 capturing a Wurzburg in Bruneval in 1942 did the UK catch up, and it was the discovery of the "window" chaff jamming technique that stopped the German technological progression as both Hitler and Goering did not believe in Radar and transferred all scientist and funds involved into the V weapons.
On your last sentence, this is not entirely true, they had a few large control centers in bunkers very similar to the UK system but using different technique, light guns i projected on a glass wall instead of moving wooden mock ups on a table, but they had a central albeit regional command. .
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Old 23rd Jan 2022, 11:03
  #30 (permalink)  
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Interested in your comment about the cavity magnetron and the French, who do you think provided it? Not in accordance with the facts as I know them.


https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document...28?reload=true
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Old 23rd Jan 2022, 13:56
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
Interested in your comment about the cavity magnetron and the French, who do you think provided it? Not in accordance with the facts as I know them.


https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document...28?reload=true
The French did come up with a couple of ideas that did go into the second GEC produced Randell and Boot magnetron design. The use of Metal Oxide coatings on the Cathode and making the Cathode a Cylinder with a separate heater element inside it. The French research was however somewhat of a collaboration between Gutton in France and Megaw at GEC. The French research allowed the British Mangetrons to work at much higher power outputs and have a much longer running life than any magnetrons built anywhere else. Randell and Boot's contribution was making the Anode block the outer case of the valve, unlike most of the other mangetron designs which had the Anode cavities as metal plates mounted within a Glass tube (The Russians and Japanese had beaten Randell and Boot as regards this feat, but Knowledge of it was not known in the UK at the time that the first British experimental model was built and run in February 1940). The Metal block Anode with the Vacuum inside it was much easier to cool than any of the Hollmann designed Magnetrons in Germany or the stuff produced by Phillips in Holland.
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Old 23rd Jan 2022, 15:00
  #32 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
Interested in your comment about the cavity magnetron and the French, who do you think provided it? Not in accordance with the facts as I know them.
" as I know them " is probably the answer As I said before , history is always written by those who win wars . What the French history books say , is that a Maurice Ponte was busy with early Radar technology since early 1930 , and had installed in 1935 a functioning prototype working on the Normandie ( the large passenger ship crossing the Atlantic between le Havre and New York) to detect icebergs and other ships at night and fog , and built by CSF ( now Thales). In 1940 when Germany invaded France, he fled to London in May 1940 with his centimeter wavelength magnetron prototype and gave it to the allied in order not to fall in the hands of the Germans, The US and the UK used it among other to reduce considerably the size of their antennas and systems and could catch up with the Germans. It was the basis of the mass produced SCR-584 radars built by the US and available in 1944 that helped end the war..
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Old 23rd Jan 2022, 15:47
  #33 (permalink)  
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ATC_Watcher,

Thats covered in my link above, sections 2.4 and 2.5. The M-16 was a segmented magnetron, not a cavity magnetron.
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Old 26th Jan 2022, 18:50
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Heads up reading early AI radar

Wing Commander Bob Braham's 'Scramble' succinct on Early Blenheim/Beaufighter NF ops
Dr Alfred Price's 'Instruments of Darkness' develops the theme
Professor R.V jones as usual nails the trail in his 'Most Secret War'

Our admirals never did apologise to the RAF as thy knew all about German gun laying frequencies after the battle of the River Plate in 1939
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