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Aeronautical Charts "FI" identification beacons

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Aeronautical Charts "FI" identification beacons

Old 11th Nov 2022, 16:38
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Originally Posted by ScottBouch
Thanks for the info on Pundit Beacons! Every day's a school day.

So it's either FI for Flashing Ident, or Fl for Flashing.

I knew this wouldn't be straightforward!
Some CAA charts have a legend that shows "FIG" (for green beacons at civil aerodromes) and "FIR" (red beacons at government fields), so the middle initial is almost certainly an uppercase "I" (for Identification) and not a lower case "L".
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Old 11th Nov 2022, 19:03
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Originally Posted by NutLoose
Do they still use the cloud height lights, Odi used to have one next to the gliding club building. one vertical and one that used to run up and down the vertical beam to triangulate the height..
I think most units with a met office both military and civil had one of these but they were withdrawn with the change to laser heightfinding.
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Old 11th Nov 2022, 20:24
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Why would it be an upper-case "I" for "Identification", when its obviously there solely for the purpose of identification? Why not also "L", for light?

On nautical charts (as per ScottBouch at post #13) all the symbology is relevant in describing the characteristics of the light;
F = abbreviation for fixed (ie a steady light).
Fl (Capital Foxtrot, lower case Lima) = abbreviation for flashing. (a system of digits and characters may follow to define the quantity and duration of cycle).
G = abbreviation for Green; R = Red, and so forth.

Therefore, I suggest; FlR =Flashing Red.

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Old 11th Nov 2022, 22:25
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Originally Posted by DuncanDoenitz
Why would it be an upper-case "I" for "Identification", when its obviously there solely for the purpose of identification?
At the risk of stating the obvious, stating the obvious is commonplace.
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Old 11th Nov 2022, 22:46
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A preserved one https://www.stampe.be/en-gb/verzameling (and then click on the 'The collection' button in the top menu)
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Old 11th Nov 2022, 22:56
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I think the “I for ident” is because some, but not all of these lights flashed their station ident in morse code.

Others just flashed on/off without a specific code.
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Old 12th Nov 2022, 06:38
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Originally Posted by ShyTorque
I think the “I for ident” is because some, but not all of these lights flashed their station ident in morse code.

Others just flashed on/off without a specific code.
In chart sense the correct way of presenting that would be Foxtrot lima (Letters of ident), in the same way that charts present lighthouses. As above with the nautical chart decode, it's not telling you what kind of light it is, but what you expect to see from the light. F being fixed, Fl being Flashing(with code) and Oc being Occulting(with code).
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Old 12th Nov 2022, 06:48
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Heathrow ident light

I'm old enought to remember fondly the large green flashing ident light at Heathrow, near the southern perimeter road. I doubt whether that would be of much use nowadays ... I wonder what happened to it, it must have some historical value.
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Old 12th Nov 2022, 06:48
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Station Ident Beacon = Pundit ... but why? Who/what is Pundit?
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Old 12th Nov 2022, 07:07
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Originally Posted by gunning
I'm old enough to remember fondly the large green flashing ident light at Heathrow, near the southern perimeter road.
It's still there in spirit.


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Old 12th Nov 2022, 08:58
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Originally Posted by FantomZorbin
Station Ident Beacon = Pundit ... but why? Who/what is Pundit?

Google is your friend. Presumably because they transmitted the airfields Pundit code.
A pseudonym no doubt in an attempt to keep it quasi secret. Like “ Tube Alloys “. There’s a whole section on pundit lights. They even had mobile pundit units to deploy them away from airfields as decoys etc.
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Old 12th Nov 2022, 09:24
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Originally Posted by FantomZorbin
Station Ident Beacon = Pundit ... but why? Who/what is Pundit?
FZ, I'm shocked!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pundit_Beacon
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Old 12th Nov 2022, 10:13
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Originally Posted by ShyTorque
I think the “I for ident” is because some, but not all of these lights flashed their station ident in morse code.

Others just flashed on/off without a specific code.
They would flash the same letters as the station code letters which are positioned near the signal square.
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Old 12th Nov 2022, 10:32
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Cranfield being CD. With my slightly nerdy yachtie head on all maritime lights have a colour (default white), characteristic (Fl, Occ numbers etc) and a period eg Fl (2) 5sec would be two white flashes every 5 seconds.

Airfield ident lights are red (military) and green (civ) and Morse coded to the airfield so I guess that detail is not portrayed on the aeronautical chart.

Coincidentally we had this conversation in the car two days ago:

’Didn’t there used to be a flashing red light at Waddington?’
’Yes, it’s the Pundit flashing a morse ident, probably WA’
’Why’s it called a Pundit?’
’mmmmmmmm’. Goes to google.
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Old 12th Nov 2022, 10:40
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the last one operating as far as I know is at RAF Cranwell, on the top of the College building
Known in my day as "Wxxxing Willy"
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Old 12th Nov 2022, 10:45
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The red one at RAF Newton (located at ground level on the south side of the airfield) was still working for some years after the airfield closed. There’s no sign of it now though. Hopefully it’s gone to a museum because it had been the only “nav aid” at Newton.
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Old 12th Nov 2022, 12:32
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Cranwell's 'Willy' is an aeronautical light house rather than a Pundit.

It seemed much brighter when I was there in 1968 than when I was there a few years later - was the wick turned down?
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Old 12th Nov 2022, 13:37
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Originally Posted by BEagle
Cranwell's 'Willy' is an aeronautical light house rather than a Pundit.
It seemed much brighter when I was there in 1968 than when I was there a few years later - was the wick turned down?
Economies strike in unexpected places! Probably got to dim LEDs.
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Old 13th Nov 2022, 11:26
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Originally Posted by DaveReidUK
Some CAA charts have a legend that shows "FIG" (for green beacons at civil aerodromes) and "FIR" (red beacons at government fields), so the middle initial is almost certainly an uppercase "I" (for Identification) and not a lower case "L".
No it's definitely a lower case 'L'.
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Old 13th Nov 2022, 11:28
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Originally Posted by MPN11
Economies strike in unexpected places! Probably got to dim LEDs.
Yes I understand the light output has been reduced. Trenchards 'brats' haven't cleaned the windows recently.
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