The West Drayton Site: Military and Civil

We have a lot of new photos showing many aspects of the site between 1964 and 1984. There are dozens of photos to scan and upload. Those that deal with the Civil Ops room in use in 1971 will be posted in the LATCC part 2 post. First the site clearance. RAF West Drayton dated back to 1924, its Air Traffic Control role emerged in the 1960s.


These photos show the site clearance required for the site’s role in the 60s.


and here are some photos taken in 1964/65

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now some photos of RAF West Drayton in 1984

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very 1960s brutalist architecture?

These next slides may not excite everyone but they give some idea of the size of the construction project. When West Drayton’s replacement was being built, admittedly in an economic downturn, it was the UK’s largest capital project. I wonder how this project rated?

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this next slide show has photos of the LATCC building in a late state of completion, with great pictures of the original street sign, the entrance block and the guardroom.

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Between November 1968 and January 1971 the two ops rooms were being fitted out. The slide show below captures the sequence of fitting out. The second MAS slide shows the Tensator mounting trays for EDDs now in position.

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and now some of the equipment  installed at LATCC before it opened

from September 1969 the Meteorology Department



a set of photos of the Flight Plan Processing System, the associated Myriad computers and Electronic Data Displays (EDDs)


this is the modem installation in the FPPS/EDD equipment room


a suitably large and impressive tells stores


Battery room

down in the bowels, the cabling void…….

……………. and for those of us working on the CAS suites upstairs, two big photos of the cables that fed the suites, and the associated cooling system.


now a series of photos of various aspects of radar processing and display technology from the late 1960s style. The process of scan conversion was central to providing a cursive radar display to the controller. Below are some photos of the scan conversion and other radar display equipment. Maybe one of our engineer readers can provide a technical background to what we are seeing.

(We  realise that for many readers this is a bit boring but from a history point of view it captures how it was done and shows the sheer size of the facilities required at that time. With hindsight, its showing the last deep breaths of the analogue dinosaur, before the deep breaths became last gasps – atchistory)

he photos below at also related to the scan conversion facility and are similar to the photo above of a scan convertor and distribution unit. The photos were taken in November 1969 and originate from a Mr J A Edwards, Tels M2 (a).  They may be something to do with an Angle Mark Suite ?????



The last selection below looks at the communications systems at West Drayton and one or two local area outstations at Hillingdon and.Greenford




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