Equipment, Communications and Navaids

 

RAF Wahn

RAF ATC radio trucks RAF Wahn.

MoCA 1950s ILS presentation slides

above is a document that contains  a set of Ministry of Civil Aviation black and white slides about the Instrument Landing System in its early days. Also from the MoCA is another set describing the navaids and communications needed to support airways operations.

UK Airways infrastructure MoCA

ballykelly-babs

ECN0 from Dave Smith who says “I’ve just found this 1944 Ballykelly BABS assisted approach procedure chart amongst my stuff. The original was in a photo sent to me in the 1980s by a former Liberator pilot who flew from there.”

beam approach beacon system (BABS)

BABS Mk1C Still Air

Blind landing May 1947     This remarkable article in Flight describes efforts in 1947 to develop a better visual instrument to assist pilots in interpreting the output from a beacon approach system which in 1947 would have presumably been Rebecca/Eureka or BABS (see above). Within the technological limitations of 1947 the author is developing proposals that verge on the use of virtual reality and head up displays. The Air Ministry had already trialled a system for projecting a night fighter’s air interception radar display onto the pilots windscreen.

Malcolm Hemming has sent me a document entitled ” Telecommunications equipment and its maintenance” which seem to serve as an introduction to this section. Tels Mx [789444]

Communications

Scan_20150913ECN1

a rather grand but no longer anonymous microwave tower thanks to Danny Glover who says    “ECN1 is the Post Office/BT site at Harraby, Carlisle – see this link. This mainly carried television and telephony but there is an ATC link – in the literal sense. The Linesman radar at Bishops Court used a microwave link via the Post Office site at Ballygomartin, then over the existing route to Carlisle. From there it’s not known whether it continued via Manchester and Birmingham or went across to join those from the east coast sites on their way to West Drayton.  Most of the details of the Linesman (Post Office) and Mediator (CAA) microwave links have been pieced together – I’ll share more information when I get it properly organised.”

Scan_20150827 (2)ECN2

this might be something called the MCVFT at Croydon (or it might not).

what look like a comms relays on Tiree, a receiver and a transmitter array dated  March 1985.

Tiree (1)ECN3

Tiree (2)ECN4

anonymous mast removal (1)ECN5

anonymous mast removal (2)ECN6

Anonymous mast demolition

Galdenoch VHF Radio CentreECN7

Galdenoch VHF Radio Centre

Grantham Mk III and Mk VECN8

Grantham Mk III and Mk V

Hillingdon mast demolition Jan 1964 (1)ECN9

Hillingdon mast demolition Jan 1964 (2)ECN10

Hillingdon mast demolition Jan 1964

MangerstaECN11

Mangersta

mast RAF Aldergrove 1948 maybe on Divis or Black Mountain (2)ECN12

mast RAF Aldergrove 1948 maybe on Divis or Black Mountain (1)ECN13

RAF Aldergrove mast perhaps on Black Mountain or Divis 1948

mast RAF Aldergrove 1948 maybe on Divis or Black Mountain (3)ECN14

The next seven photos are of Pailton radio monitoring station.

PAILTON RADIO MONITORING STATION (1)ECN15

PAILTON RADIO MONITORING STATION (2)ECN16

PAILTON RADIO MONITORING STATION (3)ECN17

PAILTON RADIO MONITORING STATION (4)ECN18

PAILTON RADIO MONITORING STATION (5)ECN19

PAILTON RADIO MONITORING STATION (6)ECN20

PAILTON RADIO MONITORING STATION (7)ECN21

Rhu StafneshECN22

Rhu Stafnesh – was this associated with the flying boat station at Rhu near Helensborough?

Rhu Staffnish (I think that is how you spell it). It is on the Mull of Kintyre, near Campbeltown, nothing to do with the Rhu seaplane experimental station which is on the Clyde near Helensburgh. Dave Lacey

Rothwell radio stationECN23

Rothwell radio station

ROTHWELL

ECN23_2  ROTHWELL

My beautiful pictureECN24

Trimingham

warlingham (1)ECN25

warlingham (3)ECN26

warlingham (2)ECN27

WARLINGHAM AERIALS

ECN27a

four photos of Warlingham

Winstone radio station closure

closure winstone birdlip radio station (1)ECN28

The last CAA HF service being switched off at Winstone radio station by Jack Jewitt the longest serving member of the staff at the station. Jack, a rigger, went to Birdlip/Winstone in 1946 and said he’d give the job a try for a week to see how it went

closure winstone birdlip radio station (2)ECN30

The last service message being composed and sent to Portugal from the control room at Winstone.

Left to right Godfrey Elmer – Officer I/C Winstone, Bob Morris ATE II at Winstone, Reg Baker – later at LATCC but who sent the first message on the circuit many years ago.

Navaids

an anonymous Outer Marker

Scan_20150827ECN31

Dover DVORECN32

Dover DVOR

DVOR PROJECT

ECN32_2 DVOR PROJECT

Dover possibly VORTACECN33

Dover VORTAC?

MAYFieLD dvor dme 1980

ECN33a Mayfield DVOR and DME 1980

BIGGIN dvor DME 1980

ECN33b Biggin DVOR and DME 1980 with the Tower in the distance

pol-dvor-2-dec-1983

ECN33c Pole Hill

glidepathECN34

ILS Glidepath

ILS localiserECN35

ILS Localiser

 

Goodwood DVORECN36

Goodwood DVOR

Equipment

Barrel Lt KKECN37

barrel lt SSECN38

Trails of replacement Barrel lights (the cream units) at Gatwick and Stansted

 

CAA Wickham Railcar Snae FellECN39

CAA Wickham railcar, Snae Fell, Isle of Man

Light unit from precision approach path indicator PAPIECN40

PAPI Light unit

below: the ubiquitous ministry workdesk

These desks in a variety of designs were built to equip state ATS units in the 40s, 50s and 60s, Many examples will be seen in photographs of towers, ops rooms and equipment rooms throughout this site. They were of a modular design, standard heights, widths, slopes and depths were introduced as were standard equipment stowage bays, usually 6 inches high and multiples of 3 inches wide. Horizontal work surfaces were removable and replaceable with, for example flight progress strip bays. Some “necessary” design features seem so dated now, with built in recesses holding cast metal cigarette ash trays. Remarkably by modern (2015) standards the desks were made of solid oak, light coloured and attractive and if they got scruffy they could be sanded down and re-varnished. Moreover the modular design meant that when a unit closed they could be refurbished and reused. I remember seeing a control desk in the NATS stores at Hurn that had a label showing it was formerly used at Preston ATCC at Barton Hall.

Scan_20150829 (2)ECN41

Scan_20150829 (3)ECN42

Scan_20150829ECN43

equipment testing and calibration

Scan_20150830 (2)ECN44

Scan_20150830 (3)ECN45

Scan_20150830ECN46

standby battery power

Scan_20150830 (16)ECN47

flight progress trip holder loader

Scan_20150830 (23)ECN48

4 thoughts on “Equipment, Communications and Navaids”

  1. ECN1 is the Post Office/BT site at Harraby, Carlisle – see http://www.dgsys.co.uk/btmicrowave/sites/110.php . This mainly carried television and telephony but there is an ATC link – in the literal sense. The Linesman radar at Bishops Court used a microwave link via the Post Office site at Ballygomartin, then over the existing route to Carlisle. From there it’s not known whether it continued via Manchester and Birmingham or went across to join those from the east coast sites on their way to West Drayton.

    Most of the details of the LInesman (Post Office) and Mediator (CAA) microwave links have been pieced together – I’ll share more information when I get it properly organised.

    Like

  2. I’d love one of those old Ministry desks/consoles but I don’t expect they’ll be showing up on eBay any time soon.

    Like

  3. Thanks for all the posts. As an aviation enthusiast and Radio Amateur I find all this very interesting.I’m pretty certain your anonymous Outer Marker (ECN31) is or should I say was serving Glasgow. Located NE of the airfield. NDB ident ‘GLG’ frequency was 350KHz.

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