EGLL Heathrow ATC Part 2

From Tom Singfield, a new photo of the original Heathrow Tower

Heathrow tower 1953

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EGLL 1 1955BD

2LL01a and from Barry Davidson, the second tower in 1955 and

EGLL 2 1960sBD

2LL01b in the 1960s

Below a wonderful photo from Barry Davidson of the GCA/PAR talk down radar at Heathrow, probably not long after it opened. The radar and its tow vehicle are on the right, in the centre is an ex military Bedford QL truck with a runway caravan built to a RAF design. The use of the vehicle on the left, possibly an ex military Ford truck, is less clear. The little concrete structures on the left are toilets.

EGLL GCA talkdown Radar

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Just in from Barry Davidson is the 1948 guide to Heathrow published by the Ministry of Civil Aviation. This includes several photos of ATC in 1948 including  photographs taken in the original RAF tower on the north side, inside the GCA and a very early search radar on page 18 that I did’t recognise. It looked like it might be a former airborne search radar adapted for ground based used. The radar is now believed to be an ACR 111X that the web site radarpages describes as follows “Transportable Airport Control Radar. ACR 111X. Two Separate Radars. One was installed at Defford in July 1945. Two Aerials mounted back to back on a turntable, one 5′ Dia Parabaloid for 25 Mile range and one 51 x 3’9” High Cosecant for 5 Mile Range. One source say 600mhz & 3GHz??  The equipment below is believed to be the original display unit for the  ACR111X. but also shown below is a later display from 1947 at Heathrow.

small-acr-console

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1948-mca-guide-to-heathrow

following it up Barry sent this Flight article on Heathrow that shows AIS, the lighting panel and an early radar console in 1947.

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Barry Davidson reminded us about the book Heathrow ATC the first 50 years by Brian Piket and Peter Bish.

2LL05 it is available on line (at a high price these days but worth it).

from Barry Davidson a Flight clipping from 1955

ll-55-terminal

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from Ray Draper

a link to a film about building Heathrow

Building Heathrow

from Jo Suter comes a NATS Heathrow brochure

1978 CAA brochure – Air Traffic Control at Heathrow

NATS Heathrow Brochure 1987

and from Barry Davidson six brochures on London Airport dating between the mid 1950s and early 1960s. Barry has omitted the spotter information guide from some of them and sadly the free cut out models are also missing.

an-early-guide-to-london-airport-late-50s-early-60s

another-early-heathrow-brochure  (some good text on ATC inside)

Heathrow guide 1957

esso-egll-guide from 1962

egll-gateway-to-the-world from 1954

boac-egll publication between 1955 and 1960

Ian Allan Guide from the 1950s ian-allan-egll-brochure-1950s

an Airway Article about the retirement of the old ACR6 and its movement to  a museum

EGLL ACR6 MUSEUM

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EGLL ACR6 MUSEUM

and another article about an early Heathrow simulator

EGLL EARLY SIMULATOR

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EGLL EARLY SIMULATOR

From Barry Davidson, a page from the Illustrated London News of June 21st 1952 showing the ongoing construction of the Tunnel.

EGLL TUNNEL

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EGLL 1950_2

2LL10 from Barry Davidson

EGLL 1953

2LL10a from Barry Davidson

EGLL Chris Prentice

2LL11  Chris Prentice posed with a Heathrow simulator, doubtless the EGLL community will a details.

Flight Clearance Christmas day 1975 mod

2LL1a  Flight Clearance Christmas Day 1975

Martyn Swann, Yvonne ???, John (lighting Operator), Richard Almond, Maggi Singfield, Martin Trickett, Dave Mills. photo by Tom Singfield

EGLL 6_16

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EGLL 6

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EGLL 1957

2LL14 1957

egll-departure

2LL15 a chart from Steve Balfour

egll-departure

2LL16 1966 this chart and the next two from Colin McKeeman

egll-app-rw10rl

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egll-app-rw28rl

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egll-d1

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2LL20   Heathrow aerial photo on postcard probably taken pre 1953

More photos from Barry Davidson

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Heathrow with Keith Waud on left

2LL21a Heathrow with Keith Waud on left –  info from Tom Singfield

Rita Leather

2LL21b ATCA Rita Leather in LHR TWR from Tom Singfield

2LL22 Tom Singfield also sent in a single strip, the last Trident into Heathrow.

Last Trident inbound to LHR

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egll-1947-gca

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EGLL 1958

2LL24a Starways DC-3 G-AMSN at EGLL 1958. In the background G-AMDB, a BEA Pioneer.

earl-heathrow-approach-chart

2LL25   Malcolm Hemming has sent in this Heathrow Radio Range Let Down chart. Malcolm guesses its from about 1950 – 10 deg W Variation might be a clue.

Looking at the runway configuration and the fact its “Restricted” it may well be even earlier.

sEGLL 3

2LL26 from a post card via Barry Davidson

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EGLL 1971

2LL28 EGLL aerial view 1971

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2LL30 The VCR in 1990, Steve Hobbs at centre

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6 thoughts on “EGLL Heathrow ATC Part 2”

  1. I remember reading the Leuchars war diary from 1946, in fact the last entry in it was in 1947. Anyway it stated that a GCA had moved to Leuchars from Heathrow. In fact the site of that GCA unit can still be seen at Leuchars, its an oval of concrete that sits to the south east of what is now the short runway.

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    1. And I caught a programme on Talking Pictures TV about Heathrow the other day. It was a 10 minute short about PAR at London Airport as it was then called. The commentator said that London Airport had 75,000 movements a year, this was 1960! There was also an item about the Blind Landing Unit at RAE Bedford.

      Incidentally they showed a Comet Landing in fog, and what I found interesting was the stewardess saying “we shall shortly be arriving at London Airport Heathrow”. As this was 1960 and Gatwick was open was Gatwick London Airport Gatwick?

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  2. 2LL21:
    Paul Bishop (Martin-Bishop at the time) on GMC, Dave Carney standing in front of the Air desk with, iI think, Alan Jack on Air Deps. Alan and I were spinning with D Watch.

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