RN carrier homing beacon

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by fastmongrel, Jan 5, 2013.

  1. fastmongrel

    fastmongrel Well-Known Member

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    #1 fastmongrel, Jan 5, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2013
    I found this article and thought you guys might be interested. http://www.nonstopsystems.com/radio/article-part3a-1947-Quinn.pdf

    If you are interested in naval aviation and ever wondered what the lighthouse shaped thing on a RN WWII carrier was (top of mainmast in this pic of HMS Ark Royal) and like me thought it was a radar then it will enlighten you (Dohh). It explains why the RN was so keen on 2 man crews.

    A lot of it is very technical and I skimmed over several paragraphs as they might as well have been in chinese to me but I found it interesting and it does explain some of the very controversial reasoning behind the Fulmar and Firefly designs.

    [​IMG]

    Just above funnel on HMS Illustrious in 1940.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    thanks for this
     
  3. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Thank you.

    I read that the second seater on the Fulmar was to operate radio navigation equipment (but was not a navigator) but without any explanation on how it worked (either technically, also above my head or operationally)
     
  4. yulzari

    yulzari Active Member

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    Exactly the reason the FAA wanted 2 seaters. The rear chappie was a TAG (Telegraphist Air Gunner) seaman not a navigator officer and his job was to operate this kit to allow the carrier to be found even in bad North Atlantic weather. In the Skua they gave him a gun as he was there anyway but did not bother in the Fulmar and Firefly. At 300 mph+ a hand held gun was never going to make a difference and a turret was too heavy (vis the Roc.)

    It is worth noting the Swordfish, that had to have more exact navigation to a strike target, carried both a TAG and a navigator. When they were laying mines on the Dutch and German coast they carried an extra tank in the rear cockpit and it is telling that they dropped the TAG not the navigator knowing that the rear gun was useless and their land airfield fixed.
     
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