View Full Version : Idlicote Range

Peter Kirk
16-09-2009, 16:22
I have labelled this Idlicote as I don't know it's official name (NGR SP284424)

The arrow at the bottom seems to point away from the target and also appears to be double headed, or is my eyesight getting worse?

Any ideas why?

16-09-2009, 17:55
Well spotted Peter, I'd never heard of it but...

It's Range 1088 Idlicote Hill - Flying Training Command.

Bing has it here (http://www.bing.com/maps/default.aspx?v=2&FORM=LMLTCP&cp=52.077488%7E-1.584563&style=h&lvl=16&tilt=-90&dir=0&alt=-1000&phx=0&phy=0&phscl=1&encType=1). Not much to see - the double-headed arrow was at the bottom just north of the road with a right-angle triangular field to the south.


Peter Kirk
16-09-2009, 19:26
I assume from the lack of craters that inert bombs were used?

I wonder, were these reusable?

17-09-2009, 11:03
Yes, sort of. Most inland ranges were for practice bombing only and the usual drop would have been a 10 pound practice bomb, a cast iron nose portion with a 'tin' cone and drum tail containing a detonator burster. The tail was filled with a liquid which - when exposed to air - produced white smoke. The DB ruptured the tail unit on impact via a simple striker. Smoke was for day use and enabled the observer in the quadrant to sight the burst and pass a bearing to the plotter who calculated distance from target which was passed by radio to the aircraft.

For night, the tail was not filled and the flash from the DB lasted long enough for the observer to sight on it.

Later bombs had a powder filling which gave both Smoke and Flash indications and did away with the messy job of filling the tails with smoke liquid.

There were other weights of Practice Bomb but all used the same principle.

None were re-useable.

The USAAF tended to use a 100 pond bomb containing about 4 pounds of black powder.

Plenty of both still turned up by ploughs today!