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Thread: Control Towers / Watch Offices

  1. #311
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    Default Control tower siting

    Who decides on where a control tower should be sited on an airfield? I ask as Ive worked in two towers that were to say the least badly sited.

    Marham, has a fantastic view(as all towers should!), but the circuits on 24/06 go behind the tower so you lose site of aircraft on the downwind leg.

    Leuchars is even more stupidly sited. Like Marham circuits are behind the tower, but even worse the ASPs cant be seen from the tower.

    Marham did have the advantage of being north facing.

  2. #312
    OTBC Paul Francis's Avatar
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    Default Re: Control tower siting

    Interesting point there Canberra. Generally speaking on expansion period airfields, the siting of the control tower had everything to do with angles or setting out lines for the siting of technical buildings as the centre of the CT was the focal point of setting out lines. Therefore all technical buildings such as armoury, main stores, main workshops etc were aligned on what ever angle was chosen from the CT. In essense it had very little to do with ATC, off course the two stations you have chosen, those CTs do not adhere to this rule as Marham is a VHB and Leuchars is a WWI stn.

  3. #313
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    Default Re: Control tower siting

    Im guessing that there may be many more airfields that have towers that with all due to respect to him may have been sighted by Stevie Wonder! I beleive that the tower at Manston was a bout a mile from the runway, and of course Heathrows tower wasnt well situated.

  4. #314

    Default Re: Control tower siting

    canberra - I was thinking that very thing the other day, I was looking at the CT at Horsham St Faith (Now Norwich Airport) and the one that was built during the war doesn't even face the airfield!!

    Flashearth link
    http://www.flashearth.com/?lat=52.67....7&r=0&src=msl

    It looks like it should have been built with the front 90 degrees left because it faces NE and the main airfield was NW of the tower! the 09/27 extension was built post war so it wasn't as if it was even looking at that!

  5. #315
    SuperMod Carnaby's Avatar
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    Default Re: Control tower siting

    The Great Orton tower, as documented in AS3 by Dave Smith, is 90 degrees out and faces the peri-track. Visited it years ago and agreed with him.
    Photo in post 217

  6. #316
    Senior Member airfields man's Avatar
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    Default Re: Control tower siting

    Back in 1984/5 when we first visited Steeple Morden airfield and discovered the superb memorial we thought that it was built on the spot where the control tower had been. There was a lot of rubble nearby so we assumed that was the tower. It seemed a good place for it to have been. Years later we discovered that the tower was actually sited elsewhere, nearer to Litlington village and in a slight dip. ''What a silly place to build a control tower'' I remember saying, '' Can't see too much from here'' Looking at the 1947 photograph in Airfields of The Eighth Then and Now it does look well positioned, but it is in a dip.

  7. #317
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    Default Re: Control tower siting

    I suppose that one thing that can be said of wwii towers is that they didnt provide the service that ATC provides today. Thinking about it back in wwii it was more of a FISO service.

  8. #318
    SuperMod Peter Kirk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Control tower siting

    Manston's was mentioned by canberra - It was indeed a long way from the main runway (1944 ELG onwards) but in its defence Manston was a grass airfield up until then and the grass runways went past the tower and until the fence was erected light aircraft very occassionally landed on the N-S grass runway. I have only seen this once mind.

  9. #319
    Senior Member airfields man's Avatar
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    Default Re: Control Towers (UK ONLY) - Photos only!

    Swannington


    Little Snoring


    Broadwell


    Little Staughton
    Last edited by airfields man; 09-07-2011 at 17:07.

  10. #320
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    Default Watch Office and airfield ID help, please

    Greetings all,
    This is my first post here. I've been trying to identify on which airfield the below photo was taken. Quite a few clues yet the identity still eludes me.

    As this is likely a very early war photo, the configuration of the watch office confuses me as it appears to have several additions. I think building 207/36 is the part nearest the camera. I couldn't find anything in my reference books showing a tower or watch office with wraparound glass. Possibly the upper structure is a Type B observation room, 13079/41??

    The Hurricane is coded to 79 Squadron. The two-bladed prop is a very early version of the Mk I. The armoured windscreen and presence of roundels on the underside of the wings would support this being sometime in 1940.

    Thanks for looking,
    Chris

    79Squadron.jpg

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