HMS Jackdaw, Crail, Fife – WW1/ WW2 Aerodrome, April 2008

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wolfism

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Hi Conntrary, glad you liked the report. Yes, having sight of the TAT manual would be of interest, definitely.

I have lots of photos, if they're of interest, and I'll also need to figure out why my photos have disappeared from this thread ... I must have rearranged them in Photobucket ... :confused:
 

Conntrary

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Hi Conntrary, glad you liked the report. Yes, having sight of the TAT manual would be of interest, definitely.

I have lots of photos, if they're of interest, and I'll also need to figure out why my photos have disappeared from this thread ... I must have rearranged them in Photobucket ... :confused:

Hi wolfism, thanks, your photos would be of great interest. The only TAT I've found so far is a dome and structurally this is quite different from Crail. Also, each TAT was very job specific and your photos might help me to identify what was used for which job. I have a drawing of a pilot training session and a schematic of the way the different elements interacted to creat the environmental immersion.
 

foz101

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Was there not a similar find in a derelict scout hut in edinburgh or something? I can't for the life of me find an online reference.
 

wolfism

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Yes, IIRC, it was a Miles "Link" trainer, which is a glorified cockpit in a plywood box.
 

zimbob

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I am brand new to this site (which is tremendous). This is a brilliant thread.

My interest is in the Torpedo Attack Trainer (TAT) which is a legendary piece of kit amongst ageing theatre lighting bods. The lighting and servo lens system system and all the lights and projections, which are well described here, were made by Strand Electric. I have most of the operating manual and some of the kit.

I would like to correspond with anyone who has pictures of the Crail TAT, which was the first made and therefor the best documented. Maybe the official manual that I have would be of interest to you?:)

I've a few shots too, drop me a line :)
 

wolfism

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OK Conntrary, that's me fixed the errant photos … hope they're of interest. :)
 

Conntrary

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Yes, IIRC, it was a Miles "Link" trainer, which is a glorified cockpit in a plywood box.

Thanks Wolfism for re-posting your photos. They (and many other posted pictures on DP) have a quality that takes the recording of the structures far beyond the level of documentary & into celebration. I have learnt that the wrap-round cyclorama (in theatre terms) is not plastered straight onto a dome structure, as it was in some installations.

The lighting gallery access ladder is great and I think the circular metal on the floor is the lighting bar that held the projectors, spots and floods at high level.

I have seen inside an empty dome installation, which appears to be smaller than Crail. It was derelict but amazingly it may have a future. When I've learnt how to, I can upload some pictures. I'm sure it will be easy, I've just never done it.

Strand Electric made about 50 dimmer banks and controls for these installatons. Some were in use till the mid 1960s at least. Strand employee's memoirs report the trainer as being modelled on the Fairey Barracuda in some cases. Cockpit size & layout and visibility around the wing were critical.
 

Conntrary

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I've a few shots too, drop me a line :)

Great, zimbob, I'd love to see them. I'm mostly away for a week but after that will get a friend to help me with my first uploads ever. They will be of a dome structure, believed to be built for air gunner training. It too has a centre position for the trainee, a wrap-round sea, horizon & sky. The position for a technical and a control/observation area can be recognised.
 

wolfism

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Thanks Wolfism for re-posting your photos.
No problem, happy to help. I see that Photobucket is playing silly beggars though, and has rotated some of them randomly.
The lighting gallery access ladder is great and I think the circular metal on the floor is the lighting bar that held the projectors, spots and floods at high level.
There is/ was a photo somewhere on the web (taken by Norwich Paul IIRC?) which showed the lighting/ projectors/ epidiascope(?) still attached to the circular framework.
Strand employee's memoirs report the trainer as being modelled on the Fairey Barracuda in some cases.
That makes sense, as Crail was a Barracuda base, and the Barracuda was the Navy's standard torpedo bomber for a while, effectively the Swordfish replacement. :)
 

Conntrary

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No problem, happy to help. I see that Photobucket is playing silly beggars though, and has rotated some of them randomly.

There is/ was a photo somewhere on the web (taken by Norwich Paul IIRC?) which showed the lighting/ projectors/ epidiascope(?) still attached to the circular framework.

That makes sense, as Crail was a Barracuda base, and the Barracuda was the Navy's standard torpedo bomber for a while, effectively the Swordfish replacement. :)

Thanks, wolfism. If someone could direct me to the photo of the lighting gallery as rigged, even if it's not the Crail installation, that would be wonderful. I have a good artist's impression, so we could compare when I am able to scan & post.

Everyone remembers the Swordfish! Has it ever been replaced as a sinker of Battleships?
 

RichardB

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We had an epidiascope at our primary school, I've never seen another one before or since. We used to use it to project pictures from books onto a piece of paper, then we would draw around them.

It had a 1000W bulb in it, I dread to think what size of bulb a military spec one would have. :eek:
 

foz101

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wolfism

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Cheers for that, Foz - [ame="http://www.airfieldinformationexchange.org/community/showthread.php?t=344"]here[/ame] are Norwich Paul's photos of Crail.

And it's only right to link to them, as some kind soul has linked to this page! :)
 

V70

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Every time a thread like this bumps back to the top, then coincides with a visit to this forum.. I realise how much I keep missing !! :(

I've heard and read about Crail airfield many a time and always fancied having a look but never get round to it. Another "definite must look" site to add to the ever growing list!

Super report Wolfism which, as always, is communicated so much better by your in depth research. Always makes the photos more than just photos!

Nice work with the other photos too guys, between the lot of you've captured the place pretty well :)
 

V70

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Was there not a similar find in a derelict scout hut in edinburgh or something? I can't for the life of me find an online reference.

This is the one you refer to I think :)

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/edinburgh_and_east/7541358.stm

and.... argh !!... every time a thread like this bumps back to the top, then coincides with a visit to this forum.. I realise how much I keep missing !! :(

I've heard and read about Crail airfield many a time and always fancied having a look but never get round to it. Another "definite must look" site to add to the ever growing list!

Super report Wolfism which, as always, is communicated so much better by your in depth research. Always makes the photos more than just photos!

Nice work with the other photos too guys, between the lot of you've captured the place pretty well :)
 

oldscrote

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Great photos of a fascinating site I have wondered what it looks like since I picked up the guy who runs the drag strip in my cab a while ago to take him out to Bristol airport,He seemed a real nice guy and I have a business card from him if anybody needs to contact him about visits,
 

Conntrary

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:idea:
We had an epidiascope at our primary school, I've never seen another one before or since. We used to use it to project pictures from books onto a piece of paper, then we would draw around them.

It had a 1000W bulb in it, I dread to think what size of bulb a military spec one would have. :eek:

:idea: Hi RichardB, I'm just getting back into things having incurred a slipped disc. I think the Epidiascope had a number of 500W photoflood lamps. You are bombarding the target with light from all angles as the target (usually a tiny battleship on a long stalk) is being gently turned by the plotter/controller to avoid being torpedoed! There are even rates of turn per second on a chart to correspond with the height of the link & the speed of the ship!! You want to keep the target fairly free of heavy shadows.

The greatest problem with the epidiascope was to achieve a zoom of better tha 10 to 1 in each dimension, motorise it in such a way that the image stayed sharp over the attack height range and then to link all that servo mechanism into the presumed attack criteria.

After much toil, Strand had the prototype lensing made... that very evening their demonstration studio in King St London was bombed out and the perfect lensing was under all that rubble. Amazingly it had been blown into a door lobby and was protected. Just one slight chip!
 
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