Whistling Beacons Mark Airfield for Blind Landings (Dec, 1933)

Whistling Beacons Mark Airfield for Blind Landings

HIGH pitched whistles to designate boundaries of an airport make it possible for a pilot to make a blind landing, recent experiments have shown.

The newly designed whistles, called sonic marker beacons, send out fan shaped beams of sound by means of which the aviator can determine definitely the length of the airfield. The pilot, guided to the airport by a radio beacon, selects an altitude of 2,000 feet and within 500 feet of the boundary line picks up the beacon sound with special listening equipment.

Sound dies away 500 feet inside each end of the field, indicating its length.

4 comments
  1. Myles says: January 28, 20102:00 pm

    I’m not sure how this works, but is sounds scary as hell. Most runways aren’t square.

  2. KD5ZS says: January 28, 20102:49 pm

    I think that I prefer lights to sound.

  3. Charlene says: January 28, 20108:00 pm

    Lots of airfields back in the 30s were nothing but flat, level squares of land with no runways or taxiways. Roosevelt Field (well, it was rectangular, okay) was one.

  4. zosia says: February 1, 20106:52 am

    Today’s airports are completely unfit for the needs of blind pilots

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