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Rrestoration of a 1920s Airway Beacon

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Harvey

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#1
Restoration of a 1920s Airway Beacon

Howdy Guys,

I've converted the installments in my Airway Beacon Restoration write-up to PDF (something I didn't know how to do three years ago) so now the pictures will stay where I put them! Therefore, in order to read the story of my restoration, open the attached file in each post.

I've also brought the story up to date. (The project is now almost finished.)

I have not done anything to the comments that y'all had already posted so they should still be in the same place in relation to my installments.

Hope y'all like it! The story starts (again) in the following post. (Parts 7 & up are new.)

Harvey
 
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Harvey

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#2
Restoration of a 1920s Airway Beacon - Part 1 (Introduction)

Please see the attached PDF document.

Thanks,

Harvey
 

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Harvey

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#3
Restoration of a 1920s Airway Beacon - Part 2 (Dismantling & Relocating)

Please see the attached PDF document.

Thanks,

Harvey
 

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Harvey

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#4
Restoration of a 1920s Airway Beacon - Part 3 (Constructing The Foundation)

Please see the attached PDF document.

Thanks,

Harvey
 

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Harvey

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#5
Restoration of a 1920s Airway Beacon - Part 4 (Pouring Slabs)

Please see the attached PDF document.

Thanks,

Harvey
 

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d4xycrq

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#6
Harvey,

I don't understand your neighbor. That tower will look great, and certainly consistent with the rest of the 'neighborhood". I applaud your effort to save a little bit of aviation history. My boss once detailed a illuminated navigation system the US Air Force used. (he was a KC-97/KC-135 pilot) I don't remember the beacons rotating, but rather more like landing lights, except much larger scale, and meant to be seen miles and miles away.

Meanwhile; well done. Keep the pictures coming.

Ray
 

Harvey

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#7
Restoration of a 1920s Airway Beacon - Part 5 (Building The Flammables Shed)

Please see the attached PDF document.

Thanks,

Harvey
 

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FanMan

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#8
Wow, I'm in awe... puts the little projects that overwhelm me in perspective. Can't wait to see the final result!

What kind of power will the lamp consume? Will it be green and white like a standard airport beacon?
 

Harvey

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#9
Wow, I'm in awe... puts the little projects that overwhelm me in perspective. Can't wait to see the final result!

What kind of power will the lamp consume? Will it be green and white like a standard airport beacon?
Thanks Fan, if it hadn't been a labor of love, I would've never tackled such a project. It's definitely been a fun journey so far!

The lamp draws 1200w and the rotation motor is only 1/6hp so (theoretically) it could be plugged into a 15A wall outlet in your living room. (And the super-bright light would probably set your drapes on fire! :)

Yes, it will emit the standard aviation green and white flashes.

Harvey
 
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pdentrem

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#10
Way to go. Love it.

No comment on your neighbor, but maybe you have the wrong color car as well. I hate restrictions and would turn down any property, even if free, that has any.
Pierre
 

davidh

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#11
you sir, are the kind of pilot I would fly anywhere with. great attention to detail. . . . . very nice work.
 

Harvey

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#12
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mtnlvr

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#13
Thanks for sharing. Very interesting history on the nav. lights.
 

12bolts

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#14
Re: Rrestoration of a 1920s Airway Beacon - Part 5

That sir, is a fantastic effort at keeping the past alive!
Although I live in Oz, and I have no idea really if aviation rules or nav aids are much the same, but I remember a small unmanned airport near where I used to live that had a rotating beacon that was switched on by some means when a plane wanted to land at night. We lived about 20 Nm as the crow flies from that airport and whenever they switched the beacon on we could see it. Sweeping the sky, not just a pinpoint when it shone in your eyes. I never timed it but I would say it took about 5-8 seconds to do 360 deg.

...And then I poured the fifth (and LAST!) concrete pour of this project...
What! No arrow?

Cheers Phil
 
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#15
Harvey: I've ended up with a pdf of part of the tower drawings. I'd sure like to get some dimensions from you, off of yours, before the top section goes up, if you are willing. We'd like to do a 62 footer at our place in Arkansas. I don't have a beacon for it yet, so it will probably have to survive with a couple of big Yagi antennas on it until then. We are also going to do a scale installation in the front yard here at home with a 1/10 or so installation, with an LED beacon.
 

Harvey

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#16
Harvey: I've ended up with a pdf of part of the tower drawings. I'd sure like to get some dimensions from you, off of yours, before the top section goes up, if you are willing. We'd like to do a 62 footer at our place in Arkansas. I don't have a beacon for it yet, so it will probably have to survive with a couple of big Yagi antennas on it until then. We are also going to do a scale installation in the front yard here at home with a 1/10 or so installation, with an LED beacon.
I've sent you two e-mails and two PMs without any response.

Harvey
 

CoopVA

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#17
Just found this! That is very cool! Subscribed...


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

jerryhawthorne

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#18
An absolutely amazing adventure. Looking forward to updates.:applause:
Jerry
 

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#19
Restoration of a 1920s Airway Beacon - Part 6 (Restoring The Top Section - A)

Please see the attached PDF document.

Thanks,

Harvey
 

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Harvey

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#20
Restoration of a 1920s Airway Beacon - Part 7 (Restoring The Top Section - B)

Please see the attached PDF document.

Thanks,

Harvey
 

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Lornie McCullough

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#21
I have enjoyed reading this.... the history, and the progress. I knew about the concrete arrows used to guide aviation, but did not know about the lights.

Great project.... I wish you well.

Lornie
 

Harvey

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#22
Restoration of a 1920s Airway Beacon - Part 8 (Restoring The Top Section - C)

Please see the attached PDF document.

Thanks,

Harvey
 

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Ulma Doctor

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#23
:saluteflag:

WOW!!!
i can't even fathom the work it must have taken to do what you are doing and to get where you are...
:man:

i really don't know what else to say other than, WOW!!!
 

Sandia

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#25
Enjoyed the story Harvey,

reminds me of a similar one years ago at our little municipal airport in Robstown, Texas. We did not have a beacon and the county would not help us out as they felt the airport was unnecessary in their eyes.

Some of the aircraft owners got together and we found an old WWII military beacon and purchased it. The tower or what was left of it was still standing so we repaired that and set the beacon. Funny thing was the military beacon would flash green then white - white and a civilian beacon was green then white. Don't remember how we did it not but we rotated the inside 90 degrees so the white beams would shine at an angle toward the ground and the other was pointed up. Both on the same plane vertically.

Thanks for the story.
 

owl

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#26
We still have a number of these in service in Montana on some of the mountain passes.
 

Harvey

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#27
Yes, Montana has about a dozen in its western (mountainous) region. Back in the mid 1950s when the CAB (which became the FAA in 1958) announced plans to dismantle the still-in-operation-but-obsolete Transcontinental Lighted Beacon System, Montana's State Aviation Authority requested that the beacons in its state be left in place to provide continued safety through the mountain passes. The beacons were then transferred from federal to state ownership. Over the years, those towers and beacons have been modernized/replaced to the point that they now bear little to no resemblance to their original design.
 
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scsmith42

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#28
Very cool thread and project Harvey! Thanks for taking us along on the journey. I'm building a grass airstrip on my farm and wouldn't mind finding a good deal on a rotating beacon myself. Fortunately I already have some 135' poles to mount one to.

A bit of trivia... Back in 1996 I built some microcell sites in downtown Chicago. One of the buildings that I worked in still had the complete, original rotating beacon on it from the 1920's. This was the beacon used by the airmail pilots as they flew across the lake from Detroit.


Scott
 
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#29
Harvy, aviation and aviation history is a subject very near and dear to me. Your passion is applauded and your attention to detail is second to none. The work looks fun as hell too, keep it coming.
Tucson is blessed with the Pima Air and Space Museum, it's the largest private non-government-funded aviation museum in the US. check www.pimaair.org
 

Harvey

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#30
Restoration of a 1920s Airway Beacon - Part 9 (The BIG Day!!!)

Please see the attached PDF document.

Thanks,

Harvey
 

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