Jump to content
Great War Forum

Remembered Today:

tootrock

Emergency Landing Strips

Recommended Posts

tootrock

I have twice been asked by people about Emergency Landing Strips in this area (East Sussex), and on each occasion I have had to confess that I know absolutely nothing.

Does anyone have any information about where such things were located, or indeed any information at all.

 

Thanks in advance,

 

Martin

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MrSwan

I've done a little work on this for one of my books. Emergency Landing Strips were identified and designated by the Royal Flying Corps to assist pilots in the event of technical or metereological mishap en route from one airfield to another. The ELS was flat, free from obstacles (and livestock) and, where possible, could be approached from any direction. I believe that they were extremely common, with one post-war report suggesting that, in the south east, they were some ten minutes' flying time apart.

 

Facilities were limited - a basic windsock and a shed with fuel and oil supplies. Some had telephones and some were manned, although I'm not sure if this was a twenty four hour service. There were also night landing strips which had much the same purpose, and used various light signals to mark their presence.

 

Rather than scouring the countryside for the downed airman, the local RFC would know the location and could retrieve the aircraft and crew efficiently.

 

I've found that many of these ELSs are mistakenly described as airfields in local memory.

  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Moonraker

This doesn't answer Martin's question relating to Sussex, but I think
 

an airstrip near Market Lavington in Wiltshire

 

might qualify as an ELS.

 

There was a small airstrip at Manningford Bohune close to the Central Flying School at Upavon, but the only information about it that I've come across  says it was used by pilots to practice take-offs and landings.

 

Moonraker

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Maureene

 Cross & Cockade International (CCI) Journals contained a series of articles "Gazetteer of Flying Sites in the UK and Ireland 1912–1920", catalogue details.

 

Perhaps  a Forum member would know whether Emergency Landing Strips were included.

 

Cheers

Maureen

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MikeMeech
9 hours ago, Maureene said:

 Cross & Cockade International (CCI) Journals contained a series of articles "Gazetteer of Flying Sites in the UK and Ireland 1912–1920", catalogue details.

 

Perhaps  a Forum member would know whether Emergency Landing Strips were included.

 

Cheers

Maureen

 

 

Hi

 

Yes, 'Emergency Landing Strips' or rather Day and Night Landing Grounds are included in the CCI Gazetteer.  'Manningford' appears in the 'Additional Sites' in the Autumn 2015 journal, although not much info, just, "DLG 1916 for CFS Upavon, referred to in pilots' flying log books as 'the Manningford landing ground'."  There are many site plans plus the OS maps to give an overview of all air related sites.  The CCI Gazetteer is 'the' source for 'Flying site' information.

 

Mike

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
tootrock

Thanks for all that.

 

Does anyone have access to this information? If so I am trying to locate a possible landing strip in the village of Pett, between Hastings and Winchelsea.

Any information gratefully received.

 

Martin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MikeMeech
2 hours ago, tootrock said:

Thanks for all that.

 

Does anyone have access to this information? If so I am trying to locate a possible landing strip in the village of Pett, between Hastings and Winchelsea.

Any information gratefully received.

 

Martin

Hi

Details of Pett (Hastings)  is split between Autumn and Winter 2013 editions of CCI Journal.  The Autumn edition has the location map while the following edition has  the details.  The OS map reference for the site is noted as TQ 881150, 50 feet amsl.  Details are: Home Defence Night Landing Ground for 50 (HD) Sqn. RFC/RAF 12.1916 - 8.1918 (relinquished, probably due to its small size and limited approach by air).  A note states that a 53rd Wing 1918 survey of landing grounds stated that the LG was 300 yards wide.  The landing ground was under the control of 53rd Wing, HD Group, SE Area, VI Brigade 1918.

I hope that helps.

 

Mike

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
tootrock

I have just returned to this thread, and notice that I do not seem to have thanked Mike for his last post. Apologies for that.

 

I have a couple of questions.

 

It is stated that the Landing Ground was 300 yards wide, with no mention of its length. Would most planes of the time be able to land within that distance?

 

Does anyone have a copy of the Autumn 2013 edition of the Cross and Cockade journal from which they could send me a scan of the location map?

 

Our local Parish Council want to erect some sort of memorial, and need to know as near as possible where the Landing Ground was located.

 

Martin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MikeMeech
On ‎02‎/‎05‎/‎2018 at 11:43, tootrock said:

I have just returned to this thread, and notice that I do not seem to have thanked Mike for his last post. Apologies for that.

 

I have a couple of questions.

 

It is stated that the Landing Ground was 300 yards wide, with no mention of its length. Would most planes of the time be able to land within that distance?

 

Does anyone have a copy of the Autumn 2013 edition of the Cross and Cockade journal from which they could send me a scan of the location map?

 

Our local Parish Council want to erect some sort of memorial, and need to know as near as possible where the Landing Ground was located.

 

Martin

Hi

 

I have sent you a PM reference map.

 

Probably most early aircraft could land in that distance, however, Pett was considered 'small' and the approach for aircraft was 'limited'

 

Mike

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
tootrock

Mike,

 

Thank you for that.

 

Do you know if the map is from original sources, or was it drawn specially for Cross & Cockade based on the map reference. The reason I ask is that the field in question slopes quite considerably North to South. On a modern OS map the northern edge of the field is on the 10 metre contour, while the 30 metre contour runs through the southern edge. But that field is definitely the location of the map reference. There are level fields nearby, but they are alongside a river, and liable to flooding.

 

Martin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MikeMeech
32 minutes ago, tootrock said:

Mike,

 

Thank you for that.

 

Do you know if the map is from original sources, or was it drawn specially for Cross & Cockade based on the map reference. The reason I ask is that the field in question slopes quite considerably North to South. On a modern OS map the northern edge of the field is on the 10 metre contour, while the 30 metre contour runs through the southern edge. But that field is definitely the location of the map reference. There are level fields nearby, but they are alongside a river, and liable to flooding.

 

Martin

Hi

 

According to the first part of the Gazetteer (Spring 2010) on the 'Site Plans and Photographs' it states:

 

"These have been provided, wherever possible, in order to show the layout and buildings particular to each site.  Most plans have been re-drawn from those in AIR 1/452 & 453 but those for early RNAS bases are drawn from the Admiralty set of Secret Maps No.147, dated August 1916 and those for selected landing grounds from contemporary sketches."

 

I hope that helps.

 

Mike 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
tootrock

Hi Mike,

Thanks for that. A visit to Kew may give the definitive answer.

Martin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×