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Old July 21st, 2013, 12:14 AM   #1
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Giant Concrete arrows

I poached this thread from the BCP site....

When I started reading about these arrows and beacons I figured they were some type of legend... It really does look like it was a form of aero navigation back decades ago.... Any of you guys/gals seen any ???

http://www.backcountrypilot.org/foru...e-arrows-13055
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Old July 21st, 2013, 02:30 AM
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Re: Giant Concrete arrows

There is actually one of these about 25 miles southwest of my homebase of KBAM, only this one has more than just an arrow, it also was an actual airfield known as Buffalo Valley Intermediate Field and served as an emergency stop on the rout from San Fransisco to Salt Lake City. It also contained beacons along with boundry and approach lights. One of the beacons remained until just a few years ago. The field also had a Radio building and living quarters, which is obviosly gone now, but parts of the foundation still exist. If you know where to look from the air, you can still make out the triangle shape of the field. Pretty cool! Check out this sight http://www.airfields-freeman.com/NV/Airfields_NV_NE.htm
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Old July 21st, 2013, 09:52 AM
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Re: Giant Concrete arrows

I've never seen any, but I've been told by some of the older pilots at what was once Walnut Ridge Army Airfield (KARG) in World War II, that large arrows were placed in several locations to point the trainees back toward KARG.
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Old July 21st, 2013, 11:31 AM
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Re: Giant Concrete arrows

There is one that is left in Arkadelphia at the old airport. However, it is now in The middle of a tree farm. So not much is left of the arrow.
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Old July 21st, 2013, 11:48 AM
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Re: Giant Concrete arrows

I have to admit when I saw the title of the thread, I envisioned large Pipers with limited useful loads.
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Old July 21st, 2013, 11:57 AM
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Never heard of any official "concrete arrow" program, but there was once a string of light beacons that stretched across the country, guiding early pilots.

They were lit each night by attendants. Can you imagine? They were spaced apart so that as you were over one at "x" altitude you could see the next one

These were ultimately replaced with (fewer) VORs. The backbone of transcontinental flight still follows the old light beacon trail that goes through (over) Iowa City, Iowa.
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Old July 21st, 2013, 12:30 PM
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Re: Giant Concrete arrows

Airway beacons through Banning Pass -- 1945

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Old July 21st, 2013, 03:03 PM
Posted in reply to Jay Honeck's post starting "Never heard of any official "concrete..."
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Re: Giant Concrete arrows

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Honeck View Post
Never heard of any official "concrete arrow" program, but there was once a string of light beacons that stretched across the country, guiding early pilots.

They were lit each night by attendants. Can you imagine? They were spaced apart so that as you were over one at "x" altitude you could see the next one

These were ultimately replaced with (fewer) VORs. The backbone of transcontinental flight still follows the old light beacon trail that goes through (over) Iowa City, Iowa.
Just like the beacons of gondor
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Old July 21st, 2013, 04:58 PM
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Re: Giant Concrete arrows

Pittsburgh still has a tower that flashes the city's name in Morse code, originally for the 20's airmail pilots.
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Old July 22nd, 2013, 12:05 AM
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DAVID JOHNSON cessna182b is offline
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Re: Giant Concrete arrows

Quote:
Originally Posted by N801BH View Post
I poached this thread from the BCP site....

When I started reading about these arrows and beacons I figured they were some type of legend... It really does look like it was a form of aero navigation back decades ago.... Any of you guys/gals seen any ???

http://www.backcountrypilot.org/foru...e-arrows-13055
They are part of the original Federal Airway System, dating back to the 1920s: http://www.airwaypioneers.com/Sentin...he_Airways.pdf

There are still bits and pieces of it here and there. Several years ago I found one of the original lighted beacon towers - still in use as a support for communications antennas - outside Elkins, WV (see photo).

The state of Montana still maintains a system of Mountain Pass Lighted Beacons: http://www.mdt.mt.gov/aviation/beacons.shtml

Dave
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File Type: jpg IMG_2884.JPG (356.2 KB, 27 views)
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Old July 22nd, 2013, 12:43 AM
Posted in reply to cessna182b's post "Re: Giant Concrete arrows"
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Re: Giant Concrete arrows

Montana aeronautics still maintains about 20 beacons in remote parts of the state. Dont know whether they were part of the airway system, now they indicate things like passes (e.g. MacDonald Pass just west of Helena,MT). You can find them either on the MT aeronautics chart:

http://www.mdt.mt.gov/aviation/docs/...utic-chart.pdf

...or on the sectional. Aother one is just south of Avon,MT, a little bit west of the MacDonald Pass one.
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Old July 22nd, 2013, 12:34 PM
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Re: Giant Concrete arrows

Quote:
Originally Posted by N801BH View Post
I poached this thread from the BCP site....

When I started reading about these arrows and beacons I figured they were some type of legend... It really does look like it was a form of aero navigation back decades ago.... Any of you guys/gals seen any ???
They weren't always concrete. I have a copy of the Department of Commerce Airway Bulletin No. 1, dated September 1, 1932. It describes the original concrete arrow and the later arrow made of metal sections. Scans of those pages are attached.

Also attached is a very nice color photograph of the Cassoday, Kansas, Airway Communication Station and airway beacon that appeared in Life magazine in 1940. The letters "A-KC" on the roof of the generator shed are for Amarillo and Kansas City, the endpoints of the airway. On the other slope of the roof is the number 34, the beacon number for this site, the arrow points northeast towards the next higher numbered site.

I've also attached sectional chart scans of this area from 1945, 1955, and 1966. You can read more about this site and the adjacent intermediate airfield here.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 1940.jpg (114.1 KB, 124 views)
File Type: jpg 1945.JPG (200.8 KB, 108 views)
File Type: jpg 1955.JPG (228.8 KB, 28 views)
File Type: jpg 1966.JPG (205.3 KB, 29 views)
File Type: jpg concrete.JPG (217.3 KB, 26 views)
File Type: jpg metal.JPG (176.7 KB, 24 views)
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Old July 22nd, 2013, 03:13 PM
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Re: Giant Concrete arrows

Kool stuff guys......................

Keep it coming..
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Old July 22nd, 2013, 03:52 PM
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Re: Giant Concrete arrows

What's funny is this is pretty much the route I've taken from the Left Coast to Iowa City in my (metal) Arrow.
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Old July 22nd, 2013, 03:58 PM
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Re: Giant Concrete arrows

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Allison View Post
What's funny is this is pretty much the route I've taken from the Left Coast to Iowa City in my (metal) Arrow.

...

Ironic, ain't it?
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Old July 22nd, 2013, 04:07 PM
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Re: Giant Concrete arrows

Yup, mostly follow I-80. I think I cross it 10-15 times just on my way to Salt Lake City.
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Old July 22nd, 2013, 05:20 PM
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Re: Giant Concrete arrows

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Originally Posted by ARFlyer View Post
There is one that is left in Arkadelphia at the old airport. However, it is now in The middle of a tree farm. So not much is left of the arrow.
Thread jack

Went to obu in arkadelphia
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Old July 22nd, 2013, 06:22 PM
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Dave Krall CFII SEL SES Dave Krall CFII is offline
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Re: Giant Concrete arrows

We got your "go to nearest" function right here....
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