Airway beacon

Airway beacon

An Airway beacon was a rotating light on a tower used for visual navigation by airplane pilots along a specified airway corridor. Approximately 1,500 Airway beacons were constructed, covering 18,000 miles (29,000 km) in the U.S. to guide pilots from city to city. Construction by the Post Office and the U.S. Department of Commerce occurred between 1923 and 1933.cite web| title =The Evolution of Airway Lights and Electronic Navigation Aids| publisher =U.S. Centennial of Flight Commission| url =| accessdate = 2007-08-28] They were spaced 10 miles (16 km) apart and featured a 24 inch (610 mm) parabolic mirror and a 110-volt, 1000 watt lamp.cite web| last =Wood| first =Charles| title =How it Began|publisher =Charles Wood| url =| accessdate =2007-08-28] In clear weather they could be seen for 40 miles (64 km). The beacons rotated at 6 rpm, creating a flash every 10 seconds for 1/10th second duration. The Saint Paul, Minnesota beacon sits on top of a 110 foot (34 m) steel tower in Indian Mounds Park. [cite web| last =Cosimini| first =Greg| title =Indian Mounds Park "Airway" Beacon| publisher =University of Minnesota| date =1999-07-09| url =| accessdate = 2007-08-28] The radio navigation beacon system began to replace this visual system in 1929. The last visual airway beacon was supposedly shut down in 1973, however one airway beacon is still operating, and is charted on the Great Falls sectional chart. It is approximately 22 miles (35 km) southwest of Dillon, Montana. [cite web| last =Freeman| first = Paul| title =Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields: Western Montana| publisher =Paul Freeman| date =2006-05-25| url =| accessdate = 2007-08-28]


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