Sun, Oct 31, 2004
Angled reflectors designed to help rescue teams and pilots land
in rural areas at night
Back in September, we reported that Gavin Brown had developed a
novel portable runway threshold lighting system for night operation
at runways in rural areas that lack electrical power.
Brown has now improved his system by desiging and
patenting a new night landing system that can be used in rural
unlit landing areas and runways. The system uses angled reflectors
placed along the edge of the runway or desired landing area, and is
designed to assist rescue aircraft and pilots landing at night on
fields where electrical facilities for runway lights are not
The ingenious system uses the aircraft's own landing lights
during the flaring portion of the landing to light up the runway.
The system, which was tested at the Waterkloof South African Air
Force facility, can be seen from as many as several kilometers
away, depending on the brightness of the landing lights on the
The system has just received approval by the South African Civil
Aviation Authority for nighttime rescue work by air units.
"I have had a lot of responses from people in rural runways and
also town runways that don't have runway lights," said Brown to the
South African Broadcasting Corp.
"I had inquiries from Uganda and Namibia. I had people e-mailing me
from America and Australia. I had inquiries from Madagascar as
well. So, it looks like quite a big world wide response to this
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