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Luftwaffe's Visual Lorenz system


busdriver
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Here's a sample of what I'm trying to grasp:

Surface and Runways: firm grass surface. The Luftwaffe expanded Drucat in 1941 and by 1942 there were 3 concrete runways measuring approx. 1650 meters (1,800 yards) aligned NW/SE, 1600 meters (1,750 yards) aligned NE/SW and 1465 meters (1,600 yards) aligned E/W x c. 50 meters (55 yards) each. Had paved assembly areas at N and W ends plus connecting taxiways and perimeter tracks. Permanently equipped for instrument landings with a flare-path, a beam approach system and all 3 runways outfitted with permanent illumination and visual Lorenz systems.

 

Can any of the Luftwaffe experts shed some light (so to speak) on the visual Lorenz system? My inquiry is strictly asking about the airfield components (not the blind or instrument system). My first guess is perhaps the V/L (to borrow the RAF parlance) functioned like VASI or PAPI systems. 

 

Does anybody have a diagram of what a pilot could/should see on final, approaching the runway?

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Thank you kindly. I have that book. I've read anecdotes where Mosquito crews reported that the runway lights and V/L lights were off (or on) when they got to their target airfield. Since the Lorenz approach was a non-precision (lacking vertical guidance) approach, I wonder if the V/L was simply approach lighting or if there was some vertical component.

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  • 4 weeks later...

@LukeFF looking for clues while continuing my research to get a better mental picture of the V/L system. I read these ORB entries. I deciphered the first highlight to read, "Melun E/W [east/west] V/L lit. One crossbar one mile from A/D [airdrome] and Arrowhead 2 miles.Apparently the Visual Lorenz system was simply what we now call "approach lights" but with extra features a bit further from the threshold. 

 

40219320_ORBreferencetoVisualLorenz.thumb.jpg.f0285fe095b13cb2edd324d4e2ec1a95.jpg

 

The second highlight also at Melun, I deciphered as "NE/SW [northeast/southwest] F/P [flare path] and S/W [southwest] Arm of V/L lit but no activity." 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Busdriver,

 

You probably realise it already, but it looks like visual Lorenz is used as well as a flarepath.  I found the statement:

'On reaching Gilze we found the airfield lit with flarepath and full visual Lorenz.'

in a combat report by Cy Walton in my Dad's logbook.

Do217 combat report 20 to 21 Apr 1944 page 1.jpg

Do217 combat report 20 to 21 Apr 1944 page 2.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...

Here's a pdf in the zip:

 

Finnish nightfighter training Germany 1944.zip


with the only first hand description I was able to find about German (late) war night-fighter air-field illumination. The report has been part of a website about Finnish WW2 pilots. Hopefully it just moved somewhere else.

This might fit to the Topic "visual Lorenz system", see the chapter "AIR BASE ARRANGEMENT" in the pdf.

There's the "Luftwaffendienstvorschrift LDv. 5/1 Der Flugbetrieb der Luftwaffe Teil 1 Flugdienstordnung" with some text (pp 99 ff) and pictures (Attachment 5, pp A20 ff) for the night flying operations, too. I can't put in the 25 MB pdf here, just the two most important pictures illustrating the Luftwaffe-concepts. Basics were developed by the Lufthansa in the late-20s and early 30s:

 

1534555947_LDv5-1_A20signalsatnight.thumb.png.ac70001f4da71bb71a3591a9b9857199.png

1593851270_LDv5-1_A21signalsatnight.thumb.png.7cd3fb758d23a3454037555dee6eeff3.png

 

 

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@Retnek thanks for your post. :salute: Does your document explain how the lights I pointed at below differ from the red lights in the last 250 meters (or the end of runway "Querbalkenfeuer")? I'm wondering if these lights are perhaps amber. 

 

410217864_VL01lightquestion.thumb.jpg.5717fda935307744b34d8289dd0e9947.jpg

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3 hours ago, busdriver said:

@Retnek thanks for your post. :salute: Does your document explain how the lights I pointed at below differ from the red lights in the last 250 meters (or the end of runway "Querbalkenfeuer")? I'm wondering if these lights are perhaps amber. 

 

410217864_VL01lightquestion.thumb.jpg.5717fda935307744b34d8289dd0e9947.jpg

Here in the LDv 5-1 (edition from 1943 afaik) is given one long line of white lights along the runway or landing-strip. That's the basic procedure. I suspect there might have been different, more elaborated night-light systems along the concrete or tarmac-runways of at large night-fighter bases like Venlo or St. Trond, f.e.

Pilots had to land next to that line on one side of it. For the side the beginning is marked with "Doppelweiß". The second white light of "Doppelweiß" points away from the side to use for landing (second light pointing to the left = land right hand side of the white line). Red lights were all about warning. Red was used to mark the last meters of the runway, airfield borders, huts on the airfield or whatever obstacles more. The red line crosswise to the landing path called "Querbalkenfeuer" marked the end of the runway and was intended as a visual reference for the horizon, too.

Temporary lights are shown in that "pierced amber" style. I doubt they were amber. I think this symbol stands for any kind of light. I.e. petroleum lights, flash-lights or even tin-cans burning some fuel. Just the primitive way IL2-GB forces us to operate at night, too. :russian_ru:

After some time it still worked in my memory "visual Lorenz" ... I might have hm-hm-hm - :coffee:

Please check  MvStauffenberg-report Optische Nachtlandeverfahren fuer Jaeger May 1944.zip

 

This is a report made by one of the most remarkable female pilots, Melitta Gräfin von Stauffenberg.  (M. Gräfin Stauffenberg) It describes her investigation of an optical night landing procedure first suggested by an officer called "Opperman". She's making suggestions and adds features. Finally for landing the pilots looked through the gun vizier and additional lights were displayed into it via a half-mirror. This might have resulted in the impression of an "optical Lorenz system". This system was tested at one site near Berlin until mid-1944. Prominent night-fighters like H. Herrmann tested it, too. But afaik that procedure never was finalized or widely used.

 

Sorry, the source, clearly a Freudian oblivion:
Bracke, Gerhard (1990): Melitta Gräfin Stauffenberg. Das Leben einer Fliegerin. München: Langen Müller.
(Again one of these mortifying German authors, pain in the brain. If you're not deeply into the topic ...)

Edited by Retnek
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