F.I.D.O Trials 1943

 F.I.D.O - Fog Investigation & Dispersal Operation, sometimes called Fog Intense Dispersal Operation, was trialled at R.A.F Davidstow Moor in August 1943.

The system had been developed by Arthur Hartley to enable bombers to land safely when returning from raids and their airfield was fog bound.

The system involved the laying of pipelines along each side of the runway. The pipelines were interspersed with burners at regular intervals and the pipes were connected to a fuel source, normally the airfields own fuel dump. When dense fog covered the runway fuel was pumped from the source all along the pipes. A jeep with a flaming brand tied to its rear drove quickly along the pipelines igniting the burners. Sometimes the burners were lit by men on bicycles, or even men running along the runway.

The heat from the flames evaporated the fog droplets so that the air over the runway became clear enabling the pilot to see the runway to land his bomber safely.

After a trail of one month at R.A.F Davidstow Moor the portable trial system was moved to nearby R.A.F St Eval.

Although the system used vast amounts of valuable fuel it more than compensated for the expenditure by the number of lives it saved by allowing safe landings.


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