FLEET AIR ARM FITS

  In the days of long ago, when we had lots of ships, lots of men, and lots of naval aircraft in our Fleet Air Arm (affectionately known as 'airy fairies' (note, not hairy). This comes from the name Ariel, named so by William Shakespeare in his play, 'The Tempest'. Ariel was a mischievous airy spirit (a fairy) who darted (flew) here and there causing ructions. I suppose that the Illustrious' "Ariel's" caused ructions for the Italians at Taranto, and I won't mention what the German battleship Bismarck thought of Ark Royals' "Ariel's" !) Our aircraft had their own set of radio equipments, although it was not uncommon to see some of it fitted in ships or submarines; the AN/Arc 52 was a good example. Many equipments used Crystals (XTALS) for their frequency determination, and the crystallisation was a joint effort between ships communicators and air radio electrical staff, the pinkies.



  Just as a marker, here is a typical list of the aircraft we flew from our ships/RNAS's.

Fixed Wing; the Buccaneer Mk I and Mk II - enormous fighter bombers | Gannet AEW Mk III and Sea Vixen - also big aircraft. Rotary Wing; the Wessex Mk I , III and V, Whirlwind SAR, SeaKing and the Wasp. VTOL, the HARRIER.



  The Fleet Air Arm used mainly American kit, so first off, below is a link to USN Nomenclature below, and following that is a link showing aircraft equipment and their characteristics. From the second link you will see that our aircraft used mainly the American Collins 618T HF SSB Transceiver which the FAA called the ARI 23090. Even the Buccaneer MkI had an American Mullard SSB HF transceiver called the ARI18179/1. In addition, they were all fitted with the American AN/Arc 52 UHF Transceiver, or, for some helicopters (Wasp for example) where weight was always of concern, the PTR 170 lightweight UHF 12-channel transceiver, the ARI 18197/1 or 2. Note that the PTR 170 is not an American equipment and that PTR stands for 'Portable Transmit Receive'. Some were fitted for VHF working but not main FAA front line or second line aircraft. See the file Aircraft Equipment below.



USN Nomenclature and Aircraft Equipment



Recommended further reading:

AN ARC 52 COLLINS 618T FAA DUAL PURPOSE GENERATOR FAA RECEIVER R47
FAA RECEIVER Tf (MODIFIED) FAA TRANSCEIVER TRX4 WITH RX RX42
FAA TRANSMITTER T48 FAA TRANSMITTER TYPE T21C FAA WAVEMETER TYPE W3 FAA WAVEMETER TYPE WX8 FAA WAVEMETER TYPE WX13 PTR 170