FIDO - Fog Overclocking Service

    Before the Clean Air Act, dense fogs were not uncommon in England.
    A plane that flew during the war to bombard Germany in good weather could return to such a fog upon return that no landing strip can be seen.

    According to the instructions, the pilot in this case must direct the plane towards the sea, and together with the crew he will jump by parachute. This led to significant non-combat aircraft losses.

    In 1942, the British came up with FIDO - a fire dispersal system for fog:

    A device for dispersing fog consisted of three pipes laid on both sides of the runway. Two lay on the ground, the top was above them; holes were made in the lower pipes.

    Fuel was pumped into the upper pipeline, which flowed into the lower pipes and spurted upwards through the holes. Electrically or manually, the jets were set on fire, the upper tube was heated, the fuel in it evaporated and the system went into operation: it was not liquid that hit the holes, but gasoline vapors that formed torches 60-180 cm high. The

    heat from the flame evaporated droplets of fog, and it dissipated .
    When the system warmed up, the black smoke disappeared and a relatively clean flame remained.
    Before and after turning on the system (after 9 minutes):

    Using the system in different wind directions:

    After the first night test landing, the pilot saidthat he felt like a circus lion who needed to jump into a burning hoop. There was little turbulence from the hot air, but it did not cause problems.

    The system received baptism of fire at night on November 19, 1943 in the town of Fiskerton, when in 10 minutes it improved visibility in the fog from 100 yards to 2-4 miles. The landings that night were accompanied by comments by pilots like "It seemed we were going down to hell, but in the end it turned out not so bad."

    From this day until the end of 1943, 39 successful landings in fog were made at Fiskerton. In the spring of 1944, eight English airfields were already equipped with FIDO, seven more were in the process. In the event of heavy fog, returning bombers took off on the runway with FIDO, refueled, and after the onset of flying weather flew to their bases.
    The light from the flame was sometimes so strong that a glow was visible from the Dutch coast.

    Fuel was in tanks at the edge of the airfield, buried or protected by masonry. Fuel consumption was enormous - 450 cubic meters / hour per lane of medium length. The system was served by 20 people. Pumping: In total, from 1943 to 1945, 2,486 aircraft successfully landed in Britain using FIDO, 79 of them with visibility of less than 100 meters. The Americans in the Aleutian Islands also used this system. The cost of one landing in the fog was 625-1500 pounds according to British estimates or $ 4000-5000 according to American estimates.

    There have been attempts at post-war application of the system, in particular, at Heathrow Airport. Later there were experiments in Paris Orly and Beijing Nanyuan with the installation of jet engines along the strip for the same purposes. But either it turned out to be too expensive, or there were less fogs, or maybe the automation "pulled itself up", but the system did not take root on the civilian.

    1946 film with the signature stamp "Secret" with the device system, aerial views, etc. (English):

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