Douglas DC-3 Flight Survey Station
Rebecca CRO - used for DME(A) checksRebecca test gearaudio control boxesinstrument panel - refer to text for decription

Above: The port Flight Surveyor station, looking forward, aboard DCA DC-3 VH-CAN c.1959. The survey electronics were kept in racks between the flight deck and cabin.

The instruments in the top panel are, from left to right in the upper row: two high voltage voltmeters; clock; voltmeter for the aircraft's 28V electrical system; Outside Air Temperature; Air Speed Indicator; Altimeter. In the bottom row, L-R: Localiser; Glidepath; two DME(A)s; Marker receiver for Airways, Outer and Middle Markers; two blanks. The Cathode Ray Oscilloscope (CRO) is for a Rebecca receiver, used for DME checks. The box to its right is Rebecca test gear, used to check the aircraft's systems and rarely fitted. To the Surveyor's left below the window sill are audio control boxes for the aircraft's intercom system.


Left: Another view of the port Surveyor's station. Equipment changed over time, depending on the current tasking of the aircraft and changing technology.

The following story was compiled by Doug Gillison, DCA Public Relations, for the November 26, 1946
issue of Interavia magazine:


"The Department of Civil Aviation is converting two C-47 aircraft [later VH-ASD & VH-DMV], purchased from American disposal authorities, for service in checking and calibrating the Department's existing VHF radio range network [Lorenz 33 MHz beacons]; testing new four-course VHF range [VARs] now being installed and experimenting with advanced electronic equipment on the multiple track radar range now being developed by the Commonwealth Council for Scientific and Industrial Research [the fore-runner of the CSIRO]."

"Aircraft will also be used for testing pilots for commercial licences and inspecting remote outstations."

"Modifications include duplication of all engine instruments at the flight engineer's desk. In addition to a normal communication transmitter operating on eight frequencies with duplicate emergency unit directly controlled by radio operator, installation of equipment includes:- VHF transmitter and receiver for airport and airways control; pilot's remotely controlled receiver for medium or high frequency work, special 33 MHz radio range receiver for use with the Department's existing chain of transmitters; VHF radio range receiver for new 112-118 MHz 4-course radio range equipment now being tested; automatic radio compass to give aircraft's heading in relation to any radio beacon or broadcast station; localizer instrument approach receiver giving lateral indication of aircraft's position when coming in on SCS-51 ILS; glide path instrument approach receiver giving vertical position when landing on SCS-51;
radio altimeter; radar distance indicator [DME]; multiple track radar receiver; American Signal Corps' 'LORAN' long range aerial navigation receiver; inter-com. system connecting all crew positions.


Left: The starboard Airways Surveyor station aboard DC-3 VH-CAO in 1964. Immediately above the Surveyor's desk are two chart recorders. As the aircraft tracked the navigation aid being tested, the Surveyor would mark deviations from the desired flight path radioed to the aircraft from a ground survey party at the navigation aid site.
Left: Close-up of the two chart recorders.


(Photos: CAHS collection)

Click here to see a photo of a DCA DC-3 on ILS calibration work.

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