Fuel requirements for operating a full FIDO layout can be stated in several ways. Perhaps the most revealing, for a busy airport, is to consider a condition of 1 landing every 2 minutes, which is quite usual at an urban terminal. At this rate, if planes are landed under a 200-foot, FIDO-produced ceiling, the system will require 630 gallons of fuel per minute. If a ceiling 500 feet high is to be maintained, the burners must be supplied with 3200 gallons of fuel per minute. The cost of such landings will be about $44.00 and $222.00 each, respectively. These costs could reasonably be borne as direct charges by the carriers involved.

It has been indicated earlier that the probable future development of air traffic aide will move in the direction of increasing dependence on electronic aide. Within the foreseeable future, air commerce will be carried in planes whose operation will be controlled by automatic pilot devices from the time their motors surge for the take-off in New York to the time they quiet down at the terminal end of a runway in San Francisco, London, or Moscow. The pilot on these flights will be a supervisor, the captain of a large electronic crew, taking over the controls only in an emergency. It has been estimated- that the network of ground facilities required over the United States for this advanced kind of aircraft control will cost upwards of fifty billion dollars.

In the interim period, the airlines and military air forces must continue to operate on a partial electronic system, with the pilots' response to visual aids retaining first importance in safe aircraft operation. For these conditions, the Integrated Landing provides an adequate combination of landing devices which, skillfully used, can make air commerce as dependable as any form of surface transportation.


Thermal fog-dispersal operations continued at the Arcata airport until the end of 1949. Much .valuable operational information and experience was gained during the four years of FIDO operations at the Arcata airport. It was shown during these years that fog could be dissipated from airport runways and that aircraft could effect safe landings during adverse fog conditions. Many problems were met and solved with one exception-cost. During the last year of operation covering FIDO, the average burn time was 5 minutes, 11 seconds, and the average amount of fuel consumed was 2,353 gallons. The average costs of each landing was 364.77. This figure did not include the wages of operating personnel or the maintenance costs. Had these costs been included, the price tag on each landing would have been in the 1,200 to 1,500 dollar category. Because of the high cost of maintenance and the greatly improved landing aids in use today, it is doubtful if FIDO will ever be practical for commercial use. However, the problem was fog dispersal, and through FIDO this objective was solved.


For more detailed information and background material on the landing aids discussed, reference to the following sources is suggested:

Electronic Aids

Tech. Orders Nos. 30-100F-1 & 2 AAF Instrument Approach Systems; available through Air Inspector, Technical; c/o Commanding General, Fairfield ASC, Patterson Field, Ohio; Attention Publications Dist. Branch.

Pickles, S.; Army Air Forces Portable Instrument Landing System; Technical Information Series, No. 4606--TIS 128, published by Federal Telephone and Radio Corp, Newark, New Jersey, also in Electrical Communication, Vol. 2, No. 4, 1945

Anon: All Weather Flying; Electronics, vol 19, no 9, p. 84, Sept., 1946

Busignies, H; Adams, P. R.; and Colin, R. I. ; Aerial Navigation and Traffic Control with Navaglobe, Navar, Navaglide, and Navascreen; Electrical Communication, vol 23, no 2; June 1946

Recommendations for Safe Control of Expanding Air Traffic, Part I; Air Transport Association, 110 Sixteenth Street, NW, Washington D. C. February 1947

Electronic Aids; Landing Aids Experiment Station Final Report No. 8, Arcata, California, Jan. 1947

Airfield Lighting

1. Kevern, G. M; Approach end Runway Lighting for Adverse Weather Conditions; Illuminating Engineering, vol XLI, no. 6, p. 466, 1946

Breckenridge, F. C. and Douglas, C. A.; Development of Approach and Contact Light Systems, Illuminating Engineering, vol XL., no 9, Nov. 1945

Houghton, H. G ; Transmission of Light Through Fog; and with Co-author Stratton, J. A., Theoretical Transmission of Light Through Fog; both in Physical Review, vol 38, no 1, July, 1931

High Intensity Approach Lights and High Intensity Runway Lights; Landing Aids Experiment Station Final Reports Nos. 5 and 7, Arcata, California, Jan. 1947

Fog Dispersal

A. C. Hartley. Fog Dispersal; Journal of the Royal Society of Arts, vol XCV, no. 4732, London, Dec. 6, 1946

High Pressure FIDO; Landing Aids Experiment Station Final Report No. 4, Arcata, California, Dec. 1946

Meteorology, Landing Aids Experiment Station Final Report No. 9, Arcata, California, Jan. 1947
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