168. East Midlands Airport, Castle Donington, Leicestershire Installed on many of the access roads around the Airport complex are 6 m tubular steel columns fitted with GEC Z8520 'Turtle' lanterns; the Z8520 being the flat glass (i.e. Full Cut Off) version of the Z8526 lantern. Unusually, the lanterns are equipped to run 90 W SOX lamps, which only just fit within the confines of a lantern designed to run shorter lamps. This version of the lantern does not feature in any official GEC literature; however, as the City of Birmingham formerly used to have a number of 90 W Z8526s, it is reasonable to assume that the lanterns were made up like this in the factory, rather than being converted to the very different lamp source in-house. Additionally, a couple of roads towards the rear of the site are lit with GEC Z8830/35 lanterns, which are fitted to 5 m columns.  The combination of the flat glass lantern and monochromatic light source here will be for the benefit of pilots - a lantern offering a wider spread of light could be mistaken as a runway marker light from above.

With thanks to the Airport's Press Office for granting me permission to photograph these installations, and to upload the pictures to the website.

The use of shorter columns was presumably another requirement for roadway lighting near airports when the roads were constructed; however, these rules may have since been relaxed, as 8 m columns are installed on some of the newer roadways around the site.

 

The lamp can just be seen within the lantern.

 

Increasing the brightness provides a clearer view of the lantern's innards.

 

Two columns were installed in the centre of the nearby roundabout.

 

The flat glass cover is evident here, owing to the column's reflection within it.

 

The columns are relatively closely spaced; this perhaps being a necessity owing to the cutoff distribution of the lanterns.

 

The flat glass covers hinge forwards for maintenance; two stainless steel clips located towards the rear of the lantern secure the cover during normal operation.

 

The lamp support steadying spring was missing from this lantern, with the result that the lamp had completely fallen out of its correct position within the lantern.

 

The other column on the roundabout is located opposite the first.

 
 
 

Some of the access roads leading to businesses with involvements in the airport were also lit in this way.

 

The lantern's canopy was rather well camouflaged against the building in the background!

 

These two columns were installed almost opposite each other.

 

Close-up of the left-hand example.

 

A couple of the lanterns had the remnants of their original blue paint finish still visible on their canopies; one is pictured below.

 

The lanterns already seen on this page always appear to have had unpainted canopies, and so why two would feature painted canopies is a mystery.

 

One access road (Dove Road) had no fewer than six identical installations on the left-hand side.

 

Just visible on the column on the right in this picture is a replacement access door, but generally, the columns were in original condition.

 

The lantern on the left in the above picture is seen again in close-up below.

 

The glass cover on this lantern was missing, allowing for a clearer view of the lantern's innards. Notice that a NEMA socket is fitted; however, it is wired out and no photocell is fitted on the socket's outer side, suggesting that the lanterns are group-controlled from a central location. Visible immediately to the left of the lampholder is the GEC identification plate.

 

A further five installations were spotted nearby.

 

These lanterns were fitted with individual photocell controls; however, owing to the offset NEMA socket, the photocell isn't visible on this lantern.

 

At the end of this road, the lighting changed to Z8830/35 lanterns, fitted to 5 m columns.

 

The lantern's optic is only just long enough to accommodate a 35 W SOX lamp - as it is, the lampholder is situated in the rear section of the lantern.

 

Again, the lanterns are fitted with flat glass covers.

 

At the time of photographing, the lanterns were probably around 35 years old - the condition of their GRP canopies was testament to this!

 

Oddly, the two columns on the right-hand side of the road are 5 m in height, but a 6 m column stands opposite the junction. The original Z8520 has been replaced with a Kingfisher 'Kaos' lantern here.

 

The Z8830 lanterns are attached to rather tall brackets, bringing the overall mounting height to around the 5 m mark.

 

A Thorn Alpha 8 lantern provided illumination for a public filling station near the site's entrance.

 

The lantern's bowl had become detached from its fixing clip, causing the bowl to hang open. A Zodion SS4 photocell is fitted here.

 
 

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