Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Pitt Town satellite airstrip and Hardie Ferodo test track

Pitt Town airstrip was a WWII airfield satellite of RAAF Richmond. Satellites and dispersal strips eased capacity constraints at primary air bases and dispersed aircraft for tactical security reasons.

Can you spot the now disused strip? I had a hunch but...
Then again Airstrip Road is a bit of a giveaway...
It wasn't far from RAAF Richmond...
And it was also the site of the Hardie Ferodo test track (for vehicle brakes and components). Some club motor sport events were also held here post-war.

Postscript... I have received an email from reader Rob who has taken the trouble to sketch the runway, the test track and more (thanks Rob!).

In the image below the red line is the HF proving ground. Rob reports that it has leveled areas raised in places to keep it out of what were regular floods, presumably. The floods I remember well from my childhood. I'm sure it still happens but it used to be quite catastrophic and regular in the past, until remediation and flood management work was done. 

The blue line is the actual airstrip. Again Rob reports that the surface is still quite visible in parts as you drive along Airstrip Rd. The kink at the southern end seems there for no reason, although it presumably made sense to someone when the land was parceled up and sold off over time.

The yellow line on the western side is where there are houses/buildings now, and Rob suggests that you can see clearly the flat hard surfaces that probably were the tie-down/flight-line areas. There are also some unusual looking depressions and berms that could have been dugouts near Pitt Town/Dural Rd.

Here's Rob's sketch:

 Well worth a visit, I suspect!

Indeed why not visit the full list of Sydney's airfields and airports?

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