I saw this beacon at an old airport; how and in what situations was it used?

Beacon at Ljunbyhed, ESTL

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Please provide attribution for your image. $\endgroup$
    – CGCampbell
    Nov 1, 2015 at 15:53
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ What airport was this seen at? Are there other pictures? Airport beacons are typically White/Green Rotating units and do not have a red light on top. This may however predate modern convention. $\endgroup$
    – Dave
    Nov 2, 2015 at 2:21
  • $\begingroup$ I took this pic myself at Ljungbyhed, Sweden(ESTL). More pics on request ;) $\endgroup$
    – juni-j
    Nov 2, 2015 at 20:31

1 Answer 1


It's the airfield identification beacon.

An aerodrome beacon or rotating beacon is a beacon installed at an airport or aerodrome to indicate its location to aircraft pilots at night.

An aerodrome beacon is mounted on top of a towering structure, often a control tower, above other buildings of the airport. It produces flashes not unlike that of a lighthouse.

Airport and heliport beacons are designed in such a way to make them most effective from one to ten degrees above the horizon; however, they can be seen well above and below this peak spread. The beacon may be an omnidirectional flashing xenon strobe, or it may be an aerobeacon rotating at a constant speed which produces the visual effect of flashes at regular intervals. Flashes may be of just a single color, or of two alternating colors.

  • $\begingroup$ Flyer's version of a lighthouse... except it indicates the port, not a hazard to avoid. I've seen these from above, when in a friend's private plane after dark; they definitely do catch your eye and help you plan your approach. $\endgroup$
    – keshlam
    Nov 1, 2015 at 3:09

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.