Industries by Subject (Railways etc) Buildings & Sites Fuelling the Wars PLUTO and the Secret Pipeline Network 1936-2015

Fuelling the Wars PLUTO and the Secret Pipeline Network 1936-2015

Fuelling the Wars PLUTO and the Secret Pipeline Network 1936-2015
SKU SKU16709
Weight 1.40 kg
 
£24.00
Quantity

Description

Tim Whittle, Hb with dust jacket, 270 pps, 250mm x 250mm

Unknown to many, a network of petroleum pipelines transport fuel from refineries and terminals to major airports, airfields, and distribution depots. The largest of these pipeline networks has its origins as far back as the Second World War and is one of the few remnants, still operational, of the vast infrastructure that was built to fight that war.
In 1936 the RAF was inadequately equipped with mainly obsolete and obsolescent aircraft and its total fuel reserves amounted to just 8,000 tons. At peak war time consumption they would have only lasted one day. The RAF planned for many squadrons of Hurricanes and Spitfires, but these fighters would need fuel, which would require storage facilities that could withstand aerial bombardment. A programme for the construction of a large number of protected storage depots was therefore started with the first of these facilities coming on line in 1939. The outcome of the battle of Britain could have been very different without them. In total the Air Ministry constructed 78 new storage depots with a total capacity of over 1.6 million tons.
Supply and distribution was initially by rail, coastal tankers, barges and road, but in 1941 the decision was taken to construct a pipeline network to transport fuel from the west coast ports eastwards and southwards. Possibly the best known part of the network are the PLUTO cross channel pipelines. However, they were not as successful as popularly imagined, and the battle of Normandy was won without a drop of fuel being delivered by PLUTO.
Immediately after the war most of the government system was decommissioned, but the ‘Cold War’ led to its reuse. In the 1950s new import facilities, civil storage depots (including large scale fuel reserves located in salt cavities) and pipelines were constructed. Increasing amounts of commercial fuel was also carried, with the system supplying fuel to both Heathrow and Gatwick airports. During the 1970s and 80s virtually all depots not connected by pipeline were sold-off, hired out to commercial companies, or mothballed. In the 1990s and 2000s, following the end of Cold War, many more depots and some pipelines were closed. The use of the network for commercial aviation fuel, however, increased with both Stansted and Manchester Airports, and a new aviation fuel import facility being connected to the system.
This pipeline network and storage system has constantly adapted, evolved and transformed itself. Pipelines have been reversed, pump-stations closed and new ones opened to meet constantly changing requirements. This book sets out to chart how the system came to be built, its history and its continuing importance.
: *
: *
: *
 

Product rating

Customer Reviews

There have been no reviews for this product.

Add your review here

: *
: *