Wright's Aerials

Aerial photography - Ancient Gallery

After Antiference swallowed up Belling Lee’s aerial division in 1968 we had the ‘big four’ – Antiference, J Beam, Wolsey, and Aerialite. In the early UHF days Aerialite produced a range of very well made yagis, but soon they needed a product to compete with the J Beam high gain range. The result was the ‘Supreme’, and other smaller arrays with equally silly names. The photograph shows an early example. Later versions had an ‘S’ shaped reflector similar to the directors. This allowed the aerials to be supplied in a small box with all elements folded flat, a great sales point because J Beam boxes were huge, and riggers’ vans were generally smaller than they are nowadays! The ‘Supreme’ worked quite well, with gain roughly the same as the Jaybeam MBM46, but with much better directional properties. MBMs were a poor choice if there was a problem with ghosting, but Supremes were quite good in that respect. A strange weakness of the Supreme was that the cradle would fill with water. After a hard frost the aluminium would burst open, but I never knew of one actually failing because of this. Aerialite was taken over by Antiference in 1981.

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