892 Squadron was the first carrier borne squadron that embarked in HMS ARK ROYAL in March 1960. Under the command of Lt. Cdr.(F) D.M.A.H.(Shorty) Hamilton.RN., the squadron adjusted to all the new roles that were required and described in this section "Sea Vixen Operational Roles"
Another role was that of Photographic Reconnaissance. The camera used is not known (October 2013) but it used F45 film which produced very clear results.
The cameras were housed within a dedicated pod under the wing in which there was an oblique and a vertical camera.
It was difficult to take oblique shots as there was no sight, just a visual assessment. This method only became accurate with practice. It was certainly possible to return to base with the top or the bottom of the target photograph chopped off.
Vertical shots could be pasted together by photographic interpreters into a mosaic overlap. This method would cover a large area as opposed to a specific target of the oblique camera.
The vertical camera would be used from altitude while the oblique camera would be used on a low pass under the radar lobes of any agency trying to detect the aircraft, often after a low level transit at 200 feet or below at 360/420 knots (single engine for fuel economy) until limit of range for return to base. The range could be extended with the use of the buddy system of inflight refuelling.
Portland Bill, Dorset,England. Oblique camera shot taken from 500 ft at 250 kts
by then Lt.Cdr. David "Shorty " Hamilton RN. 892 Sqn C.O. circa 1960.
Scilly Isles, S.W. Approaches, English Channel. Vertical camera shot taken from 30000 ft
by then Lt.Cdr. David "Shorty " Hamilton RN. 892 Sqn C.O. circa 1960
Lt (P) Martyn H. Dean RN flies the Phot Pod seen here on the inboard starboard pylon of an 899 Sqn Mk 2 Sea Vixen aircraft of HMS EAGLE.