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UK radio aids after WW2

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UK radio aids after WW2

Old 22nd Oct 2022, 18:22
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UK radio aids after WW2

This German/Swiss website has been expanded to include many UK airport charts, including approach and area charts.

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Old 23rd Oct 2022, 10:58
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interesting site
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Old 23rd Oct 2022, 17:51
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It is great that someone is archiving all this fascinating information. A lot of the charts have "Source: US DoD". Why might that be?
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Old 23rd Oct 2022, 18:14
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Originally Posted by paulross View Post
It is great that someone is archiving all this fascinating information. A lot of the charts have "Source: US DoD". Why might that be?
'It's by no means a comprehensive list of airfields; I would say it's from the flight bag of a particualr pilot who has kept copies of the airfield's he's flown to/from including the USAF ones which were operated by SAC in the '50s and hence were airfields not normally visited due to security
Edit: A lot of the approach plates are labelled 'US DoD' so maybe it's from the flight bag of an American pilot.

Last edited by chevvron; 24th Oct 2022 at 10:19.
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Old 23rd Oct 2022, 21:56
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Yes that make sense. Thank you.
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Old 23rd Oct 2022, 23:44
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I looked up a couple of airfields that I know (Leconfield and Greenham Common) and I noticed that the ATC frequencies are in the 140-160 MHz range, above the current airband frequencies, which stop at 136.975 MHz.

Does anyone know the reason why these frequencies are no longer used? I couldn't find anything on the web.
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Old 24th Oct 2022, 10:05
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Originally Posted by India Four Two View Post
I looked up a couple of airfields that I know (Leconfield and Greenham Common) and I noticed that the ATC frequencies are in the 140-160 MHz range, above the current airband frequencies, which stop at 136.975 MHz.

Does anyone know the reason why these frequencies are no longer used? I couldn't find anything on the web.
Wasn't that the band reserved for the early mobile phone users?
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Old 24th Oct 2022, 10:15
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There were one or two 'standard NATO' frequencies outside the normal VHF airband; one was 142.29, another was 142.02 and another 136.8 which is now in the VHF airband.and unusually, 103.68 and 107.28.
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Old 24th Oct 2022, 10:30
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Other odd VHF frequencies from that era were:

116.46 RAF Uxbridge FIS?
117.9 NATO Tower Common
141.48 Fleet Air Arm common
142.29 was the RAF common approach frequency.

I once read a technical explanation of why these strange frequencies were used. I believe it was because they were obtained by modifying existing HF radios to VHF.
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Old 24th Oct 2022, 17:24
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The channel spacing in that era was 90 kHz (or 90kc/s in the terminology of the day), which I suggest accounts for the strange numbers. Sometime later (1960s?) the aviation standard changed to 50 kHz, then later 25 kHz, and currently (since the late 90s) 8.33 kHz, all in the interest of getting more channels into the available spectrum.
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Old 24th Oct 2022, 19:16
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Originally Posted by adola68 View Post
Other odd VHF frequencies from that era were:

116.46 RAF Uxbridge FIS?
117.9 NATO Tower Common
141.48 Fleet Air Arm common
142.29 was the RAF common approach frequency.

I once read a technical explanation of why these strange frequencies were used. I believe it was because they were obtained by modifying existing HF radios to VHF.
Never heard of that but very possible.
VHF airband frequencies are currently 108 to 138 mHz AM with FM broadcasts 88 to 108.
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Old 24th Oct 2022, 19:37
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Originally Posted by kenparry View Post
The channel spacing in that era was 90 kHz (or 90kc/s in the terminology of the day), which I suggest accounts for the strange numbers. Sometime later (1960s?) the aviation standard changed to 50 kHz, then later 25 kHz, and currently (since the late 90s) 8.33 kHz, all in the interest of getting more channels into the available spectrum.
A memory from the early 1970s: flying over Germany one night we were informed by ATC that a VOR on our route was u/s but there was an NDB available on xxx 'king charlie'. Took us a mo to realise he was referring to kc/s in the pre-1956 phonetic alphabet.
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Old 25th Oct 2022, 09:46
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DoD = Department of Defense (the spelling of last word is clue to nationality).
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Old 25th Oct 2022, 17:09
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It may also have something to do with the fact that a lot of (military) aircraft radios used crystals for their radios - none of that dialing up any frequency like you do today. I have a vague memory of having to specify the (12?) frequencies I wanted for a landaway in a Chipmunk, hence the NATO common frequencies made transits and approaches a lot easier. Even in the 70's our ILS's frequencies were still crystal controlled, so if you diverted it was not uncommon to find you couldn't use the ILS when you wanted it the most!
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Old 25th Oct 2022, 19:30
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Originally Posted by Shackman View Post
It may also have something to do with the fact that a lot of (military) aircraft radios used crystals for their radios - none of that dialing up any frequency like you do today. I have a vague memory of having to specify the (12?) frequencies I wanted for a landaway in a Chipmunk, hence the NATO common frequencies made transits and approaches a lot easier. Even in the 70's our ILS's frequencies were still crystal controlled, so if you diverted it was not uncommon to find you couldn't use the ILS when you wanted it the most!
The Leeds UAS Chippies at Church Fenton in 1967-8 had 4-channel VHF sets. As I recall Channel 1 was Tower ('Local') and 2 was Approach. I don't recall if we used 3 and 4 (was one of them for the low flying area?). Changing channel was not instantaneous - there would be a whirring noise while the internal gubbins did the business. In 1968 the VHF sets were superseded by (IIRC) 12-channel UHF sets.
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Old 23rd Nov 2022, 20:53
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135.95 IIRC was Bomber Common 2
115. 56 was Flying Training Common

​There were 3 VHF Boxes. The RAF had two, one was high channels and the other low channels. The 3rd box fitted between the high and low and was fitted to RN aircraft AFAIK

On rangers the AEO would work out a crystal plan and swap out VHF boxes when in a new operating area. The STR 18 HF was also crystal controlled and sometimes would be recrystalised in flight.
​​​​
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Old 23rd Nov 2022, 22:33
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From what I said a few years ago about 1950's frequencies:

Those 1950's pre UHF VHF frequencies brought back memories as to others implanted in my memory cells so long ago
e.g.
R.A.F. Common: 117.9 MHz
Fighter Command Common: 107.28 MHz
Transport Command Common: 135.9 MHz
Fighter Command Metropolitan Sector: 112.86 MHz, 135.18 and 153.9 MHz
...and ISTR that Bomber Command Common was around 101.xx MHz now the haunt of Classic FM.
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