Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Waddington Air Show

I managed to attend the Waddington air show this year on the Saturday (looked like the best day of the two weatherwise too!) and had a great day.
I didn't bother last year as the display lineup looked very 'thin' with a distinct lack of foreign jet participants, but it was certainly better this year with the inclusion of a Czech Saab Gripen and a Belgian F16 along with the usual RAF participants. The role demo (and pyrotechnics) involving 2 x Tornado GR4's certainly added some interest this year.
Interestingly, they were using 121.3 as a tower frequency which has been noted previous years and they appeared to be using 132.9 (a standard air show frequency allocation) as a radar frequency for departing/arriving and holding air show related traffic.


Anonymous said...

Interesting Blog. After many years away from this hobby I have returned, and it seems things have changed considerably in this time. I have a Fairmate HP200 (whatever happened to them and AOR?)and can find very little to listen to compared to many years ago when I listened to everything from mobile phones to radio hams. I'll keep searching though.....

Anonymous said...

Dear Mark,

First, let me say that this site/blog is really second to none from an avitation hobbyist's perspective, in terms of providing a platform for practical, informative and content-rich discussion. I, for instance, did not even realize that an older scanner not adjusted for the latest narrow frequency spacing but capable of doing 5khz steps would do perfectly fine in a 8.33khz environment, until I stumbled across this blog. This is truly a site, as one could say, created by and for airband enthusiasts, an aspect very unique to people whose interest is in airband only, in spite of the extreme range in some modern receivers.

I did not start airband listening until a decade ago. That is really too bad, because it would have been a lot easier and more fun at the old Kai Tak Airport here in Hong Kong, especially when planes came over the mountain behind and made a sharp right turn beside the iconic checker box for a landing towards Victoria Harbour. The runway was also known for occasional strong crosswind, making landing a challenge. A number of videos are available on YouTube for a taste of the excitement.

From what I understand (although I might be mistaken), listening to airband as a hobby in Hong Kong is almost non-existent and there is no UHF military to monitor around the area), although there is still a small population of ham radio operators. In general, scanners (mostly models from AOR, Icom and Yaesu, as Unidens are very rare) used for leisure on VHF/UHF in Hong Kong are becoming less popular, particularly after the switch from analog (coventional and trunked) to ditigal (TETRA) among many user groups. However, I am not so sure what the scene on HF (aeronautical and other)listening is like.

This leads to a few questions:

1) Is the 8.33khz standard implemented anywhere in Asia, particularly Hong Kong? If it is not, will it?

2) Should I expect a worldwide switch from analog to digital in voice communication within the VHF airband as a result of FAA's nexcom initiative? If this turns out to be the case, what is the likelihood of us being able to keep listening as we do now?


P.S. I was not sure if it would appropriate for me to ask here, but I was hoping that someone could point out how and where I could buy a Signal R-535 in mint and working condition besides on eBay. BTW, it is here on this site where I found out about this particular radio.