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Can't Get My Head Around VOR's.  
User currently offlineDC-10 Levo From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 3432 posts, RR: 3
Posted (13 years 7 months 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 2070 times:

 Smile Hi everyone!  Smile

I have been playing on my flight sim, and have done some adventures.
It tells me to turn here and there, but it keeps telling me I must learn more about VOR's.
I've checked on help and all that, but I just can't get my head around them.
What do they do?
Where are they?
Thanks for any help!


13 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineAerokid From Belgium, joined Jun 2000, 348 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (13 years 7 months 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 2002 times:

VOR = VHF Omnidirectional Range beacon.

It's principle is based on timing. It's easy to understand if you know how the (VERY) early navaids worked.
Just imagine a lighthouse, with a beam of light that makes one turn in 36 seconds. Each time the beam is heading North, a red strobe on top of the lighthouse flashes. Now if you count the seconds from there, until the beam shines in your direction, and multiply it by 10, then you now your position relative to the lighthouse. For example if you counted 27 seconds, that means that someone standing at the lighthouse can see you when he looks to the West. It is said that your are on radial 270 of that VOR beacon, and your QDR=270. You are in the aircraft and of course you will have to look into the other direction to see the lighthouse, you'll be looking at the East, your QDM=90 (the Q-codes are not very often used anymore though).

A modern VOR works on the same principle, but instead of beams of light, radio transmissions are used, one fixed frequency (the one that you tune into) and a variable frequency that varies according to the direction of transmission.

Note that the info you get from a VOR DOESN'T say anything about the direction you're flying in (the heading of your aircraft). Only the POSITION of the aircraft. But when you're on radial 270 and your heading is 270 then you're flying away from the beacon, it is said that you're outbound and on your HSI, the "FROM" flag will display. But if you're heading is 90, then you're flying dead straigt to the beacon and a "TO" flag will display on your HSI.

Hope this helps.

Best regards,

User currently offlinePanAm747 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 4242 posts, RR: 8
Reply 2, posted (13 years 7 months 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 1973 times:

Also, near VORs are where most mid-air collisions occurr.

Pan Am:The World's Most Experienced Airline - P(oor) S(ailor's) A(irline): San Diego's Hometown Airline-Catch Our Smile!
User currently offlineMD11Nut From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (13 years 7 months 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 1960 times:

You need to get yourself an IFR Enroute (Low Altitude) for the area you're interested in flying in. The VORs along with airways are identified in there. You can buy them at the pilots shop or for flight sim messing around ask any pilots for an old chart.

The following is a good web site that allows you to practice VORing around.


User currently offlineYKA From Netherlands, joined Sep 2001, 766 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (13 years 7 months 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 1946 times:

You will clue in with time. Took me like a year to figure out how to use VORs/NDBs in FS to navigate.

User currently offlineFlightSimFreak From United States of America, joined Oct 2000, 720 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (13 years 7 months 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 1931 times:

It took me about a year also, but now all that messing around in FS has payed off... I started real-world lessons and my instructor said I'm a natural untill I told him I played on FS and then he said oh, that explains it

User currently offlineTodd From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 25 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (13 years 7 months 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 1925 times:


great explanation! I've been having trouble understanding VORs and that helped quite a bit. Saved your post to a .txt file. Anymore tips with VORs?

User currently offlinePPGMD From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 2453 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (13 years 7 months 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 1926 times:

I picked up Rod Machidos books, they are excellent refrences for both sims and when you go for you PPL.

At worst, you screw up and die.
User currently offlineCosync From Mexico, joined Nov 2001, 556 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (13 years 7 months 23 hours ago) and read 1904 times:

i am just a simmer aswell and im not bragging but it only took me a few days to understand VORs. I guess that because im a looser that sits on the computer all day long. i was flying just VFR for the first few days on flight unlimited and then i wondered what all those radios were for so i played a bit with them and reallised that they affected the HSI so i was wondering what the HSI did. then after about a week i reallised that the bar would centre evry now and then
so i turned the OBS knob and it sentered . And dont ask me how but thats when i realised that it showed me what radial i was on in relation to a point on the ground. Then when i went into the inflight map i turned on the VOR displays and noticed that i was on the radial that i though i was on so i was very proud of myself.
Just the other month my friends dad got his ppl so i gave him the game to use
he just flys VFR so i thaught him about navigation .
was very awsome to0 teach a pilot something!

User currently offlineDesertJets From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 7843 posts, RR: 14
Reply 9, posted (13 years 7 months 20 hours ago) and read 1898 times:

For flightsimmers the more recent versions of MS Flight Sim have been lacking in good written help in the book. I remember in the olden days... back with Flightsim 1.0 and 4.0 actually had good pilots manuals that explained how VORs worked. I suggest that if you want to understand these things better head out to your local library and find the aviation books there, and check them all out.

Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
User currently offlineAerokid From Belgium, joined Jun 2000, 348 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (13 years 7 months 18 hours ago) and read 1898 times:


What I wrote is just the basic principle, I could go on about doppler VOR and VOR/DME if you're interested.

However, if you're looking for tips on how to navigate and calculate positions using multiple VOR's then you'd better ask the pilots on this forum 'cause I'm not really into that stuff. I have a few sims but don't have the time to play.

Best regards,

User currently offlineDC-10 Levo From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 3432 posts, RR: 3
Reply 11, posted (13 years 7 months 12 hours ago) and read 1876 times:

Thanks a lot guys!
That has really helped!


User currently offlineXFSUgimpLB41X From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 4273 posts, RR: 36
Reply 12, posted (13 years 7 months 10 hours ago) and read 1865 times:

haha... I'm a CFII and still cant navigate from VOR to VOR in FS.... i was never able to figure out how to tune it up since i cant twist the knobs and select the radials like you do in the airplane.

Chicks dig winglets.
User currently offlineCosync From Mexico, joined Nov 2001, 556 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (13 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 1837 times:

well evrybody keep trying and ull eventually understand them i have a few tips for ppl that know how to use vors
if ur on right angles to the radial that ur hsi is on then point the HSI (or CDI wotever u cal it) a few degrees away from u that way ull have a better idea of when u are coming closer to the selected radial. then when it centres start turning and then select the proper radial and ull not have to make a really sharp turn
Any one with more tips please post them here
i love VOR Navigation its a challenge and requires more brains than someone who sits and stares at a GPS screen for the whole flight DERRRRR!!!!


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