XFSUgimpLB41X From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 4218 posts, RR: 37
Reply 1, posted (13 years 8 months 4 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 4327 times:
I can imagine for a while. VOR's especially. NDB's are still in use as outermarkers and until GPS completely takes over those will be in use for quite the long period of time too. Id say at least another 15years for the NDB's (thank goodness most airlines are outlawing shooting NDB approaches) and who knows how long for the VOR's.
Avt007 From Canada, joined Jul 2000, 2132 posts, RR: 5
Reply 3, posted (13 years 8 months 3 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 4265 times:
If you ever fly in Canada, you'll find NDBs are common, and will be for many years. Same goes for many other parts of the world. As for GPS, it is a wonderful system, but many countries are reluctant to base their aeronautical navigation systems on a system controlled by a foreign government. The fear is that should there be a major conflict somewhere, the US gov't may degrade or shut down gps altogether. The capability is there, and it would throw international aviation into a tailspin.
FLY2HMO From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (8 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 4096 times:
I also heard VORs will be around till 2010 at least (for the US). But that doesn't mean all of them will disappear. VOR coverage in the US is way dense, too dense if you ask me, and from what I've heard they will reduce the number of VORs to less than 1/4 of what there are today. I mean, seriously, just look at the L.A. area IFR chart. There's VORs within 15 nm of each other!!! Granted, right now they serve as navaids for approaches to all the airports there, but all those VORs could easily just be turned into GPS waypoints. VORs must be a pretty hefty burden on the FAA's wallet as far as maintenace and operating costs are concerned. GPS is, technically, free. So, once GPS takes over, all those VORs which you see in L.A. area could be decomissioned, and maybe one or two VORs will suffice as a back up, just in case.
NDBs are prehistoric, but I flew an NDB into CHD once and I found it wasn't too bad, but I'd definitely prefer a VOR approach, or a GPS approach in lieu of a VOR.
I wonder what will happen with all the old VOR buildings though, I've seen some that are large enough to fit a fast food restaurant
BuckFifty From Canada, joined Oct 2001, 1316 posts, RR: 19
Reply 8, posted (8 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 4070 times:
Some of the newest airliners now being built are coming without ADF receivers. It is a customer option, and it seems that NDB navigation is being phased out in favour of GPIRS and backup VOR/DME navigation.
Nevermind NDB approaches, many airlines out there now won't even approve of doing one. RNAV departures and approaches have been approved for use on a large scale basis, though not without reservations. There have been instances where certain GPS approaches have shown to be somewhat inaccurate, especially in terms of the vertical nav component. This is an issue of not only the designs of the approaches, but the way certain aircraft types calculate a GPS descent profile based on the missed approach fix. But these concerns will be ironed out in due time, I'm sure.
Certain countries still heavily depend on NDB's, even in the terminal area. However, most primary aerodromes in the world now are well equipped enough that NDB approaches are not required.
In any event, in terms of approaches now, ILS is still number 1, VOR number 2, and GPS number 3 in priority sequence. At least that is how we do it.
Mikkel777 From Norway, joined Oct 2002, 370 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (8 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 4024 times:
I dont agree that the GPS is easier than VOR and ILS approaches. NDB, yes, but the rest, no. This is for the beginner, in IR training. When you know the GPS in and out, it is very easy.
For an IR student, setting up the GPS correctly before an approach, is more complex than tune and identify a VOR. Setting up the GPS itself is not complicated, but when you are new to instrument-flying and are stressed by flying the airplane and talking to ATC, it is very easy to do something wrong.
Anyway, flying full approaches on VOR or NDB is good exercises, and helps pilots to become better, even if they can be a real pain during training!
Zkpilot From New Zealand, joined Mar 2006, 4840 posts, RR: 9
Reply 12, posted (8 years 3 months 2 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 3929 times:
In New Zealand, NDB's are all but phased out... many are still operating but are not calibrated and are useful only in general from a long distance away.
I think VOR's will hang around for some time yet... Whilst GPS is very accurate, it is unreliable (ie the US govt could pull it at any time if they liked, satellites move or are moved, and solar flares, space junk, meteorites play havoc with satellites). Whilst commercial airliners have INS systems etc, smaller aircraft don't and they can't rely on GPS alone.
XJRamper From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 2462 posts, RR: 51
Reply 13, posted (8 years 3 months 2 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 3906 times:
The problem with VORs is that basically they are the main navigation aid in the US. IFR rated pilots...tell me if you are flying in IMC, in addition to GPS, what else do you need? You need a working VOR receiver and OBS. That right there should tell you that the VORs are not going anywhere any time soon. The problem is GPS is a great measure of new technology and what is to come. The problem is we need to make sure there is a reliable backup just in case you drop out of the required 4+ satellites for it to work reliably. FAA just seems to be lacking motivation to do just that.
Saab2000 From Switzerland, joined Jun 2001, 1612 posts, RR: 11
Reply 16, posted (8 years 3 months 2 weeks 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 3822 times:
NWA DC-9s have no RNAV. I was a bit surprised to hear this. But I have a friend who is skipper on the DC-9 there and he told me. Then I jumpseated on one a few weeks ago to ORD and there it was, flying in heading mode just keeping the OBS centered. DME counting down and everything. Pretty cool. Still, I like my 'primative' little CRJ any day over actually having to 'work'!!
SlamClick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 68
Reply 17, posted (8 years 3 months 2 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 3818 times:
To assume that the FAA wants to get rid of ground-based navaids one would have to assume that the FAA wants to save money.
No government agency wants to save money. They may want to redirect it but they NEVER have the goal of reducing their spending. The way USG budgets work this would result in their having LESS money to spend in the next fiscal year.
VORs have to be maintained and flight checked. The people who perform these tasks have to be supervised. The supervisors must be supervised. All of the above must be administered paid, regulated, represented, supplied with vehicles that must be maintained by other government employees and on and on. There is an industry within a Federal bureaucracy which does this. In other words that little square building with the flat roof and the white cone on top - that is a government jobs program. They will be around for at least twenty more years. That is my prediction.
LORAN is still around. My nephew, captain of a container ship learned LORAN at the academy but has never used it at sea. Not once in his career. Ships had GPS and that is what they use.
VOR is still used to 'update' IRS systems which are widely used by airlines. This involves leaving the Nav radios in an auto-tune mode and allowing the system to check its own progress by tuning passing VOR facilities along the route and using a DME/DME check to verify the computed position. I could envision VOR being useful in this mode beyond a point where pilots no longer know how to manually tune & identify them.
Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
Bri2k1 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 988 posts, RR: 4
Reply 19, posted (8 years 3 months 2 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 3774 times:
My friend bought some property that had one on it and he got to watch as it was disassembled. There wasn't much to see; he didn't even think about taking any pictures. I guess it looks pretty much like what it is -- an array of antennae. I wish I could have seen it myself, but that's as detailed as he got with me.
As pilots may know, a VOR transmits two different signals. One goes in all directions simultaneously (omnidirectionally) and is modulated with a 30Hz phase shift; this is the one that also contains the Morse code station identifier. The second signal rotates around the station 30 times per second. (VORs don't actually have moving parts, though; a special array of antennae can simulate this rotation.) As the signal "rotates," its phase changes. The receiver on the plane compares the phase of the omnidirectional signal (which it uses to determine the phase of the 360-degree radial) and the rotating signal, and the phase difference between them (in degrees) is the bearing from the station at which the signal is being received (in degrees). The OBS knob changes the phase of the reference signal in the receiver. By indicating the amount of phase change on a dial and centering the needle, the bearing to or from the station can be directly displayed.
There was no DME at my friend's, but they work by listening for two timed pulses from an aircraft and replying with two similarly timed pulses. The aircraft measures the time between transmititng the "interrogations" and listening for the replies, and uses it to calculate the distance.
ThirtyEcho From United States of America, joined Dec 2001, 1655 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (8 years 3 months 2 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 3748 times:
What will we use to listen to the baseball game when airplanes no longer have Low Frequency capability?
I had the unique experience of filing and flying one of the last "Red" airways in the country, Red 10, into New Orleans a long time ago. For those of you who don't know, this was one of the very old four course-low frequency "ranges."
Talk about simple; all you had to have was a Low Freq radio and a speaker or headset. You flew a heading to intercept the range "leg" and turned on course when the Morse code "A" and the "N" signal began to merge into a continuous tone. You corrected left or right when the tone began to break up into an A or an N. You were directly over the station when you entered the "cone of silence" and heard no signal at all.
I don't miss the four-course range one bit and I won't miss the VORs, either.
Mr AirNZ From New Zealand, joined Feb 2002, 873 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (8 years 3 months 2 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 3729 times:
Quoting Zkpilot (Reply 12): In New Zealand, NDB's are all but phased out... many are still operating but are not calibrated and are useful only in general from a long distance away.
Normally Zkpilot I find your posts accurate and informative but this one seems a little off. Yes some (not many) NDB's have been decommissioned but they are still well used. Approaches into KAT, KKE, WRE, TRG, WHK, TUO, WAG, WSZ, HKK, TIU, OAM (too name but a few) rely on NDB's, heck the Saab's don't have GPS and there's still Beech 1900D crews out there without the GPS endorsment. NDB's are most definitly kept calibarated, most light twins aren't equiped with GPS and when I'm flying IMC I am certainly relying on the beacon to be accurate.
Zkpilot From New Zealand, joined Mar 2006, 4840 posts, RR: 9
Reply 22, posted (8 years 3 months 2 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 3714 times:
Quoting Mr AirNZ (Reply 21): Normally Zkpilot I find your posts accurate and informative but this one seems a little off. Yes some (not many) NDB's have been decommissioned but they are still well used. Approaches into KAT, KKE, WRE, TRG, WHK, TUO, WAG, WSZ, HKK, TIU, OAM (too name but a few) rely on NDB's, heck the Saab's don't have GPS and there's still Beech 1900D crews out there without the GPS endorsment. NDB's are most definitly kept calibarated, most light twins aren't equiped with GPS and when I'm flying IMC I am certainly relying on the beacon to be accurate.
Compared to the number of NDB's that used to be around though there aren't many left. Perhaps I should clarify that they aren't used so much for enroute navigation and are mostly used in smaller airports (with very little traffic) for approaches/departures. Yeah pretty crazy bout them Saabs! You would think it would not be hard or expensive to fit GPS onto them, but the reality is that GPS does not work well for navigation in New Zealand (there aren't many GPS satellites in our corner of the world... getting the 4 satellites can be differcult at times). There are lots of NDBs that are not calibrated anymore... many of them are now radio transmitters... always useful for listening to the cricket in summer whilst flying
57AZ From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 2555 posts, RR: 2
Reply 23, posted (8 years 3 months 2 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 3710 times:
I don't at all foresee the total demise of the VOR system. If nothing else I am certain that some sort of network would be retained as a backup in case one should have a failure of the primary navigation system. Kind of like when folks thought that the state of the art nautical nav systems would lead to the elimination of lighthouses. Most still remain in service as primary aids for non-commercial watercraft and backups for commercial shipping. I navigate readily using VOR fixes to maintain constant position plots in case our GPS should fail at an inopportune moment.
"When a man runs on railroads over half of his lifetime he is fit for nothing else-and at times he don't know that."