Air mobile over Colorado

John W1LNX worked Scott W9AFB aeronautical mobile over Colorado recently. Not a bad signal for just over 100 miles away. I am curious about his distance record.

According to John’s description, Scott was operating aboard a Boeing C-135 (or one of the many variations thereof) at about 33,000 feet.

Although Scott’s transceiver in the airplane is limited to 2M and 6M, I think his enviable operating position gives new meaning to the term “air superiority”!


Matt Thomas, W1MST, is the managing editor of Contact him at [email protected].

One Response to “Air mobile over Colorado”

  • John - w1lnx:

    Hello Matt,

    Stumbled across your post of my contact with Scott, w9afb.

    As you can see in the video, I’m using a Yaesu FT-1900 at 10w out. What you don’t see is that it’s going straight out to a very inexpensive ($15 or so) Nagoya UT-108 mag-mount antenna stuck to a roof vent atop my house. With that basic setup, my distance to surface stations is reliably out to about 45 miles. w9afb had the deck stacked — to about 33,000 ft. — which gave us both solid receive at 130 miles.

    I’ve also had QRP (2.5w) phone contacts on 10m to 6,400 mi. and on 20m to 5,300 mi with my humble FT-817 and an expedient dipole antenna in the back garden.


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