Vintage Airband

Dedicated to Vintage Airband Radio’s from the 1960’s

This page is dedicated to the very first Airband radio’s that were sold to the aviation enthusiasts in the 1960’s. I created separate pages for the following 3 manufactures due to the wide range of radio’s they provided.

Shorrock

Gauers

Nova Tech Incorporated

Swinburne Electronics

 

 

The following are other notable manufactures and suppliers during the early days

Volstatic Ltd

Aviation Division

57-67 Stirling Rd, Acton, W.3.

Skymaster

Based on a Masteradio London D517 www.radiomuseum.org/r/masteradio_d517.html
The General Electric Company PLC (GEC) acquired Masteradio around 1958.  Production continued under the Masteradio brand until the mid 1960s.

Other Models – ‘SKYWAY II’, ‘FLIGHT COMMANDER’, ‘FLIGHT MASTER’ and ‘FLIGHT COMMODORE’.

Park Air Electronics 

22a High Street, Stamford, Lincolnshire

Park air was started by Fred Parker, G3FUR from Stamford. His first portable ventures were using Japanese am/fm portable radios that were converted for airband am and often sold at airshows.

Back in 1969, there were 7 full time, including Fred, plus several part time, including a secretary and 3 or 4 Airworks Services radar technicians from North Luffenham Midland Radar. They were usually involved modifying the portables or assembly work on their rest days from the 24hour cover at work.

Park Air Electronics or P.A.E are a British company now owned by Northrop Grumman.
www.parkairsystems.com/about

According to this 1968 advert there were 3 models – Kurer, Sky Bandit and Concorde

Flight International 28 Nov 1968 – Lists Park Air Kurer, Sky Bandit and Concorde

In the January 1969 Shortwave Magazine Swanco Products Limited in Coventry were also selling a Park Air ‘Jet Set’ aircraft receiver

Swanco SWM Jan 1969

Concorde

Based on a National Panasonic Model RF-610, FM AM 9 Transistor.  Made in Japan by Matsushita Electric Industrial Co Ltd

Sky Bandit

No further details known

1968 Sky Bandit

360 Channel Airband Monitor

No further details known

Park Air 360 Channel Airband Monitor

Sky King

According to this advert from 1966 the Sky King cost £21 5s

Park Air Sky King
Wireless World Sep 1966

Heathkit

Model GR-98

Heathkit GR-98

 

Lafayette

HA-55 Air Craft Receiver

Air-Master 10

Converters

Fantavox VHF 105

Midland 10-502

Radio Kits

For those who were unable to afford a Shorrock or Gauers  one budding entrepreneur modified a radio kit to receive aircraft transmissions.  Pat Carty marketed the radio in Air Pictorial during 1964 as the first aircraft enthusiast assembled radio and called it the “PC 1ABR” for £6-£8. Pat would be very interested to hear from anyone who bought this radio or even still owns one! email patcarty2@aol.com 

Frequency Guides

I’ve been unable to find any airband frequency guides from the 1960’s as I’m informed enthusiasts used to get En-Route Flight Supplements free from crews at airshows. The first dedicated guides started to appear in the late 1970’s. Would be interested to hear if you are aware of any other early guides.

UK VHF Airband Guide 1st Edition – Ken Davies – December 1979 – ISBN 0 905117 68 9

Air Traffic Radio 3rd Edition – Ken Davies – 1985 – ISBN 0 947609 02 4

The All New VHF Airband Guide – A.S. Mawman and A.G. Williams – July 1985 – ISBN 0 9509910 1 5

The Travellers Airband Guide 1st Edition – D.J. Coles – The Aviation Hobby Shop – May 1981 – ISBN 907178 01 4

Aeronautical Radio Handbook 2nd Edition – Michiel Schaay – May 1990 – ISBN 3-923 925-35-2  (The 1st edition was published in 1987)

Radio Repairs 

I highly recommend Radiocruncher (Graham) – www.radiocruncher.com – Graham also has a YouTube channel www.youtube.com/channel/UCDj4nrHQsfiGO–jt108Cjw

Graham has done a YouTube video of my radios here – fast forward to 1hr 30 mins http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fq7uGyX4rDU

If you have any more information or any vintage airband radios for sale please contact me raf.fairford@gmail.com