The Lockheed VC-121E “Columbine III” (Image Source: USAF Museum)
Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Robert Yowell, who writes:
I was visiting the US Air Force Museum [Friday] and walked through “Columbine III” which was the Lockheed Constellation used as Air Force One by President Eisenhower from 1954 until he left office. In the back of the cabin was a nice cozy area where this Hallicrafters receiver was installed – ostensibly for the passengers to listen to news or other events while in flight.
I am sure one of your readers will be able to identify which model it is.
Can you imagine flying in this gorgeous Lockheed VC-121E four prop aircraft and listening to HF radio from a built-in Hallicrafters set? Wow…
Thank you, Robert, for sharing these photos. The National Museum of the US Air Force is one of my favorite museums in the world. I bet I’ve visited it more than a dozen times over the past decade–always a treat and always something new to discover!
Post readers: Can you identify this Hallicrafters model? Please comment!
Equipped with up to 80 radio stations, this remnant of the Cold War once served as a tropospheric scatter communications system using microwave relay. Its location, Alaska. It was initially constructed during the 1950s.
The United States Air Force saw great benefit from this communication system for it improved their communication tremendously. Years before this system was installed, Alaska had only the essentials when it came to communication systems.
It wasn’t until Bell Systems came up with their design for the U.S.A.F. that Alaska would receive proper communications links. The name White Alice Communications System in itself is an acronym made up of the following words – White, for it was used in the snow-covered land of Alaska, and Alice, that stands for Alaska Integrated Communications and Electronics.[…]
Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Paul, who writes:
I was a morse intercept operator in the USAF in the late 1960s. I have a nice picture of a FLR-9 at Misawa Japan (now gone I think):
I was at Misawa from 68-70 in the USAF Security Service. I copied high speed code, mostly cut numbers. Got my ham license after discharge. I had 3 R390 receivers at my “position” and numerous different “antennas” on the FLR-9 to listen in different directions. While there I received a commendation for: “Providing information that otherwise would not have been known” I’m not sure I can say any more details.
To me [this photo] shows the immensity of the antenna.
Yes–this antenna is enormous! It must be a site to see up close. I’ve only seen Wullenweber Antennas from satellite imagery. Thank you so much for sharing your photo!
New Scientist magazine reports the US Air Force is working on plans to improve HF radio propagation by releasing ionised gas in the upper atmosphere using a fleet of micro satellites
As well as increasing the range of radio signals, the USAF says it wants to smooth out the effects of solar winds, which can knock out GPS, and also investigate the possibility of blocking communication from enemy satellites.
The story says there are at least two major challenges. One is building a plasma generator small enough to fit on a CubeSat – roughly 10 centimetres cubed. Then there’s the problem of controlling exactly how the plasma will disperse once it is released.
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