Comms: Frequency Use

Discussions about the U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron
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Proteus
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Comms: Frequency Use

Post by Proteus » Tue May 19, 2020 2:47 pm

Hi!

I have been following this forum with great interest for almost 10 years now! For now I have a question, which I don’t think has been answered already.

So during the demo, are multiple radio frequencies being used? Or are the diamond and the solos on the same frequency all the time? I can imagine that calls from boss and five may overlap..?

Also, for operation America Strong (or joint fly-overs in general): it would make sense that both deltas are on the same frequency, but if both bosses call out their instructions regularly, then this might become confusing?

Thanks!
-Justin
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Lawndart
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Re: Comms: Frequency Use

Post by Lawndart » Wed May 20, 2020 3:03 am

Welcome to the forums Justin!

To answer the first part of your question: The Diamond uses VHF frequencies, and the Solos use UHF frequencies. This way they don’t block each other when transmitting and each pilot can set volumes separately for VHF/UHF as well. Obviously Boss and the Solos need to hear each other for timing cues and coordination, more so than the wingmen in the Diamond whom likely have Boss set to a louder volume than they have the Solos and vice versa.

While I’m unsure of the answer to your second question regarding “America Strong”, it’s likely they used dual comms much in the same way with The Birds on VHF & The Blues on UHF. This would allow for everyone being able to hear everyone, and each team having a dedicated transmit frequency. Good situational awareness and safety. In this case, the wingmen could’ve lowered their individual volumes for the other team’s Boss, since they’d want to clearly hear their own Leader (as well as the other one, but just not as loud).

Lastly, the cadence and verbiage is also different between the two teams, so each wingman would not only be intimately familiar with their own Leader’s voice and inflection, but the comm also varies in how they say the same command (e.g. Thunderbirds: “Smoke On Ready Now” in four syllables with each word in a slightly lower tone than the previous vs. Blue Angels: “Smoke On” in two syllables and two distinct tones from low to high).
Proteus
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Joined: Tue May 19, 2020 3:30 am
Location: The Netherlands

Re: Comms: Frequency Use

Post by Proteus » Wed May 20, 2020 9:49 am

Ah thanks, that's really insightful! Makes a lot of sense.

Yes, I'm familiar with the different verbiage. It's really nice that the last few years you see more videos on youtube with the comms added. I reckon most of them only listen out the VHF frequency then. I have also listened to recordings in the VTB library, which do include the Solo's comms. Always cool to listen to!
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