Tennessee, February 1960.
Braniff Airlines Air/ground communications
radio at Memphis Airport. They had three High Frequency (HF)
radio frequencies and one VHF frequency. In addition they had a
small tunable VHF backup receiver and a standby tunable HF receiver. An upgrade in equipment at this time included
the Motorola SELCAL (selective calling) unit allowing Braniff operators
to selectively call individually any of the company aircraft.
There was also a weather teletype
machine to receive hourly weather and winds. The station included
a 19ASR machine with tape punch to send position reports and other
information to the company. During those days the communicated
with the Air route Traffic Control Center and relayed clearances to
Braniff flights until they got to the Approach Control Zone.
This time-frame marked the end of the era
where Company operators relayed flight clearances between the ARTCC and
Company planes. As the Electra II went into service and the Boeing
707's were beginning service, their speed didn't allow for the time-gap
of call ARTCC, obtaining clearances, contacting a flight,. and
delivering the clearance. At close to 100 miles every 10
minutes...direct ARTCC/flight communication was essential. And so
went the Airline Company Radio Operator. A few remained in Dallas
with transmitters remoted across the Company's system.