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How to build/convert a portable radio to receive air traffic control transmissions? Answered

Hello everyone! 

Recently I took a trip and flew with United Airlines, they have a really cool feature where one of the music channels that you can listen to through your headphones is actually the pilots talking with the control tower.  It was really fun listening to them and I started to wonder how hard it would be to modify or build a radio (hopefully something portable) that could receive these transmissions so I could listen to them anytime.   As I understand it most air traffic transmissions are on frequencies 108 - 136MHz.  Are they different in Canada (where I live)?  I would assume they are the same internationally...  but what do I know. 



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11 years ago

If you search old issues of Popular Electronics and similar magazines, you'll find information about this. However, even the design which is actually legal for use in flight (superregenerative rather than superheterodyne) will undoubtedly not be approved for use by the airline, so the best you're going to be able to do is listen from the ground.