When traveling I find radio infinitely more satisfying than watching hotel room TV. Hotel radios rarely work at all on AM and figuring out how to run them could be entertaining but I am usually much too tired to find humor in it. Placing the Skywave near or on a window sill always produces acceptable results.
Discovering a good small travel radio can be difficult. Reception and audio are sometimes sub-par because of the small size. The keys and knob can also be difficult to operate (especially at night) for the same reason. We made the Skywave with usability in mind rather than features for “features” sake. Performance is good enough to gain my vote over a $300.00 radio I once traveled with. The only accessory you might want is a Portable Shortwave antenna depending on where you are traveling.
The Skywave is small enough for a trip anywhere in the world. It is easily switched to another country’s format. Two AA batteries last an amazing 70 hours. I love the Skywave for how easy it is to use at night.
All travelers eventually get delayed at an airport. The air band can be a real informer when traveling. The cryptic language used by pilots and air traffic control is very interesting. The word “heavy” is used for an aircraft on approach that is over 300,000 pounds and generates substantial wake turbulence. One time I heard our latest gate number change over the air and my wife and I got to sit in real chairs for the first time in four hours.
When traveling you need a radio to fit into a crevice of a carry on. Having one with top performance makes it wonderful.
It is nice that I can ask Siri about the planes overhead and find out where they are going.
The best airline I used was Central Air out of Lawton, Oklahoma in the mid 60’s. They flew DC-3’s and each fight was a milk run. They would fly for 15 minutes, land drop off the mail, keep the motors running, turn around get the out going mail and take off. It seems like the plane made 2 or 3 stops like that. before I reached my destination. If it wasn’t for the mail, there was no need to land since I never saw passengers get on or off at these landing strips.
I once observed a Comercial plane landing at Houston Bush with landing gear problems. The cockpit was not getting the landing gear lock indicator. It flew low passes past the control tower about six times so that the tower could see if the gear was locked. It finally went back around and made the landing. All the emergency vehicles lined the runway, as the plane made a perfect landing. It stopped on the runway and a crew came and inspected the gear. Finally a tugger came out and towed the plane to the terminal. The whole thing was especially cool because I heard it all on my scanner! It was an unforgettable incident that I will never forget!
I’m not sure if this is where I’m to enter my comments about my most interesting aircraft band reception for the contest for an Air Band radio, but here goes.
Back in the early 1970’s, I was on my way home from work when I heard on my car radio that a plane hijacking was going on aboard a flight out of Detroit Metro Airport. I got home as fast as I could, and got my small AM/Aircraft band radio. After a few minutes running up and down the Aero band on that analog radio, I managed to hear the hijacked plane. The hijackers did all the talking, and their language wasn’t exactly clean. It sounded like there were two of them, and they kept threatening to kill one of the pilots if their demands weren’t met. I could not hear what the people on the ground were saying, but I had a clear signal from the plane until I lost them somewhere over Ohio I believe, as I did hear mention of Ohio just before losing them. Something like that one never forgets. Sadly, I never heard how it turned out, as the local news only mentioned that there was an incident, but gave no details that I heard about or saw.
Learned to fly in 1959 in a Piper J3 at the fort Leonard Wood Flying Club. Flew Navions, Piper Tripacer an of course the J3. Last flew in 1960. I’m 79 now. I’d like to try it again sometime.
Southwest travel to Pennsylvania, was my dream vacation, seeing the birth place of America was educational for me and my family!!