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NDB and VOR - active at what height and/or distance?

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Is there a chart or list of what FSX uses for a plane's altitude and distance reception limitations for NDB and VOR?

I tune into a 75mile Class NDB while on the ground at a distance of 27 miles away and it does not receive a signal.

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Keep in mind, that at these frequencies,  it will be, pretty much, line of sight.  You would have better luck picking up that NDB while in the air.

Charlie Aron

Awaiting the new Microsoft Flight Sim and the purchase of a new system.  Running a Chromebook for now! :cool:



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From internet references:

VORs come with high, low, and terminal service volumes and dimensions.

High-altitude VORs can be used up to 60,000 feet and 130 nautical miles wide.

Low-altitude VORs service aircraft up to 18,000 feet and up to 40 nautical miles wide.

Terminal VORs go up to 12,000 feet and 25 nautical miles.


NDB stations are classified into four groups based on the beacon range in nautical miles.

Compass locator—15.
Medium Homing—25.
High Homing—75.


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Posted (edited)

I tried Slew and it worked so here is what I gathered. Seems its a rather complex calculation under the scene.

What Freq Range Station Height Distance nm Altitude Active
NDB 320 75 78 27.5 350
NDB 326 100 98 83.9 950
VOR 113.9 195 229 122.9 2750
VOR 111.2 195 3149 194.6 2950
VOR 116.3 195 9 158.2 3950
NDB 232 75 111 78.2 nope
NDB 380 50 22 81.2 nope
Edited by VeryBumpy

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I created a spreadsheet for myself of all navaids in the stock FSX:SE edition which I use to assist with my flight planning given that like navigating using "old school" technologies such as VOR and NDB only. The data in the spreadsheet includes the effective reception range of the Navaids. I used a utility (Easynavs) from the website linked below to extract the data.

I suggest it is better though for any user to create their own spreadsheet from the above utility simply because there can be umpteen different variations of navaids in any version of the game and any new scenery at all or updates to any original data sources used by the game can effect the underlying source navaid data. So better to have an exact "match" for your own installation.



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