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2M Aircraft Enhancement

I was introduced to AE by the late Harry Gorton ZL2ADU (now SK) and I quickly discovered that a nightly flight from Auckland in the north to Christchurch just to the East of my QTH gave excellent results.

As you maybe able to see from this AirScout screen shot below the track of these south bound aircraft almost exactly followed the path between the two of us. 

We were able to have an easy chat for about 15+ minutes most nights and the enhancement was very constant and surprisingly good. The aircraft was of the same type every night, Airbus A300's, and some times we had more than one. Up to three in a line one after the other which provided more than 30min of enharnced contact time. 

The flights were between 27000ft and 30000ft with the higher flights giving a much better enhancement and for much longer as all the literature on the subject would suggest.

I remember the day I spotted a 767 on the path and a quick phone call soon had Harry on the air with amazing results. A big fat S8-9 signal that just sat there for well over 15mins.

The path between the two of us was only just workable without any enhancement as it is quite an obstructed path with signals down at the readable 3 to 4 mark but with the aircraft enhancement signals were up in the S6-9 region.

This graph shows the terrain along the 500Km path and probably explains why it wasn't that easy even though we both ran high power and reasonable big antenna.

These two sound clips of the un-enharnced, left, and enhanced, right, give you an idea of the difference the enhancement made. If you listen to the end of the left recording you can just make out my old call ZL3THQ at the end of the transmission.

The enhanced recording is much better copy and was recorded when the plan was in the centre of the enhancement area.

If you would like to read a very good paper on AE have a read of this one by Rex VK7MO. While it has a bit of math in it there is also some good tables showing the results one can expect.

It came out of a GippsTech presentation back in 2000.