Historical data and photo submitted by Robert Roll, former Braniff Airline Memphis employee.

Memphis (MEM), 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.


 

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