Science: Tacan Unveiled

The Air Navigation Development Board last week took the technical wraps off the controversial Tacan (Tactical Air Navigation), electronic distance-direction guide for aircraft. Backed by the Navy and Air Force as a replacement for the Omni-DME (Omnirange and Distance Measuring Equipment) system adopted by the Civil Aeronautics Administration in 1948, Tacan stirred up a storm in the flying industry (TIME, May 30), but it will probably become the system for all U.S. aircraft.

In essence, Tacan and Omni-DME are much alike, but though Tacan and DME use the same ultra-high-frequency radio band (960-1215), they cannot be read on the same instruments. Both...

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