The characteristics of TACAN are:
1. TACAN operates in the UHF Band. UHF frequencies, like VHF frequencies, are also
relatively free from atmospheric disturbances and are limited to line of sight of reception.
Therefore, the Earth's curvature and aircraft altitude will affect your ability to receive the
The TACAN system employs 256 two-way operating channels (1X through 126Y) which
correspond to UHF frequencies spaced 0.5 MHZ apart.
2. TACAN presents magnetic bearing information. The information presented is virtually
identical to that presented by the VOR.
3. In the T-34 aircraft, TACAN bearing is displayed on the #2 needle. The displayed
information is accurate to + 3/4°.
4. TACAN identification signal. TACANs can only transmit the Morse code
corresponding to their 3-letter identifiers. TACANs are never capable of voice transmission.
5. TACAN is subject to 40° lock off. TACAN ground stations produce their bearing
information through a series of pulses which are spaced 40° apart. A properly functioning
TACAN receiver has the ability to interpret these pulses and to properly display correct
TACAN magnetic bearing to the aircrew. With a weak airborne receiver however, a
RADIO AIDS TO NAVIGATION