Flight to Douala Winter 77

During the 24 years that The Two Bobs were on the air, they presented a number of demonstrations of practical radio technology.

On one occasion – in the winter of 1977 / 78 – Bob Zanotti was in mid-air aboard Swissair flight 262 bound for Douala, Cameroon in West Africa. Bob was on a reporting mission together with the Swiss-based children’s charity group Enfants du Monde.

Back on the ground, Bob Thomann was at the control console at Berna Radio, where he was a supervisor. Berna Radio was the ground-to-air station that was set up by the former Swiss PTT to provide radio communication with aircraft.

Swissair flight 262 was using a 400 watt single-sideband (SSB) transmitter and wire antenna, and Berna Radio was transmitting with a power of 10 kilowatts using a directional antenna.

As an interesting historical note: When the two Siemens 10 KW Berna Radio transmitters were decommissioned in the late 1980’s, they were bought by the Italian Radio Relay Service IRRS in Milan, where they were in regular use through the end of 2003.