VAR Installation - External View

An external view of the first installation of a Visual-Aural Range (VAR) beacon in Australia, at Melbourne/Essendon in 1947. The beaacon was located on Sharps Rd, at the northern boundary of the aerodrome. Subsequent VAR installations throughout Australia looked very similar. Click here to see another view of the Essendon VAR.

The fibro-cement hut housed duplicated transmitters, operating on 120 Mc, as well as ancillary equipment. Emergency power generators were located in a separate, adjacent hut if necessary (the Essendon beacon was fed by mains power). Click here to see inside the transmitter hut.

VAR beacons were installed to replace the earlier network of 33 Mc 'Lorenz' beacons. A total of 30 VARs were installed in the original network between 1947 and 1950, with the network commissioned on 1 January 1953. More VAR beacons were installed in later years.

(Photo: CAHS collection)

Click here to see Instrument Approach Chart for VAR Approaches at

Click here to read the Operational Notes for VAR

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