The Different Types of Aircraft Antennas and Their Functions

With the advancement of technologies that are featured on modern aircraft, a plethora of antennas are now a commonplace sight all over the body of a plane. While they may look like lightning rods, they are actually a variety of aircraft antennas that serve various functions, ranging from communications to radar. Depending on their application, antennas may be spread out across the top and bottom of the fuselage and nacelle, as well as other areas. In this blog, we will provide a basic overview of some of the standard antennas featured on aircraft.

Communication antennas are one of the most important types as they are for relaying information from pilots to flight controllers, and vice-versa. These communication devices are often found on both the belly and top of the aircraft fuselage and are placed in a way as to ensure their coverage and range are not affected by different factors. Their installation both below and above a plane is so that they can have an effective signal during both ground and flight operations.

GPS antennas are the next major type which are installed on the top of the fuselage, and they feature amplifiers to increase their signal. Due to communication signals being prone to interfere with GPS operations, the two antennas are placed as far away from each other to mitigate their interference. GPS antennas also are designed with DC grounding as to protect them agaisnt lightning strikes.

Loran antennas are another standard feature that serves for long range navigation, and these antennas are often featured on either side of an aircraft. Other types of antenna include loop, marker beacon, NAV, radio, and UHF antennas. With their various functionalities, all antennas ensure that aircraft have smooth operation during flight and while on the ground.


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