Unicom range in AFV not working as intended?

This started as a discussion on reddit but I thought I would bring it here to hopefully find some answers. The discussion was around the range on the unicom frequency.
Some people were suggesting it should be 15nm (up to 30nm for two aircraft communicating with one another) but from my experience it is often much much further. I was heading into YSSY the other day still 220nm away and I could hear aircraft approaching YSSY from the other side coordinating their approaches.
This can be backed up by looking at the AFV map website where the range rings for unicom are very large. I was just on there measuring to see if I could learn anything and measured 250nm range for an aircraft at FL350 (CHH483), and 30nm for an aircraft on the ground (JST740). Both aircraft also had a secondary (CTAF) frequency tuned and the range for both of them was 15nm so it seems like the CTAF range has the artificial range reduction but Unicom is line of sight.

But then I found something else strange on the AFV map. There were aircraft at altitude (eg JST969) with small range rings, but were tuned to unicom!

To me this begs the question - why are some pilots getting the reduced range on unicom and others aren’t? Is this an intended feature or a bug? Is it because they are using different client software or is something else going on? Just from scrolling around and checking it seems everyone that has both CTAF and unicom tuned are getting the long range unicom but if only tuned to unicom they get short range - could this be it? I have only noticed that on the AFV map website though - I haven’t actually tested in the sim to see if range is affected that way.

Would love to know everyone’s thoughts on this.


It’s a known bug affecting Australia and New Zealand, but nobody seems to want it fixed as it’s more useful when 95% of Australia is uncontrolled in the real world.

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