VOR, short for VHF Omni-directional Radio Range, is a type of radio navigation system for aircraft. VORs broadcast a VHF radio composite signal including the station's morse code identifier (and sometimes a voice identifier), and data that allows the airborne receiving equipment to derive a magnetic bearing from the station to the aircraft (direction from the VOR station in relation to the Earth's magnetic North at the time of installation). VOR stations in areas of magnetic compass unreliability are oriented with respect to True North. This line of position is called the "radial" in VOR. The intersection of two radials from different VOR stations on a chart allows for a "fix" or approximate position of the aircraft.
Developed from earlier Visual-Aural Range (VAR) systems, the VOR was designed to provide 360 courses to and from the station selectable by the pilot. Early vacuum tube transmitters with mechanically-rotated antennas were widely installed in the 1950s, and began to be replaced with fully solid-state units in the early 1960s. They became the major radio navigation system in the 1960s, when they took over from the older radio beacon and four-course (low/medium frequency range) system. Some of the older range stations survived, with the four-course directional features removed, as non-directional low or medium frequency radiobeacons (NDBs).