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Menrva    238

I find it interesting, but far from being that viable. Taking off from such a runway would be a mess, especially for heavy cargo planes. But for military aircraft, I don't know, it is kind of appealing.

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Stick    526

Read about this on my lunch break... absolutely barking... can only imagine whoever thought it up has little to no flying or engineering experience.

Au contraire, he is an engineer and an ATC professional; operations and management from what I understand of his profile below;

https://www.linkedin.com/in/henkhesselink/

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Sokol    79

Hi,

 

the same concept was evaluated in the 1960ies. I remember a picture of an A-4 Skyhawk taking off from a circular test runway in a contemporary German tech-magazine. What I cannot remember is whether it was an actual photograph or an artits's impression.

They dumped the idea.

Which is no surprise.

 

sokol

 

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tonipm99    26

Well, never seen that before!

In theory the concept seems good. I don't think modern aircraft would have much of a problem landing while turning, and neither would pilots.

But in practice, I'd say it'd only be useful in places where the wind is pretty much non-existent. Just imagine the headache of landing while the wind's constantly changing directions. Oh, and the radius seems too small. And -

 

Thinking about it right now I'm seeing a lot of problems with it. I think it'd be easier if aircraft's landing and take-off speeds were lowered, thus allowing for smaller runways. Also, existing airports would easily have the unneeded part of the runway removed if space is really that much of an issue, unlike a circular runway. 

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+Erik    792

Pilots have a hard enough time with a straight runway I can just image the SNAFU a round one would cause. That aside can you image the nightmare of PAPI/VASI lights and electronic landing aids like a glide slope and localizer. Pilots are so used to flying the computer that half of the pilots would have to be fired. The young pilots today aren't Sullenbergers that's for dang sure. Round? How about nahhhhh. Funny concept though.

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Au contraire, he is an engineer and an ATC professional; operations and management from what I understand of his profile below;

https://www.linkedin.com/in/henkhesselink/

 

Erik pretty much hit it on the head.

 

If you can approach this from any direction how are you supposed to set up viable landing aids?

Has he considered the impact a banked runway surface is going to have on tyres?

Has he considered the increased stresses on landing gear structure that will be caused by landing on a three dimensionaly varying surface, rather than the standard planar surface?

Has he considered that only one quadrant of this loop runway will be optimal for wind conditions at any given time... He think its viable for large hubs... only if they want to operate with a single arrival/departure corridor... Technically you could use opposite quadrants, one for arrivals and one for departures however that results in two aircraft on the same loop that while on the ground are heading directly at each other.

 

Further evidence he doesn't understand basic engineering, he has managed to confuse centrifugal and centripetal forces in several videos and documents I've read.

 

Fact remains when siting and constructing an airport the prevailing wind conditions are factored into runway orientation... many existing airports already have multiple runways of varying orientation...

 

As a space saver this is a deeply flawed solution to a problem that doesn't really exist. Airports are massive by necessity... they also generally exist where they are required already.

Edited by fallenphoenix1986

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+Erik    792

Let's not forget one of the most important things ... not hitting another aircraft on arrival or departure AKA the most demanding time of any flight. Standard Instrument Departures (SID) Standard Arrival Routes (STAR) are designed around aerodromes to coordinate traffic for both phases of flight with an optimal aircraft distance for avoidance and emergencies. So you build an endless runway so what. At any one time only two directions of flight can be used as a prevailing wind only blows in one primary direction and given that aircraft want to depart and land into the wind this 360 degree brain fart would only be used in two directions at once. Now I suspect something like this might be okay for general aircraft in an absolutely calm valley somewhere but it will never scale to a commercial level. This thing is dead on arrival which is not an aviation friendly term.

 

Still funny though. I mean how much time has this guy put into the design, prototyping, and selling the concept, gotta be a pretty huge number. He must not have kids.

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Toryu    149

Given the fact that you can very easily kill your MLG by taxiing too fast around a corner at close to MTOW, that idea is pretty much useless.

It will be hard to minimize side-loads on the landing-gear with different required turn-radii for different required take-off speeds.

Not only that: You'll have to accelerate and decelerate to that speed which will bring you through a large band of non-optimized radii, leading in turn to variing and generally substantial side-loads. Twice per flight..

 

Say hello to Mr Rear Spar Crack Inspection, he's living here now...

There's a killer-argument right there.

 

Other considerations (like crabbing and wing-low angles to protect against nacelle-strikes, etc.) are equally forbidding.

 

Nice idea for the sake of an idea, but little operational gain.

 

 

@ Erik:

 

You could design a WAAS/ ground-based differential GNSS spiral RNAV-approach, which could be flown automatically on profile.

Theoretically, the accuracy is already there, but certifying that kind of approach (we're currently at "ILS CAT I"-accuracy in RNAVs, you'd nee "CAT IIIc-plus" {I've just made that one up} accuracy on that loop-runway) would be a real bear.

There already are other ways to streamline traffic.

 

Airport-space is seldomly of any signifigance.

Edited by Toryu

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+Erik    792

Any type of inclement weather approach / departure that was designed for this circular runway would require a larger circle of land around the entire airport that would be free of obstructions since you can approach and depart from any point on the circle. In other words all the land around the airport would now be considered an approach / departure corridor. This means the airport would be isolated all by itself somewhere and what if the airport needed to grow or could it. Imagine all the airlines and passengers stuffed into a tiny hub in the middle so the facility has a growth limit of zero. Most airports are not simply runways and passenger terminals so a round airport would have no support buildings around the outside of the runway. The only good thing about this design is that it's most certainly going to be purchased and adopted by our defense department for either the deployment of Osprey or Harriers and maybe even adapted to use on our Nimitz Supercarriers. Now if he designed it in an oval he might have something because when the airport goes bankrupt at least NASCAR can purchase it and make some money.

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Toryu    149

Good point there.

The TERPS-requirements would probably kill any percieved benefit in terms of land and airspace-use. Maybe you could build that sort of runway in Montréal-Mirabel, but hardly anywhere else.

Unless you're going Full Nelson and design a complete new kind of approach (like a 9° idle, speedbrakes semi-deployed (somewhat like DLC on the L-1011) spiral glidepath) to get the required obstacle-clearance. That won't help on departures, though - just think of how funny an ODP-chart would read for those runways.

Edited by Toryu

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