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Circular runways for airports?



 
 
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  #1  
Old December 25th 06, 08:25 PM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
Larry Dighera
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Posts: 3,780
Default Circular runways for airports?


Now here's an idea almost as good as underground airports*:



http://www.newscientist.com/article/...-airports.html
A CIRCULAR runway for airports is being considered by the US navy, and
the idea was recently tested in principle at General Motors' proving
ground. It is thought to promise some advantages but to be more
expensive than providing similar operational capacity in the normal
way. One particular advantage is that it would save one-third of the
space occupied by a conventional airport of equal capacity.

The idea is to match the circumference to the landing speeds of the
aircraft that would use it, assuming that each aeroplane would need to
be sure of one sixth of the circumference. This would mean that for
big jet aircraft, a circular runway of rather more than 60,000 feet in
circumference would be required.

Taking the usual first-class runway width of 300 feet, an aeroplane,
touching down on the outside edge and aiming just to miss the inner
edge, would have a run of 4860 feet before it approached the outer
edge again. In that distance, thrust reversers and brakes would have
been applied and the speed reduced perhaps sufficiently to use the
nose wheel gently to steer the craft back onto another tangential
course for the next mile of its run.

As an alternative, the runway could be made wider. In that event cost
would rise steeply. A 10,000-foot runway 300 feet wide costs little
under 1 million. The need to devise new landing techniques and to
retrain pilots is acknowledged in official references to this study,
but emphasis is laid on the "unlimited runway" and on the
"minimisation of crosswind factor" by enabling take-offs and landings
to be made in any direction.

This might reduce the number of aircraft that could use the runway at
the same time. Only when crosswind was not of serious strength could
the runway be used by six aircraft simultaneously and the claim that
it would conduce to high traffic density be justified.




*

http://groups.google.com/group/rec.a...a?dmode=source
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  #2  
Old December 25th 06, 08:37 PM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
Doug[_1_]
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Posts: 248
Default Circular runways for airports?

This isn't by any chance being studied with GOVERNMENT money is it?

  #3  
Old December 25th 06, 09:21 PM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
Paul Tomblin
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Posts: 687
Default Circular runways for airports?

In a previous article, Larry Dighera said:
under 1 million. The need to devise new landing techniques and to
retrain pilots is acknowledged in official references to this study,
but emphasis is laid on the "unlimited runway" and on the


Does this mean that Convair is going back into the airplane business?

(If you get the joke, you're showing your age.)

--
Paul Tomblin http://blog.xcski.com/
So I was reading Twelfth Night ... and would you believe that the I LOVE YOU
hoax is the exact same trick Shakespeare uses to point out what an arrogant,
self-absorbed fool Malvolio is? -- Julia McKinnell
  #4  
Old December 25th 06, 10:47 PM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
Kev
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Posts: 368
Default Circular runways for airports?


Larry Dighera wrote:
Now here's an idea almost as good as underground airports*:


Or as good as taking off from a treadmill ? :-) ;-)

So why not use a treadmill for landing as well. Then you'd just need
an "airport" the length of an airplane. Mount the treadmill on a
pivot, and you could always land/take off into the wind, too.

Of course, you could always use the aircraft carrier method of stopping
landing planes.... just mount all the passenger seats backwards to
absorb the shock.

Kev

  #5  
Old December 25th 06, 10:49 PM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
Kev
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Posts: 368
Default Circular runways for airports?


Kev wrote:
Or as good as taking off from a treadmill ? :-) ;-)

So why not use a treadmill for landing as well. Then you'd just ...


PS. before people go crazy, yes I know you can't land on a treadmill.
Although I'm sure someone will make a proof the other way ;-)

Kev

  #6  
Old December 25th 06, 11:33 PM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
Bob Noel
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Posts: 1,374
Default Circular runways for airports?

In article . com,
"Kev" wrote:

PS. before people go crazy, yes I know you can't land on a treadmill.
Although I'm sure someone will make a proof the other way ;-)


Of course you can....probably won't fly the airplane again, but...

:-)

--
Bob Noel
Looking for a sig the
lawyers will hate

  #7  
Old December 26th 06, 12:54 AM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
john smith
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Posts: 1,446
Default Circular runways for airports?

In article ,
(Paul Tomblin) wrote:

In a previous article, Larry Dighera said:
under 1 million. The need to devise new landing techniques and to
retrain pilots is acknowledged in official references to this study,
but emphasis is laid on the "unlimited runway" and on the


Does this mean that Convair is going back into the airplane business?
(If you get the joke, you're showing your age.)


"If they built a runway around the world at the equator, Republic would
build an airplane that would use it." - unknown
  #8  
Old December 26th 06, 02:12 AM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
Ron Lee
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Posts: 295
Default Circular runways for airports?

This type article (granted 50 years old), gives scientists a bad name.

Ron Lee




Richard Riley wrote:

On Mon, 25 Dec 2006 19:25:06 GMT, Larry Dighera
wrote:


Now here's an idea almost as good as underground airports*:


http://www.time.com/time/magazine/ar...936623,00.html

Mar. 21, 1955
Dr. John Gibson Winans, 52, an air-minded professor of physics at the
University of Wisconsin, was demonstrating last week the first part of
a pet theory: that airplanes should take off and land in circles, as
tethered models do.

A straight runway, the professor reasons, is fine if it is long
enough. But often, even on a very long runway, a faltering engine or
iced-up wings can dump an airplane in crack-up territory beyond the
airport fence. A circular runway, on the other hand, is infinitely
long because an airplane, tethered to its center, can fly around it
indefinitely. The pilot need not fear "running out of runway." Even if
his engine dies after the takeoff, his airplane can circle safely to
the ground again.

Professor Winans heard that the circular take-off had been
demonstrated as a stunt by Jean Roche in 1938. In 1950 Winans got from
the Sanders Aviation Co. of Riverdale, Md. the special equipment (a
hub, spindle and release gear) that Roche used, but his attempts at
that time to take off in a circle were not a success.

This year he tried again with his new light airplane, an Ercoupe. At
first he wanted to use frozen Lake Mendota, near Madison, for his
circular runway, but the city council said no. Last fortnight he set
up his apparatus on the ice of Lake Kegonsa, a safe distance from
Madison. The spindle and hub were attached to a steel barrel frozen
into the ice and guyed solidly. A double strand of woven nylon, 400
ft. long, led to a quick-release fixture under a wing of the airplane.
The first four tries were failures. The airplane swept part way round
the circle and left the ground, but the rope always broke before the
professor could make a controlled release. The fifth try was
successful. This week the professor was doing it every time, slinging
himself into the air and flying off with composure.

Professor Winans hopes to get permission to take passengers up on
circular takeoffs, which he considers the utmost in safety, but his
ultimate objective is to land in the circular manner. He has not tried
it yet.


  #9  
Old December 26th 06, 03:12 AM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
Peter Dohm
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,754
Default Circular runways for airports?

"Richard Riley" wrote in message
...
On Mon, 25 Dec 2006 19:25:06 GMT, Larry Dighera
wrote:


Now here's an idea almost as good as underground airports*:


http://www.time.com/time/magazine/ar...936623,00.html

Mar. 21, 1955
Dr. John Gibson Winans, 52, an air-minded professor of physics at the
University of Wisconsin, was demonstrating last week the first part of
a pet theory: that airplanes should take off and land in circles, as
tethered models do.

A straight runway, the professor reasons, is fine if it is long
enough. But often, even on a very long runway, a faltering engine or
iced-up wings can dump an airplane in crack-up territory beyond the
airport fence. A circular runway, on the other hand, is infinitely
long because an airplane, tethered to its center, can fly around it
indefinitely. The pilot need not fear "running out of runway." Even if
his engine dies after the takeoff, his airplane can circle safely to
the ground again.

Professor Winans heard that the circular take-off had been
demonstrated as a stunt by Jean Roche in 1938. In 1950 Winans got from
the Sanders Aviation Co. of Riverdale, Md. the special equipment (a
hub, spindle and release gear) that Roche used, but his attempts at
that time to take off in a circle were not a success.

This year he tried again with his new light airplane, an Ercoupe. At
first he wanted to use frozen Lake Mendota, near Madison, for his
circular runway, but the city council said no. Last fortnight he set
up his apparatus on the ice of Lake Kegonsa, a safe distance from
Madison. The spindle and hub were attached to a steel barrel frozen
into the ice and guyed solidly. A double strand of woven nylon, 400
ft. long, led to a quick-release fixture under a wing of the airplane.
The first four tries were failures. The airplane swept part way round
the circle and left the ground, but the rope always broke before the
professor could make a controlled release. The fifth try was
successful. This week the professor was doing it every time, slinging
himself into the air and flying off with composure.

Professor Winans hopes to get permission to take passengers up on
circular takeoffs, which he considers the utmost in safety, but his
ultimate objective is to land in the circular manner. He has not tried
it yet.


Please remember to post this again in about 3 1/2 months! ;-)

Peter


  #10  
Old December 26th 06, 06:19 AM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
Larry Dighera
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 3,780
Default Circular runways for airports?

On 25 Dec 2006 13:47:11 -0800, "Kev" wrote in
. com:

you could always use the aircraft carrier method of stopping
landing planes.... just mount all the passenger seats backwards to
absorb the shock.


Actually, that's a prudent idea. It might require some additional
stowage methods in the galley and cargo hold, but it would seem
preferable to the bend over your seat belt, and wait for the impact
emergency procedure currently in place.

 




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