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How To Differentiate Between Take-off And Landing  
User currently offlineBraybuddy From Ireland, joined Aug 2004, 5627 posts, RR: 32
Posted (8 years 11 months 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 5799 times:

The 747 below is taking off, which I know from reading the caption. Without a caption, I am unable to tell if it's taking off or landing. What are the telltale signs for the non-flyers amongst us to show whether it is taking-off or landing, the angle of the flaps, the angle of the aircraft?


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Photo © Sam Chui



23 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineLando From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 81 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (8 years 11 months 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 5784 times:

Well, I am no expert, but one way you can tell is if the plane is still near the beginning of the runway its landing...no plane would be touching down that far down the runway...it would have to go around...

User currently offlineLeezyjet From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 4041 posts, RR: 53
Reply 2, posted (8 years 11 months 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 5765 times:

Smoke from the tyres is a tell tale sign of a take off or landing too !!.

 Smile



"She Rolls, 45 knots, 90, 135, nose comes up to 20 degrees, she's airborne - She flies, Concorde Flies"
User currently offlineRichard28 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2003, 1603 posts, RR: 6
Reply 3, posted (8 years 11 months 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 5759 times:

Another way to tell is to look at the position of the flaps.

For take off they are generally at about 5 degrees, whereas for landing they are lowered to around 30 degrees.

You can see on the UA photo posted that the flaps are only slightly lowered, as it is taking off.

Rich.


User currently offlineOPNLguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (8 years 11 months 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 5752 times:

Quoting Braybuddy (Thread starter):
What are the telltale signs for the non-flyers amongst us to show whether it is taking-off or landing, the angle of the flaps, the angle of the aircraft?

Generally speaking, the flaps will be out much further on landing. Takeoff flap settings are usually lower than landing flap settings.


User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 16991 posts, RR: 67
Reply 5, posted (8 years 11 months 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 5751 times:

If slats and flaps are only partly extended, it's normally a takeoff. If they are close to fully extended, it's a landing.


"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineSATX From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 2840 posts, RR: 7
Reply 6, posted (8 years 11 months 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 5714 times:

Landings...

Flaps and smoke:
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Photo © Erwin



Thrust reversers:
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Photo © Chris Starnes



Take-off is similar but no smoke, less flaps, and no thrust reversers.



Obviously, there are exceptions to every rule thanks to possible MX issues, pilot error, bizarre weather conditions, funny camera settings, and post-processing. However, these are some general guidelines you can use.

[Edited 2005-08-25 00:53:11]


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User currently offlineFlanker From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 1627 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (8 years 11 months 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 5606 times:

The easiest way is the flap setting/TR.


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User currently offlineBraybuddy From Ireland, joined Aug 2004, 5627 posts, RR: 32
Reply 8, posted (8 years 11 months 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 5584 times:

Thanks guys. It's looks as if the tyres on one of the wheels are barely touching the runway so I wouldn't expect the absence of smoke to indicate anything here. And don't the thrust reversers only come on when all the wheels have made contact with the runway?

User currently offlineSATX From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 2840 posts, RR: 7
Reply 9, posted (8 years 11 months 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 5491 times:

Quoting Braybuddy (Reply 8):
And don't the thrust reversers only come on when all the wheels have made contact with the runway?

Yes.


I guess when you said "the non-flyers amongst us," you REALLY meant it?!  Smile



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User currently offlineSkyexRamper From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (8 years 11 months 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 5256 times:

UP and DOWN...need I say more!?!??

User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31667 posts, RR: 56
Reply 11, posted (8 years 11 months 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 5238 times:

Quoting Braybuddy (Reply 8):
And don't the thrust reversers only come on when all the wheels have made contact with the runway

Not All.There are exceptions.
The Position of the TE Flaps around 1,2,5 for T/O & 30 or 40 for landing normally.
Check for T/R deployment on Landing.
Check for Speedbrake Deployment on landing.
regds
MEL



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineSATX From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 2840 posts, RR: 7
Reply 12, posted (8 years 11 months 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 5197 times:

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 11):
Not All.There are exceptions.

Wow. I never knew of (and never experienced to my knowledge) any cases where thrust reversers were intentionally in operation while the plane was still in the air.

1. If only the main landing gear were on the runway, wouldn't deploying the thrust reversers risk slamming the nose gear too hard against the runway?

2. If none of the landing gear had yet made contact, wouldn't deploying the thrust reversers risk the loss of smooth and continued control over the plane itself?

I guess what I'm really asking is "What are the exceptions?"  Smile



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User currently offlineLehpron From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 7028 posts, RR: 21
Reply 13, posted (8 years 11 months 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 5190 times:

Quoting Braybuddy (Thread starter):
How To Differentiate Between Take-off And Landing

Two words: flaps setting.

Most large airplanes takeoff with some flaps and land with full. Just look at the angle they 'flap' down, if it is steep, it it about to touch down. It's the only way I could tell. But if it were crusing at low speed and needed it's takeoff flaps setting, I would not be able to tell.



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User currently offlineOlympus69 From Canada, joined Jun 2002, 1737 posts, RR: 7
Reply 14, posted (8 years 11 months 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 5127 times:

Quoting SATX (Reply 12):
Wow. I never knew of (and never experienced to my knowledge) any cases where thrust reversers were intentionally in operation while the plane was still in the air.

You will never see thrust reversers activated in the air on planes with engines below the wings. A rearward force below the center of gravity would cause a downward force on the nose. However, with rear engined planes the thrust is closer to the c. of g. and has less effect on the pitching moment. Even so, the only aircraft that regularly employs thrust reversers in the air is the Russian IL-62. There could be others but that plane is the only one I personally seen doing this. Here's one example

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User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31667 posts, RR: 56
Reply 15, posted (8 years 11 months 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 5119 times:

Quoting SATX (Reply 12):
What are the exceptions


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Photo © Johan Ljungdahl


Heard of the IL62.
regds
MEL



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 16991 posts, RR: 67
Reply 16, posted (8 years 11 months 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 5116 times:

Quoting Olympus69 (Reply 14):
Even so, the only aircraft that regularly employs thrust reversers in the air is the Russian IL-62. There could be others but that plane is the only one I personally seen doing this. Here's one example

Other examples of planes that can use idle T/R in the air:
C-17
VC-10 (IIRC)
Concorde
DC-8



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineKilavoud From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (8 years 11 months 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 5096 times:

When taking off the incline of the plane is much steeper than when landing.

Cheers. Kilavoud.


User currently offlineSATX From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 2840 posts, RR: 7
Reply 18, posted (8 years 11 months 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 5049 times:

Mucho THANKS Olympus69, HAWK21M, & Starlionblue!

Quoting Kilavoud (Reply 17):
When taking off the incline of the plane is much steeper than when landing.

This doesn't really seem like a consistent rule to me, even if just based on the photos here on A.net.



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User currently offlineBond007 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 5395 posts, RR: 8
Reply 19, posted (8 years 11 months 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 4950 times:

SO....the true answer is unless you can see the location on the runway, there is no way of telling 100% in this configuration!

Might not use thrust reversers - might take-off at lower angle-of-attack - might land with only small amount of flaps....etc. etc.

Of course, if you see smoke, or flaps are fully deployed, or you see thrust reversers - it's landing.


Jimbo



I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
User currently offlineHalophila From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 645 posts, RR: 4
Reply 20, posted (8 years 11 months 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 4837 times:

Quoting Braybuddy (Reply 8):
And don't the thrust reversers only come on when all the wheels have made contact with the runway?

I believe at least one accident (an AC DC-8) occurred when T/R were deployed while the aircraft was still airborne above the runway, causing a hard landing, forcing a go-around, but the damage to the aircraft caused the plane to unfortunately crash while on repeat descent (I believe with all hands lost). Of course there's also the Lauda 767 which crashed when one T/R deployed at altitude, again sadly resulting in the loss of the aircraft and all souls aboard. Albeit the Lauda accident was not during T/O or landing.



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User currently offlineOlympus69 From Canada, joined Jun 2002, 1737 posts, RR: 7
Reply 21, posted (8 years 11 months 2 days ago) and read 4712 times:

Quoting Halophila (Reply 20):
I believe at least one accident (an AC DC-8) occurred when T/R were deployed while the aircraft was still airborne above the runway,

Not true. It was spoilers being deployed that caused the hard landing, not thrust reversers.


User currently offlineSpacecadet From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3603 posts, RR: 12
Reply 22, posted (8 years 11 months 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 4648 times:

Quoting SATX (Reply 18):
When taking off the incline of the plane is much steeper than when landing.

This doesn't really seem like a consistent rule to me, even if just based on the photos here on A.net.

It is a general rule, though, like all the other rules posted so far. Most planes will take off between 5 and 10 degrees and land almost flat (usually 2 or 3 degrees).

Of course, if you see a shot taken *during* takeoff rotation, it might look closer to a landing attitude, but then to think it was a landing you would expect to see trailing smoke because the wheels would be on the ground, which would rule that out. Plus, there'd still be the flaps to look at.

The shot at the top, I could tell was a takeoff just from the angle. 747's don't generally land with such an extreme angle of attack (that'd be about a 15 degree AOA, by the looks of it).



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User currently offlineTimRees From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2001, 354 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (8 years 11 months 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 4523 times:

I think you can 'just tell' somehow

That UA 747 just looks like it's taking off....the angle of attack is just too steep and there are no flaps worth talking about.

If this aircraft was landing a tail strike would be a strong possibility.

Perhaps it's just that I've watched thousands of take offs/landings and you jet get a feel for it.

Of course if something isn't set up right a landing can look like a take off and vv!


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