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Old STOL Runway At ORD?  
User currently offlineN9JIG From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 21 posts, RR: 0
Posted (5 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 4402 times:

In perusing GoogleMaps Satellite photos of ORD I found at the north end of the old 18/36 (Now taxiway WT) a scrubbed out "STOL" painting where the runway designators would have been. You can still see the "18" not fully removed just south of this.

See http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&ll=4...447&spn=0.001662,0.004053&t=h&z=19 for what I mean.

I know this runway was removed from service years ago, but was it then used for helicopters afterwords?

It is possible that this has been obliterated by the new construction at ORD since the aerial photo was shot...

In addition, there are dozens of angled scraps along this asphalt former runway entire length. Any idea what these are? They appear to be mostly about 10 to 15 feet long and are most prevalent south of 22R/4L.

16 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently onlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 22724 posts, RR: 20
Reply 1, posted (5 years 7 months 4 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 4059 times:



Quoting N9JIG (Thread starter):
I know this runway was removed from service years ago, but was it then used for helicopters afterwords?

Not as far as I know; there's not very much helicopter activity at ORD.



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineSphealey From United States of America, joined May 2005, 377 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (5 years 7 months 4 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 4012 times:



Quoting N9JIG (Thread starter):
In addition, there are dozens of angled scraps along this asphalt former runway entire length. Any idea what these are? They appear to be mostly about 10 to 15 feet long and are most prevalent south of 22R/4L.

That sounds like parking/alert stands for military aircraft. Besides the Illinois ANG that used to be based at ORD, in the 1950s (maybe 60s as well) SAC aircraft were dispersed to multiple civilian airports during alerts to make it harder to hit all of them. Seems odd to send the bombers to stand alert in major cities that were themselves targets, but that is what they did.

sPh


User currently offlineAirfinair From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 667 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (5 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 3761 times:

STOL = Short Take Off & Landing. Runway 18/36 was only about 5300' long. This runway was not officially decommisioned until around 2003 IIRC.

Not sure if 18/36 was ever used as a helicopter pad - the official pad is just north of the international terminal, just south of I-190.

As far as the scrapes, I'm not sure - but perhaps they were put there to increase drainage??



ORD,MDW,IND,ARB,AMS,AUS,ANQ,DTW,DEN,PHL,PIT,MIA,GPT,SAN,PHX,LAX,SFO,OAK,SEA,LAS,SLC,SMF,ATL,MEM,BOS,MHT,JFK,EWR,LGA,NASâ
User currently offlineMayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 10350 posts, RR: 14
Reply 4, posted (5 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 3734 times:

Not sure what that is but don't forget that that entire northern tip of ORD was the USAF Reserve AFB at one time. The Illinois ANG was also there with KC-97's and then KC-135's. I was in the reserves there and we had C-130's. Alot of new buildings were built there in the late 70's and early 80's. I'm not sure when it actually got shut down but I know that Mayor Jane (Calamity Jane) Byrne tried several times to sut it down, to no avail. I think it finally took BRAC to do it, sometime in the late 80's or early 90's.


"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
User currently offlineNorthStarDC4M From Canada, joined Apr 2000, 2991 posts, RR: 37
Reply 5, posted (5 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 3678 times:
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Quoting Mayor (Reply 4):
I think it finally took BRAC to do it, sometime in the late 80's or early 90's.

would of been the mid 90s... I have some pics i took from a trip in early 94 showing KC-135s at ORD still.

As far as 18 goes, could it of been designated STOL for obstacle avoidance?... I can't believe an active runway pointed at the main terminal area would of been allowed with normal operating guidelines?



Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
User currently offlineMayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 10350 posts, RR: 14
Reply 6, posted (5 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 3590 times:

Could be. I was long gone by then. We were actually part of an airlift group, out of MKE.

I wonder when that runway was built, too. It looks to be right smack dab in the middle of the old AFB.


This explains what happened with the military units.....the reserve unit was deactivated in '95 and the ANG was moved to Scott AFB.

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/facility/ohare.htm

[Edited 2008-12-01 10:09:56]


"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
User currently offlineVikkyvik From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 9776 posts, RR: 27
Reply 7, posted (5 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 3565 times:
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Quoting Sphealey (Reply 2):
That sounds like parking/alert stands for military aircraft. Besides the Illinois ANG that used to be based at ORD, in the 1950s (maybe 60s as well) SAC aircraft were dispersed to multiple civilian airports during alerts to make it harder to hit all of them. Seems odd to send the bombers to stand alert in major cities that were themselves targets, but that is what they did.

He's talking about marks that were on what used to be a runway, though (18-36), and is now a taxiway.

Quoting Airfinair (Reply 3):
STOL = Short Take Off & Landing. Runway 18/36 was only about 5300' long.

I don't think that is an STOL-length runway. Plenty of "normal" aircraft can take off and/or land on a 5300' runway. I've seen many business jets land at KBED's 5100' runway 5-23.

Quoting NorthStarDC4M (Reply 5):
I can't believe an active runway pointed at the main terminal area would of been allowed with normal operating guidelines?

Though I don't know for sure, I would have assumed that 18-36 was a unidirectional runway, similar to BOS's runway 14-32. So takeoffs only on 18, landings only on 36. Anyone know if that was true?



"Two and a Half Men" was filmed in front of a live ostrich.
User currently offlineTimz From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 6785 posts, RR: 7
Reply 8, posted (5 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 3505 times:

Rwy 18-36 was one of the four original runways-- so no terminal at its south end then.

STOL runways are ordinarily 2500 ft or less, but maybe STOL takeoffs were allowed on 18 after the terminal was built and conventional takeoffs were outlawed.


User currently offlineAirfinair From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 667 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (5 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 3486 times:

18/36 was one of the original runways, built in 1943. Here's a link to a great overview of ORD's history:

http://ohare.bensenville.lib.il.us/orchard.htm

Also from the article, a great photo!:

http://ohare.bensenville.lib.il.us/images/Douglas%20Field.jpg

It looks like the old Douglas plant is located on the current north cargo area, also where the ANC facilities were. Runway 18/36 is clearly visible, as is 4/22 (you can see the '22" painted on it), 9/27 & 14/32.

Man how things change.....



ORD,MDW,IND,ARB,AMS,AUS,ANQ,DTW,DEN,PHL,PIT,MIA,GPT,SAN,PHX,LAX,SFO,OAK,SEA,LAS,SLC,SMF,ATL,MEM,BOS,MHT,JFK,EWR,LGA,NASâ
User currently offlineMayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 10350 posts, RR: 14
Reply 10, posted (5 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 3455 times:

What amazes me is to see all the farmland around it, at that time. Today, the only remnants of that is the occasional forest preserve.


"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
User currently onlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 22724 posts, RR: 20
Reply 11, posted (5 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 3392 times:



Quoting Vikkyvik (Reply 7):
So takeoffs only on 18, landings only on 36. Anyone know if that was true?

You've got it reversed. Takeoffs were on 36 and landings on 18. I don't know any reason why they would have used it for 18 departures or 36 arrivals; there are (and were) plenty of other runway options.



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineIsitsafenow From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 4984 posts, RR: 23
Reply 12, posted (5 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 3375 times:

I know the runway was used as late as the late 80's. I was on an Air Whiskey(UAEX) F-27 that took off to the north one morning with a stiff wind from due north. There were Short 360's also using the runway that morning for departures.
safe



If two people agree on EVERYTHING, then one isn't necessary.
User currently offlineVikkyvik From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 9776 posts, RR: 27
Reply 13, posted (5 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 3272 times:
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Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 11):
You've got it reversed. Takeoffs were on 36 and landings on 18. I don't know any reason why they would have used it for 18 departures or 36 arrivals; there are (and were) plenty of other runway options.

Yes, indeed I did have it reversed.

Thanks.



"Two and a Half Men" was filmed in front of a live ostrich.
User currently offlineAirfinair From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 667 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (5 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 3144 times:

I was daydreaming on the way home from work today, and was hoping someone could find out an answer to a question I had: I'm wondering if 18/36 was ever rebuilt or resurfaced after it opened in '43'

The article says, "The runways like the utility tunnels and drainage systems were also built under wartime restrictions. Lacking reinforcing rods, the contractor made the runways thicker than was customary for airports at that time in order to save steel. There were four runways of 5,500 feet each; all were 150 feet wide and had a base of stone 15 inches thick covered by a seven to ten inch layer of concrete..."

I'd be interested to know if the remnants of the runway today is the original runway, and if not, when was it built and to what specifications. Thanks.



ORD,MDW,IND,ARB,AMS,AUS,ANQ,DTW,DEN,PHL,PIT,MIA,GPT,SAN,PHX,LAX,SFO,OAK,SEA,LAS,SLC,SMF,ATL,MEM,BOS,MHT,JFK,EWR,LGA,NASâ
User currently offlineSkibum9 From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 1229 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (5 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 3024 times:

You know what is funny about that google picture, if you scroll down to the southeast, over Robijson Woods, by Irving Park Rd, you will see two A319s that appear to be very very close. When you zoom in, you will see that it is the same Mexicana airplanes. Obviously, it is two pictures that were taken a fraction of a second apart and merged together. Either that, or Mexicana was doing some formation flying!


Tailwinds!!!
User currently offlineMayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 10350 posts, RR: 14
Reply 16, posted (5 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 2742 times:



Quoting Skibum9 (Reply 15):

I see what you mean. Of course, with the near misses that occur in that area, maybe it IS real!!

I'm sure it is two photos, merged together, but if they were taken a few seconds apart, why wouldn't the lead a/c be in a straight line from the other one as opposed to where it is?



"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
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