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Why Don't They Do Something Useful With Airfields?  
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19694 posts, RR: 58
Posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 12086 times:

The average airfield contains vast swaths of grass that require maintenance, turn to mud, and generally are in horrible shape.

CDG is in relatively good shape, HNL not so much:

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Airports are a lot of open space that could get put to good use. For example, in some areas the wind from the jet blast could be collected to make electricity. Solar? Admittedly you'd have to make the panel assemblies pretty rugged. Photobioreactor banks churning out biodeisel? It would have to be low, it would have to not pose a major danger to aircraft, and rugged enough to withstand jet blast. Crashes are rare, but it would have to be safe enough that it wouldn't rip open fuel tanks and such.

What are your ideas?

54 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15739 posts, RR: 27
Reply 1, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 12066 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Thread starter):
, HNL not so much:

Isn't there a golf course for servicemen somewhere between the runways there?

Quoting DocLightning (Thread starter):
What are your ideas?

In Sioux City (and probably other places) there are farm fields in the airport.

Quoting DocLightning (Thread starter):
For example, in some areas the wind from the jet blast could be collected to make electricity.

That would probably be pretty difficult since that would be rather inconsistent.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19694 posts, RR: 58
Reply 2, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 12029 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 1):

Isn't there a golf course for servicemen somewhere between the runways there?

Guys hitting golf balls around turbofan engines? Yeah, what could possibly go wrong with that plan?

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 1):

In Sioux City (and probably other places) there are farm fields in the airport.

I'm kinda surprised. I mean, who wants a crop that was grown in jet blast? I guess cotton...

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 1):
That would probably be pretty difficult since that would be rather inconsistent.

Not really. There's a stretch of freeway in Detroit with turbines that spin as the traffic passes and they make some electricity. You'd need batteries to store it up but such a system could power the terminal, or at least help.

I like the idea of laying solar panels flat on the ground. At least in sunnier places.


User currently offlineatcsundevil From United States of America, joined Mar 2010, 1204 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 11966 times:

Well, in many places it's not really possible. In the US, airfields have to abide by FAR part 77 - Objects Affecting Navigable Airspace. The regs say that for every seven feet from the runway edge (sides), there can be an obstruction one foot tall, fourteen feet can have a two foot obstruction, and so on. The full details can be found in part 77.23 and 77.25 if you're interested. However, this is really meant for necessary airfield equipment, like power stations, NAVAIDS, fire stations, terminals, antennas, etc. Also for buildings, freeways, antennas, etc. within certain distances of an airport and what type of lighting they require (beacons, strobes, etc.)

It is important that in the event of an aircraft emergency, the airfield have plenty of open space around the runway so that if the aircraft were either not able to make the runway, overshoot the runway, or slide off the runway, the aircraft will have an unobstructed (and therefore, safe) skid to a stop. This is why many airports are required to install an EMAS pad, or Engineered Materials Arresting System, if there is not enough distance between the runway threshold and the airport boundary or obstruction -- 200 ft in the US as defined by FAR part 77.25.

If you want to use solar panels, it would be far safer (and probably more efficient) to install them on the roof of the terminal, parking decks, auxiliary buildings, etc. But putting panels with "rugged assembly" would be potentially hazardous to an aircraft out of control and off of the runway. You're very right when you say it's a waste of space, but it's designed for safety. And having grass is an adequate cushion for an aircraft making an emergency landing. They also avoid vegetation and ponds near the airport to prevent wildlife from interfering with operations.

I hope that answers your question. It's a big waste of space, but it's done so with safety in mind  

[Edited 2010-05-23 00:26:48]

User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15739 posts, RR: 27
Reply 4, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 11899 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 2):
I'm kinda surprised. I mean, who wants a crop that was grown in jet blast? I guess cotton..

Actually it is probably the typical corn and soy beans. I would imagine that they are far enough away to not be affected by jet blast.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 2):
Guys hitting golf balls around turbofan engines? Yeah, what could possibly go wrong with that plan?

Apparently Hickam Golf Course is far enough away for that to not be a problem.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineEK413 From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 4917 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 11899 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 2):
Isn't there a golf course for servicemen somewhere between the runways there?

Guys hitting golf balls around turbofan engines? Yeah, what could possibly go wrong with that plan?

DMK ring any bells... Nothing went wrong with that plan...

EK413



Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. We are tonight’s entertainment!
User currently offlineAirport From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 11873 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Thread starter):
For example, in some areas the wind from the jet blast could be collected to make electricity.

I brought up this idea in a thread a while back, and it didn't seem like people cared much enough to answer... I still think the benefits could very well outweigh the costs.

Windmills At The End Of Runways? (by Airport Apr 14 2010 in Civil Aviation)

Cheers!
Anthony/Airport


User currently offlineatcsundevil From United States of America, joined Mar 2010, 1204 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 11868 times:

Quoting Airport (Reply 6):
I brought up this idea in a thread a while back, and it didn't seem like people cared much enough to answer... I still think the benefits could very well outweigh the costs.

Windmills At The End Of Runways? (by Airport Apr 14 2010 in Civil Aviation)

Putting a windmill 200-500 feet from the end of the runway is against FAR part 77. It would also potentially obstruct the ILS glideslope. Airports are the way they are for a reason. Alternative energies are a great thing, but they can't be anywhere near the runways or on the airfield because it puts aircraft in danger.


User currently offlinechrisjw From United States of America, joined Jan 2009, 123 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 11663 times:

The airport I fly out of (A little Class D) grows corn in all the spare land not used by the airport (although future plans for growth will cut down a lot of it). I think they do it to gain a little pocket change that is compounded by some government subsidies for corn.

User currently offlinerfields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7607 posts, RR: 31
Reply 9, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 11299 times:

One place I've been with a golf course between the runways was VTBD Don Meang - the old international airport in Bangkok.

Crops - corn, soybeans, etc - are usually a bad idea because they attract birds and increase the chances of bird strikes.


User currently offlinemayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 10423 posts, RR: 14
Reply 10, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 11227 times:

Well, SLC has Wingpointe golf course on the south end of the airport. The north end of the airport used to have grazing land. Matter of fact, a guy I used to carpool with told me that land belonged to his uncle and was leased to the airport. He was allowed to graze his cattle there but I believe they are not there, any longer. Those areas were fenced off from the runways and the rest of the airport.


"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
User currently offline71Zulu From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 3081 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 11177 times:

Or you could just do this,


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Photo © Matthias Winkler




The good old days: Delta L-1011s at MSY
User currently offlinenclmedic From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2009, 343 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 11068 times:

Quoting 71Zulu (Reply 11):
Or you could just do this

I loved this shot - great idea and a really nice environment in a prime Berlin spot. This is something everyone can enjoy, and preserves one of the great pre-WWII airports.

Just glad this didn't get some monstrous residential/commercial development slapped on the top of it!


User currently offlineatcsundevil From United States of America, joined Mar 2010, 1204 posts, RR: 2
Reply 13, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 11059 times:

Quoting 71Zulu (Reply 11):
Or you could just do this,

Hopefully not while the airport is open! Instead of black tire streaks, they'd be red! And somewhere in there you'd find some very flat man with an even flatter bicycle. I wish this park was open when I was in Berlin a few months ago! I would have liked to meander around the airfield for a while. It's an interesting use of the space. I've been through the terminal when it was still open and it truly is an incredible piece of architecture and history.


User currently onlinefalstaff From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 6098 posts, RR: 28
Reply 14, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 10797 times:
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Quoting nclmedic (Reply 12):
I loved this shot - great idea and a really nice environment in a prime Berlin spot. This is something everyone can enjoy, and preserves one of the great pre-WWII airports.

I am happy to see it being used like that too. I was there in 08, while it was still in use and what a neat old airport it was. What is going on with the terminal buildings?

THF 3-08



My mug slaketh over on Falstaff N503
User currently offlineA342 From Germany, joined Jul 2005, 4682 posts, RR: 3
Reply 15, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 10759 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 2):
I like the idea of laying solar panels flat on the ground. At least in sunnier places.

Not necessarily on the ground. At MUC, there are solar panels on the roofs of terminals and mx hangars.



Exceptions confirm the rule.
User currently offline2175301 From United States of America, joined May 2007, 1069 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 10650 times:

They do in fact do something useful with airports - they safely land planes there; with the emphasis on safety.

I've seen a few airports with alfalfa (hay) around or between runways. Its a perfect crop in that the ground is flat - and the crop does not extend higher than a foot, and you can drive across it without destroying it. Bales of hay if left in the field during baling are a rather soft obstacle as well.

I would not agree with beans or many other crops where the ground is deep plowed into furrows at the start of the planting season. That would make it difficult for emergency vehicle access if needed.

Have a great day,


User currently offlineJetmatt777 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 2788 posts, RR: 32
Reply 17, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 10623 times:

OKC sells it's grass off as hay. I think it is quite embarrassing when they are done mowing but have not piled the large hay bails in the trucks yet to be sold off. Looks like you are landing on a farm. But, what do I know? I say it's a good way of adding extra revenue to the airport, normally grass is cut down and just left there. Might as well get some money out of the deal?


No info
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19694 posts, RR: 58
Reply 18, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 10615 times:

Quoting atcsundevil (Reply 3):

If you want to use solar panels, it would be far safer (and probably more efficient) to install them on the roof of the terminal, parking decks, auxiliary buildings, etc. But putting panels with "rugged assembly" would be potentially hazardous to an aircraft out of control and off of the runway.

OK, what if we replaced the flat grass with flat solar panels?


User currently offlinegordomatic From United States of America, joined Mar 2009, 93 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 10522 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 1):
Isn't there a golf course for servicemen somewhere between the runways there?
Quoting DocLightning (Reply 2):
Guys hitting golf balls around turbofan engines?

DMK has an 18 hole golf course in between its 2 runways...

I saw this in a Popular Mechanics article. See 4th of 18 airports listed
http://www.popularmechanics.com/tech...eering/architecture/4346192?page=1



We have clearance, Clarence. Roger, Roger. What's our vector, Victor?
User currently offlineJBirdAV8r From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 4490 posts, RR: 21
Reply 20, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 10179 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 18):
OK, what if we replaced the flat grass with flat solar panels?

Try landing there on a bright summer day. That'd make the vis worse than snow.



I got my head checked--by a jumbo jet
User currently offlineZANL188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3521 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 10073 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 18):
OK, what if we replaced the flat grass with flat solar panels?

Ok aircraft goes off runway and crashes into solar panels. Now you got pax & fire equipment trying to get over the panels.. Not good.

What about snow and drainage? Also not good for solar panels. Solar panels need to be at an angle to maximize efficiency - not so good lying flat.

I think you've over thunk things. If you want to be green just compost the clippings when the grass is mowed.

[Edited 2010-05-23 11:54:28]


Legal considerations provided by: Dewey, Cheatum, and Howe
User currently offlineAirframeAS From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 14150 posts, RR: 24
Reply 22, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 9934 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Thread starter):
Solar? Admittedly you'd have to make the panel assemblies pretty rugged.

Look at DEN. They have solar panels, on the ground, around the airport property. I know there is one solar farm near the main terminal, and there is another solar farm that was just recently built north of the UA hangar.



A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
User currently offlinedeltal1011man From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 9400 posts, RR: 14
Reply 23, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 9880 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Thread starter):

Not only would most of that be against the rules, but it would also cost way to much to do. IMHO we need to worry about getting nicer airports in the US(LGA,JFK T2/3 LAX T3/6 etc) before we waste money(sorry but thats how it is) on extra things.



yep.
User currently offlineSNAFlyboy From United States of America, joined Oct 2007, 86 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 9616 times:

If you're looking at decommissioned airfields, somewhere along the lines of Tempelhof is Irvine's "Great Park". A pleasant and environmentally friendly way to preserve the heritage of the former Marine Corps station.

http://www.ocgp.org/learn/design/

It's an awesome experience to have swing bands play all night and have people dancing in the hangar and along the taxiway. 

~SNAFlyboy

[Edited 2010-05-23 12:32:47]

25 Rbgso : This to me sounds like a great idea. Many airfields in the SW US (PHX, LAS, etc.) don't even have grass, just concrete and gravel. Swwms like some ty
26 JBirdAV8r : Very true...not to mention solar cells always conduct electricity in the presence of light. You can't just shut them off. And honestly solar cells al
27 Post contains images Viscount724 : The QF 747-400 that overran the runway in heavy rain in 1999, causing major damage, wound up on that golf course.
28 tguman : In YWG they use the open areas for making hay. I have also heard rumours that they do it in YYJ as well, but I have yet to see it (i've been working t
29 Post contains links Sampson777 : As the above posters have mentioned, the land is often left undeveloped due to the dangers of aircraft on the ground that are outside the maneuvering
30 Post contains images Fly2HMO : I don't know whether to laugh at some of the suggestions or feel disturbed I will say though, had many of the things suggested been feasible and easil
31 borism : windmills come in different shapes and sizes, not just your average horizontal "Dutch" windmill type. You can also have vertical maglev rotors and ev
32 SSTsomeday : I have been trying to find evidence of my recollection that they used to harvest crops between the runways and taxiways of AMS. In such a small countr
33 atcsundevil : I think it's a museum these days, with tours and stuff. I wanted to take a tour when I was there a few months ago but I didn't have the chance. Appar
34 Post contains links and images PITrules : OKC has several oil rigs View Large View MediumPhoto © Jason WhitebirdView Large View MediumPhoto © Jeff Claybrook DFW is planning 300 gas wells. Th
35 DocLightning : Solar cells are not currently available to fit the specifications required. Basically, they would have to replace the ground and be a flat surface th
36 Post contains images mayor : Would that be a one or two stroke penalty???
37 Irish911 : Huntsville (KHSV) has a golf course on the north end of the airport, one of the fairways runs along taxiway W and they do find golf balls on the taxiw
38 KAUST : Dude, bad taste. It's a plane crash. KAUS used to have a golf course alongside 17L/35R, but it has since closed. (And to be fair, the old pro shop lo
39 indolikaa : They could build a canopy of solar panels on the roof of the garages at PHX. The electrical potential for that much panel surface area must be huge.
40 brilondon : They don't shoot golf balls at the aircraft, in fact they don't even come close. Cotton would blow away. I know that they grow corn at YXU beside the
41 Fauzi : Well over here at BWN, there is a 18-hole golf course right next to the runway/taxiway. Other than that, there is pretty much nothing.
42 Glom : How about no? There's nothing wrong with grass. It is vital for an expanse seeing lots of diesel combustion to have greenery, which cleans the air. R
43 atcsundevil : Absolutely! Several parking structures on the ASU-Tempe campus have solar panels. It's just hazardous to put them on the airfield. Putting them on ex
44 US330 : DFW already has some of them in place--typically aligned right along the roadways and on the outskirts on the airport, away from the approaches. If y
45 mayor : In the context of this thread or even the post I was referring to, not so bad.
46 spacecadet : There'd be no need to have a 200 foot high windmill. The reason wind turbines are typically tall is to catch the wind most efficiently, as wind has f
47 Post contains images leezyjet : At LBA back in the 90's they used to mine coal from under the airport for a short period of time. IIRC they used to do it on a night after the airport
48 Mir : But not right next to them - that's the point. It seemed like some people were wanting to put solar panels in the grassy areas between the taxiways a
49 atcsundevil : I didn't say they'd be 200 feet tall. I said they can't be 200-500 feet from the approach end of the runway. Certainly not inside 200 feet because it
50 kl671 : Reviewing the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews "rules of golf". Rule 24-2 states Exception. A player may not take relief under this Rule if
51 Post contains images Fly2HMO : Well these are bound to get cheaper and cheaper, and could certainly be feasible: Out of all the ideas listed, yours may actually be feasible with so
52 Post contains links spacecadet : I don't think you quite got my point. My point was that the argument that "you can't put solar panels at an airport because they're dangerous if a pl
53 Glom : Flexible solar panels are nothing new. The Hubble Space Telescope was sent up with them 20 years ago. In 2002, they were replaced with rigid panels f
54 atcsundevil : Believe me, I get the point. Newer technologies, like the flexible solar panels above, solar panels being used to power air conditioning, solar panel
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