Sponsor Message:
Aviation Technical / Operations Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
How Do You Use Your Radar Altimeter On Takeoff?  
User currently offlineTarzanboy From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 132 posts, RR: 0
Posted (4 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 8222 times:

Are radar altimeters reliable? Have a look at the below video, why does the 777's rad alt on the PFD read minus 6? Take a close look at the video and play it back, I note the PF called gear up at approx. 6 feet rad alt!

On liftoff when the rad alt. reads 0, at that very moment are the mains still planted on the ground? I ask because -6 to zero still represents 6 units [well feet in this case].

Are there any 777 drivers here who could shed some light on this?

How do you commercial drivers use your rad altimeter with regards to takeoff?

HERE IS THE VIDEO:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=goECZnQ5-Ag

19 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineN707PA From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 279 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (4 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 8200 times:

Quoting Tarzanboy (Thread starter):
why does the 777's rad alt on the PFD read minus 6?

The R/A is calibrated to read zero feet during flare on landing.


User currently offlineFly2HMO From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (4 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 8194 times:

Quoting Tarzanboy (Thread starter):
How do you commercial drivers use your rad altimeter with regards to takeoff?

You don't. The radar altimeter is pretty much meaningless during take-offs. It's essential during instrument approaches however.

[Edited 2010-07-20 15:10:11]

User currently offlineTarzanboy From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 132 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (4 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 8181 times:

So do you rely on your altimeter then on takeoff? What if it is a low visibility takeoff?

User currently offlinechrisjw From United States of America, joined Jan 2009, 123 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (4 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 8164 times:

Quoting Tarzanboy (Reply 3):
So do you rely on your altimeter then on takeoff? What if it is a low visibility takeoff?

The only altitude readings you really use on takeoff is just to make sure you have a positive rate of climb. Once a positive rate of climb is established, you throw the gear up. The next time you use your altimeter is simply to comply with ATC altitude restrictions, which is a few thousand feet up.


User currently offlinelowrider From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 3220 posts, RR: 10
Reply 5, posted (4 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 8157 times:

Quoting Tarzanboy (Thread starter):
How do you commercial drivers use your rad altimeter with regards to takeoff?

The only time I include it is if it is a departure where I have to turn before 400 agl. I wait until at least 100 feet to avoid dragging a wing.



Proud OOTSK member
User currently offlineFly2HMO From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (4 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 8157 times:

Quoting Tarzanboy (Reply 3):
So do you rely on your altimeter then on takeoff? What if it is a low visibility takeoff?

We really don't pay much attention to our altimeter during take-off/initial climb out as long as we're climbing. That's the whole point of taking off.

Some airports may have altitude restrictions or special terrain considerations, and some airlines may have set procedures at x altitude, but as long as the altimeter shows a climb and so does the vertical speed indicator then all is good.

[Edited 2010-07-20 15:54:35]

User currently offlinerwessel From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 2346 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (4 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 8101 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Radar altimeters are pretty accurate. They also tend not to be near the main landing gear (usually they're mounted nearer the nose), which means the deck angle of the aircraft changes the distance from the radar transmitter to the ground, and hence the measured altitude. As N707PA said, they're usually calibrated so that they go to zero as the mains touch in the normal landing attitude.

So when the aircraft has the nose on the ground (with a zero deck angle), the radar altimeter has a negative reading, and if it has a higher deck angle with the mains still on the ground (as happens during rotation), it'll show a positive reading.


User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21564 posts, RR: 55
Reply 8, posted (4 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 8065 times:

Quoting Fly2HMO (Reply 2):
It's essential during instrument approaches however.

Technically, it's only essential during CatII or CatIII approaches.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25154 posts, RR: 22
Reply 9, posted (4 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 8065 times:

I have heard radar altimeters also referred to as radio altimeters. What is the most common term?

User currently offlineCosmicCruiser From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 2255 posts, RR: 15
Reply 10, posted (4 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 7969 times:

We use it only briefly to engage prof and, if desired, the a/p (500') and to initiate a departure hdg. That's all..

User currently offlineboeingfixer From Canada, joined Jul 2005, 530 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (4 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 7876 times:

Quoting Tarzanboy (Thread starter):
why does the 777's rad alt on the PFD read minus 6?

The Rad-Alt is calibrated to read '0' with normal landing deck angle when the mains touch down. The antennas are located on the lower forward fuselage so this is why you see -6 on the Rad-Alt when the plane is level on the ground.

Cheers,

John



Cheers, John YYC
User currently offline2H4 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 8955 posts, RR: 60
Reply 12, posted (4 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 7866 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
DATABASE EDITOR

Quoting lowrider (Reply 5):
I wait until at least 100 feet to avoid dragging a wing.

Cool problem to have.



Intentionally Left Blank
User currently offlineTarzanboy From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 132 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (4 years 1 month 1 week 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 7626 times:

Boeingfixer, exactamundo! Those antenna are really accurate and I get your drift now. So basically during the flare when the mains touch down the rad alt reads zero and as the nose wheels eats earth you will basically get the reading of the base of the fuselage [near to the antenna] to the earth and in the 777's case, it is about 6 feet, hence the -6 on the rad alt in the 777 cockpit! Good stuff, the proof lies in the below 777 walk around, the pilot can be used as an object to 'gauge' the 6 feet distance.

http://www.jpbellphotography.com/images/large/AA02_BW.jpg

airliners rules. Lots to learn!

[Edited 2010-07-22 16:28:57]

User currently offlineweb500sjc From United States of America, joined Sep 2009, 735 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (4 years 1 month 1 week 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 7607 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 9):
I have heard radar altimeters also referred to as radio altimeters. What is the most common term?

radar is an acronym from the US navy for radio detection and rangeing, so a radar is using radio waves.

Quoting Tarzanboy (Reply 13):
Boeingfixer, exactamundo! Those antenna are really accurate and I get your drift now. So basically during the flare when the mains touch down the rad alt reads zero and as the nose wheels eats earth you will basically get the reading of the base of the fuselage [near to the antenna] to the earth and in the 777's case, it is about 6 feet, hence the -6 on the rad alt in the 777 cockpit! Good stuff, the proof lies in the below 777 walk around, the pilot can be used as an object to 'gauge' the 6 feet distance.

do you mena that during the flare, the nose wheel is 6 feet above the mains, and so when the nose is down it is 6 feet under where it should be when it meant to be used.



Boiler Up!
User currently offlinerwessel From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 2346 posts, RR: 2
Reply 15, posted (4 years 1 month 1 week 1 day ago) and read 7570 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting Tarzanboy (Reply 13):
Boeingfixer, exactamundo! Those antenna are really accurate and I get your drift now. So basically during the flare when the mains touch down the rad alt reads zero and as the nose wheels eats earth you will basically get the reading of the base of the fuselage [near to the antenna] to the earth and in the 777's case, it is about 6 feet, hence the -6 on the rad alt in the 777 cockpit! Good stuff, the proof lies in the below 777 walk around, the pilot can be used as an object to 'gauge' the 6 feet distance.

Not exactly, unless I'm misunderstanding you.

The radar altimeter antenna is affixed to the bottom of the fuselage, and when the airplane is sitting on the ground it will measure the distance between the fuselage and the ground, or approximately the height of the landing gear.

Now let's assume for a minute that the antenna was located directly between the mains. So on the ground, it would sense (let's say) 6ft. What's displayed in the cockpit will be *0ft*, because the radar altimeter is calibrated to subtract out that distance, because what the pilots care about is the distance between the wheels and the pavement. Actually that's a bit of an oversimplification - a radar altimeter mounted like that would probably read slightly negative because of the compression of the main struts with the aircraft fully resting on them.

In some ways, having the antenna mounted between the mains would be ideal, since you'd always have an accurate measure of the distance to the ground. Unfortunately, the mains themselves end up being visible to the radar, plus that a spot with a *lot* of stuff going on, and space is at a premium.

So the radar altimeter invariably* gets mounted much further forward, usually not too far behind the nose gear. Near landing and just after takeoff, the aircraft is at a significant angle to the ground. So the exact distance to the ground varies relative to the mains because the fuselage is a different angles to the ground at different time. The altimeter is calibrated so that it reads the correct distance when the aircraft is in the landing attitude. When level (or on the ground), the nose will be lower relative to the mains (then at landing), and the radar will read low. At takeoff the nose will be higher relative to the mains (than at landing), and thus will read high.

Hopefully some really bad artwork will help:





*There's no reason you couldn't mount it under the tail, but there are no real advantages to that, and you end up with a rather longer cable run.


User currently offlinecobra27 From Slovenia, joined May 2001, 1011 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (4 years 1 month 1 week 22 hours ago) and read 7550 times:

This picture helps a lot, tanks

Didn't know it was really that complicated. I remember a question from ATPL that said that Radio Altimeter shows height from main wheels to the ground. It made sense to me, so I didn't bother but now I see it is more complicated


User currently offlinetarzanboy From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 132 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (4 years 1 month 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 7476 times:

rwessel, thanks for taking the time to illustrate your reply. Where did you get the 12 feet calibration?

User currently offlineCMB56 From United States of America, joined Dec 2009, 231 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (4 years 1 month 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 7377 times:

The calibration of the system depends on the aircraft it is installed in.

Each aircraft type has a different antenna location, length of antenna cables, and typical pitch angle at touchdown. All of those go into the "calibration" of the system. Most large commercial aircraft indicate a negative number when sitting on the ground. The radio altimeter is also essential in the operation of the autopilot during a coupled approach. As the aircraft comes down the glideslope the system must be de-sensitized or it will overcontrol the aircraft. The radio altimeter provides the input to allows that to be done.


User currently offlineDashTrash From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 1526 posts, RR: 2
Reply 19, posted (4 years 1 month 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 7338 times:

I always use the radar altimeter for callouts, climb profile compliance, etc. In every airplane I've flown, bleeds are turned back on after takeoff at a certain height, flaps are retracted at a specific altitude and airspeed, and climb power is set at a specific altitude.

You could use the barometric altimeter, but that requires math. Reading it off the radar altimeter is good enough.


Top Of Page
Forum Index

Reply To This Topic How Do You Use Your Radar Altimeter On Takeoff?
Username:
No username? Sign up now!
Password: 


Forgot Password? Be reminded.
Remember me on this computer (uses cookies)
  • Tech/Ops related posts only!
  • Not Tech/Ops related? Use the other forums
  • No adverts of any kind. This includes web pages.
  • No hostile language or criticizing of others.
  • Do not post copyright protected material.
  • Use relevant and describing topics.
  • Check if your post already been discussed.
  • Check your spelling!
  • DETAILED RULES
Add Images Add SmiliesPosting Help

Please check your spelling (press "Check Spelling" above)


Similar topics:More similar topics...
Pilots: How Do You Pick Your A/c Type posted Wed Apr 14 2004 01:12:34 by Nycfuturepilot
How Do You Change A Wheel On An Airliner? posted Sat May 7 2005 15:47:53 by Ajet
How Do You Rotate A DC-9? posted Tue Jul 13 2010 12:49:24 by Tarzanboy
How Do You Measure Freight? posted Fri Jul 9 2010 17:10:04 by TravellerPlus
How Do You Land This Plane? posted Fri Jun 5 2009 21:01:44 by Brons2
How Do You Balance And Aircraft? posted Sun Oct 19 2008 16:29:10 by Daleaholic
Identify This - How Do You Do It? posted Fri Oct 3 2008 05:57:22 by Flexo
How Do You Find Aircraft For Acmi Or Charter? posted Sun Aug 19 2007 18:49:28 by A380US
How Do You Taxi To The Runway? (pic) posted Wed Aug 15 2007 23:46:06 by Aeroflot777
How Do You Aim A Localizer Antenna? posted Wed Jun 6 2007 19:34:01 by Timz

Sponsor Message:
Printer friendly format