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Using Roads As Runways...  
User currently offlineSonic From Lithuania, joined Jan 2000, 1670 posts, RR: 1
Posted (11 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 6898 times:

Well, while travelling in certain states I've seen that there are places where road suddenly turns wider and marking of it changes. Guide told us this could be used as an emergency landing strip for planes. I would like to ask, what planes could land on such "strips"? Only personal props or also jets, or even passenger jets if the "runway" is long enough. And what happens to cars in such a landing - most probably wouldn't stop in a time and could crush into plane. Police wouldn't arrive quickly enough to block off the road.

Also, from here comes another theoretical question: would it be technically possible to enclose a straight portion of highway (for example, direct cars to another roads) and use it as an airport if, for example, other airport(s) in country/region are destroyed or made unusable by war or some natural disasters (volcanoes, tornadoes, earthquakes, etc.)?

27 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineJhooper From United States of America, joined Dec 2001, 6202 posts, RR: 12
Reply 1, posted (11 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 6882 times:

I'm told that one mile out of every five of the U.S. Interstate system is straight in case it needed to be used as an airstrip.


Last year 1,944 New Yorkers saw something and said something.
User currently offlineJetguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (11 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 6865 times:

That's correct. It's a legacy left over from the cold war. The Interstate Highway system was originally designed and built back in the 50's and 60's. I believe that Sweden and the former Soviet Union have the same capability built into some of their roads.


User currently offlineJhooper From United States of America, joined Dec 2001, 6202 posts, RR: 12
Reply 3, posted (11 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 6864 times:

I guess the real question is: Is there a PLAN in place to shut down the relavent portions of the interstates in case it did need to be used?


Last year 1,944 New Yorkers saw something and said something.
User currently offlineKAUSpilot From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 1958 posts, RR: 33
Reply 4, posted (11 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 6861 times:

The highway story is an old urban legend. You can go to pretty much any "urban legend" website and read about how it's not true.

http://geography.about.com/library/faq/blqzinterstaterunways.htm

Is one mile out of every five on Interstate highways straight for emergency airplane landing strips?

Absolutely not! According to Richard F. Weingroff, who works in the Federal Highway Administration's Office of Infrastructure, says "No law, regulation, policy, or sliver of red tape requires that one out of five miles of the Interstate Highway System must be straight."


[Edited 2003-02-20 02:16:12]

User currently offlineB747skipper From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (11 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 6853 times:

Be aware that the Swiss Air Force, and I believe Swedish Air Force as well, has some type of provisions, where they use roads for their airplanes...
xxx
I hope the autobahns... or interstates so designated, will not have a speed limit for the airplanes... I refuse to land a 747 at 120 kph...
xxx
 Smile

(s) Skipper


User currently offlineLY744 From Canada, joined Feb 2001, 5536 posts, RR: 10
Reply 6, posted (11 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 6831 times:

Common practice in the former USSR, related to the Cold War as was already mentioned. Obviously not intended for civilian use, but rather for emergency (as in war, where traffic would not be much of a concern) military one. Israel also has at least one of those, they actually use it for practice once every few years (shutting the freeway down and flying F-16's etc. out of there). There are white threshold bars on every end of the portion of the highway used as a runway, I bet most motorists get pretty darn confused seeing what seems like a European pedestrian crossing in the middle of a freeway.  Smile

LY744.



Pacifism only works if EVERYBODY practices it
User currently offlineBlatantEcho From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 1903 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (11 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 6812 times:

Believe it or not, just a few days ago here in Oregon, or was it Washington, a guy parked his C-182 on an I-5 overpass. (Eugene, OR - Registar Gaurd a few days ago)

Engine quit and he put it down on an empty pass, seemed to work out fine for all parities involved.

George



They're not handing trophies out today
User currently offlineJetguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (11 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 6801 times:

The one mile out of five ratio probably is an urban legend, but I first read about the design philosophy at a roadside information booth along one of the interstates in the Midwest a few years ago.






User currently offlineShaun3000 From United States of America, joined Mar 2002, 445 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (11 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 6793 times:

Sonic:

There are lots of reasons the road would suddenly widen. The most common reason for this is future expansion.

I've seen many bridges that are wide enough for 6 or 8 lanes that only have four going across it. It's cheaper to built a larger bridge than it is to build a smaller one and then tear it down and build a larger one when the time comes.


User currently offlineIndianguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (11 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 6766 times:

Recently when tensions between india and Pakistan had increased, the Paki's had practised using a highway outside islamabad to operate fighters and bombers. This was becuase it was almost certain that IAF bombers would most certainly take out their airfields in the event of a conflict.

-Roy


User currently offlineGaruda From Indonesia, joined Nov 2000, 584 posts, RR: 2
Reply 11, posted (11 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 6751 times:

There are certain highways and roads in Singapore which can be used as emergency runway. The RSAF did couple of take-offs and landings on those places couple of months ago, and it was covered by the local TVs and newspapers. But they only used fighter jets such as F16s.

User currently offline9V-SVA From Singapore, joined Aug 2001, 1860 posts, RR: 8
Reply 12, posted (11 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 6722 times:

Garuda, Singapore has two such strips of road, they are Lim Chu Kang Road and the stretch of the East Coast Parkway between Xilin Avenue and the National Sailing Center if I'm not wrong.

Lim Chu Kang Road is used for exercises once every two years I believe. The ECP has not been used at all as far as I know of, but the ECP stretch is AT LEAST 2km long and 100m wide.

9V-SVA



9V-SVA | B772ER
User currently offlineFritzi From United Arab Emirates, joined Jun 2001, 2762 posts, RR: 2
Reply 13, posted (11 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 6703 times:

B747Skipper,

...refuse to land a 747 at 120 kph...


Don't worry about having to land a 747 at 120 kph on the highway strips. The speed limit is 90 kph on these strips in Sweden.......  Big grin


User currently offlinePositive rate From Australia, joined Sep 2001, 2143 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (11 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 6703 times:

Here in Australia the Royal Flying Doctor Service routinely lands their PC-12's and King Air 200's on outback roads where runways are unavailable. Sometimes they even land at nighttime using only car headlights as runway lights. I'd say a small jet i.e a Lear 35 or a Citation would be a piece of cake to land on an Interstate- but something like a 747 might have too big a wingspan.

User currently offlineMbremer From Germany, joined Aug 2001, 10 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (11 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 6606 times:

In Germany there are quite a few of them in both former west and east; relicts of the cold war.
They were intended as emergency operation strips for the military in case of a war. They would have been used as a replacement for possibly destroyed airports as well as operating bases for other air wings flown in from elsewhere.

Take a look here:
http://www.lostplaces.de/nlp/index.html
It´s in german only, but if you scroll down you can see some pictures with various planes (F4,F16,A10).

http://www.kondruss.com/mad/index.html
Search for highway strips

Even Iraq has some of them:
http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/iraq/airfields.htm


User currently offlineBhill From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 943 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (11 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 6547 times:

Jetliners might be hard on the roads. In the States the concrete was spec.'d at 11" thick compared to 27" thick for the Autobahn.


Carpe Pices
User currently offlineOPNLguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (11 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 6508 times:

>>>Jetliners might be hard on the roads. In the States the concrete was spec.'d at 11" thick compared to 27" thick for the Autobahn.

Precisely why I had to snicker at the B727 emergency landing scene in "U.S. Marshalls."

To best visualize an aicraft landing on a pavement surface not anywhere near properly stressed for the weight, imagine an elephant riding on a ten-speed bike on a long path of saltine crackers. You get the idea...


User currently offlineChief From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 89 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (11 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days ago) and read 6473 times:

We used it once near Glen Allen, Alaska. The last airline I worked for we had in our Op's Spec's, provisions to land an "air ambulance" on rural roads. This was the Cessna C-441 Conquest, contact had to be established with the Alaska State Troopers with them shutting down the road with their cars on either end. Day VFR rules applied. The Troopers had hand held VHF R/T's, the airfield was snowed in and it was a rather nasty auto accident. It was a long strait stretch of highway not encumbered by road side brush.

Yes the Conquest is an A/C that can fly very high, (35K), very fast, (290 indicated). It does so because it has fat wings with very low wing loading and very powerful engines, (Garrett TPE 331'S). But because of that wing design it can also maneuver at very low speeds. Add to this mix the main gear is a "trailing link" design, very forgiving to the A/C structure in a firm landing situation. On top of that, let me mention again the engines installed on this A/C, Garrett TPE 331- 8, or 10N's. Engine power, or thrust is instantaneous with power lever movement. Directional control is easily maintainable by the pilot.


User currently offlineManzoori From UK - England, joined Sep 2002, 1516 posts, RR: 34
Reply 19, posted (11 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 6427 times:

Speaking of landing on the Roads, have you guys seen "405 - The Movie"?

Cheers

Rez
 Wink/being sarcastic



Flightlineimages DOT Com Photographer & Web Editor. RR Turbines Specialist
User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29786 posts, RR: 58
Reply 20, posted (11 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 6403 times:

If you where flying 441's I have a pretty good idea who you where flying for.

Going into Glenallen we never do that, Anytime there is a medivac for Glenallen, we tell them to meet up at the Gulkana Airport.



OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineMusang From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2001, 861 posts, RR: 7
Reply 21, posted (11 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 6188 times:

Re. Singapore again, that stretch of the East Coast Parkway has no permanent centre divider (its made up of plants in pots and wooden enclosing fences) and there are no street lights or tall trees at the edges.

Regards - Musang


User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13149 posts, RR: 78
Reply 22, posted (11 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 6162 times:

The Viggen and Gripen fighters (lovely aircraft, Swedes are great engineers) were designed for road use.
In the 1970's the RAF practiced using a Jaguar from a UK motorway.


User currently offlineDw747400 From United States of America, joined Aug 2001, 1257 posts, RR: 1
Reply 23, posted (11 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 6123 times:

During WWII, Germany used portions of the Audubon (sp?) as strips for combat aircraft in order to avoid allied bombers.


CFI--Certfied Freakin Idiot
User currently offlineTrent_800 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2002, 136 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (11 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 6105 times:

That "405 the movie" is FANTASTIC. i recently downloaded it from steakandcheese and was amazed how they put that together, the best short movie i have ever and will ever see.
Dan


25 Post contains images B747skipper : A little story about using roads as runways... the date is about 1966 or so... xxx An acquaintance of mine has a Learjet charter operation in Van Nuys
26 Post contains images Jcs17 : The Viggen and Gripen fighters (lovely aircraft, Swedes are great engineers) were designed for road use. Beat me to it! Saab's automobile engineering
27 Post contains images Paulinbna : When I was in Saudi for Desert Shield/Storm the airforce detoured a portion of the road to land and take off C-130. I even got to fly in one off this
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