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Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2005 3:41 am

Crosswind 747 Landings

Fri Apr 15, 2005 8:24 pm

Why do 747s often land at quite marked angles to the centreline of the runway in crosswinds? When I was learning to fly, albeit in light aircraft, if there was a crosswind we were thought to land either with a wing low into the crosswind or, if we had made a crabbing (angled) approach, to straighten the aircraft immediately before touchdown. Although I can understand that landing with a wing low is not a feasible technique in a large aircraft, particularly one with underwing engines, surely touching down at an angle to the direction of travel must cause very serious tyre damage and also put tremendous strain on the undercarriage? Can any pilots with 747 experience tell us how they are thought to land in crosswinds?
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RE: Crosswind 747 Landings

Fri Apr 15, 2005 9:04 pm

Well i'm not a pilot though but i have a few videos of 747s approaching in strong crosswinds. They all have a very high angle compared to the runway centerline BUT they all straighten out just before touchdown...
I reckon the stress on the undercarriage would be enourmous if you would land in this angle and i have never seen such a landing where the pilot didn't straighten the plane back to the centerline

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RE: Crosswind 747 Landings

Fri Apr 15, 2005 9:44 pm

A 777 in approach mode (autoland) will actually automatically straighten itself out from crabbing at 33 feet above the runway (per an AA 777 Captain).

Wheel bogeys on the 737-800 can land at a 45 degree angle to the runway and bear the stress of the pivot (per a QF 733/4/8 First Officer).
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RE: Crosswind 747 Landings

Fri Apr 15, 2005 10:42 pm

They were designed to land in a crab due to the fact that dropping a wing would expose the underwing engines to a possible ground strike. Common with most wing mounted engine configurations(747, DC-8).
On the DC-10 we can lower a wing somewhat but due to wing sweep it is actually the wingtips that will hit first, depending on flap setting, at about 12 degrees of bank.
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