User avatar
Posts: 5651
Joined: Sun Jun 25, 2006 6:17 am

Circular Runway At ONZ, How Does It Work?

Tue Sep 12, 2006 1:14 am

I saw photo on the data base of Grosse Ile, MI (ONZ) airport. The caption states that you can see the old circular runway. It is a paved circle between the regular runways. I guess that is from the days when ONZ was a naval air station. What is a a circular runway? Why would you have such a thing? and How does is work? I have seen something similar at an old air station in Newport, MI too.

The sign at ONZ says that it was a Naval Air Station until 1969. What kinds of planes was the Navy flying there in the 50s and 60s?
My mug slaketh over on Falstaff N503
Posts: 3901
Joined: Sun Sep 19, 1999 5:18 am

RE: Circular Runway At ONZ, How Does It Work?

Tue Sep 12, 2006 2:53 am

And there used to be one in Northern Louisiana at Mansfield back in the 70's. This question was a favourite with examiners on the private check-ride oral back then.
On the sectional maps, the runway pattern did look like a round runway.
What these airports were was training bases during WW II and rather than having round runways, they usually consisted of regular straight runways laid out in a pattern where the end of one runway would connect with the next runway at about a 45 degree angle. They were great for training crosss wind landings or the reverse, you would not very likely have a crosswind landing due to the many selections of runway headings. By the time I eventually flew into the one at Mansfield, all but one runway was closed and the one that was open had a severely displaced threshold. From what I understand that airport is now a golf course and was replaced with a new airport in a different location.
Fly North Central Airlines..The route of the Northliners!
Posts: 11191
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 1999 11:29 am

RE: Circular Runway At ONZ, How Does It Work?

Tue Sep 12, 2006 3:47 am

I'd never heard of this, let alone visualized it, so in case anyone else was wondering what it looked like here's a shot of ONZ:

ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
Posts: 1655
Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2006 11:10 am

RE: Circular Runway At ONZ, How Does It Work?

Tue Sep 12, 2006 4:08 am

I suppose that it was such that the navy planes could always take off into the wind. With a big military budget and with the STOL aircraft at the time, it was feasible since the diameter of the circle didn't need to be big. If a modern airport tried it today, it would be a fiscal nightmare and thus the round runways aren't seen much anymore.
Last Flight: SCX701 MSP-PHX B738 8Jan2008

Popular Searches On

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos