Sonic
Topic Author
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Using Roads As Runways...

Thu Feb 20, 2003 9:36 am

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.)?
 
jhooper
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RE: Using Roads As Runways...

Thu Feb 20, 2003 9:42 am

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.
 
Guest

RE: Using Roads As Runways...

Thu Feb 20, 2003 10:06 am

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.
 
jhooper
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RE: Using Roads As Runways...

Thu Feb 20, 2003 10:09 am

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.
 
KAUSpilot
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RE: Using Roads As Runways...

Thu Feb 20, 2003 10:10 am

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]
 
Guest

RE: Using Roads As Runways...

Thu Feb 20, 2003 10:28 am

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
 
LY744
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RE: Using Roads As Runways...

Thu Feb 20, 2003 10:44 am

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
 
BlatantEcho
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RE: Using Roads As Runways...

Thu Feb 20, 2003 11:19 am

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
 
Guest

RE: Using Roads As Runways...

Thu Feb 20, 2003 11:37 am

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.




 
shaun3000
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RE: Using Roads As Runways...

Thu Feb 20, 2003 12:28 pm

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.
 
IndianGuy
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RE: Using Roads As Runways...

Thu Feb 20, 2003 2:41 pm

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
 
garuda
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RE: Using Roads As Runways...

Thu Feb 20, 2003 4:08 pm

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.
 
9V-SVA
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RE: Using Roads As Runways...

Thu Feb 20, 2003 6:00 pm

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
 
fritzi
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RE: Using Roads As Runways...

Thu Feb 20, 2003 6:37 pm

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
 
POSITIVE RATE
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RE: Using Roads As Runways...

Thu Feb 20, 2003 7:44 pm

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.
 
mbremer
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RE: Using Roads As Runways...

Fri Feb 21, 2003 3:09 am

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
 
bhill
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RE: Using Roads As Runways...

Fri Feb 21, 2003 6:19 am

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
 
OPNLguy
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RE: Using Roads As Runways...

Fri Feb 21, 2003 10:27 am

>>>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...
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
chief
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RE: Using Roads As Runways...

Fri Feb 21, 2003 2:00 pm

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.
 
manzoori
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RE: Using Roads As Runways...

Fri Feb 21, 2003 8:26 pm

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
 
L-188
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RE: Using Roads As Runways...

Fri Feb 21, 2003 10:10 pm

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.
 
musang
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RE: Using Roads As Runways...

Wed Feb 26, 2003 8:54 pm

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
 
GDB
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RE: Using Roads As Runways...

Thu Feb 27, 2003 1:08 am

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.
 
dw747400
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RE: Using Roads As Runways...

Thu Feb 27, 2003 9:45 am

During WWII, Germany used portions of the Audubon (sp?) as strips for combat aircraft in order to avoid allied bombers.
CFI--Certfied Freakin Idiot
 
Trent_800
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RE: Using Roads As Runways...

Thu Feb 27, 2003 3:54 pm

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
 
Guest

RE: Using Roads As Runways...

Thu Feb 27, 2003 4:07 pm

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, California, and was asked to fly a stormy and rainy night to a large ranch near Kingsville, Texas, the passenger was the owner of the ranch, who said he had a 4,000 feet private runway... he did not mention the runway to be a grassy strip only... but there would be cars with headlights to help showing where the runway was... all went fine, the Learjet landed... in the... MUD...
xxx
The next day, the Learjet got towed out of the mud by 2 tractors, to the nearest road, a water hose cleaned the aircraft, and the local sheriff deputies blocked that road to all traffic, to permit the Lear to takeoff...
xxx
(s) Skipper  Smile
 
jcs17
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RE: Using Roads As Runways...

Sat Mar 01, 2003 12:48 pm

The Viggen and Gripen fighters (lovely aircraft, Swedes are great engineers) were designed for road use.

Beat me to it! Saab's automobile engineering is sorely lacking though!  Wink/being sarcastic
America's chickens are coming home to rooooost!
 
paulinbna
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RE: Using Roads As Runways...

Sat Mar 01, 2003 5:06 pm

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 road. I think I was the only one excited about the flight in are whole platoon.  Smile
Canon 50D user; 100-400 MM L IS 10-22 MM, 60MM Macro

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