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Boeing 737 Minimum Take-off/Landing Requirements

Sat Nov 04, 2006 12:22 am

I was wondering how this worked...

Air New Zealand used to operate a Boeing 737-219 on the Auckland-Napier-Wellington route. The aeroplane had around 8 business class seats, and 100 economy class.

The thing is that not only was it a very short route, but the runway at Napier is 1310 x 45m (4300 x 150ft).

The runway is PCN 22 FBXU
(It also has Low Intensity Lighting, Low Intensity Lighting ALS, 1 bar, and PAPI 3.0 TCH 47ft)

The actual milage is:
Auckland - Napier, 204 miles (326km)
Napier - Wellington, 168 miles (269km)

I am wondering what load restrictions would be on the 737; the minimum safe take off and landing lengths of a 737-200; and how they managed to do it full stop - it sounds like there would be a lot of stress on the aeroplane, operating it to such a short runway and on such short sectors. I'm wondering how on earth they managed to stop it in time, and not go off the end of the runway!
The fuel burn must have been awful too...
Also - what would a likely max cruise altitude be on a short flight like this with a 737?

And just out of interest, does the answer to the above questions change much with the other models of the Boeing 737?

They used to get a hot meal served in business class too on these one hour routes, back when they ran this route through much of the 1990s!!!
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RE: Boeing 737 Minimum Take-off/Landing Requirements

Sat Nov 04, 2006 1:02 am

I can't really answer any of the other questions, but...

Quoting NZ8800 (Thread starter):
I'm wondering how on earth they managed to stop it in time, and not go off the end of the runway!

Commercial airplanes can stop in extremey short distances if needed. Many of the pilots on this forum will tell you that, 1.) you've never experienced a maximum energy stop, and 2.) if you did experience one, you'd never want to experience another. Basically, your face would be implanted in the seatback in front of you  Smile

Joking aside, if the 737 touches down 1,000 feet down the runway, then it still has 3,300 feet with which to work, which, at light landing weights, should be plenty (on a dry runway, at least). Keep in mind that it would not be operating to the airport were it not certified to operate into that runway.

Now I may be wrong here, but I also think that 737-200's are used more extensively for short- and rough-field operations.
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RE: Boeing 737 Minimum Take-off/Landing Requirements

Sat Nov 04, 2006 1:46 am

For a jetliner like a 737 stopping distance is never going to be the limiting factor. You can quite easily land a 737 or a DC-9 at an airport where it would have to be dismantled and trucked out.

On a very short segment the limiting factor for takeoff is going to be maximum certificated LANDING gross weight at destination. You may not take off at a weight that, considering fuel burnoff to destination would have you arrive weighing more than that figure. So if burnoff to destination in this case is maybe two thousand pounds then they cannot take off at a weight greater than MGLW plus two thousand pounds. This will almost certainly be more restrictive than runway limits for takeoff.

If the point of takeoff is at or near sea level and the temperature is not really high, then accelerate-stop distance or accelerate-go with an engine failure might well be the limiting factor.

There have been exhaustive discussions of these factors in this forum.
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