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Crosswind Landing Question

Posted: Tue Mar 30, 2021 4:20 pm
by crownvic
Which is easier to control during a good stiff crosswind situation, an A380 or a CRJ? I'm sure this has been discussed before but does aircraft size affect drift? Is an A380 due to its massive fuselage and tail vertical size subject to more drift as it may act more like a huge sail or is not susceptible to being blown off course because of its heavy weight?? And conversely, is a smaller lighter jet more susceptible to being blown off course because its lighter in weight but on the other hand easier to control since it has less vertical surface area to cause it to drift??

Re: Crosswind Landing Question

Posted: Tue Mar 30, 2021 6:01 pm
by thepinkmachine
I’d say not much difference.

Larger A/C have more inertia, so they tend to be a bit more stable in x-wind and turbulence. However, handling techniques and pilot workload seem to be similar in all A/C...

Re: Crosswind Landing Question

Posted: Tue Mar 30, 2021 7:47 pm
by GalaxyFlyer
Airplanes are different than container ships, they are in the air and move with it. A better comparison is the container ship moving with the tidal flow. A 25 knot wind effects a A380 just the same as a J-3.

As a student doing formation take-offs, IP asks us, “the wingman is always on the upwind side for take-off, doesn’t the wingman drift into the lead plane on lift-off?” The correct answer is he does, but lead drifts downwind just as fast.

Re: Crosswind Landing Question

Posted: Tue Mar 30, 2021 9:48 pm
by Flow2706
crownvic wrote:
Which is easier to control during a good stiff crosswind situation, an A380 or a CRJ? I'm sure this has been discussed before but does aircraft size affect drift? Is an A380 due to its massive fuselage and tail vertical size subject to more drift as it may act more like a huge sail or is not susceptible to being blown off course because of its heavy weight?? And conversely, is a smaller lighter jet more susceptible to being blown off course because its lighter in weight but on the other hand easier to control since it has less vertical surface area to cause it to drift??

I just did my LPC (Type Rating extension) yesterday. The guy who was my Pilot Monitoring flew all Airbus types except the A350. He said that the A380 is hard work in crosswinds due to the inertia. Smaller types (like the A320) have less inertia so they handle crosswind better.

Re: Crosswind Landing Question

Posted: Wed Mar 31, 2021 4:51 am
by Starlionblue
Wing shape and size have a lot to do with it. For example, the A330 is not as stable in gusty winds as the 777 because of the higher aspect wing and lower wing loading.

While larger aircraft have more inertia to compensate for larger surface area, it does make a difference in how much you need to anticipate. If your Piper Archer needs a course correction, you make the appropriate inputs and it changes direction pretty much instantaneously. If your A330 needs the same, there's lag. An input leads to an attitude change, but it takes a while for the attitude change to translate into a direction change. So you need to wait for the aircraft to react before making the next correction, and learn how much correction you need to make. The old "correct - wait - evaluate".

You also need to be more careful about not drifting too far. Getting back to centerline if you've drifted downwind will require quite a crab angle, which can then destabilise your whole approach.