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Space saving Circular Runway

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Space saving Circular Runway

Postby Alant » Fri Mar 17, 2017 10:41 pm

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-39284294 shows a space-saving circular runway being investigated at the Dutch NLR.

Having made a similar structure for the banked car racing track surounding my EGLB (Brooklands) model (https://forum.flightgear.org/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=31766) it would be simple for me to replicate this if anyone has an empty field and wants to have a go at making a ficticious custom airfield.

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Re: Space saving Circular Runway

Postby D-ECHO » Sat Mar 18, 2017 5:28 am

Might be quite fun doing this in flightgear, but honestly I think this is just nonsense for real life applications.
-If the runway is tilt to the inside (how it looks in the video), you would have to land the aircraft either banked which is difficult to impossible because then lift will bring you father into the middle of the circle or you would have to land on one gear only which is not a good idea as well.
-if the runway would not be tilt you would always have to steer to the left/right which makes side overruns programmed.
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Re: Space saving Circular Runway

Postby Alant » Sat Mar 18, 2017 11:35 pm

I am also rather sceptical. However NLR is a respected organisation and it is likely that they are looking at the problems.

Yes, you will have to land banked, but the angle of the banked runway is designed to match the bank angle required at a specific radius of turn and airspeed.

Because I worked at Brooklands (running the Vickers/BAC research flight simulator), and in my spare time organised annual vintage car events for my car club I have some experience of driving around a steeply banked track.. The Brooklands bankings had an approximately parabolic cross section. The idea was that the faster the car, the higher up the banking you drove. There was a prominent black line painted on the track which was the optimum line for 100 mph. If you followed this at 100mph the experience was meant to be more or less hands-off.

So to land on a curved, banked runway you need to be flying a curve of the same radius of the track. This sets the aircraft bank angle.. If he lands at a point on the track cross-section where the track bank angle is the same as the aircraft angle everything should be perfect for a good landing. This is assuming that the circular runway has a similar cross section to Brooklands, After touch down, the pilot will need to gradually guide the aircraft down the banking as he reduces speed.

My experience of driving on the Brooklands banking is that it is easy when set up for a certain speed, but that slowing down and descending the banking is tricky. In my time there were only sections of the banking remaining and this made it more difficult.

I assume that NLR are developing autopilot guidance laws and landing aids for such an airfield.

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Re: Space saving Circular Runway

Postby adam_one » Sun Mar 19, 2017 1:47 am

i dont think typical airliners will be deemed safe enough for this.

perhaps a future, experimental model, or perhaps for 2050, but not the way things are today.

it would be great if our civilization was one that could simply decide to do away with the old stuff and upgrade over night, but since private companies have most of the influence things will drag on ceaselessly, as we have all experienced in life.
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Will circular runways ever take off? ...

Postby abassign » Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:24 pm



I saw this movie, I'd like to know if anyone wants to try to build a runway like this and if our planes can groped to land or take off from it.
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Re: Will circular runways ever take off? ...

Postby Avionyx » Tue Mar 21, 2017 7:12 am

2 crosswinds and a headwind in a take off. I think I'll stick to the more traditional runway!
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Re: Space saving Circular Runway

Postby Catalanoic » Tue Mar 21, 2017 2:00 pm

circular runways has some advantages for congested airports and near big cities, but need a huge investment to build it from an existing one, for new projects and some small airports and aerodromes would be a nice
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Re: Space saving Circular Runway

Postby Alant » Sun Mar 26, 2017 11:20 pm

Light aircraft might like to try the banked oval Brooklands race track that I have just submitted at https://forum.flightgear.org/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=31766&p=307714#p307714. You will need the pre-war version as the post war Vickers/BAC aircarft factory covered large portions of the track.

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