Tough Landings!

  1. According to an email I received, these planes are landing at St. Marteen Airport, an island in the French West Indies. Don't put me on one!!
    Last edit by dianah on Jan 9, '06
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  2. 15 Comments

  3. by   Roy Fokker
  4. by   dianah
    What pix!! Thanks for the link, Roy (and I apologize about the spelling of St. Maarten, I didn't bother to look it up when I passed it on . . . ).
  5. by   Roy Fokker
    Ok, I was quite skeptical at first because I see 747s landing and (I'm naturally assuming, they'll also have to take off!). Now a Jumbo is a pretty big - and heay - bird.

    What are the runway specs?

    Length - 7,150'
    Width - 150'

    So assuming about 7000 odd. That's a pretty short strip. My skepticism rose. But I knew that I still hadn't factored in other variables - payload, engine model/thrust, gross/brake weight, fuel etc.

    So I checked with Boeing.

    Turns out, from the link HERE, the minimum requirement for a 747 (bare load, no weight, sea level altitude) is atleast a 6000 footer.

    So on an average day, if the plane ain't loaded beyond 650,000 lbs and since the airstrip is at sealevel - it should be possible for the plane to take off.

    I haven't checked landing data yet

    But thereotically, it does seem possible.

    Although I don't understand the point of stripping down a jumbo to the point and sending it there - it would be easier and better to use lower capacity puddle jumpers.

    But then again, I ain't no airline exec

    Nor am I a wingwiper :chuckle




    More :: http://www.cruisinaltitude.com/airports/sxmna.htm

    By the way, if memory serves me right::

    Our (and the world's) longest runway is Groom Lake: 27,000ft!

    As for the largest commercial runway in the world: Ulyanovsk-Vostochny International Airport (Russia) at 16,404ft
    Last edit by Roy Fokker on Oct 25, '05 : Reason: Automerged Doublepost
  6. by   dianah
    What is the altitude of Groom Lake, and of the Russian airport?

    I recently read the newest book on Amelia Earhardt. Fascinating reading!! I need a little more background on aerodynamics (OK, a LOT more; my nursing courses didn't cover it much ), but the book does attempt to explain a lot about what goes into flight, takeoff, landing etc. For example, she and Noonan did all their own calculations on gas usage during the flights, given radioed headwinds, flight speed and altitude -- constantly re-calculating to ensure they had enough gas for the various legs of the journey. Not to mention the "modern" instruments they used for navigation, and the maps which, as it turns out, were inaccurate by enough that many believe that is one of many reasons she never reached Howland Island.

    The airplane she circumnavigated the world in was custom-fitted with extra fuel tanks, -- purposefully overladen when full of gas, for that last long flight (which she never completed) to Howland Island. There was discussion in the book (confirmed by an aeronautically-savvy friend of mine) about the lift the plane received as it lumbered down the (barely long enough) runway at Lae, New Guinea. As it left the runway the plane seemed to not travel fast enough to keep aloft, due to its weight. After all, it was laden with the gas (and bare minimum equipment/spare parts) for the 2556 mile flight to mile-and-a-half-wide Howland Island! But it stayed aloft and slowly, slowly rose, riding on a cushion of air above the ocean, to finally reach cruising height and speed.

    Again, fascinating read! -------- D
  7. by   Roy Fokker
    Quote from dianah
    What is the altitude of Groom Lake, and of the Russian airport?
    Groom Lake is in the Western 'desert' of the United States.

    Russian airport is at 252' above MSL (Mean Sea Level)

    I recently read the newest book on Amelia Earhardt. Fascinating reading!! I need a little more background on aerodynamics (OK, a LOT more; my nursing courses didn't cover it much ), but the book does attempt to explain a lot about what goes into flight, takeoff, landing etc. For example, she and Noonan did all their own calculations on gas usage during the flights, given radioed headwinds, flight speed and altitude -- constantly re-calculating to ensure they had enough gas for the various legs of the journey. Not to mention the "modern" instruments they used for navigation, and the maps which, as it turns out, were inaccurate by enough that many believe that is one of many reasons she never reached Howland Island.
    I'm an ameteur glider enthusiast. I used to build my own models out of wood, canvas and paper and take 'em out to the horse-race course and try 'em out.

    Even today, I can build a bi-plane completely outta paper that'll fly

    Yes, I have the "need to fly disease". :chuckle

    The airplane she circumnavigated the world in was custom-fitted with extra fuel tanks, -- purposefully overladen when full of gas, for that last long flight (which she never completed) to Howland Island. There was discussion in the book (confirmed by an aeronautically-savvy friend of mine) about the lift the plane received as it lumbered down the (barely long enough) runway at Lae, New Guinea. As it left the runway the plane seemed to not travel fast enough to keep aloft, due to its weight. After all, it was laden with the gas (and bare minimum equipment/spare parts) for the 2556 mile flight to mile-and-a-half-wide Howland Island! But it stayed aloft and slowly, slowly rose, riding on a cushion of air above the ocean, to finally reach cruising height and speed.

    Again, fascinating read! -------- D
    Could've been because of thermal currents. Gliders and parachutists know extensively about thermals and thermals might well have helped her and that plane ascend despite load constraints.

    And yes, it certainly is very fascinating readin'

    Just think - 1903 was the first powered flight. Barely a hundred years on, how far have we progressed!
    Last edit by Roy Fokker on Oct 25, '05 : Reason: Automerged Doublepost
  8. by   dianah
    (AAAAAAck! I spelled her name wrong: Earhart!! There! Now I can sleep soundly. )

    Barely 100 yr!! And ppl have flown to the moon (I know, I know, different technology! But building on the original technology and ideas and dreams!!)!

    G'nite!
  9. by   Jessy_RN
    Wow, what a view
  10. by   grimmy
    [font="book antiqua"]i've seen similar photos from several international airports, particularly the canary islands, and a few in africa. i'm not saying that i like it, but i've landed on strips that look pretty much like a pencil from 100' agl, and then a gorgeous nearly mile long runway at stewart airport in upstate ny. of course, in a piper archer ii, its easier than in the whale. some of those airports you see in the photos started out with airplanes that were much, much smaller than the 747. i (obviously:roll ) have little fear of airplanes. i love them, and always have. but blast issues (and your hearing) make those photos kinda scary. not only can the engines suck a person in (at the front), but they can burn and blow you over (from the back). i'm pretty amazed at the stupidity or ignorance of the folks that intentionally get so close.

    [font="book antiqua"]another interesting note on long runways, aerodynamics, and the great questions re: altitude of the runway: you'd want to know the weather conditions at howland when earhart took off - heat, humidity, etc. all play a factor. personally, (and i could be wrong) i'd think ocean air would tend to make the airplane sink - while the ocean is never a flat static surface, the air above it tends to be cooler than above land. if my guess is correct, they'd have to fly in ground-effect for a while to pick up a little speed (and lift).
    ray - you'll have to visit my hometown, horseheads, ny. its right next to the glider capital of the world: big flats and harris hill. gorgeous gliding, my friend.
    Last edit by grimmy on Oct 25, '05 : Reason: Automerged Doublepost
  11. by   Fun2, RN, BSN
    WOW! Are those real? You can do so much with photshop now days, it's hard to tell.

    I see in the pics that the people look like the are watching the planes, but no one is acting like the noise is bothering them. Wouldn't a plane hurt your ears that close?

    They are realy cool pics, and if I actually flew, I wouldn't mind finding out if they were real. However, to find me on a plane means I drove to another state, passed on, and someone flew my body back home.
  12. by   Katnip
    Yes, they're real. I was just reading a digital photography magazine that had you guess which were digitized and which were real. The St. Maarten pics were real.

    Besides, I was on St. Maarten one day and they definitly come in like that.
  13. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from cyberkat
    Yes, they're real. I was just reading a digital photography magazine that had you guess which were digitized and which were real. The St. Maarten pics were real.

    Besides, I was on St. Maarten one day and they definitly come in like that.
    Well, I'm flying into smoggy Ontario on Thursday and while it is a steep drop, it isn't anything like these photos.

    Amazing.

    steph
  14. by   Katnip
    Yeah. Flying into Washington National-I think it's Reagan National now-is similar. It looks like you're going to end up in the Potomac. But it's still not quite as close as those pics.

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