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Circular Runway : drastic change coming in airport Design

February 26, 2018

Have you ever thought of circular runways for take offs and landings of your fights?

Well !!! Aviation expert Henk Hesselink of the Netherlands Aerospace center believes so.

He believes that one day "Airports could be using circular runways instead of today's straight runways."

Apparent Advantages Would Be:

  • Size of the circle is pretty large its diameter is 3.5 kilometers wide circle would be safer and more efficient.
  • Plains will face only head wing and no tail wind. Headwind pushes the craft from front while tailwind pushes from back. So headwind will lower down the runway and ultimately fuel cost while tailwind pushes from behind so require larger runway.
  • It will be less noisy. Because flight paths are more distributed. It will be beneficial for all those who living near airports.
  • Because of central terminal airports will be utilizing third part of existing land having same airplane capacity.
  • More stylist and efficient layouts then the existing runways.
  • hree planes could be able to take off or land at the same time.
  • These runways would take spaces of three runways while handle the traffic of four aircrafts.
  • Because of the centrifugal forces, plains would automatically go slower and move towards center of the runways.
  • Pilots would be able to land in the most favorable weather conditions.
  • Total length of runway would be 10 KM so passengers during takeoff and landing will not feel like they are in a roller coaster ride.
  • Multiple directions can possible. Current airports operate runways with fixed directions so limited number of directions for landing.
  • They can arrange the flights where most of the people live instead of on highways and remote areas
  • Easy to operate for pilots because of bank angles.
  • Plain can land or take off at point in the circle.
  • As aircrafts shorten its runway so less fuel cost.

Research

circular_runway_research

Image Credit : www.dailymail.co.uk

NLR ( Netherlands Aerospace center) investigated the idea of a circular runway. The work has carious with partners in Netherlands, Germany, France, Spain and Poland. The work was partly funded by the Framework 7 program of the European Commission. After several years of research scientist Henk Hesselink circular runway having lots more advantages than being just environment friendly and less noisy. The European Commission founded the research project was called endless runway on which Henk Hesselink and five other European Institutes collaborated together.

Obstacles

  • This project would cost high then conventional one. 1.5 times more cost than the conventional project.
  • Construction would be more complicated because of bank angle.

Current Status Of The Project:

They have design the concept, procedures and accordingly they have design the airport. They are using PC based simulations and air traffic control simulations to identify where to need current operations and where development required. They have checked the takeoff and landing under the most constrained situations with a B747 simulation. These project would get solutions beyond 2050. It will certainly take time but optimistic result would be within 20 years.

Testing Trials:

Testing Trials

They are testing based on drones up to 300KG These drones can be tested at existing circular tracks, like test tracks of cars.

Good ideas takes time to execute. May be beyond 2050 you will takeoff on a circular runway.