Braking Capabilities on Flooded Runways: Flight Test Results Obtained with a Business Jet

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Es, G.W.H. van
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Statistics show that the likelihood of a runway excursion during takeoff or landing is much higher on flooded runways than on dry runways. Extreme loss of tyre braking can occur during rejected takeoffs and landings on flooded runways. As a result the stopping distance increases significantly and could exceed the available runway length. Most research in the past has focused on the braking capabilities of aircraft on wet runways instead of flooded runways. Most of the knowledge of aircraft braking performance on flooded runways was gained with older aircraft designs. This knowledge is still used to determine the takeoff and landing performance of today’s modern aircraft. During the development of the European Action Plan for the Prevention of Runway Excursions it was recognised that current aircraft designs may act differently when braking on water flooded runways from aircraft tested earlier, due to new tyres and anti-skid system designs. Also the water depths during these earlier tests were often just above the wet-flooded runway threshold. Flight tests with more modern aircraft designs were therefore scheduled as part of a research project under EU’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme. This paper summarises the flight tests conducted with a Cessna Citation II aircraft on a flooded runway. Unbraked and braked tests were conducted in a specially constructed water pond at different ground speeds. Numerous parameters were recorded during each test run including accelerations, speeds, engine performance, etc. From the test data, effective braking friction for different grounds speeds were derived, contamination drag levels were established, and insight into the hydroplaning characteristics under unbraked and braked conditions were obtained.
AIAA Aviation Forum, AIAA Flight Testing Conference, 5-9 June 2017, Denver, Colorado