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effect of adaptive cruise control systems on traffic flow Q&A Review

Why do large turboprop jets like the C 130J Hercules have a short takeoff/landing distance?

Why? Because it is every aviator’s wet dream! Who wants to land at 180 MPH? Who wants a run of 10,000 feet before takeoff? With land around urban centers becoming more expensive than your mother-in-law’s lifestyle, the time has come for India, China, and many other nations to consider STOL airports. It is estimated that Mumbai’s new airport will take another 50 years (or another 500 years; what’s the difference?). Can we afford to wait that long? ▲,Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport set a new world record for a single runway airport in November 2017 as it handled landing and take-offs of around 969 flights within a span of 24 hours. The airport handles over 900 flights per day and their runway reportedly has the capacity to handle 46 take offs and departures within 60 minutes. How much more can they stretch? Neatly lettered in yellow across a new airstrip that opened in August, 1968 at New York's La Guardia Airport (formerly Glenn H. Curtiss Airport and North Beach Airport) located in the borough of Queens, New York, gleamed the word ,STOL,, an acronym for short takeoff and landing. La Guardia's STOLPORT, as the 1,095-ft. runway had already been dubbed, was first of its kind in the U.S. to offer commercial airplanes those desirable qualities. A brand-new, 1095-foot ministrip had been opened a javelin throw away from the general-aviation ramp. The VIP among expected visitors was expected to be the Breguet 941 - McDonnell Douglas 188, a stubby, banana-shaped ship with outsized wings. Beginning next month, it was to touch down at La Guardia's STOL runway between hops to landing strips set aside in Boston and Washington for extensive testing. A STOL-runway, 01/19, at a length of 835 ft. was opened, but is no longer active and has been developed into aircraft parking and manoeuvering areas near the Marine Terminal. Word is that during opening demonstrations on the STOL strip, a TransEast Twin Otter pilot coming in saw the doings, asked to land there and got approval from a towerman who evidently figured he was part of the show. The pilot made a beautiful arcing descent out of a strictly unorthodox pattern and touched down like a pigeon in front of the flabbergasted officials. Eastern Air Lines Breguet 941S - McDonnell Douglas 188 STOL Demonstrator ,seen in September, 1968 during a US tour to allow FAA, Eastern and American Airlines to experiment with the aircraft under the conditions and requirements of commercial aviation. The second Br 941S carried out a tour of the United States, being evaluated as a STOL passenger airliner for operation from small city airports, although, again, no orders resulted. This aircraft demonstration activity included flights for Eastern Airlines in the northeast U.S. No subsequent orders were placed. Breguet STOL Prospects Why is it, that after so many convincing experiments, so many proofs of reliability of the 941, so many evident advantages offered for the problems of air traffic control in zones of high density air traffic, why is it indeed that the Breguet 941 did not succeed? Successful flight demonstrations continued further in France. Despite such convincing tests, so much evidence of its reliability, and such obvious advantages in the face of growing air traffic in densely circulated areas, the plane failed to attract customers on either side of the Atlantic. Was it too much ahead of its time? Too economically hazardous in the view of the complex and costly maintenance it required? Too noisy and dangerous for densely populated areas? At any rate, all the 941S built went to the French air force and donned camouflage until their retirement in 1974. Yet the concept of the 941 did not die, for McDonnell Douglas used many of its technical aspects to develop the four-engine YC-15 demonstrator in 1977. Now let’s get to the meat of the question: ,HOW do airplanes achieve STOL performance? For which I have a counter-question: Which is the tougher assignment: high-speed flight, or low-speed flight? The answer, my friends, is blowing in the wind. ▲The C-130 can takeoff or land in 1,000 ft. STOL is a much, much, much,much, much, much, much, much, much, tougher assignment. Prepare to spend an hour here; this is not an easy problem and therefore there is no short answer. ▲,The C-7 proved to be enormously valuable in Vietnam. It was particularly useful for resupplying outlying Special Forces camps because it provided quick-response lift to move dispatches, command personnel, medical supplies, and similar loads into tiny contingency airstrips during major ground sweeps and carrying casualties directly from remote battlefields to major evacuation hospitals. ▲Boeing’s proposed 90-passenger tilt-wing STOL, 1970. Downtown-to-downtown air service with STOL and 500- to 2000 ft. runways was a hot idea of the time. It would relieve the strain on the main metropolitan airports and give passengers better service. ▲,The 1970s were the years that short takeoff and landing (STOL) aircraft came of age. For many urban planners, adapting their aerodynamic magic to fly up to fifty commuters at a time in and out of downtown centres became the panacea for urban congestion. STOL air services sprouted from airports like St. Helen's Island, Montreal, Toronto Island, Docklands, London, and Belfast City Centre, and the aircraft invariably seen at all of them was the De Havilland Dash 7, the world's first STOL airliner. Several countries had looked at developing their own commercial STOL aircraft — the Australian GAF Nomad, the German Dornier 128, and the Israeli Arava were the best known. De Havilland Canada had more experience with STOL than any of them, from its Beaver in 1947 to its Twin Otter, then in production. In 1972, the company began a quiet, environmentally friendly STOL airliner project, a high wing monoplane that, unlike the preceding DHC aircraft, was a real passenger aircraft: it had four engines and a retractable undercarriage. De Havilland's Bob Fowler and Mick Saunders test-flew the imaginatively named Dash 7 on March 27, 1975. The Department of Transport certified it for a seven-degree, thirty-foot glide slope and a thirty-five-foot landing reference height, and the first production model was delivered to Rocky Mountain Airways three years later. Like the Beaver and Porter, it achieved STOL by optimizing utmost lift at minimal speed. De Havilland had developed flaps that covered three-quarters of the trailing edge of the wing, extending the rear of the flaps even further. ▲,The McDonnell Douglas YC-15 was one of the candidates for a lucrative "advanced medium STOL transport" contract put forth by the US Air Force, and it is an example of an attempt to combine the good ride qualities and high speed of a heavily loaded wing with the STOL performance of high thrust-to-weight ratio coupled with sophisticated flaps. The YC-15 achieves its STOL performance (cruise of over 400 knots, approach speed of 80 knots and a landing roll of 800 feet) by using externally blown flaps. The exhaust from the jet engines is directed through and around the double-slotted Fowler flaps in a way that persuades the air cascading back over the wings to also flow around the flaps rather than separating and becoming ineffectual. This type of boundary-layer control has been made possible by the comparatively cool exhaust temperatures of high-bypass turbofan engines. ▲,YC-15 (McDonnel-Douglas) Blown Flaps ▲,The Boeing entry, the YC-14, used "upper surface blowing" (USB) to generate the extra lift needed to operate from runways of 2000 feet. The USB effect is similar to the way water from a faucet follows the con-tours of the back of a spoon. Air from the engines, attached to the leading edge of the wing, blows across the wing's surface and follows the contours of curved flaps attached to the trailing edge. Airflow can be made to turn almost 90° so that it blows downward, thus creating a strong lifting force. ▲,YC-14 (Boeing) Upper-Surface Blowing In theory, the problems and their solutions seem elementary. The simplest method is to design a plane with a low wing loading—a low gross weight and a large wing area. If two aircraft have the same wing design and installed horsepower, the machine with the lower wing loading—less weight per square foot of wing area—will require less runway for takeoff and landing. Add to low wing loading a high power loading—high horsepower for a low gross weight—plus an effective flap system and the result is impressive STOL performance. It is easy to understand why these characteristics contribute to STOL performance. Weight is the downward force that must be overcome by the upward force produced by the wing. The upward or lifting force is proportional to wing shape (which means airfoil design, flap deflection and wing planform), wing area and indicated airspeed. For any particular wing shape and airspeed, doubling the wing area doubles the lift. An effective flap alters the wing shape in a manner that allows the wing to produce more lift at the same airspeed; or expressed in another way, a flap allows the wing to produce the same lift at a lower airspeed. When a small weight is being lifted by a large wing, as is the case when the wing loading is low, the wing can easily produce the required upward force without first accelerating to a high speed. Equip the same wing with a powerful flap and the necessary lift is achieved at a still lower speed. Consequently, a lightly loaded plane with a large, flapped wing can fly slowly without stalling, and it can take off and land at low speeds. ▲,Lift Coefficient vs. Airfoil Angle of Attack Low wing loading and effective flaps are not sufficient, however; STOL aircraft also require a high power-to-weight ratio. Each pound of aircraft weight must be accelerated to takeoff speed and then carried upward at an acceptable rate of climb. The more horse-power per pound of weight, the quicker the aircraft accelerates to takeoff speed and the shorter is the takeoff ground roll. Normally, only a portion of the available power is needed to overcome the drag at takeoff and climb airspeed. The remaining power is used to provide climb performance. For each horsepower in excess of what is required to produce forward speed, 100 pounds of aircraft weight can be carried aloft at 330 feet per minute. Thus, if all other factors such as airspeed and drag are equal, the plane with the higher power-to-weight ratio will have more excess horsepower to carry the aircraft's weight upward. The combination of low wing loading, powerful flaps and high power-to-weight ratio spells STOL. The first two features allow the aircraft to take off, climb, approach and land at low speeds. The lower the correct climb speed, the less horsepower is required to overcome drag, and the horsepower not needed to pull the aircraft through the air is converted into rate of climb. Low forward speeds and high vertical speeds mean steep angles of climb, a necessary ingredient for STOL aircraft. Low speeds for approach and touchdown mean there is less forward momentum to stop after touchdown. Most of the STOL aircraft flying today achieve their short-field status in a relatively simple way—by means of low wing loading, powerful flaps and a high power-to-weight ratio. Many STOL aircraft as well as conventional planes employ leading-edge devices (LEDs) to reduce the stalling speed. An LED can take many shapes. Most jet airliners use some sort of LED; Krueger flaps are found on the Boeing 727 and retractable drooped slotted leading edges are used on the McDonnell Douglas DC-9, for example. The Boeing 747 has Krueger flaps on the inboard leading edge and variable-camber flaps at all other parts of the leading edge. Unlike flaps, which increase the wing's capacity to generate lift without changing airspeed or angle of attack, LEDs do not significantly alter the lift characteristics at air-speeds faster than the stalling speed of the unmodified wing. They do, however, allow a wing to fly slower without the airflow separating from the upper surface and stalling the wing. Another way of expressing the same function is that LEDs increase the angle of attack at which the wing stalls. Normal unflapped wings tend to stall at about 16-degree angles of attack; a wing with a drooped leading edge may not stall until the angle of attack exceeds 20 degrees, thus the wing with a drooped leading edge will produce about 15 percent more lift solely because it can fly at a higher angle. But the aircraft must be flying in the higher angle-of-attack range between 16 and 20 or more degrees to use the capability of leading-edge devices, whereas the effect of flaps occurs at normal approach angles of attack. Flaps can reduce the stall angle of attack by as much as four degrees, which helps provide a more comfortable nose-down attitude during the landing approach. There is nothing new about the kind of STOL technology that is based upon big wings, lots of power, leading-edge devices or powerful flaps. The Ford ,Trimotor,, vintage 1926, was designed with a large wing and a good power-to-weight ratio that combined to give the ,Tin Goose, excellent short-field performance even without effective flaps. But the Ford ,Trimotor, had poor cruise performance and rough ride qualities, which made the plane expensive for the operator and unpleasant for the passengers, particularly in rough air. Today’s operational STOL aircraft also are based upon the same tried and proven method of achieving short-field performance, and like their low-wing-loading predecessors, they suffer from the same problems of poor handling qualities and operating characteristics, particularly in the area of ride comfort and roll and yaw control at slow approach airspeeds. The inability to make precise approaches to an exact touchdown point under gusty wind conditions, as well as difficulty in coping with wind shears and crosswinds, are significant problems of STOL aircraft with low wing loadings. The low wing loadings and slow approach speeds that make STOL performance relatively easy to obtain also are responsible for the operational limitations of the aircraft that utilize them. Lift changes always occur on a wing due to angle-of-attack variations as a plane goes through rough, unsettled air. If the plane’s weight is low compared with the size of these lift changes, as is the case for low wing loadings, the aircraft is tossed around by gusts and turbulence. Low approach speeds affect STOL vehicles in several ways. Because the takeoff and landing phases of the operation are of utmost importance, STOL aircraft tend to be designed for low-speed handling qualities. They have large vertical tails, for example, so they will have adequate directional stability and control at low speeds. At cruise airspeeds, however, STOLs are bound to be slower than conventional aircraft with the same power and to be overly responsive in pitch, roll and yaw to vertical and horizontal gusts. The price for STOL characteristics is a slow and bumpy ride, a trait that displeases both pilots and passengers. In addition to being bounced around, STOL aircraft suffer from unusual control problems that are aggravated by the slow speeds they use for landing. Lateral/directional control is particularly affected. Drooped ailerons and flying at high lift coefficients (that is, flying at very low speeds) increase the need for good rudder-aileron coordination to reduce yaw excursions during turn entries. Drooping ailerons often reduce roll effectiveness and can magnify the adverse-yaw tendency that all ailerons have. Flying slowly at high CLs also increases the adverse yaw during turn entries because the upward-moving wing experiences more drag than the downward-moving wing. In addition, the rudder and ailerons lose some effectiveness because at slow speeds they cannot generate large enough aerodynamic forces and moments to make the plane respond sharply. Thus, the STOL pilot finds he must work hard to line up with the runway on final approach, particularly in gusty crosswind conditions. Perhaps the most serious handling deficiency, however, is in glide-path control. Even if the pilot has to work hard to line up with the runway, that’s acceptable as long as he lands on it and does not hit the lights on either side. But if he stalls out on approach because he was trying to fly too slowly or touches down so long that he overshoots the runway, that’s a different matter. Repeated go-arounds before the pilot finds just the right approach path are not acceptable either, and adding an extra 1,000 feet of runway for contingencies defeats the purpose of STOL in the first place. At speeds where good glide-path control is possible, there is the probability that a float will occur during the flare. In a STOL airplane, only about two or three knots separate a too-slow, uncomfortable approach that could result in a hard landing from a too-fast, potential-float situation. At that unique "best" approach speed, the pilot finds he has little control over glide path except by making power changes. With the large flap deflections needed on low-wing-loading STOLs to obtain enough drag for steep approaches, the plane’s response to power changes tends to be sluggish. Furthermore, if the pilot is using power to achieve a nose-high attitude and slow air-speed, as he often must do to utilize the STOL capability of leading-edge devices, he may be reluctant to reduce power to adjust his glide path downward. The transition from a slow, steep, full-flap approach to a go-around also is lethargic with STOL aircraft. It appears that the true measure of a plane’s operational STOL capability is not published performance figures or impressively slow stalling speeds; it may be the consistency with which the pilot can get the performance his plane theoretically possesses. To overcome the handling quality and operational problems (including the ride-comfort limitations) of low-wing-loading designs, considerable research effort has been directed toward high-wing-loading STOL aircraft. When wing loadings reach 100 pounds or so per square foot, the ride becomes about as smooth as a 707-320B’s, and the cruise airspeeds are typical of today’s subsonic airliners; but achieving STOL performance under these conditions is a little like pulling yourself up by your bootstraps. It requires brute force, which is very expensive and generally quite a complicated approach to the problem. Approach handling qualities and control problems are acute for this class of aircraft because of the vehicle’s size and the methods of generating the required lifting force, thus special control-augmentation techniques generally are necessary. The technical risks inherent in a successful ride-smoothing system for low-wing-loading STOL aircraft are formidable, but the problem is being tackled under Government sponsorship by such huge companies as Boeing. The military, of course, spends a lot more. The United States Air Force (USAF) attempted to replace the long-running, prop-driven Lockheed C-130 “Hercules” tactical transport during the mid-1970s. With production beginning in 1954, the high-winged, four-engined C-130 had been in service for several decades up to that point and a myriad of variants were ultimately realized when the USAF established the Advanced Medium STOL Transport (AMST) competition of 1968 to seek a standardized successor. From the RFP (Request For Proposal) of 1972, Boeing’s entry into the competition became its “YC-14” and this was set against the McDonnell Douglas “YC-15” prototype. Boeing and McDonnell Douglas each had their designs selected from a field of five entries and each were awarded prototype contracts for two examples. Boeing prototype 72-1873 went to the air for the first time on August 9th, 1976 and the second example followed as 72-1874 in time. The formal USAF head-to-head competition began in November of 1976 at Edwards AFB and this phase lasted into mid-1977. And guess what finally emerged: ▲,Yeah. We bought a couple of these, and they are so good, we’re buying some more!. The C-17 Globemaster: just right for a country where there are neither runways nor roads, only squabbling politicians (and one particularly odious jerk who goes around saying “Suit Boot ki Sarkar”….has he seen how Chinese politicians dress?) and an overcrowded, overbearing, and completely untalented and self-serving bureaucracy. ▲Dornier, a leading aircraft manufacturer in West Germany, has produced a number of STOL aircraft since the 1950s. The DO-29 VTOL (vertical takeoff and landing) plane is noted for having pusher props capable of being rotated 90° downward to create a powerful upward push. ▲Arava 20-passenger Israeli STOL 1971 ▲DeHavilland Twin-Otter in intercity travel ▲Rutan 36-passenger commuter 78-I for intercity commuter service, proposed by Burt Rutan, 1982. While not strictly a STOL configuration, the 78-I was designed for small-field operation. ▲Rutan’s design for an Advanced Technological Tactical Transport (AT3), 1988. The problem: Design and build a transport aircraft for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency that's bigger and faster than a helicopter, but smaller than a C-130 transport. Throw in a range of almost 3000 miles, a cruise speed of 326 knots and a payload of 14 troops and 5000 pounds of cargo. And —oh, yes!—make this aircraft capable of getting into and out of unimproved jungle clearings in 1000 ft. or less. To avoid having the air flow from the front set of wings interfere with the rear set, the front set are dihedral (slanted up from the center), while the rear set are anhedral (pointed down). To solve the problems of getting the airplane to take-off speed as quickly as possible, and yet keep that speed down as low as possible, Rutan developed what he calls ,jump flaps,: When the AT3 hits 50 knots in the takeoff roll, the pilot activates a special lever which deploys the flaps almost instantly. ▲,In the late 1970s, ,Dornier GmbH, developed a new kind of wing, the TNT ,(,Tragflügel neuer Technologie, –, Aerofoil new technology,), ,subsidized by the German Government. This grew into the long successful STOL design, the Dornier 228 passenger STOL transport. In November 1983, a major license-production and phased technology-transfer agreement was signed between Dornier and ,Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, (HAL) was signed; a separate production line was established and produced its first aircraft in 1985. By 2014, a total of 125 Do 228s had been produced in India. ▲,As part of a five-year NASA research project, a team led by researchers at California Polytechnic State University designed a 100-passenger Cruise Efficient, Short Take-Off and Landing (Cestol) airliner that could arrive and depart at steep angles to and from 3,000-foot-long runways. For the past year, scientists have wind-tunnel-tested a 2,500-pound model with a 10-foot wingspan, nicknamed Amelia (for Advanced Model for Extreme Lift and Improved Aeroacoustics), at NASA's Ames Research Center. "This plane was designed with a circulation-control wing, which generates higher lift at lower speeds," says David Marshall, an associate professor with Cal Poly's aerospace-engineering department. "We can reduce the field length by 50 percent." Other researchers studied how Cestol planes would integrate into existing infrastructure. Results show that in tandem with NextGen's approach and departure routing, which could allow planes to fly outside traditional flight paths, Cestol aircraft could land at underused, shorter runways or at smaller regional airports. Spreading air traffic over more runways would relieve congestion and substantially reduce flight delays. The FAA's multibillion-dollar NextGen initiative is an elaborate mélange of satellite-based guidance, arrival, and departure technologies intended to modernize the outdated and much-criticized national airspace system by 2025. Care to join a STOL design team? What is VTOL? A beginner's guide to vertical take-off and landing technology Boundary Layer Control, STOL, V/STOL Aircraft Research NASA Ames