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I'm not the brightest bulb in the ceiling at times as this thread will prove,but I was watching these many fine people at Gatport Airwick doing their level best to try and get the runways clear today.It was clearly hard going as no matter what they tried didn't work.
Now I'm not a mechanic, engineer, designer nor do I claim to be, but would not a better way be to 'hoover' up the snow and superheat it and turn it to steam to evaporate harmlessly into the atmosphere? That way the snow itself is removed and not simply recited, and another gritter could follow it laying appropriate sticky material to allow proper traction. If it works on tarmac, would it not work on roads and railways as well?
It seems a simple idea, but as I'm sure I'm about to find out, the more knowledgable amongst you will tell me otherwise.
Just a thought though....
Big L 266
When evaporated into the atmosphere it would immediately freeze and fall back to earth as ice, leaving the runway nice and glassy.
I'm interested to know what the "appropriate sticky material" would be.
Dont forget that they cant use anything on the runway that might be sucked into the engines.
OTT_B....Yes....fibro fog struck again!
tullie....Indeed but hopefully evaporation would occur with the engines well away from the machinery.
morddwyd....I told you I wasn't the brightest bulb in the ceiling!
Big L 266
I well remember during my RAF days, whilst stationed in North Germany (Sylt) we used a Vampire jet, which has an exhaust which is very low to the ground, to run up and down the runway and melt the snow, worked a treat.
Any replies from ex- 2nd TAF posters, please do not mention Bare A** beach (FE would not apreciate initiating a discussion on the subject!
faced by airports in cold weather. Aircraft on the ground are liable to icing up, and large amounts of chemical liquid (usually urea) is sprayed to de-ice them.
Then there's the problem that inbound aircraft have to be spaced farther apart on their final approach than they are in good weather. This builds in an allowance for aircraft having trouble with braking after touch down on icy runways.
It's tempting to think of providing runways with underground heating until you find out how much it would cost to install and run over such vast areas of concrete. There are solar powered systems that store summertime solar energy underground until it's needed in winter, but I'm not sure how effective that system is, or what it costs to install and maintain.
I seem to remember RAF Gatow in Berlin in the 1970's, trying out a jet engine on a trailer, to clear the runway. The idea was to push the trailer along the runway. I seem to recollect that the trailer and truck were last seen retreating from the area at a great rate of knots.
One thing I have noticed at Gatwick, they do not have the same amount of snow ploughs that you see at airports that have regular snow fall. I was not in the area yesterday to see how heavy the snow was falling but my wife commented that it was quite heavy for that part of England.
I know when they where extending Zürich airport they did look at constructing a rubbish burner in the area and use that to warm the runway, I think with the climate warming they decided that it would not be worth all the engineering work needed, to have a system that would not be required in 50 years. They seem to be able to keep it open without it. Geneva is another story that shuts on a lot more frequent intervals in bad weather.
When I was at Halton in the fifties some bright spark decided to run up a trailer mounted Ghost (Vampire) engine parked with its jet pipe pointing into the training workshops to warm them up.
Not a lot of oxygen left in jet exhaust, as several hundred apprentices, and some beleaguered medical officers, soon found out!
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