Browse Publications Technical Papers 2007-01-3873
2007-09-17

Rocket Assisted Takeoff (RATO) for Business Jets 2007-01-3873

Contaminated runways (snow/ice) cause balanced field length (BFL) requirements for Part 25 aircraft to increase significantly. This makes departure from smaller airports impossible. An all-weather business jet should not be grounded due to weather on the surface.
It is proposed that new twin-engine jet designs include the ability to use a small solid fuel rocket engine (like a JATO bottle) for use during takeoff from runways that are too short only because of contamination. That extra thrust for a few seconds, activated at a special very low V1 speed, would ensure safety through the second segment climb regardless of an engine failure. If an engine fails prior to this low V1 speed, the aircraft can stop on the remaining runway in spite of the contamination. All the technical challenges of this concept could be overcome easily; the regulatory ones would be harder.

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