1966-02-01

Flight Operations on a Circular Runway 660283

Inherent advantages of an infinitely long runway, optimum technical location at the center of the circle, and safety enhancement by increased directional stability during aircraft ground roll generated interest in the circular runway concept. The Bureau of Naval Weapons originated a project to determine, within the realm of aircraft behavior, the feasibility of flight operations from a circular runway.
Utilizing an existing circular track at the General Motors Proving Ground near Mesa, Arizona, tests were conducted with a T28, an A1-E, an A4-B, and a C54. It was determined that pilots readily adapt to operations from a circular runway, that aircraft lateral and directional stability is more positive than on a flat runway, that tangential approaches are no more difficult than approaches to a straight runway, and that low visibility approaches are much simpler than to a straight runway. Flight operations from a circular runway are feasible.

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