Current Status of Joint FAA/NASA Runway Friction Program 892340
Tests with specially instrumented NASA B-737 and FAA B-727 aircraft together with several different ground friction measuring devices have been conducted for a variety of runway surface types and wetness conditions. This effort is part of the Joint FAA/NASA Aircraft/Ground Vehicle Runway Friction Program aimed at obtaining a better understanding of aircraft ground handling performance under adverse weather conditions and defining relationships between aircraft and ground vehicle tire friction measurements. Aircraft braking performance on dry, wet, snow-, and ice-covered runway conditions is discussed together with ground vehicle friction data obtained under similar runway conditions. For the wet, compacted snow-and ice-covered runway conditions, the relationship between ground vehicles and aircraft friction data is identified. The influence of major test parameters on friction measurements such as speed, test tire characteristics, and surface contaminant type are discussed. The test results indicate that use of properly maintained and calibrated ground vehicles for monitoring runway friction conditions should be encouraged particularly under adverse weather conditions. The current status of the runway friction program is summarized and future test plans are identified.