1991-09-01

Runway Drainage Characteristics Related to Tire Friction Performance 912156

The capability of a runway pavement to rapidly drain water buildup during periods of precipitation is crucial to minimize tire hydroplaning potential and maintain adequate aircraft ground operational safety. Test results from instrumented aircraft, ground friction measuring vehicles, and NASA Langley's Aircraft Landing Dynamics Facility (ALDF) track have been summarized to indicate the adverse effects of pavement wetness conditions on tire friction performance. Water drainage measurements under a range of rainfall rates have been evaluated for several different runway surface treatments including the transversely grooved and longitudinally grinded concrete surfaces at the Space Shuttle Landing Facility (SLF) runway at NASA Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The major parameters influencing drainage rates and extent of flooding/drying conditions are identified. Existing drainage test data are compared to a previously derived empirical relationship and the need for some modification is indicated. The scope of future NASA Langley research directed towards improving empirical relationships to properly define runway drainage capability and consequently, enhance aircraft ground operational safety, is given.

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