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(Gothamist)   Over 40 years before the Jetsons and flying cars, the people of 1919 NYC were planning circular runways around Manhattan for commuters' personal airplanes   (gothamist.com) divider line 43
    More: Amusing, Jetsons, Wright Brothers, flying cars, Manhattan  
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5509 clicks; posted to Main » on 22 Feb 2012 at 4:09 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-02-22 04:11:00 PM
I would not want to land on a small, round runway...
 
2012-02-22 04:13:33 PM
Circular runways?
Wonder why nobody ever thought of that?

/maybe because you can't land a plane in a circle???
//just guessing
 
2012-02-22 04:15:12 PM
And there were no survivors.
 
2012-02-22 04:17:42 PM
It's easy to land on a round runway, once the wheels hit the ground you just keep turning left ...
 
2012-02-22 04:18:01 PM
As someone who flies GA aircraft this sounds like a good way to die.

/in a ball of twisted wreckage and flame
 
2012-02-22 04:18:07 PM
I'm guessing that the person who thought of this had not actually piloted an aircraft. Ever ;)
 
2012-02-22 04:21:14 PM

Voiceofreason01: As someone who flies GA aircraft this sounds like a good way to die.

/in a ball of twisted wreckage shadow and flame


Fixed for Balrog goodness.
 
2012-02-22 04:23:05 PM
They also thought blimps would be the next big thing in travel and freight/mail delivery. Hence, blimp garage atop Empire State Building.

Then came Hindenberg...
 
2012-02-22 04:23:16 PM
i95.photobucket.com

Not practical for airplanes, but would have been a great outdoor Roller Derby...
 
2012-02-22 04:23:43 PM
Naw honey, I'm flying in now. I should be on the ground in a few....WE LAND CLOCKWISE IN THIS COUNTRY IDIOT! I'm looking forward to dinner. Did you make meatloaf? Swell. THAT"S MY ^%$% SPACE, JERK. I'll stop at the store on the way home. Do you need anything? Milk? Sure. I GOT YOUR TAIL NUMBER RIGHT HERE BUDDY!
 
2012-02-22 04:23:57 PM
So, fark pilots, could you land in a circle? Say, an Indi five hundred sized circle? High school track circle?
 
2012-02-22 04:25:14 PM

stuhayes2010: So, fark pilots, could you land in a circle? Say, an Indi five hundred sized circle? High school track circle?


You have put a caveat: "Helicopter and Harrier pilots excepted"
 
2012-02-22 04:25:58 PM
I'd say landing at an angle would be great business for my Aircraft Wingtip Replacement Store.
 
2012-02-22 04:26:15 PM

stuhayes2010: So, fark pilots, could you land in a circle? Say, an Indi five hundred sized circle? High school track circle?


Sure - with a helicopter.
 
2012-02-22 04:26:50 PM

SpinStopper: I'm guessing that the person who thought of this had not actually piloted an aircraft. Ever ;)


You just start your turn to base a lot later, is all.

This was written in 1919 so they didn't have the technology then, but today's equally plausible solution would be giant elevated platforms like aircraft carriers, with arresting gear and catapults. You could even put it on a giant pivot so it could be turned into the wind. Simple.
 
2012-02-22 04:27:36 PM

Honest Bender: I would not want to land on a small, round runway...


Gootse runway?
 
2012-02-22 04:29:39 PM
i704.photobucket.com

Swope Farm Airfield (new window)
 
2012-02-22 04:35:53 PM
A skilled biplane pilot landing into the wind could land on a banked runway like that. But as an everyday anybody type event? Naw.
 
2012-02-22 04:37:06 PM

otherginger: They also thought blimps would be the next big thing in travel and freight/mail delivery. Hence, blimp garage atop Empire State Building.

Then came Hindenberg...


farm1.staticflickr.com
 
2012-02-22 04:38:21 PM

stuhayes2010: So, fark pilots, could you land in a circle? Say, an Indi five hundred sized circle? High school track circle?


The straightaway at Indy is ~3300 ft, which is more than long enough to land most small aircraft. There are a few planes that could get in and out of a 350ft high school field with an expert short-field pilot, but not many.

Trying to land or take off on an actual curve of any noticeable radius would be pretty impossible.
 
2012-02-22 04:39:14 PM
Just make a sloped runway. You can make it much shorter that way.
 
Ehh
2012-02-22 04:43:30 PM
snocone: Circular runways?
Wonder why nobody ever thought of that?
/maybe because you can't land a plane in a circle???
//just guessing


Actually, people have thought of it. Circular runways are good in that you can always land into the wind. They're bad in every other way, the most important one being they take up a lot more space.
 
2012-02-22 04:44:52 PM

joe714: Trying to land or take off on an actual curve of any noticeable radius would be pretty impossible.


I have this picture in my head of coming in on final, "I'm OK, I"m OK, I'm O......" plane cartwheels off the high side of the curve and plummets 100 feet to the street below.
 
2012-02-22 04:50:57 PM
www.lowbird.com
 
2012-02-22 04:55:27 PM
So that's what the "land left" lever does on my gyrocopter!
 
2012-02-22 05:01:35 PM

stuhayes2010: So, fark pilots, could you land in a circle? Say, an Indi five hundred sized circle? High school track circle?


The problem with a circle is the touchdown point is always going to be moving. If you come in a little high on a regular runway you can just land a few yards behind where you were planning on landing. If you come in high on a circular runway all of a sudden the runway has moved 10 yards to your left and you've missed it.

Also turning a heavy machine at high speeds isn't ideal.

That being said you could easily land a small aircraft on an indy 500 circle and probably stop before you had to turn at all.
 
2012-02-22 05:02:27 PM

dallylamma: [i704.photobucket.com image 522x706]

Swope Farm Airfield (new window)


And the guy that flew out of that crazy thing only had one eye?

A curved, sloped strip with no depth perception?

Wow.
 
2012-02-22 05:02:48 PM

SonOfSpam: SpinStopper: I'm guessing that the person who thought of this had not actually piloted an aircraft. Ever ;)

You just start your turn to base a lot later, is all.

This was written in 1919 so they didn't have the technology then, but today's equally plausible solution would be giant elevated platforms like aircraft carriers, with arresting gear and catapults. You could even put it on a giant pivot so it could be turned into the wind. Simple.


This was also the era of the airship UFO flap. People were obsessed with flying cars and blimps...before they were invented. An elevated runway, straight, would work. But Air Traffic Controll would be a Nightmare.

JesseL: stuhayes2010: So, fark pilots, could you land in a circle? Say, an Indi five hundred sized circle? High school track circle?

Sure - with a helicopter.


An Indy-sized track would be big enuf for commercial planes to land on either long straights...not Jumbo jets, but regional-sized. A high school track would take a touch of luck.

/MS pro pilot...so my word is truth
//i swear
 
2012-02-22 05:07:33 PM

otherginger: They also thought blimps would be the next big thing in travel and freight/mail delivery. Hence, blimp garage atop Empire State Building.

Then came Hindenberg...


well, for one thing, a blimp garage would actually be a hanger,

But that is not important right now. There is not really a mooring mast at the tip of the empire state building. There is the rudimentary beginnings of disembarking station however. but that was all slapped up there at the last minute to gain extra height on the Chrysler building.

the pointy thing on top of the ESB is a radio antenna.

Only one Blimp has ever tied off to the building, and that was only for about three minutes before it had to break away, and I'm pretty sure that was just somebody tossed a rope to the top platform and it was kinda, wrapped around the tower. the winds up there were about 40mph at the time, and I think the average winds up there would be around 20-30mph.

now imagine your self this.. you've just flown in a blimp from Europe, and now you are supposed to walk down a gang plank to a 2.5 foot wide circular platform, with your luggage, in 25 mph wind, with all your luggage.. a quarter mile up in the sky.

Now.. I'm not necessarily asceered of heights personally, but I would definitely call that a puckering moment.

A little more information here (new window)
 
2012-02-22 05:13:11 PM
Mean Automakers Dash Hope For Flying Cars (new window, The Onion, sfw)
 
2012-02-22 05:26:24 PM
In theory a circular runway does away with issues of landing or take off distance, since there is no end of the runway you just have to land and then go around as much as you need to slow down so you can pull off. Or you get on and go around until you're going fast enough to take off. In effect a circular runway is an infinite runway. The problem is, turning a plane while building up speed to take off or scrub speed after landing, is not really going to work very well. Especially since to turn a plane on the ground you use the pedals, which also turn the rudder, even before you get in the air you'd have the plane cranking the nose in the direction the runway turns. This would be bad.
 
2012-02-22 05:26:51 PM

stuhayes2010: So, fark pilots, could you land in a circle?


Not a pilot, but a physics-talking guy, and I don't believe so. You could certainly take off from a banked circle (as in the picture of the curved runway above) since the bank will cause you to stay on the runway until you have enough speed.
However, trying to land on a banked runway would have numerous problems - the biggest one being that, as you turn, your lower wing will be at a reduced angle of attack, and you'll be likely to stall and turn further into the center of the curve. And since landing, by definition, is close to stall speeds, you'd have huge problems every time. Additionally, if you flare to have your rear wheels touch first, you'll turn and miss the runway.

That said, you could touch down on a straight portion, slow significantly, and then turn with a banked curve. So you could probably land on a NASCAR track pretty easily.

Ehh: Circular runways are good in that you can always land into the wind.


Except that, except for spot on the circle, the runway is never into the wind. If it's sufficiently large radius that you're essentially landing straight, that's fine... but in the pictures in the article, every landing becomes a crosswind landing over the course of 50 feet.
 
2012-02-22 05:36:59 PM

Kygz: dallylamma: [i704.photobucket.com image 522x706]

Swope Farm Airfield (new window)

And the guy that flew out of that crazy thing only had one eye?

A curved, sloped strip with no depth perception?

Wow.


And flying a twin-engine Beechcraft Baron. Not a huge plane, but not an ultralite either.

www.senecac.on.ca
 
2012-02-22 05:37:30 PM

ObscureNameHere: stuhayes2010: So, fark pilots, could you land in a circle? Say, an Indi five hundred sized circle? High school track circle?

You have put a caveat: "Helicopter and Harrier pilots excepted"


These guys would like a word... (new window)
 
2012-02-22 05:38:49 PM

joe714: stuhayes2010: So, fark pilots, could you land in a circle? Say, an Indi five hundred sized circle? High school track circle?

The straightaway at Indy is ~3300 ft, which is more than long enough to land most small aircraft. There are a few planes that could get in and out of a 350ft high school field with an expert short-field pilot, but not many.

Trying to land or take off on an actual curve of any noticeable radius would be pretty impossible.


Add environmental hazards like rain or, even worse, snow, and you've got yourself one bonafide death trap.
 
2012-02-22 05:41:01 PM

Theaetetus: Additionally, if you flare to have your rear wheels touch first, you'll turn and miss the runway.


Thinking more about it...
Imagine approaching one of these to land... If you try to come in tangent to the runway at your desired landing spot, due to the curve and bank, you'll actually crash into the outside wall at a point prior to your desired landing spot. So that's out.
Instead, if you try to come in above the runway so you don't crash into the wall, and sideslip down to land, you'll have a cross-runway velocity towards the inside of the ring and downwards to the ground that will likely cause you to slide off and crash on the inside.

Pretty much the only way to "land" on one of these runways would be to aim to crash through the runway from the inside of the ring to the outside, flare more than 90 degrees at the last second and impact on giant freakin' shock absorbers on your wheels. And even then, you'd probably bounce right off and go over the outside wall.
 
2012-02-22 06:03:00 PM
Obviously, the round runways would not work. Why did they not just prescribe longer skyscrapers with runways on the roofs? That way, you could land on the building you work in (this is assuming that, to afford a plane, you're working in one of those large buildings).

Kinda like the helipad on the roof, but for airplanes.

/and ninjas.
 
2012-02-22 06:59:56 PM

overmortal: Obviously, the round runways would not work. Why did they not just prescribe longer skyscrapers with runways on the roofs? That way, you could land on the building you work in (this is assuming that, to afford a plane, you're working in one of those large buildings).

Kinda like the helipad on the roof, but for airplanes.

/and ninjas.


i42.tinypic.com
 
2012-02-22 07:00:30 PM

TravisBickle62: It's easy to land on a round runway, once the wheels hit the ground you just keep turning left ...


Please land one, then you will understand. If you live.
 
2012-02-22 07:03:57 PM
Only problem is the roundway is lying flat on the ground.
Now, stand it on edge, like a loop the loop and you take up less space and it works just as well in a cartoon physics world.
 
2012-02-22 07:07:42 PM

snocone: Only problem is the roundway is lying flat on the ground.
Now, stand it on edge, like a loop the loop and you take up less space and it works just as well in a cartoon physics world.


Perhaps a mobius strip would be even better?
 
2012-02-23 09:24:14 AM
I found it amusing that in the caption under the photo it says, "The problem with providing a suitable landing platform for flying-machines in our large cities has always puzzled engineers." "Always?" Large scale flying, if you want to call it that, had only occurred in the last few years, thanks to WWI. So "always" to the writer was the past five years or so. I doubt that anyone was really thinking about suitable landing platforms in, say, 1905.
 
2012-02-23 03:28:45 PM

CallMeGomer: I found it amusing that in the caption under the photo it says, "The problem with providing a suitable landing platform for flying-machines in our large cities has always puzzled engineers." "Always?" Large scale flying, if you want to call it that, had only occurred in the last few years, thanks to WWI. So "always" to the writer was the past five years or so. I doubt that anyone was really thinking about suitable landing platforms in, say, 1905.


Consider if you will, history is being written by fools with no comprehension whatsoever of the fluff they write.
News skills have not changed much since 1905.
 
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