Here, you will find a number of interesting research questions still to be investigated for the Endless Runway.
The research questions can be source of inspiration for anyone interested in writing a paper or thesis on the subject.
- What to do in case of emergency?
Many questions are raised concerning emergency situations? What happens if the landing gear does not work? What would a go-around look like? What happens if the nose-wheel does not work? It will be interesting to investigate different situations and identify their effects. What can be done to avoid disasters?
- What happens in snow or ice conditions?
Bad weather usually reduces capacity. What will be the effect on the Endless Runway? Moreover, will aircraft be able to use the circular banked track if this is wet or slippery? Or can we find solutions to quickly clean the runway?
- What approach speed is necessary?
A banked runway means that an aircraft would have to fly its final approach with a slight bank. An aircraft’s stall speed increases with any bank. Therefore every airliner approaching this new type of field would have to fly faster. This increases landing distances and thus wear and tear on brakes and tires.
- Determination of take-off and landing point
As aircraft can depart and arrive in any direction, what would be the optimum take-off and landing point? We need to take into consideration the route of the aircraft AND other aircraft that use the runway. How to optimise the planning of the traffic flow?
- Regulations for aircraft simultaneously on the runway
The Endless Runway optimises traffic flow by allowing three (or more) aircraft simultaneously on the runway. Current regulations do not allow this, although procedures for “take-off after” and “land behind” and conditional clearances allow short separation and possibly more than one aircraft on the runway. An investigation into existing regulations, an analysis of conflicts and a proposal for new regulations will be necessary.
- Runway guidance
Lines and lights nowadays mark the runway and landing points. The Endless Runway will change use of the runway through allowing multiple landing points and movement over the runway from the inside to the outside (while taking off; landing is the reverse). What demarcation will be necessary? Can this be implemented such that it allows dynamic use?
- Landing guidance
All current landing systems use one fixed aiming point. What is necessary to guide and aircraft to a point at the runway that is not explicitly indicated by a ground-based system?
- Optimisation of traffic flow around the airport
Planning of aircraft needs to be based on three dimensional routes, where aircraft can depart and arrive at any direction around the airfield. Constraints can be formed by agreements with communities living under the routes, while other aircraft form dynamic constraints. How should Air Traffic Control plan and manage the traffic?
- Runway construction
What strength will be necessary to allow an aircraft to land at the circular track? Will it require a basic concrete surface or will additional constructions under the runway be necessary?
Please leave a comment below to indicate the topic of your research and initiate discussion.