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Old 21st May 2015, 23:37   #31
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Default Re: Indian Air Force Mirage 2000 test lands on the Yamuna Expressway

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Originally Posted by directinjection View Post
Being capable is one thing and actually landing a fighter plane in full public view is another. This is the first reported case of IAF landing a fighter on highway. In fact, IAF's Jaguar fighter plane is designed to land on semi-prepared runways and uses low pressure tyres by design. Planes like C-130 and An-32 can land on unpaved runways.
Just for everyone's info, Red Road in Kolkata was actually an erstwhile airstrip operated by the RAF during the British Era in WW2 times. After which it got converted to a major road in Kolkata.

Secondly IAF comprises mostly of Russian aircrafts which were designed with capabilities to operate out of poorely built runways.
For example the older Mig 29 had louvers on the top of the air intakes which help the engine breathe while on its take off/landing run since during that time the main intakes get closed to prevent FOD (foreign object damage) from poorely paved runways.

Similarly the Jaguars have been tested by mutliple countries in Europe operating out of highways and even unpaved airstrips.

There are multiple videos of Jags taking off from highways and unpaved stretches on youtube.
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Old 21st May 2015, 23:52   #32
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Default Re: Indian Air Force Mirage 2000 test lands on the Yamuna Expressway

Landing on highways is risky, not only do you not know the surface condition, or traffic , which you can clear - but animals and debris which can cause FOD (Foreign Object Damage).

Runways are a lot like highways - except they have a clear straight, little change in elevation, generally debris-free , and very importantly, wider with no media/divider or light-poles.

A crosswind can cause a landing jet to veer off trajectory and collide with the divider.
Light poles, power cables, traffic light poles, plants and plant cages, all can snag the wings or any stores under the wings.

On a related note:
Russian planes are designed to be able to operate off not just roads, but also grass/mud.



Another super video , this being the Swedish AJ37 Viggen, is icy/snowy field operations:




The JAS39 Gripen is said to require only 800m of runway to land/take off with useful load, and only 3 or 5 ground crew including maintenance not just ground ops like refuelling and loading, resulting in robust operating capability in austere conditions.

Last edited by Ricci : 22nd May 2015 at 00:06.
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Old 22nd May 2015, 03:47   #33
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Default Re: Indian Air Force Mirage 2000 test lands on the Yamuna Expressway

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Originally Posted by Monolithic View Post
In this particular test, the aim was to see if a Mirage could land, the roads are good enough for emergencies or real time scenario.
.
I get that, my question was purely from a pilot's point of view. Once it has been established the road meets all landing requirements, e.g. length, no nearby obstructions, level (to a certain degree) for a pilot it is just a pretty regular landing. At least that's what I think, and I haven't seen anybody replying what is actually different from the pilot's point of view.

In this case there was a big support team that figured out everything well in advance. Im trying to think if I would land my single engine plane on a road, what would I be doing differently? Every year several of single engine aircrafts make emergency landings on motorway etc. Nearly always due to engine trouble. So there the real challenge is finding a stretch of motorway that meets landing requirements, whilst trying to fly a plane with no engine or partly working engine. That is the most difficult and stressful part. It is surprisingly difficult to get a good visual from the air on the condition of the motorway, are there overhead cable, potholes, dividers etc. Once you commit to land it become a normal landing.


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Highways with landing capability can prevent crashes but that would require quick response.

It is a risk to pilot and the aircraft with debris and dogs/animals. Unless there is a prior information that Aircraft wants to land, the risks cannot be avoided.
See my answer above. The biggest challenge for a pilot is finding a stretch of motorway that meets requirements. By the way, debris, dogs/animals are a normal fact of life for pilots the world over. Every day, planes get damaged, or go into a reject take off or go around because of debris in one shape or format on the runway. Usually not that big a deal, but sometimes with devastating effects such as the crash of Concorde at Paris.

Obviously the risk of debris on a motorway is substantial higher then on a proper maintain and looked after runway. To my earlier point, being able to spot it in advance can be quite difficult. I don't think the Concorde pilots ever spotted the debris that brought their plane down. And it was not a small piece by any stretch of the imagination.

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Old 22nd May 2015, 09:14   #34
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Default Re: Indian Air Force Mirage 2000 test lands on the Yamuna Expressway

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Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
Obviously the risk of debris on a motorway is substantial higher then on a proper maintain and looked after runway. To my earlier point, being able to spot it in advance can be quite difficult. I don't think the Concorde pilots ever spotted the debris that brought their plane down. And it was not a small piece by any stretch of the imagination.
Jeroen
Jeroen - in my opinion:
a. The Concorde has a particular nose design which needs to be titled down at the time of take off, even after that the visibility for the pilot is compromised to some extent, additionally the Delta wing design requires additional speed before take off. Which may not be the case with fighter jets, as they several advanced maneuvering options including thrust vector control etc.
b. In the Concorde mishap at Paris, the pilots could sence the hit of debris on the planes body but the runway distance left to reject takeoff was too less, the debris strike happened post V1 speed and then there was no looking back, the pilots had to take off and plan a landing maneuver which unfortunately they could not do and the flight crashed.

Cheers

Last edited by i74js : 22nd May 2015 at 09:44.
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Old 22nd May 2015, 09:33   #35
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Default Re: Indian Air Force Mirage 2000 test lands on the Yamuna Expressway

I think we are veering off topic. I bet they clean up the stretch prior to usage. Also, once successful they will do special markings, remove light and power poles, make the dividers folding, etc. in addition to installing the necessary infrastructure.

Also, I forgot to mention that the major Mirage base at Gwalior is only about 110km from Agra!
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Old 22nd May 2015, 09:52   #36
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Default Re: Indian Air Force Mirage 2000 test lands on the Yamuna Expressway

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Originally Posted by Rahul Bhalgat View Post
<snip>
So why to practise landing a fighter aircraft on highway?
For a large country like India, it is to show we can. It has tactical implications. A combat aircraft is a threat only as long as it has its weaponry and usually airbases will be some distance away from the borders, adding maybe 30 minutes of flight time before it crosses over to enemy flight time. This means an hour will be lost over friendly skies for every sortie. With the capability to land in road strips, refuel and rearm, the turn around time is suddenly cut down, the Mirage (example) can now spend more time over the combat zone. Availability of the weapon makes a difference, mere possession of the asset is not enough in combat. We are practicing on the Expressway, real act will be elsewhere, much closer to the border. Hit first, hit hard and keep hitting. This practice is for the "keep hitting" part.

The two other scenarios discussed in this thread are emergency conditions and war setbacks. A highway strip will just be the last possible option for these.

Emergency: It would take some time to coordinate with various agencies to get the strip ready for the aircraft and time is not a luxury in situations of emergency. If it would take half an hour to get the strip ready, then the pilot is better off trying his/her luck in a proper airport that could be near by.

War: If the enemy could destroy a well defended airbase, then what chance would a highway have? A combat aircraft needs a lot of support equipment to be operational, just moving them to a highway located a little further will be an act of desperation.

Our smaller neighbor lives in constant fear of annihilation over the skies, they need to have a network of highway strips for preservation of their combat aircraft because destruction of their airbases is quite a probability. For them it is survival, for us it is the opposite.

I am imagining Arnab Goswami asking the same question Rahul asked!
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Old 22nd May 2015, 09:59   #37
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Default Re: Indian Air Force Mirage 2000 test lands on the Yamuna Expressway

From what I understand from more news reports, this was only a test. And now that its successful, IAF will identify more such spots across the country. IAF will provide necessary requirements to NHAI and the expressway authorities to incorporate those requirements.
Main requirements being,
1) Strengthening of the identified stretch to withstand this load
2) The stretch itself should be straight without curves upto 3-5 kms
3) without obstructing trees, mobile towers, high tension/otherwise electrical lines etc
4) Most probably barricaded on both sides to avoid gazing domestic animals and people moving around
5) Basic markings on the road and provision for special landing/guiding lights(to installed on demand)

IAF or the Ministry of Defence will bear the cost of such upgrade/provisioning by NHAI. And for this particular Yamuna stretch it is estimated to cost Rs. 18 cr.

I am also assuming, they might form mobile unit of personnel to reach these spots for emergency operations when needed with movable equipment as well.
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Old 22nd May 2015, 10:51   #38
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Default Re: Indian Air Force Mirage 2000 test lands on the Yamuna Expressway

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Originally Posted by i74js View Post
Jeroen - in my opinion:
a. The Concorde has a particular nose design which needs to be titled down at the time of take off, even after that the visibility for the pilot is compromised to some extent, additionally the Delta wing design requires additional speed before take off. Which may not be the case with fighter jets, as they several advanced maneuvering options including thrust vector control etc.
b. In the Concorde mishap at Paris, the pilots could sence the hit of debris on the planes body but the runway distance left to reject takeoff was too less, the debris strike happened post V1 speed and then there was no looking back, the pilots had to take off and plan a landing maneuver which unfortunately they could not do and the flight crashed.

This was just an example, my point being it is very difficult for pilots to spot debris at the best of time due to a few simple reasons. One is just how our eyes and brains work and how good we are at detecting stationary objects at a distance. (not particularly good). You simply wont spot a large chunk of burst tire say 500 meters down the runway other by sheer coicindince or luck The other one is of course that as a pilot landing is a busy occurence, so there is only so much.

The forward view of the Concord isnt to bad. I had the pleasure of an hour on one of the old British Airways Concorde Simulators at brooklands UK.

http://www.brooklandsconcorde.co.uk/

http://www.brooklandsconcorde.co.uk/...f-concorde.pdf

If you're interested in this sort of thhings and find yourself near Brooklands definitely worth a visit.

If you want to have a good insight story on what happened with the AirFrance Concorde, you might want to visit this link:

http://www.askthepilot.com/untold-concorde-story/

I discussed this version of the crash with the BA Concorde Captain at Brookland. Some of them are in the comments too. By and large the BA Concorde Cockpit crew fraterinity believes this to be the real story, rather then the official version. As usual, many small things went wrong, leading to a disaster. What is particularly sad, is that the flight engineer makes a vital mistake and from that moment onward the plane is doomed.

Jeroen
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Old 22nd May 2015, 11:08   #39
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Default Re: Indian Air Force Mirage 2000 test lands on the Yamuna Expressway

I think this test was more to do with preparation than landing per se, because the plane did not land at all, it took off after touch down. Biggest hurdle being inter-agency communication and coordination, this exercise would have helped in understanding the loopholes and time lags in this respect. They basically need to develop the ability to do this at a short notice of may be 15-20 minutes, and the devil is in the detail!
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Old 22nd May 2015, 11:43   #40
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Default Re: Indian Air Force Mirage 2000 test lands on the Yamuna Expressway

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I think this test was more to do with preparation than landing per se, because the plane did not land at all, it took off after touch down. !
Different stories around the net whether it did or no do a full landing. So much for the accuracy and reliabillity of modern social media, and news media in particular.

According to this morning "Times of India" it did do a full landing, whatever that means from them.

From a pilot point of view a Touch and Go counts as a landing in your logbook!

I'm really no expert on these matterd at all. But I have seen and I am familiar with how this is done in Sweden and Switzerland. There is a huge infrastructure around these designated motorway runways. Including hidden shelters, hangars, truck, staff. So it really fully integrated and operational.

Unless India gets it to that sort of level of constant preparedness, I'm not sure what the real value is.

I'm surprised with so much publicity, I havent seen a single video of this landing/touch and go yet? With all this preparation you'd think somebody would have thought to film it?

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Old 22nd May 2015, 11:47   #41
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Default Re: Indian Air Force Mirage 2000 test lands on the Yamuna Expressway

Good to note that this monster of a road, an epitome of corruption and otherwise a commercial disaster, has at last found some real use and might even come to the defence of the nation one day, if need be.
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Old 22nd May 2015, 12:00   #42
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Default Re: Indian Air Force Mirage 2000 test lands on the Yamuna Expressway

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Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
I havent seen a single video of this landing/touch and go yet
here is a video from NDTV. Hopefully the services would have done some video recording for their internal consumption purpose.
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Old 22nd May 2015, 12:20   #43
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Default Re: Indian Air Force Mirage 2000 test lands on the Yamuna Expressway

A much larger turbo-prop taking off from a road with a 45 degree turn in the middle. Crazy stuff.

Congratulations Arrow...




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Old 22nd May 2015, 12:20   #44
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Default Re: Indian Air Force Mirage 2000 test lands on the Yamuna Expressway

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Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
I'm really no expert on these matterd at all. But I have seen and I am familiar with how this is done in Sweden and Switzerland. There is a huge infrastructure around these designated motorway runways. Including hidden shelters, hangars, truck, staff. So it really fully integrated and operational.
Smaller countries need to have this infrastructure to protect their assets. They will not be having strategic bases that are out of range for enemy aircraft or missiles, so they have to disperse their units hoping some of them will be spared if the enemy breaks through. They cannot fight a war of attrition, each aircraft will be critical in their survival. (Sweden has about 70 Gripens and Switzerland has less than half that number of F-18s)

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I'm surprised with so much publicity, I havent seen a single video of this landing/touch and go yet? With all this preparation you'd think somebody would have thought to film it?
Jeroen
They would have, but the IAF probably wanted to show only parts of it. The average Indian media fares poorly when reporting technical stuff.
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Old 22nd May 2015, 13:10   #45
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Default Re: Indian Air Force Mirage 2000 test lands on the Yamuna Expressway

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Originally Posted by sun_king View Post
They would have, but the IAF probably wanted to show only parts of it. The average Indian media fares poorly when reporting technical stuff.
Thaks,
It still doesnt show whether it was a true full stop landing or a touch and go. But if I was to judge the video, I would say it was a touch and go. For some reason it just doesnt show the jet going to take off.

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