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Old 22nd May 2015, 14:23   #46
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Default Re: Indian Air Force Mirage 2000 test lands on the Yamuna Expressway

Using highways as secondary airstrips is not that unusual or new since every air force is aware that their airbases will be the first targets in any conflict. Countries that are known to use (or at least practice using) highways as airstrips include
  • Sweden
  • Taiwan
  • Singapore
  • Pakistan
  • Egypt
  • Poland
  • (ex-) West Germany
  • South Korea
Looking at this list of countries, you'll notice that all of them have one feature in common - their strategic depth is limited. In other words, no matter where their airbases are located, they are still within reach of their potential rivals in any conflict.
India didn't have this problem until very recently as many of our airbases are located well behind the front-lines of any conflict. However, now that our rivals now have the tools to reach well behind the front-lines using air-air refueling, cruise missiles and ballistic missiles, it is worth the air forces time, effort and budget to practice such emergency measures.

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Originally Posted by i74js View Post
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.
Even with the nose drooping down, the visibility from the the Concorde's cockpit is much poorer compared to other aircraft of a similar capacity. However in the incident which caused the crash, even stellar visibility wouldn't have helped matters.
Concorde had the highest take-off speed of all airliners and by the time the aircraft reached the point where the debris had fallen (from the jet that took off before it) it would be going too fast to do any avoidance maneuvers (most airliners disable the nose-wheel steering once the speed exceeds 30-40 knots). The aircraft had also exceeded the V1 speed (the speed at which no amount of braking and reverse thrust will stop the aircraft before the end of the runway), so even though the pilots knew there was a problem, their only alternative was to continue the take-off, declare an emergency, dump fuel (the flight was on a trans-Atlantic route and was too heavy to land with a full fuel load) and come back to land.
Unfortunately, the debris caused the tyres to burst and the high-velocity tyre debris hit the fuel tank located above the main (rear) landing gear. While the tank didn't rupture at the point of impact, the force of the impact caused a pressure wave in the fuel that ruptured another part of the tank that was comparatively weaker. The leaking fuel soon caught fire which led to the total loss of power on one engine and the loss of the other engine on the same side soon followed. Without enough thrust to climb to a safe altitude or accelerate, the aircraft eventually stalled and crashed.

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Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
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.

Jeroen
I don't remember the source since I was on mobile, but one of the news articles said that these were touch and go landings only. Before this (the article didn't specify when), the Mirages practiced approaches to the highway (flying the landing up to the last minute before they cancelled it just before touchdown) before they attempted landings.
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Old 22nd May 2015, 14:36   #47
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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
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.

Jeroen
Only rear wheel touch down, the nose wheel was still up and the plan took off again.
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Old 22nd May 2015, 15:11   #48
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Default Re: Indian Air Force Mirage 2000 test lands on the Yamuna Expressway

I am not too sure what the argument is all about. If it landed, stopped and took off again it would be called a stop and go. Touch and go is when the plane lands and then takes off without stopping. Being a civilian I do not know what is the purpose of such landings in real life battle situations. Obviously if a fighter plane landed and remained stationary on a high way it would be a sitting duck for enemy planes. But if enemy planes were indeed hovering over the skies of Delhi then we might as well stop these discussions right now and flee.
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Old 22nd May 2015, 15:46   #49
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Default Indian Air Force Mirage 2000 test lands on the Yamuna Expressway

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Originally Posted by Sudipto-S-Team View Post
I am not too sure what the argument is all about. If it landed, stopped and took off again it would be called a stop and go. Touch and go is when the plane lands and then takes off without stopping. Being a civilian I do not know what is the purpose of such landings in real life battle situations. Obviously if a fighter plane landed and remained stationary on a high way it would be a sitting duck for enemy planes. But if enemy planes were indeed hovering over the skies of Delhi then we might as well stop these discussions right now and flee.

I don't think there is an argument at all. Just no tclear whether the plane did a full stop or a touch and go. Even the video doesn't really provide clarity, although the suggestion is due to its high nose up attitude it was doing a touch and go. Not a hundred percent sure, These delta wings always come in with a very high nose up attitude and they maintain that sometimes during the rollout. The famous British Vulcans apparently used this technique as aerodynamic braking as they did not have good brakes to start with and could use all the help they could get.

Touch and Go is a typical training manouvre. It allows you to practice a lot of approaches and landings in a relatively short time period. It could also be a safety / precautionary manouvre in case the pilot beliefs he would be safer in the air then come to a full stop.

jeroen

Last edited by Jeroen : 22nd May 2015 at 15:48.
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Old 22nd May 2015, 16:37   #50
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Default Re: Indian Air Force Mirage 2000 test lands on the Yamuna Expressway

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Originally Posted by Sudipto-S-Team View Post
... Touch and go is when the plane lands and then takes off without stopping. Being a civilian I do not know what is the purpose of such landings in real life battle situations ...
Touch and gos are used primarily in two scenarios
  • Landing practice for new pilots or pilots who are new to a particular type of aircraft. This builds familiarity with the landing characteristics and reduces stress on the aircraft while allowing the pilot to get a lot more practice within the same time.
  • Using a new landing area for the first time (what we are discussing here). Touch-and-gos allow the pilot to practice an approach and landing at an unfamiliar runway while still keeping a wide margin to allow for recovery in case the attempt doesn't go well.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
... the suggestion is due to its high nose up attitude it was doing a touch and go. Not a hundred percent sure, These delta wings always come in with a very high nose up attitude and they maintain that sometimes during the rollout.
To add some more information to what Jeroen said ... delta wings offer advantages to aircraft - primarily better high-speed performance, high instantaneous maneuverability, lower frontal drag (for a given wing area) and good internal volume to carry fuel. However these advantages come with penalties - they perform poorly at low speeds, have poorer sustained maneuverability and require landing the aircraft at high angles-of-attack (to generate adequate lift at low speeds).
The Mirage 2000 uses its dynamically unstable design (stability is continuously maintained by its fly-by-wire system) to negate some of the disadvantages of poor low-speed maneuverability but still needs to land at a nose-high attitude. That said, a nose-high attitude while landing generates a lot more drag helping the aircraft slow down without the need for a brake parachute.
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Old 22nd May 2015, 16:55   #51
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Default Re: Indian Air Force Mirage 2000 test lands on the Yamuna Expressway

^^ I don't think the flight landed on the highway. From the report it was a touch and go.
NDTV link.
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Old 23rd May 2015, 01:56   #52
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Default Re: Indian Air Force Mirage 2000 test lands on the Yamuna Expressway

Hi everybody.
The video of Mirage has gone viral and there have been quite a lot of posts on this subject.
Something I picked up from the internet. As far as I could understand a road in Calcutta was used as a runway/hangar on a regular basis.
Here is the link
http://scroll.in/article/729244/watc...g-world-war-ii
Regards.
PS:Off topic titbit. 20/30 years back Rajasthan ran a series of ads about its highways. Tag line was that the highways are so good you could land palne on it.

Last edited by faustus77 : 23rd May 2015 at 01:59.
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Old 23rd May 2015, 12:41   #53
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Default Re: Indian Air Force Mirage 2000 test lands on the Yamuna Expressway

Just to add on the high nose up attitude in landing for delta wings and a clear subsequent demonstration on aerodynamic braking.

One of my all time favourite delta wing; Vulcan


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Old 24th May 2015, 15:41   #54
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Default Re: Indian Air Force Mirage 2000 test lands on the Yamuna Expressway

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rahul Bhalgat View Post
Dear V.Narayan,
I have a question...

Why to practise landing a fighter aircraft on highway?

For specific operation:
Is the helicopter not better? Like US used at Abbottabad? It does not need airstrip, it can carry 10-15 soldiers and some equipment. Fighter cannot do this.

For emergency landing during peace:
If the fighter develops any snag in flight and hence it needs to land ASAP, the pilot knows nearby airstrips. ATC too can help them for this. Airstrip is a better place to land, safer for the plane.


Even if a fighter lands on a highway segment, is it not a big risk for the pilot's life considering that the road is not guaranteed to be free of debris, free of stray dogs, birds etc.?

If the airport is damaged during war:
But we protect the military airports, especially during the war. Still, if an airstrip can be attacked and damaged, highways can be even more easily attacked and damaged.

So why to practise landing a fighter aircraft on highway?
Dear Rahul,

There are two factors at play here - (1) Geographical depth & dispersion; and (2) risk of pre-emptive strike.

First let's take geographical defense in depth & dispersion. Normally in a large country like India or USA fighters would operate from Air Force bases only both while taking off and landing. In an emergency there are dozens of back up airstrips available both civilian as well as pure backup strips. The IAF has 60 air bases officially recognized, the Air Ports Authority of India handles a further 95 airports in addition to 30 shared with the IAF/Navy and we have dozens and dozens of emergency strips in varying degrees of readiness. So normally IAF fighters will not need to operate from a straight stretch of highway even in wartime. Smaller countries with less geographical depth need to have facilities to disperse their fighter assets to and to be able to operate from a facility less likely to be attacked in the early stages of a war. Hence many (geographically) smaller countries practise landing and launching their fighters from highways. In countries like Sweden, Singapore and Switzerland select stretches of highways are originally designed & constructed keeping this need in mind. In India we have not really tried this out earlier to best of my knowledge and the need is far lesser too.

This brings us to our second point of a pre-emptive strike. A pre-emptive strike is one where you start a war (without a warning of course) by launching masses of well co-ordinated air strikes at the enemy's Air Force bases, missile centres, radars and command & control centres in order to make his Air Force impotent in the first 3 hours. The Germans did it in WW2 against the Poles in September 1939 and more recently the Israelis did it against the Syrians and Egyptians in 1967 (from which event the term pre-emptive strike came into common vocabulary). A smaller country is always concerned about a pre-emptive strike by a larger adversary because all its Air Force bases are in striking range of the adversary. Hence they practise deploying their fighters to highways from time to time. Larger geographies like India cannot be taken out in one 3 hour pre-emptive strike even assuming the adversary manages to get through. Our western neighbour tried it on 3rd December 1971 with little success (our western friends are not Israelis and we are not Egyptians or Syrians)

Can a highway be attacked - yes most certainly. But with thousands of highway stretches the attacker will struggle to know what to attack with his limited resources.

The IAF is only doing some practise. It also gets some happy PR in the eyes of the public as this thread reveals (and such PR is very important to build the image of the Force in the eyes of the public). And like in a factory every once in a while it helps to do a fire drill. As you rightly point out for this to be useful the roads in wartime need to be clear of debris, plastic bags, and the usual loitering garbage we Indians love so much.

The Swiss & the Swedes do this the best with dedicated stretches of highway earmarked and regularly used for practicing fighter operations. the logistics support is vast if you want to sustain operations from a highway - tonnes and tonnes of fuel, armaments, despatch equipment, line repair tools, air traffic control on a truck, landing lights of some sort etc etc.

Hope this helps. Kind regards, Narayan

Indian Air Force Mirage 2000 test lands on the Yamuna Expressway-swiss-af.jpg
Swiss Air Force F-5 crossing a village on its way to or from its Airbase/highway stretch - but then the Swiss donít litter the roads!!


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Like we have a railway crossing the Swiss have 'Fighter aircraft crossings" where, unsurprisingly, the aircraft gets right of way. The Swiss keep these highway stretches stocked with their logistics support needs all year round. Swiss F-18 Hornet crossing village road!!
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Old 16th June 2015, 16:18   #55
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Default Re: Indian Air Force Mirage 2000 test lands on the Yamuna Expressway

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Originally Posted by adneo View Post
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.
sandipand adneo are both right. Not only during WW2 but also during the China, Pakistan and Bangladesh wars, Red Road was kept ready for air landings if needed for emergency defence of Calcutta. The GNAT fighters of the IAF could land with ease there, and on other roads in the North-east if needed. In spite of being in the heart of the city,Red Road was without lamp posts till the tiny GNATs were retired from duty, sometime in the late 1980s .
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