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neomax
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How does the lack of crosswind runways at airports without them not cause issues?

Sun Jul 08, 2018 12:47 am

I have found the number of mega airports without crosswind runways to be almost surprisingly large. Most airport's runways are all oriented in the same direction with basically no flexibility in case the wind were to dictate otherwise. How does this not cause issues at airports like ATL and LAX?
 
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christao17
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Re: How does the lack of crosswind runways at airports without them not cause issues?

Sun Jul 08, 2018 1:01 am

The winds in those locations are consistent enough in their directions to not pose significant challenges. Otherwise, crosswind runways would have been built. Plus, I would imagine more modern aircraft can better handle crosswinds when landing and taking off.
More than a dozen years flying in and around Asia...
 
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zeke
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Re: How does the lack of crosswind runways at airports without them not cause issues?

Sun Jul 08, 2018 1:20 am

The big girls and boys flying their aircraft in and out of those locations obviously know how to use a crosswind technique.
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Blockplus
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Re: How does the lack of crosswind runways at airports without them not cause issues?

Sun Jul 08, 2018 1:22 am

It would take almost 40kts to pose a real issue. Usually not a problem
 
dfwjim1
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Re: How does the lack of crosswind runways at airports without them not cause issues?

Sun Jul 08, 2018 1:43 am

Two major airports that come to mind that have gotten rid of their crosswind runways are KDAL and KFLL.
 
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golfradio
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Re: How does the lack of crosswind runways at airports without them not cause issues?

Sun Jul 08, 2018 2:14 am

I've always thought NRT could use a xwind runway, especially after seeing the videl of FX80.
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727LOVER
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Re: How does the lack of crosswind runways at airports without them not cause issues?

Sun Jul 08, 2018 3:32 am

TPA rarely uses theirs....wind has to be like around 25mph

...like on this day:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8IkhMxG2ts
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jrDvhLV_oZI
"We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope." - Martin Luther King, Jr.
 
Cubsrule
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Re: How does the lack of crosswind runways at airports without them not cause issues?

Sun Jul 08, 2018 4:25 am

zeke wrote:
The big girls and boys flying their aircraft in and out of those locations obviously know how to use a crosswind technique.


Yes, but also, these airports tend to be in places where strong crosswinds are relatively uncommon. LAX’s “odd” winds are Santa Ana winds, almost straight down the 6s and 7s.
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spacecadet
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Re: How does the lack of crosswind runways at airports without them not cause issues?

Sun Jul 08, 2018 6:05 am

golfradio wrote:
I've always thought NRT could use a xwind runway, especially after seeing the videl of FX80.


FedEx flight 80 had a headwind coming straight down the runway. They landed on 34L and the wind was coming from 320 degrees. The crosswind component was a maximum of 11 knots. What caused that accident was a combination of pilot error and windshear, which has nothing to do with crosswinds. Again, windshear and turbulence are not the same as crosswinds, so just because someone sees a video that looks shaky or experienced a landing that felt unstable (and I have felt more than my share of those at NRT) doesn't mean it had anything to do with crosswinds.

This is typically how conditions are at NRT. That's why it was built the way it was, and why the new third runway is being built parallel to the other two. It's a windy airport, but the wind is typically blowing down the runways. It doesn't have any worse of an in-service time vs. any other major airport, or any worse of a crosswind problem. It's just turbulent.

Remember also that every airport with a "single" runway really has two runways, and an airport like NRT with two parallel runways really has four. It may seem semantic, but it's not, because the crosswind *component* is what matters, not the crosswind itself. That means an airport with just a single strip of pavement can handle winds coming from 360 degrees. It's not as if the crosswind component needs to be zero. It typically needs to be under around 30-40 knots for medium to large jets, which means the wind speed itself can be greater. For example, landing on a runway 34 with a 40 knot 300 degree wind yields only a 26 knot crosswind component.

These kinds of things are studied and considered before airports are built. Runway headings are determined by wind direction that will enable the highest in-service time. This is an over-simplification, but if winds vary between 320 degrees and 360 degrees from the north, and 180 degrees and 140 degrees from the south, the airport will be designed, if possible, with a runway 16/34.

And no, they don't always get things right, which is why airports like JFK have had their runways re-configured. But that's to maintain runways in service and to reduce weather delays, not for safety reasons, and it's usually only the difference of a few percent (though that few percent could mean millions of dollars for the airlines over the course of a year).

Airports that are built with crosswind runways are built that way because they need them. Again, typical meteorological conditions are not usually something that makes airport designers slap their foreheads once an airport's built and say "I wish I'd thought of that!" If an airport has crosswind runways, it's because there's some big average chunk of time when the crosswind component on a single runway would be too great for many of the expected aircraft using it to handle, and that's really easy to calculate ahead of time. That's true at an airport like JFK, where the winds blow from all directions and everything from general aviation aircraft and RJ's to A380's land. But NRT is almost exclusively mid-size to large airliners and the winds are generally from either the north or south.

So, that also answers the original question. The lack of crosswind runways at airports without them typically does not cause issues because those airports don't need them.
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zeke
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Re: How does the lack of crosswind runways at airports without them not cause issues?

Sun Jul 08, 2018 7:18 am

Cubsrule wrote:
Yes, but also, these airports tend to be in places where strong crosswinds are relatively uncommon. LAX’s “odd” winds are Santa Ana winds, almost straight down the 6s and 7s.


That is not(knot) the real reason, above 40 kts you run into issues with opening doors and the safety of ramp staff.

A lot of airports physically cannot have cross strips normally due to terrain, either being surrounded by it, or built on reclaimed land.
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TOGA10
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Re: How does the lack of crosswind runways at airports without them not cause issues?

Sun Jul 08, 2018 12:35 pm

neomax wrote:
I have found the number of mega airports without crosswind runways to be almost surprisingly large. Most airport's runways are all oriented in the same direction with basically no flexibility in case the wind were to dictate otherwise. How does this not cause issues at airports like ATL and LAX?

I think JFK, FRA, AMS, SYD and IST disagree with you on that one.
But as stated above, modern airliners can handle up to 35-40kts crosswind.
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CosmicCruiser
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Re: How does the lack of crosswind runways at airports without them not cause issues?

Sun Jul 08, 2018 1:14 pm

golfradio wrote:
I've always thought NRT could use a xwind runway, especially after seeing the videl of FX80.


That crash did not involve much of a x-wind. Yes, the wind was strong and gusty there wasn't much x-wind.
 
jupiter2
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Re: How does the lack of crosswind runways at airports without them not cause issues?

Sun Jul 08, 2018 9:18 pm

TOGA10 wrote:
neomax wrote:
I have found the number of mega airports without crosswind runways to be almost surprisingly large. Most airport's runways are all oriented in the same direction with basically no flexibility in case the wind were to dictate otherwise. How does this not cause issues at airports like ATL and LAX?

I think JFK, FRA, AMS, SYD and IST disagree with you on that one.
But as stated above, modern airliners can handle up to 35-40kts crosswind.


SYD a "mega airport" :rotfl: that is funny. The main reason it gets busy at all is because of the movements cap and then it's only for a few hours each day. But we do get strong westerly winds (30 knots +) at certain times of the year, so that RWY 25 gets a fair bit of use then.
 
timz
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Re: How does the lack of crosswind runways at airports without them not cause issues?

Sun Jul 08, 2018 9:57 pm

Obvious question: what's different about today's airliners? In 1940-1950 no one would build a major airport with one-direction runways-- apparently a Constellation or B377 couldn't handle crosswinds as well as a 777. Why not?

Wonder what airliners used the N-S runway at LAX. 100 ft wide as I recall-- lasted until the ... late 1960s?
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: How does the lack of crosswind runways at airports without them not cause issues?

Mon Jul 09, 2018 3:26 am

First, multiple direction runways were a holdover from the early days of aviation when landing into the wind was advantageous for tailwheel planes. The first airports were circulat grass fields and one always landed directly into the wind. Second, the tremendous growth in traffic meant parallel runways which made multiple direction parallels hard to site and operate. Lastly, planes have gotten better at handling crosswinds; jets’ higher approach speeds mean reduced crab angles. But the airliners you cite could easily work off of today’s airports.

GF
 
Tristarsteve
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Re: How does the lack of crosswind runways at airports without them not cause issues?

Mon Jul 09, 2018 6:30 pm

apparently a Constellation or B377 couldn't handle crosswinds as well as a 777. Why not?


I believe it is due to the approach speed. Big jets are heavier and land faster so the wind component is proportionally smaller
When I started at LHR in 1970, our canteen was at the runway end, and it was obvious with a strong wind. The small props like F27 and Viscount were all doing go-arounds, but the B707 and VC10 were landing
 
seb146
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Re: How does the lack of crosswind runways at airports without them not cause issues?

Mon Jul 09, 2018 7:53 pm

I would not consider LAX not having crosswind runways. The wind generally comes off the ocean and all flights land and takeoff to the west, which is where the wind usually comes from.

SEA comes immediately to mind for this topic. They have only three runways which are basically north/south configured. Storms and wind comes usually from west to east. Anyone landing at SEA is almost always landing in a crosswind.
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SuseJ772
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Re: How does the lack of crosswind runways at airports without them not cause issues?

Mon Jul 09, 2018 7:56 pm

727LOVER wrote:
TPA rarely uses theirs....wind has to be like around 25mph

...like on this day:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8IkhMxG2ts
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jrDvhLV_oZI


Those are great. I didn’t know 10/28 ever got used. It seemed liked all it was for was a visual reference for us GA pilots for the VFR Bridge Transition :)
Currently at PIE, requesting FWA >> >>
 
muralir
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Re: How does the lack of crosswind runways at airports without them not cause issues?

Tue Jul 17, 2018 2:54 am

Agreed with the above responses. To see how much of a difference modern jets make compared to older planes in terms of crosswind requirements, you can look at O'Hare: They went from 6 runways, with 2 pairs at 3 different angles, to now 6 parallel runways and only 2 crosswind runways. Granted, the reason they spent $10bil to do this was to increase capacity. But that was only possible because it was no longer necessary to have so many different approach angles. The old ORD was configured for the planes of its days which were much more susceptible to crosswinds. Modern jets much less so, to the extent that they could largely eliminate their crosswind runways.

I suspect there are a lot of old airports, built to service prop planes from the 40s and 50s, with essentially vestigial crosswind runways that no one bothers to bulldoze but that aren't really used anymore.
 
RetiredWeasel
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Re: How does the lack of crosswind runways at airports without them not cause issues?

Tue Jul 17, 2018 5:39 am

muralir wrote:
I suspect there are a lot of old airports, built to service prop planes from the 40s and 50s, with essentially vestigial crosswind runways that no one bothers to bulldoze but that aren't really used anymore.


Just about all the old military bases prior to and during WWII had 3 runways all constructed in a triangle to minimize the crosswind effect. You can still find many of those aux fields on google earth when searching through parts of AZ, NM and TX.
 
ZaphodHarkonnen
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Re: How does the lack of crosswind runways at airports without them not cause issues?

Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:58 am

RetiredWeasel wrote:
muralir wrote:
I suspect there are a lot of old airports, built to service prop planes from the 40s and 50s, with essentially vestigial crosswind runways that no one bothers to bulldoze but that aren't really used anymore.


Just about all the old military bases prior to and during WWII had 3 runways all constructed in a triangle to minimize the crosswind effect. You can still find many of those aux fields on google earth when searching through parts of AZ, NM and TX.


South of England as well. Also LHR is a perfect example of that starting with 3 pairs of runways in a triangle. Now just two on the prevailing wind directions.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: How does the lack of crosswind runways at airports without them not cause issues?

Tue Jul 17, 2018 2:43 pm

It was less due to props than tailwheels.

GF
 
IFlyVeryLittle
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Re: How does the lack of crosswind runways at airports without them not cause issues?

Tue Jul 17, 2018 5:30 pm

Sometimes, it's just a matter of what was there and the cost-effectiveness of sticking with it. TPA has parallel 36s and 18s and was originally laid out in the early 1950s. MLB was a former naval-aviation base in World War II and has parallel 9s and 27s. Both are subject to the same summer time seabreezes (east or west) and winds that come with winter-time front passages (north) and both do just fine. Not such a big deal in the modern age.
 
timz
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Re: How does the lack of crosswind runways at airports without them not cause issues?

Tue Jul 17, 2018 5:34 pm

IFlyVeryLittle wrote:
TPA has parallel 36s and 18s and was originally laid out in the early 1950s.

TPA opened with no parallel runways.

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