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Development of a Small Aircraft Runway Length Analysis Tool (2022)

Chapter: 4 Small Aircraft Runway Length Analysis Tool

« Previous: 3 Aircraft Performance Data Collection and Analysis
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Suggested Citation:"4 Small Aircraft Runway Length Analysis Tool." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Development of a Small Aircraft Runway Length Analysis Tool. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26730.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Small Aircraft Runway Length Analysis Tool." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Development of a Small Aircraft Runway Length Analysis Tool. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26730.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Small Aircraft Runway Length Analysis Tool." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Development of a Small Aircraft Runway Length Analysis Tool. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26730.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Small Aircraft Runway Length Analysis Tool." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Development of a Small Aircraft Runway Length Analysis Tool. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26730.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Small Aircraft Runway Length Analysis Tool." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Development of a Small Aircraft Runway Length Analysis Tool. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26730.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Small Aircraft Runway Length Analysis Tool." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Development of a Small Aircraft Runway Length Analysis Tool. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26730.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Small Aircraft Runway Length Analysis Tool." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Development of a Small Aircraft Runway Length Analysis Tool. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26730.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Small Aircraft Runway Length Analysis Tool." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Development of a Small Aircraft Runway Length Analysis Tool. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26730.
×
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Suggested Citation:"4 Small Aircraft Runway Length Analysis Tool." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Development of a Small Aircraft Runway Length Analysis Tool. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26730.
×
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Page 41
Suggested Citation:"4 Small Aircraft Runway Length Analysis Tool." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Development of a Small Aircraft Runway Length Analysis Tool. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26730.
×
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Suggested Citation:"4 Small Aircraft Runway Length Analysis Tool." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Development of a Small Aircraft Runway Length Analysis Tool. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26730.
×
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Suggested Citation:"4 Small Aircraft Runway Length Analysis Tool." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Development of a Small Aircraft Runway Length Analysis Tool. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26730.
×
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Suggested Citation:"4 Small Aircraft Runway Length Analysis Tool." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Development of a Small Aircraft Runway Length Analysis Tool. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26730.
×
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Suggested Citation:"4 Small Aircraft Runway Length Analysis Tool." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Development of a Small Aircraft Runway Length Analysis Tool. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26730.
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32 4 SMALL AIRCRAFT RUNWAY LENGTH ANALYSIS TOOL This section describes the features in the SARLAT (version 1.2.8). The tool includes detailed takeoff and landing performance characteristics for 42 small aircraft with maximum takeoff weight up to 20,200 lb. Aircraft performance data contained in SARLAT includes twenty-eight piston- powered aircraft, nine turboprop aircraft, and five turbofan-powered business jets. All aircraft included in the SARLAT database are some of the most popular aircraft operating in the National Airspace System. The tool uses pilot operating handbook (POH), aircraft flight manual (AFM), and flight planning guide (FPG) data. Version 1.2.8 of the SARLAT can be downloaded using the following links: For Windows operating system: https://www.dropbox.com/s/i6c085iisvcozbm/SARLAT- 1.2.8%2BSetup.exe?dl=0 For the Apple Macintosh operating system: https://www.dropbox.com/s/sytgo4d3a060hkm/SARLAT-1.2.8-x64.dmg?dl=0 Figure 19 shows a flowchart of the Small Aircraft Runway Length Analysis Tool. The SARLAT has a Graphic User Interface programmed in Javascript and Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) to handle basic input/output information and the aircraft database to support the calculations to estimate runway length required for individual aircraft. We developed the aircraft performance database in the SARLAT using detailed aircraft manufacturer data described in Section 3 of the report. SARLAT reports the critical runway length required for each aircraft. Section 3.4 of the report offers more information on the outputs produced by SARLAT. For single-engine, piston aircraft, SARLAT reports two takeoff distances (dry and wet pavement) and two landing distances (dry and wet). For twin-engine aircraft SARLAT reports accelerate-stop distance (see Section 3.4 for justification) for takeoff and dry and wet pavement distances for landing conditions. SARLAT reports up to six runway length distances for turboprop and turbofan-powered aircraft. Dry and wet takeoff distances, dry and wet landing distances, and two additional landing distances to report 14 CFR Part 135 on-demand operations. Section 3.4 of the reports explains the rationale for Part 135 landing distances in SARLAT. For certain aircraft, SARLAT reports grass, and gravel runway lengths explained in Section 3 of the report. We do not report standing water, snow, and slush conditions because they are not used in airport design. The SARLAT improves the runway length design process of the FAA Advisory Circular 150/5325-4B by including more details on the following parameters: 1) Environmental parameters, including design temperature (i.e., Mean Daily Maximum Temperature of the Hottest Month of the Year), 2) Desired aircraft useful load, 3) Variable wind conditions, 4) Runway gradient, and 5) Runway surface conditions. Figure 20 shows the Graphic User Interface of the SARLAT. Version 1.2.8 of the Small Aircraft Runway Length Analysis Tool has four modes of operation, including two analysis modes and two

33 validation modes. The analysis modes are a) evaluation of an existing runway, and b) design of a new runway. The SARLAT validation modes include validation plots for evaluating an existing runway and validation plots for designing a new runway. The validation modes present individual aircraft runway length plots for a set of user-defined airport conditions. Validation plots provide valuable insight on how airport environmental conditions influence runway length for individual aircraft. Figure 20 shows the Graphic User Interface (GUI) of the SARLAT. The SARLAT GUI has similar functionality on Windows and Apple Mac operating systems. Figure 19: Flowchart of the Small Aircraft Runway Length Analysis Tool (SARLAT).

34 The upper left-hand side red panel in Figure 20 shows the access to all the analysis modes in SARLAT. Users access analysis and validation modes by expanding the menu on the main GUI screen's upper left corner (colored red). Alternatively, the user selects the analysis or validation via buttons provided on the SARLAT's main screen. Figure 20: Introductory Page of the Small Aircraft Runway Length Analysis Tool (SARLAT). The Red Area Shows the Operational Modes in SARLAT. 4.1 RUNWAY EVALUATION MODE The runway evaluation mode estimates the operational suitability of individual aircraft to operate at an existing airport. Figure 21 shows the input screen in the SARLAT to evaluate an existing runway. Five steps are required to perform a runway evaluation: 1) Select the runway evaluation mode, 2) Select the aircraft fleet mix operating at the airport, 3) Define airport environmental conditions (pressure altitude, air temperature, and wind speed), 4) Define existing runway information (runway length, runway gradient, and runway pavement conditions), and 5) Run the case. Figure 21 shows the SARLAT input screen for a runway evaluation of an airport with a 5100-foot runway located at 4000 feet pressure altitude, a design temperature of 90 degrees Fahrenheit and dry pavement conditions. The input data is organized into four blocks: Scenario Name, Aircraft Mix, Airport Environmental Factors, and runway information. The aircraft fleet mix is defined as the percentage of the operations for each individual aircraft. The percent of the aircraft population operating at the airport is entered in the second column of Figure 22. Aircraft are grouped according to three engine types in SARLAT: piston, turboprop, and turbofan. Figure 22Figure 21 shows and example input with four aircraft defined as the fleet mix with two piston aircraft (Beechcraft Baron 58 and Cessna 172), one turboprop aircraft (King Air B350ER) and one

35 turbofan aircraft (Cessna 560 XL). To access to individual aircraft type group, click the aircraft group header for each engine type shown in Figure 21. Note that SARLAT can save the scenario for later reuse. Loading a previously saved scenario is also available in SARLAT (see the bottom of Figure 21. The output of the SARLAT provides the operational weight restrictions for each aircraft reported as the percent of maximum useful load allowed limited by runway length. Figure 23 shows an example SARLAT output for the input parameters selected in Figure 21. The output information is divided into two sections: 1) a table with permissible takeoff weights and useful load departing from the runway length available and 2) a table showing salient aircraft characteristics of the aircraft selected in the analysis. Figure 21: Runway Evaluation Mode Input Window in the SARLAT.

36 The aircraft information includes general engine type, aircraft design and approach speed groups, maximum takeoff weight, useful load and flap settings used for takeoff and landing calculations. Figure 23 shows that for a Textron Aviation King Air B350ER the aircraft is limited to carry 43% of its maximum useful load (takeoff weight is 13,329 lb.) departing from a 5,100-foot runway located at 4,000 feet pressure altitude (dry takeoff conditions) and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Similarly, the Cessna 560 XL is limited to 73% useful load (18,678 lb.) departing from the same airport on a wet runway. Figure 23 presents conditions on whether the aircraft can meet 14 CFR Part 135 landing criteria. The King Air B350ER meets part 135 landing criteria. The Cessna 560 XL cannot meet Part 135 landing criteria for both dry and wet runways indicated by the red cells in the last two columns of the table. Note that SARLAT can export the results obtained to the clipboard or to a Microsoft Excel format. Figure 22: Runway Evaluation Mode Aircraft Fleet Mix Table in SARLAT. Aircraft are Grouped by Engine Type in SARLAT. Select the Aircraft Group Header to Access a List of Available Aircraft.

37 Figure 23: Runway Evaluation Mode Output in the SARLAT. 4.2 RUNWAY DESIGN MODE The runway design mode estimates the takeoff and landing runway length requirements for individual aircraft for a given set of airport conditions. Figure 24 shows the input screen in SARLAT to design a new runway. Six steps are required to perform the runway design: 1) Select the runway design mode, 2) Select the aircraft fleet expected to operate at the airport, 3) Select the desired useful load for all the aircraft operations, 4) Define airport environmental conditions (pressure altitude, air temperature, and wind speed),

38 5) Define the runway information (runway gradient and runway pavement conditions), and 6) Run the case. Figure 24 shows a runway design case study for an airport with a pressure altitude of 3,400 feet, a mean maximum temperature of the hottest month of the year design of 90 degrees Fahrenheit, dry pavement conditions, and a useful load of 90% for turboprop and turbofan aircraft and 100% for piston aircraft. The input data is organized into five blocks: Scenario Name, Aircraft Mix, Airport Environmental Factors, Runway Information, and Output Options. The aircraft fleet mix is selected by opening the aircraft lists in the Aircraft Mix section (see Figure 25). Aircraft are grouped according to three engine types in SARLAT: piston, turboprop, and turbofan. Figure 21 shows and example input with five aircraft defined to operate on the new runway with two piston aircraft (Beechcraft Baron 58 and Cessna 172), two turboprop aircraft (King Air B200GT and Pilatus PC-12NG) and one turbofan aircraft (Cessna Citation Jet 1). For each aircraft selected the operating useful load can be defined (see column 2 in Figure 24). SARLAT restricts the useful load factor between 50% and 100%. For turboprop and turbofan aircraft the user can define Part 135 landing calculations (see the third column in Figure 24). Note that SARLAT can save the scenario for later reuse. Loading a previously saved scenario is also available in SARLAT (see the bottom of Figure 24). Figure 24: Runway Design Mode Input Window in the SARLAT.

39 Figure 25: Runway Design Mode Aircraft Fleet Selection Table in SARLAT. Aircraft are Grouped by Engine Type in SARLAT. Select the Aircraft Group Header to Access a List of Available Aircraft. Figure 26 shows the partial output of the SARLAT in the runway design mode. The figure shows a bar graph with takeoff and landing distance runway length requirements for each aircraft selected. Each aircraft has two takeoff distances reported: dry and wet runway conditions. Each aircraft may have up to four landing distances reported: dry and wet landing conditions and two 14 Part 135 landing distances if applicable. Figure 26 shows Part 135 landing distances reported for the Cessna Citation Jet 1. The bottom panel of Figure 26 shows the numerical values for takeoff and landing distances reported by SARLAT. Green bars show takeoff distances. Blue bars show landing distances. Figure 27 shows the remaining output of the runway design scenario mode in SARLAT for inputs defined in Figure 24. Figure 27 shows relevant information for the aircraft included in the scenario. Figure 27 includes aircraft name, FAA aircraft designator, aircraft design group, aircraft approach speed category, weight class, various aircraft weights, takeoff and landing flap settings used in the calculation, and takeoff and distance criteria reported by SARLAT.

40 The critical runway length for this example is 6,136 feet required by the Cessna Citation Jet 1 (wet takeoff conditions). The Cessna Citation Jet 1 will require 5,973 feet of runway to land in wet pavement conditions and operate under 14 CFR Part 135 rules. Note that graphical results generated by SARLAT can be exported as Portable Network Graphic (PNG) files. Table results can be exported to Excel format. Figure 26: Runway Design Mode Output in the SARLAT. Top Panel Shows Graphical Takeoff and Landing Distances. Lower Panel Shows the Numerical Values of Takeoff and Landing Distances.

41 Figure 27: Runway Design Mode Output in the SARLAT. Table Shows Relevant Characteristics for Aircraft Selected in the Runway Design Analysis. Under demanding airport design conditions, some aircraft may not be able to operate at the airport. In the previous example, if we increase the design temperature from 90 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit, the Cessna Citation Jet 1 would not be able to operate at 90% useful load due to weight temperature limits. SARLAT will report performance exceedance accordingly (see Figure 28). The bar graph in Figure 28 does not contain takeoff and landing distance solution for the Cessna Citation Jet 1 showing that under the more demanding conditions, the aircraft cannot operate due to weight temperature limitations.

42 Figure 28: Runway Design Mode Output in the SARLAT. Unfeasible Cessna Citation Jet 1 Operations due to Weight and Temperature Limitations. 4.3 RUNWAY EVALUATION VALIDATION MODE The runway evaluation validation mode presents plots of the required runway length versus takeoff weight for up to four runway surface conditions and multiple pressure altitudes. Figure 29 shows runway length performance graphs for the Mooney M20J aircraft operating from dry pavement, wet pavement. Figure 30 shows the Mooney M20J performance on grass runways. Figure 29 and Figure 30 show the tradeoffs between takeoff weight and runway length required for a variety of conditions selected at the bottom of the figure (see the red rectangular section in Figure 29).

43 Figure 29: Runway Evaluation Validation Mode in the SARLAT. Mooney M20J Runway Data for Dry and Wet Runway Paved Conditions. Figure 30: Runway Evaluation Validation Mode in the SARLAT. Mooney M20J Runway Data for Grass Runway. 4.4 RUNWAY DESIGN VALIDATION MODE The runway design validation mode presents plots of the required runway length versus airport design temperature, runway grade and wind speed conditions for individual aircraft. Figure 31

44 shows two runway design plots for the Cessna Citation Jet 3 aircraft operating with 90% useful load, zero wind, and dry and wet runway pavement conditions. To use the validation information provided, the user selects the desired aircraft useful load (as percent of the maximum useful load), wind speed, and runway gradient (see red rectangle in Figure 31). Figure 31: Runway Design Validation Mode in the SARLAT. Cessna Citation Jet 3 Runway Design Plots. 4.5 SARLAT INPUT PARAMETER LIMITATIONS The SARLAT has been developed to help airport designers estimate takeoff and landing distances under various environmental and runway operating conditions. Different aircraft manufacturers include diverse environmental design conditions with different temperature, runway gradient, and pressure altitude limits. To provide consistency in the analysis across multiple aircraft, we limit the SARLAT input parameters to the numerical values presented in Table 7. The input parameter limits should allow a wide range of runway length evaluations and designs.

45 Table 7: SARLAT Input Parameter Limits. Parameter Lower Limit Upper Limit Remarks Temperature (deg. Fahrenheit) 41 104 Pressure Altitude (feet) 0 None Most aircraft performance data is reported to 8,000 feet altitude Wind (knots) -10 5 Headwind is negative Runway Gradient (%) 0 2 Assumes both runway ends of the runway are used (uphill is positive) Runway Surface Conditions Dry, Wet, Grass, and Gravel

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An important operational characteristic of an airport is the length of its longest runway. The longest runway determines the types of aircraft that can use the airport and dictates the operational limitations at the airport.

The TRB Airport Cooperative Research Program's ACRP Web-Only Document 54: Development of a Small Aircraft Runway Length Analysis Tool provides a user-friendly computer tool to help airport planners and designers estimate runway length requirements for a variety of aircraft and design conditions.

Supplemental to the report are the SARLAT (for Windows and Mac) and the SARLAT Users Guide.

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