Effect of Gradient on Jet Transport Runway Lengths

by Gale Ahlborn,
Robert Horonjeff,

Serial Information: Journal of the Aero-Space Transport Division, 1963, Vol. 89, Issue 1, Pg. 39-50

Document Type: Journal Paper


Investigation of the effects of runway gradients varying from 0% to 1 1/2% for airport sites from sea level to 6,000 ft over the temperature range of 30○ F to 100○F indicate that, for current (1963) and near-future turbo-jet transport, and for a uniform gradient, the increase in take-off runway length is nearly proportional to the magnitude of the gradient and amounts to a maximum of approximately 10% for each 1% uphill gradient. This is approximately one-half of the current FAA criterion. The increase in runway length as a result of an uphill uniform gradient is, for purposes of airport design, proportional to the magnitude of the gradient. A majority of the runways studied have maximum gradients that do not exceed 0.5%. Therefore, although runway gradients can have a pronounced influence on runway length, the actual gradients for the majority of runways studied are small, resulting in a relatively minor influence.

Subject Headings: Airport and airfield pavements | Site investigation | Sea level | Temperature effects | Ocean currents | Federal government

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