Aircraft Flexible Pavement Design in Australia

by Bruce Rodway, Federal Airports Corp, Sydney,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Aircraft/Pavement Interaction: An Integrated System


After World War Two, aircraft pavement design practice in Australia was largely developed from the work done by the U.S. Corps of Engineers. The C.B.R. pavement design method now differs from the current Corps' method with the result that, for equal coverages, Australian pavement thicknesses are approximately 30% larger for high coverages of heavy multi-wheeled aircraft. The majority of pavements are flexible, constructed from graded unbound crushed rock, with bituminous surfacings that are thin relative to those commonly used overseas. Their satisfactory performance is attributed to the emphasis placed on selection, production and placement of the unbound crushed rock, and particularly to the use of heavy pneumatic rollers to simulate aircraft effects. Appropriate proof rollers are chosen using elastic analysis. Recent developments include the first use of polymer-modified asphaltic concrete, and also interlocking concrete blocks as surfacing layers to B-747 flexible pavements. Computer control of asphalt paving machines has been recently introduced to replace fixed stringlines and seems to offer productivity and quality gains. Aggregate-binder bond failure within asphaltic concrete remains a major design problem.

Subject Headings: Asphalt pavements | Pavement design | Aircraft and spacecraft | Airport and airfield pavements | Asphalt concrete | Concrete pavements | Polymer | Synthetic materials | Australia

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