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What do you guys think of LIQUID runways?

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Doggzilla

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Went to an air museum years ago and they had a water runway dug into the ground for a massive 1930s seaplane they used to fly.

In a lot of areas that operate amphibs this actually seems easier than leveling a runway. Especially if the terrain is rough. It’s a lot easier to build a small dam nd create a thin lake than it is to try and cut a runway into most hills.

And hey, you get a lake too.
 

Mad MAC

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The problem is you still need really flat ground, a 1:100 slope would require atleast a 10 meter dam wall for 1000 meters of strip. I suspect the required takeoff length for floats or a hull is longer than on wheel

You wouldn't be bored today would you Doggzilla!
 

Dana

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The Old Bridge, NJ airport used to have a water filled ditch parallel to the paved runway for seaplanes. The pond is still visible on google earth, but it's not on the charts as a seaplane base any more.
 

akwrencher

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Juneau Ak airport has a water runway paralel to the main runway. I can't remember if it's fresh or salt water. Could be either, it's basically at sea level. I want to say they drain it in the winter but I just can't remember at the moment.
 

BBerson

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Fairbanks Alaska International has a water runway also.
There was a 5000 foot water runway somewhere in Louisiana, I think. A pilot landed on wheels, climbed out of his plane and clambered up the bank and said to the locals: "y'all get a lot of rain lately?"
 
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Doggzilla

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As far as ground permeability is concerned, a few thousand feet of plastic lining is a heck of a lot cheaper than any other runway material. Especially at a remote location.

As far as total mass is concerned, if it requires a 30 foot dam to make a 2000-3000 foot lake, consider having to move an average of 15 feet for the entire 2000-3000 feet to make it level.

The amount required for the dam is only a few percent the amount of leveling the same length of land.
 

TarDevil

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As far as total mass is concerned, if it requires a 30 foot dam to make a 2000-3000 foot lake, consider having to move an average of 15 feet for the entire 2000-3000 feet to make it level.
It's simple. Google "Building dams." A 30 foot dam is no small feat. And you've just started the dominoes.
 

Tommy222

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LOL, the Beaver thing would work, those little turds will Damm up anything overnight. They aren’t protected, I have a permit to do away with as many as I want on the farm. They are far from endangered.
 

crusty old aviator

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There’s an airport down south (maybe Louisiana) that has two parallel runways, one paved and one water. The water is about 1 meter deep: every once in a while some dope will land his Cherokee in the water (I’m not picking on Cherokees, they’re just the only aircraft that have so far landed in the water without floats). I don’t recall if there’s a ramp for hauling floatplanes out or not.
 

Hephaestus

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LOL, the Beaver thing would work, those little turds will Damm up anything overnight. They aren’t protected, I have a permit to do away with as many as I want on the farm. They are far from endangered.
Urban vs rural differences.

There's a creek here I should be able to step across its now acres in size and includes 2 ball diamonds.

gotta appease the urban tree huggers you know :wonder:
 

TFF

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That’s a major infrastructure project.

They might not do it now but people use to swap in and out floats by sliding in on grass. Ground handling dolly to pull over to the work shed or back to grass if on the floats. Seasonal swap out.
 

Dan Thomas

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Anyone who has even flown a floatplane on both wheels and floats (I have) knows that it takes a lot more distance to get off the water than it does to get off the land. When the airplane leaves the water you can feel the sudden acceleration as the drag abruptly diminishes. On warm days you might not get airborne at all.

A land runway can run uphill or downhill. It can be grass or packed dirt or gravel or pavement, all of which are orders of magnitude cheaper than moving vast amounts of soil and rock and building dams and lining the reservoir. It doesn't dry out or overflow and it never leaks. It never presents a hazard to people living lower than its elevation. It doesn't get the numerous layers of government and engineering companies and insurance companies involved like a dam does; think about the recent dam failure in Michigan. That's gonna make a lot of people nervous about any dam.
 

BJC

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That’s a major infrastructure project.

They might not do it now but people use to swap in and out floats by sliding in on grass. Ground handling dolly to pull over to the work shed or back to grass if on the floats. Seasonal swap out.
My neighbor often launched from a towed trailer and landed on grass with his 150 HP Super Cub, but now tows it across the street to a pond. With straight floats, lily pads are no problem, and it gets out easily at low weights.


BJC
 
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