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Airport Runways That Go Underground

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posted on May, 17 2005 @ 03:02 PM
I think there are about a dozen or so active China vs Taiwan vs US vs the World. Why dont you take your arguement there.

posted on May, 23 2005 @ 06:52 PM

Originally posted by Netchicken
Awesome post skifreak.
Here is a link to some pctures from the base, but nothing I can read fabout the tunnels.

Thanks, Netchicken...

Nice link about Nellingen & Ecterdingen.

Nellingen also had a small airfield. At the time (1988-89), my unit shared hanger space (D Co. 4-159th Avn. -scout company of the unit) with a Blackhawk 'dustoff' Medic unit when the unit I was assigned to flew OH-58A's &C's at Nellingen- until the 58A's & 58C's were replaced with the OH-58D model AHIP scout aircraft and the unit moved into a new hanger with the rest of the unit at SAAF (Ecterdingen). The 4-159th Avn. deployed from Germany to Desert Storm after I returned to the States in late 1990 (I ended up assigned to 4/3rd ACR in Ft. Bliss- already deployed there...).
Also at Nellingen was our maintaince parts support & repair support facility- but separate unit. So I had 'business' at Nellingen as well... the time, there were only main 2 units assigned to SAAF. The 4-159th Avn. & an Military Intel unit (2nd. M. I.). There was also a small 'VIP' flight detatchment there as well, that flew C-12's, U-21's & special Learjets with white military livery.

I have some photos somewhere in a scrapbook taken in 1988-90 of the 'Ecterdingen' airfield- I might even have a pic of the 'airshaft' in question...

As far as I know, the 2nd. MI unit was deactivated- and the 4-159th are now based at 'Simmons' at Ft. Bragg (I was assigned to 1-229th ATKHB in 1995 at Simmons, and the unit was there then) I think that there is only a 'VIP' flight detatchment there now- and maybe a 'dustoff' unit.

Back to the topic at hand...
It may have been one thing to fly Me109's out from an underground airstrip...but it's quite different (IMO) to fly large & high powered jet aircraft from an underground runway. An underground hanger...maybe, but probrably not a whole underground runway for the kind of aircraft suggested (SR-71...B2...F-117...B-1B...). Anyway, why use an SR, U2, Aurora(?) for gathering intel now-a-days?...when the use of advanced satelites work much better. Sure, there may be times when a flyover of 'sensitive' areas that may not be imediately accessable to prying satelites- that a UAV like the Predator may still be used...but, the days of flying manned high altitude planes like the U-2 & SR-71 are over.

Case in point...the days when I was at SAAF, the 2nd. MI unit flew several versions of OV-1's & specially outfitted C-12's & U-21's with 'side looking radar' and cameras for flying border missions along the East German border. These kind of missions were being phased out about the time I was leaving Germany...not only because of the changing political climate at the time, but also because of the increasing reliability & use of satelite imaging. I'm sure other Military Intel units with similar missions were being changed operationally as well, and flying 'photo recon' aircraft became obsolete...


posted on Jun, 4 2005 @ 07:31 PM
Switzerland has all kinds of hangers and runways inside mountains.


posted on Jun, 16 2005 @ 09:28 AM
Speaking as a moderately experienced pilot (17,500 hours pilot in command) I find the idea of underground runways highly improbable for a manned aircraft...

Pilots use visual cues, the horizon in particular, to assist them in directional and pitch control of the aircraft on take off and especially on landing...
Landing in a tube would be fraught with danger, not to mention being scary as heck!!!

If you're thinking 'auto pilot' that probably won't work... With the exception of transports and some bombers, military aircraft they aren't equipped with auto pilots...

posted on Jun, 16 2005 @ 10:16 AM
Well, why not... But I can't see no reason why to build those things... The ones in use now also work good...

posted on Jun, 21 2005 @ 11:32 AM

Originally posted by DCFusion

Originally posted by Lysergic
I'd say just hope on the part that goes underground the pilot doesn't need to pull up or anything cause I doub't he'd like to slam into cave wall.

I would think this would be the major reason that a runway most likely will not be built to extend underground. If a situation were to ever arise that required the pilot to abort the landing, he would not be able to.

Although, I can deffinately see underground hangers...

I Agree! It would be much too dangerous to have a runway that extends underground. Something like that could get pilots killed, especially in places like Groom Lake where they test aircraft.

One real-life example of this comes to mind from the early days of the stealth program:

Lockheed test pilot William C. (Bill) Park was landing Have Blue 1001 at Groom Lake, after a test flight on May 4, 1978. Because of a slight miscalculation, the aircraft came in too fast. The aircraft hit the ground hard on the right side, jamming the main landing gear in a semi-retracted position. Unable to land without the gear down, he had to make an emergence takeoff to prevent the aircraft from tumbling once the speed fell below 340 kts. when the wings no longer prodused enough lift to hold the plane up.

If the Runway had underground, Park would have been killed! The aircraft was still lost, but the fact that he could take off again, allowed him to get away from the ground so he could eject from the plane safely.

posted on Jun, 21 2005 @ 11:44 AM
It wouldn't alow for realistic testing of takeoff and landing airodynamics imho.

Tunnels vs Open Air = big difference.


posted on Jun, 21 2005 @ 11:54 AM
Interesting thought but I'd be much more concerned about the loss of visual cues and bouncing off the walls of the tunnel rather than the aerodymanics... The wing only knows the air flowing over it not what keeps the air contained...

I suspect that the problems with the dynamics of the air in the tunnel would primarily be behind the bird in the extended area of the exhaust...

posted on Jun, 22 2005 @ 08:03 AM
CTO: in a tunnel, air can't get pushed sideways and barely upward and downward, the only place it'll have to go is forward and backward. Apart from displaying inacurate airodynamic effects, it'll also cause masive drag and an airwall effect.

Why do you think all the trans atlantic train models have vacum tube designs? The drag and air dynamics in the tunel would cause the train to need much more power to move at high speed.

In open air, air is pushed whatever direction the plane's contact surfaces push it. And the presure can relieve in all directions, in a tunnel it can't.


posted on Jun, 22 2005 @ 08:54 AM
Hummm... if I remember my basic aerodynamics correctly, an aircraft isn't moving the air in flight, it's moving THROUGH the air... That's why we refer to 'airflow over the wing' as opposed to the wing moving air around it...

Bottom line, unless the tunnel in question was literally the width of the wingspan I doubt there would be serious degradation of aerodynamics due to the encapulation...

In the case of trains running in tunnels, the shape of the exterior of the train very nearly matches and fills that of the tunnel for the reason that you cited, you go faster in a vacuum... no drag... BUT... try getting an aircraft airborne in a vacuum... it ain't gonna happen... no air, no lift...

posted on Jun, 26 2005 @ 01:55 AM
First picture

Taiwan's secret Jiashan AB, that looks like it might go into that mountain.

[edit on 26-6-2005 by NWguy83]

posted on Jun, 26 2005 @ 02:55 AM
That looks like the taxiway goes into the mountain and the runway is outside, which would make more sense to me. The mountain would protect them from any attack, and you could use taxiways as runways if you had to. Most fighters can use a road as a runway if they had to, as long as it is a long enough straightaway.

On an interesting side note, the US Eisenhower Interstate System, is an example of this. If a road is designated as an Eisenhower, then to get federal highways funds, it's required by law to have (I think) one mile in every five as a straightaway with no overpasses or signs overhead, so that in the event of a war it could be used as a backup runway system.

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