Airplane braking friction on dry snow, wet snow or slush contaminated runways
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionCold Regions Science and Technology. 2018, 150 70-74. 10.1016/j.coldregions.2017.02.004
Airplanes need tire-pavement friction during taxiing, take-off and landing. The presence of snow reduces the friction and therefore there is need to understand how much friction can be expected on the different types of snow. This study analyses the braking performance of Boeing 737 airplanes on snow or slush contaminated runways. Airplane braking performance on runways contaminated with dry snow, wet snow and slush as analysed. The main finding is that airplanes experienced wet snow covered runways more often as very slippery, compared to slush covered runways. The fraction of the landings experiencing the conditions as “poor” or “less than poor” was significantly higher on wet snow (21%), compared to landings on slush (11%). This can be caused due to higher precipitation intensity during wet snow precipitation, or possibly because wet snow, in contrast to slush, is a compressible material that gets compacted and fills the underlying pavement texture.