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Fredrik Nilsson - Articles and news items

Friction testing at Swedish airports

Issue 2 2010  •  5 April 2010  •  Fredrik Nilsson, Airport Engineer, LFV Group

There are many parameters that have an impact on the aircraft traffic at an airport. Wind and runway conditions are some of the parameters needed for the pilot to calculate if he or she can take off or land at an airport. The friction value is one of the parameters used.

Friction testing in Sweden

Issue 6 2007, Past issues  •  30 November 2007  •  Fredrik Nilsson, Project Manager, Civil Engineering Department, Swedish CAA at Stockholm-Arlanda Airport and Pär Blom, Training officer, Field Department, Stockholm-Arlanda Airport

In the beginning of air traffic history only propeller aeroplanes were used. They had a landing speed of 60-100 km/h, compared to today’s jet aeroplanes which have a landing speed of 250-360 km/h. Therefore, in the past when friction did not seem as important, the airport personnel used their feet to feel if it was slippery or not. In the 1930’s the friction test began to be performed by a bicycle or a car. After the foot friction test, there came a measuring device called ‘tapleymeter’: a small measuring device located in a car. To get a friction value, the car accelerates to 30 km/h and then the driver hits the brakes. This equipment is still in use at smaller airports today.


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