Thursday, April 30, 2009

Crosswind After-Landing Roll

Particularly during the after-landing roll, special attention must be given to maintaining directional control by the use of rudder or nosewheel steering, while keeping the upwind wing from rising by the use of aileron.

When an airplane is airborne, it moves with the air mass in which it is flying regardless of the airplane's heading and speed. When an airplane is on the ground, it is unable to move with the air mass (crosswind) because of the resistance created by ground friction on the wheels.

Characteristically, an airplane has a greater profile or side area, behind the main landing gear than forward of it does. With the main wheels acting as a pivot point and the greater surface area exposed to the crosswind behind that pivot point, the airplane will tend to turn or weathervane into the wind.

Wind acting on an airplane during crosswind landings is the result of two factors. One is the natural wind, which acts in the direction the air mass is traveling, while the other is induced by the movement of the airplane and acts parallel to the direction of movement. Consequently, a crosswind has a headwind component acting along the airplane's ground track and a crosswind component acting 90° to its track. The resultant or relative wind is somewhere between the two components. As the airplane's forward speed decreases during the after-landing roll, the headwind component decreases and the relative wind has more of a crosswind component. The
greater the crosswind component, the more difficult it is to prevent weathervaning.

Retaining control on the ground is a critical part of the after-landing roll, because of the weathervaning effect of the wind on the airplane. Additionally, tire side load from runway contact while drifting frequently generates roll-overs in tricycle geared airplanes. The basic factors involved are cornering angle and side load.

Cornering angle is the angular difference between the heading of a tire and its path. Whenever a load bearing tire's path and heading diverge, a side load is created. It is accompanied by tire distortion. Although side load differs in varying tires and air pressures, it is completely independent of speed, and through a considerable range, is directional proportional to the cornering angle and the weight supported by the tire. As little as 10° of cornering angle will create a side load equal to half the supported weight; after 20° the side load does not increase with increasing cornering angle. For each high-wing, tricycle geared airplane, there is a cornering angle at which roll-over is inevitable. The roll-over axis being the line linking the nose and main wheels. At lesser angles, the roll-over may be avoided by use of ailerons, rudder, or steerable nosewheel but not brakes.

While the airplane is decelerating during the after-landing roll, more and more aileron is applied to keep the upwind wing from rising. Since the airplane is slowing down, there is less airflow around the ailerons and they become less effective. At the same time, the relative wind is becoming more of a crosswind and exerting a greater lifting force on the upwind wing. When the airplane is coming to a stop, the aileron control must be held fully toward the wind.

No comments:

Post a Comment