The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Langley Research Center, Hampton Va., is conducting basic studies of runway grooving as a means of alleviating the hazard of hydroplaning by airplanes landing on wet or slush-covered runways.
MS: NASA scientist points out the test grooves.
CU: Grooved runway.
LS: Technicians putting slush on runway.
LS: Convair 990 approach for landing.
CU: Convair encountering slush.
MS: Automobile racing down grooved runway hitting slush at 60 mph.
CU: Grooved runway.
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Background: The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Langley Research Center, Hampton Va., is conducting basic studies of runway grooving as a means of alleviating the hazard of hydroplaning by airplanes landing on wet or slush-covered runways. Hydroplaning occurs when an airplane landing at high-speed travels on a film of water or slush-losing traction. Laboratory research at Langley indicated that the grooving of runways helps to alleviate all known phenomena which result in low tire-ground friction and associated traction losses. Langley is engaged in an operational research program at Wallops Station, Wallops Island, Va., to determine the effects of pavement grooving on aircraft takeoff and landing performance on dry, wet, flooded, and slush-covered runways having different surface textures. NASA scientists are investigating, in particular, whether undesirable vibrations are introduced into aircraft by pavement grooving. Langley hopes through the Wallops research to obtain additional information on the effects of aircraft loading and climatic conditions on grooved runway life on both asphalt and concrete surfaces. The test grooves at Wallops are made across the runway about one inch part. They are one-quarter inch wide and one-quarter inch deep. An automobile travelling 60 mph down grooved runway braking capability is doubled and braking distance reduced one-half.