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Tests with specially instrumented NASA B-737 and FAA B-727 aircraft together with several different ground friction-measuring devices have been conducted for a variety of runway surface types and conditions. These tests are identified as part of Joint FA A/NASA Aircraft/Ground Vehicle Runway Friction Program aimed at obtaining a better understanding of aircraft ground handling performance under adverse weather conditions and defining relationships between aircraft and ground-vehicle tire friction measurements. Aircraft braking performance on dry, wet, snow-, and ice-covered runway conditions is discussed together with ground-vehicle friction data obtained under similar runway conditions. For a given contaminated runway-surface condition, the correlation between ground vehicles and aircraft friction data is identified. The influence of major test parameters on friction measurements such as speed, test-tire characteristics, type and amount of surface contaminant, and ambient temperature is discussed. The effect of surface type on wet friction levels is also evaluated from comparative data collected on grooved and ungrooved concrete and asphalt surfaces.
tire friction, aircraft braking performance, ground friction-measurement vehicles, contaminated runways
Senior project engineer, NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA