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TOPIC: Airfield Arrester Gear

Airfield Arrester Gear 22 Jun 2014 16:56 #121

  • ted angus
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canberra;147006 wrote: I asked this question on the Leuchars thread, but I think it should be on this one. What is the shortest runway with a cable??? I personally reckon its the short at Leuchars which is 4803 feet long, anyone care to comment.

And what are the reasons for an airfield having a cable? Sounds daft but I dont know why some airfields have them and some dont. When I got to Marham in 78 we had no cables or barriers, and when I left in 80 we still didnt have them. They were subequently put in, but as the Tornado is a STOL aircraft would a cable be needed on a runway over 9000 feet long??? Altough not a military airfield Warton has a cable (not sure about barriers), but that was only put in IIRC in the early nineties. And it was put in after an RAF Tornado diverted in after a mid -air collision with a pipeline inspecting helicopter.

Do I get a point for saying that next year there will be no airfields with cables between Leeming and Lossiemouth.


Hi Canberra, firstly arrestor gear was normally only installed on airfields that were the operating bases for types that could use them; Barriers had weight limits. Obviously cables could only be used by hook equipped aircraft; but again there were operating parameters - this is why post engagement the arrestor party need to know weight amnd spedd of the ac on engagement- if outside parameters then a cable or in extreme circumstances the tapes need to be immediately replaced. If a jet has a hydraulic or undercarriage warning he will elect for the approacxh cable - obviously this is to halt him as quickly as possible- he would normally only take the far end if firstly it was up and secondly he had a braking problem. So having cables is in no way dictated by runway length in normal circumstances; having firstly PUAG then PAAG on Leuchar's short was to meet specific needs and were not for routine fluing operations.

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Airfield Arrester Gear 23 Jun 2014 14:46 #122

  • br9mp81
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canberra;147006 wrote: I asked this question on the Leuchars thread, but I think it should be on this one. What is the shortest runway with a cable??? I personally reckon its the short at Leuchars which is 4803 feet long, anyone care to comment.

And what are the reasons for an airfield having a cable? Sounds daft but I dont know why some airfields have them and some dont. When I got to Marham in 78 we had no cables or barriers, and when I left in 80 we still didnt have them. They were subequently put in, but as the Tornado is a STOL aircraft would a cable be needed on a runway over 9000 feet long??? Altough not a military airfield Warton has a cable (not sure about barriers), but that was only put in IIRC in the early nineties. And it was put in after an RAF Tornado diverted in after a mid -air collision with a pipeline inspecting helicopter.

Do I get a point for saying that next year there will be no airfields with cables between Leeming and Lossiemouth.


no need to worry,if the turkeys vote for christmas,leeming will be northen QRA in a few years time!

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Airfield Arrester Gear 23 Jun 2014 16:08 #123

  • canberra
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Hi Ted. I read the bit about the approach end cable with a smile on my face. Reason? Well I can remember numerous times when aircraft hooks actually bounced over the cable, and there was the famous case at Wildenrath where the Phantom actually took the approach end barrier with its hook and actaully got airborne again with the net dangling. And one night at Leuchars a Phantom took the approach end cable and the other aircraft that were airborne had to take the PUAG on 22. Of 5 aircraft , 3 missed the PUAG and as they were low on fuel it was a case of diverting to Turnhouse.

I cant vouch for other stations but due to aircraft missing the approach end cable Leuchars decided to go over to having the departure end cable up. This meant that aircraft should have reduced speed and made the engagement a lot easier.

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