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AG-300 V.34 Reduced Friction Runway Surface Flight Testing: Issue 2

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Systems Concepts and Integration

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Braking, CRFI, Friction, Frost, Ice, Landing Performance, Snow


Flight testing of aircraft braking performance and handling on reduced friction runway surfaces necessitates special test surface preparation and safety precautions or unique analysis in lieu of flight test. Actual flight tests were conducted over a six year period from 1996-2001 in Canada and the United States under the Joint Winter Runway Friction Measurement Program, with the goal of instituting an International Runway Friction Index (IRFI) which was planned to harmonize the measurement and runway condition reporting techniques internationally. This index has not yet been instituted and therefore inconsistency remains prevalent amongst member nations regarding quantitative measurement and reporting of runway condition. Quantitative measurement of both artificially generated and actual runway surface friction and braking performance is assessed in numerous manners throughout NATO, often using unique measurement equipment. Operation of aircraft from reduced friction (contaminated) runway surfaces presents an increased risk over dry runway operation, particularly when NATO operations occur in deployed locations where the runway friction reporting may not represent a commonly understood measure. Documenting the current techniques in use is of interest to the flight test community and also has relevance to the operational aspects of NATO for safer deployed operations.


The overall aim is to produce an Unlimited Release AGARDograph that captures the current practices for flight testing on reduced friction runway surfaces, including test surface preparation, friction measurement and indices, and analytical methods in lieu of flight testing. This AGARDograph will act as a reference and guideline for others in flight test and in actual operations. The overall vision for the document is a collection of short papers documenting the best practices that member nations have developed through experience and flight test. This re-release of the AGARDograph will include significantly reduced friction (ice covered) runway testing.


The topics to be covered include artificial runway surface preparation, surface friction measurement instruments and indices, flight test conduct, safety considerations, risk reduction, and analytical methods for determining aircraft handling and performance on reduced friction runway surfaces. This re-release will amplify on significantly reduced friction (ice) testing

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