A380 wake turbulance issues

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Pacific Historian
Jun 4, 2005
Orange County, CA
I thought this was an interesting artical. This could complicate problems for congested airports that cant afford to open up airspace to accomodate the A380.


ICAO: Mammoth Jet Generates Massive Turbulence

Tue, 29 Nov '05

A380 Makes Big Waves... In Its Wake
If "conservative" computer models generated by the International Civil Aviation Organization prove accurate, airplanes following the A380 will have to fly up to three times the normal distance behind the massive airliner in order to avoid its wake turbulence. Such requirements could put some airports' plans to handle the superjumbo in a tailspin.

According to the London Sunday Times, the ICAO models show the double-decker aircraft will produce "significantly stronger" wake vortices off its wingtips than either the Boeing 747 -- the largest commercial airliner flying at the moment -- and even the Boeing 757, a notorious wake generator. "To date, we've come up with some preliminary guidelines for the aircraft... in normal air traffic control operations," said ICAO spokesman Denis Chagnon to Aero-News. "The models reveal the horizontal vortex may have been larger than anticipated, than even the vertical one."

The required safety guidelines, issued earlier this month, recommend aircraft flying directly behind an A380 at cruising altitude should keep minimum spacing of 15 nautical miles, compared to the industry standard of five n.m. On final approach, a minimum 10 n.m. separation would be required -- far above the standard of 3-8 nautical miles currently in force, depending on the comparative sizes of the aircraft. Combined with an additional minute added to departure regulations for aircraft taking off behind an A380, and the wake turbulence guidelines become a real issue -- and puts to question just how much the A380's added passenger capacity offsets such issues.
"If the wake vortex requires separation larger than the 747... it would require adjustments in air traffic control operations," said Chagnon.
(Editor's Note: You may listen to our entire conversation with Chagnon in today's Aero-News Aero-Briefing, available here.)
Wake vortices are essentially "mini-tornados" formed by air rolling off the plane's wingtips (and, to a far lesser extent, the horizontal stabilizer) anytime those surfaces are generating lift. Aircraft encountering these vortices can be displaced, much like when they encounter regular turbulence.
In extreme cases, an aircraft that encounters a strong wake vortex can lose control completely. Many in the industry believe the ICAO guidelines, which were based off flight tests of the A380 prototypes, are conservative... which is something Airbus is counting on. "We don't want to jump to any conclusions," said an Airbus spokesman. "We are still expecting the (wake of the) aircraft to be similar to the 747."
The guidelines will not be finalized until summer of 2006.
Great info Sys!!!

Another aircraft that makes huge vortices's is the B757. Although a "medium" size commercial aircraft, when it's "dirty" on landing it really throws out the vortices's. Sys - if you're ever at John Wayne on a foggy day you could compare its wake to other aircraft its size (B737, A320) - I knew a guy who survived getting caught up a 757s wake - he rolled a Cessna 152!!!
the guy in the 152 is lucky he's around to talk about it .Was it contoller or pilot error if the boeing was that lo sounds like the contoller would be at fault as it would have happened in the control zone if outside the zone the pilot in the 152 must have been blind or not the sharpest tack in the pack for getting that close and not listening out
pbfoot said:
the guy in the 152 is lucky he's around to talk about it .Was it contoller or pilot error if the boeing was that lo sounds like the contoller would be at fault as it would have happened in the control zone if outside the zone the pilot in the 152 must have been blind or not the sharpest tack in the pack for getting that close and not listening out
He was a student pilot - the controllers warned him - he just kept putting along - after he landed they called him up to the tower - he thought he was going to get an ass chewing, the controllers actually wanted to know what it was like to roll a 152 in a 757 wake and survive!!!
I like the Boeing 747 and the Airbus A-380. Both great aircraft but the monster of them all is the Antonov 225 monster of a aircraft. I know the A-380 and the B-747 are passenger aircraft, but the Antonov 225 kicks ass.


Here she is still in her CCCP colors. She is a freight carrier today over Europe.

Oh, yes thanks to Airliners.net for the pics.

all the image says is OOPS!my image for this link is no longer here image
I wonder what the ramifications will be to Airbus if the various airport authorities around the world require the A380 to land during non peak time slots as to not interrupt the other aircraft coming into land. Noone is concerned about the smaller aircraft, but regional commuter flights could be very well impacted. Even if the larger aircraft are required to maintain more seperation, it could play havoc on national schedules.

Remember also that it also has a huge wingspan that will require (at some airports) shutting down adjacent runways and taxiways while the A380 is landing or taxiing.

This a serious issue. If airlines are told they must adjust their schedules around the A380 flights, the outcry will be deafening. While I dont think this would cripple the A380 program, it might cut into their orders quite a bit.
I saw an An124 take off from Bangkok in December while I was waiting for a connection, damned impressive, and thats the 'little' brother of then An225, it still flys a lot, you can charter it from Antonov, it gets used quite a bit for hauling stuff most other aircraft can't, they are apparently working on getting the second one up and running due to demand for it's services.

It will be interesting to see how things with the A380 work out, it could be a huge flop for airbus as they have taken quite a risk and not many airlines have decided whether they want it or not yet, opting for the wait and see approach. Boeing is focusing on smaller more efficient aircraft though I heard they are going to make an even higher capacity version of the 747 to compete with the A380. Add in factors like the price of oil and concern over emissions output and it certainly looks like some very interesting times ahead for the airline industry.

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