Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Kangaroo 1 - Airplane 0

Aviatrix just recently posted a story about towing airplanes with the hand brake on, and how this could result in a nasty flat patch on the tires. This reminded me of a tire I saw in the corner of a hangar at Redcliffe a few months ago:

The two tow bars at the back are of the type Aviatrix refers to as the giant tuning fork. I guess if you're a whale, elephant, hippopotamus, rhinoceros, giraffe, okapi, or alligator, all animals known to use infrasounds, this would indeed be a handy tuning fork for your very long vocal wavelengths.

That tire came from the main wheel of a C172SP. I think the story is that a kangaroo jumped in front of the plane right after touchdown on 07 at Redcliffe. The pilot jumped on the brakes and blew up one of the tires, but fortunately enough the airplane didn't suffer any other sort of damage. No idea what happened to the kangaroo though. Probably hopped his way back to the pub with a good story to tell.

That's actually quite a facetious bunch of kangaroos we have at Redcliffe. The entire mob lives south of the threshold of runway 07. I saw them a few times in the distance when flying early in the morning. I think during the day they just retreat in the shade.

The close-up picture above does not require much explaining, it's very consistent with blocking the brakes. Which makes me think, why don't airplanes come fitted with anti-lock braking?

Thanks to the irreplaceable Wikipedia, I just found out that the first anti-lock braking system was actually developed in 1929 for use in airplanes by French automobile and aircraft pioneer Gabriel Voisin. He and his brother designed the Antoinette III, the first airplane on the European continent to succeed in landing back where it had taken off after flying a pre-assigned 1 kilometer long closed circuit.

What one can learn with just a few clicks of the mouse will never cease to amaze me.

1 comment:

Aviatrix said...

Perfect illustration, and good story. I'm going to link back to your post.