GOV/MIL Reports: US highways to be temporarily closed for .mil aircraft to drill landing & departing

packyderms_wife

Neither here nor there.
Those plans may have been shelved because after the war municipal and private airfields sprang up like mushrooms after the rain. Now many of them only exist in memory, a few faded photographs or a small monument or historical plaque in front of a strip mall. Back then plans to use the interstates as runways may not have had the same priority as during the war or now.

Warthogs and F22's aren't b29's or P51's. They weren't designed with this in mind. Would potential FOD (Foreign Object Damage) from debris on roadways be an issue for the newer aircraft?
The problem I'm seeing with the thinking here is most are still stuck in the 60s and 70s type of military aircraft... think drones! They don't need nearly the amount of space a conventional military aircraft requires. As for the transports, there are still plenty of NG air strips around the midwest to get the bodies where they want them to be for whatever reason.
 

packyderms_wife

Neither here nor there.
I manage the designs of many Interstate projects in my state. I can assure you that aircraft loading or clearances are not part of our design criteria. Our design requirements are predominately guided by:
  • AASHTO's A Policy on Geometric Design of Highways and Streets (aka "The Green Book")
  • AASHTO's A Policy on Design Standards - Interstate System
  • The state Road Design Manual (tighter standards in many areas than the above)
I'd be glad to cite any design spec you want, but there is absolutely nothing in our designs that address aircraft requirements. Jeezecrise we have a hard enough time budgeting projects to accomodate trucks.
Looks like your in the VA/WV area, yeah I don't see that happening in either of those states. This is more of a fly over country thing. As others said Ike took this idea out of the german's play book and at the time they wanted runways that were far enough inland that german bombs, if they managed to hit the US, would have a harder time hitting the targets. For those who do not know hitler was working on a super sonic missile system, his goal was to be able to bomb any city in the midwest, and he was pretty close to accomplishing his goal. I'm not sure if the US or if someone else ended up with that tech when germany finally surrendered. He was also very close to having an atomic bomb.
 

Laurelayn

Veteran Member
Different road observation, but, ever since they started putting those stupid round a bout things in everywhere here I have been thinking they are all about controling population movement in and around cities. Think pre built roadblocks at key intersections.
 

ted

Veteran Member
Cold War exercises in Europe,

At Hahn AB, other wing personnel participated in a NATO exercise. During this exercise, two 496th TFS F-16s conducted the first emergency procedures landings on an autobahn. The aircrews landed, refueled from dispatched trucks and launched from a highway near the German air base at Ahlhorn.

The wing also prepared for a large-scale deployment to several air bases due to programmed runway repairs at Hahn AB. Aircraft and crews, maintenance specialists and support personnel deployed to Ramstein and Spangdahlem ABs and to West Germany's Pferdsfel AB from April to June 1984.

German Wikipedia Link: Autobahn Notlandeplatz - Motorway Emergency Airfield
http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autobahn...

Runtime 1:28

Planes Landing On Highway Airfield

View: https://youtu.be/Qx7Meo7w-pY




My last base, only they had f4's when I was there. It is closed now
 

northern watch

Has No Life - Lives on TB
RAF considering operating jets from motorways
By George Allison
UK Defense Journal
July 22, 2021

The Royal Air Force is preparing to undertake a series of exercises that will see Typhoon jets operate from civilian airfields and possibly sections of road.

It is understood that new Russian weapons systems have prompted the move.

The Telegraph have reported that the idea is similar to Cold War plans for dispersed operations. The newspaper spoke to Air Chief Marshal Mike Wigston, the Chief of the Air Staff.

During Exercise Agile Stance, fighter pilots and support crews will deploy to alternate locations.
According to the Telegraph here:

“Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston said he wants the RAF to re-learn skills not practised for 30 years, and that a series of ‘no-notice’ scatter drills called Exercise Agile Stance will be carried out. The drills will see fighter jets given the order to disperse, meaning they leave their bases to land at civilian airfields or even on motorways. If the jets are spread out, the target for enemies is ‘harder’.

No civilian airfields have yet been identified, and larger airports such as Heathrow and Glasgow would be unlikely locations, but smaller sites such as Teesside, Southend and Liverpool could be viable. The practice of landing jets on motorways, such as Jaguar fighters used to do in the Cold War, could also be an option, ACM said.”


Wigston was quoted as saying:

“I’m not interested in paving over Lincolnshire again and there will be the challenge of having armed aircraft on civilian airfields. But instead of two bases, if all my Typhoons were on 12 bases, that’s a harder target. We should look at this as a national challenge and look at the wealth of airstrips we have in the UK. It sounds a bit Cold War-ey, but we have a pressing requirement to remember how to do it.”

Jets on Motorways?

A Royal Air Force Jaguar jet landed on a motorway for the first time on April 26, 1975. On that day test pilot Tim Ferguson undertook a demonstration landing of a Jaguar on the M55 motorway between Preston and Blackpool, Lancashire.
The purpose of the flight was to demonstrate the Jaguar’s ability to land on unorthodox landing strips away from main air bases under wartime conditions – a key feature of the jet’s design. The location chosen was the unopened westbound carriageway of the motorway, which was a third of the width of the runway at Warton.

Other air forces do this too, below you can see a U.S. Air Force C-130 Hercules landing on the A29 Autobahn near Ahlhorn during military exercise ‘Highway 84’




RAF considering operating jets from motorways (ukdefencejournal.org.uk)
 

1911user

Veteran Member
I found this while looking into landing aircraft on the interstate system.
---------------------------------------------------------------

Interstate Highway System - The Myths

President Eisenhower conceived the Interstate System.

The Interstate System was first described in a Bureau of Public Roads report to Congress, Toll Roads and Free Roads, in 1939. It was authorized for designation by the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1944, with the initial designations in 1947 and completed in 1955 under the 40,000-mile limitation imposed by the 1944 Act. President Eisenhower didn’t conceive the Interstate System, but his support led to enactment of the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956, which established the program for funding and building it.​

President Eisenhower supported the Interstate System because he wanted a way of evacuating cities if the United States was attacked by an atomic bomb.

President Eisenhower’s support was based largely on civilian needs—support for economic development, improved highway safety, and congestion relief, as well as reduction of motor vehicle-related lawsuits. He understood the military value of the Interstate System, as well as its use in evacuations, but they were only part of the reason for his support.​


Defense was the primary reason for the Interstate System.

The primary justifications for the Interstate System were civilian in nature. In the midst of the Cold War, the Department of Defense supported the Interstate System and Congress added the words “and Defense” to its official name in 1956 (“National System of Interstate and Defense Highways”). However, the program was so popular for its civilian benefits that the legislation would have passed even if defense had not been a factor.​

The Interstate System was launched by the Interstate Defense Highway Act of 1956.

No such legislation passed in 1956 or any other year. Nevertheless, this title appears widely throughout the media instead of the correct title: the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956.​

One in five miles of the Interstate System is straight so airplanes can land in emergencies.

This myth is widespread on the Internet and in reference sources, but has no basis in law, regulation, design manual—or fact. Airplanes occasionally land on Interstates when no alternative is available in an emergency, not because the Interstates are designed for that purpose.​

Interstates are intended to serve only traffic going from State to State.


The Interstate System serves interstate, regional, and intra-State traffic, and was always expected to do so. In fact, many routes, including beltways and spurs, are located entirely in one State and serve primarily intra-State traffic.




Beltways are designed to carry Interstate traffic around cities.


Beltways do help traffic avoid cities, but also are intended to serve metropolitan traffic moving from main highway to main highway.



Congress should have put the money into transit instead of the Interstate System.


This was not an option in 1955 and 1956 when the congressional debate took place. At the time, transit was provided mainly by private companies. No one in the industry, in State and local governments, or in Congress imagined that the Federal Government would support these companies financially. In fact, the only thing the American Transit Association asked Congress to do was exempt buses from the gas tax. Congress did so.



Interstate numbers must be consistent with the numbering plan.


The numbering plan is helpful in choosing numbers for added routes. However, in an irregularly shaped country, consistency is not possible. The numbers are consistent for the most part, but irregularities have occurred for a number of reasons, such as addition of a route where a consistent number is not available or withdrawal of a route without concurrent renumbering of routes linked to it. These inconsistencies have no effect on motorists who “navigate” based on maps, new GPS technology, personal knowledge or directions, and other means, not the numbering plan.



The only built object astronauts can see from space is the Interstate System.


From an altitude of about 155 miles (250 kilometers), under the best of conditions, the unaided eye of an astronaut can see many built objects on Earth if he or she knows where to look. The Interstate System is not visible as a network, but astronauts using binoculars can see roads, cities, dams, airports, and other objects.


Do Interstate routes have to cross State lines to qualify for designation?

Although many Interstate highways pass through multiple States, many others are located in only one State – usually in a metropolitan area. Whether the highway is multi-State or one-State, the key is that each highway must meet Interstate standards, be a logical connection to the Interstate System, connect to an existing route, or be a congressionally designated future Interstate corridor that eventually will connect on at least one end. Congress also authorized FHWA to designate Interstate highways in three locations without connection to other States: Alaska (designated A-1, A-2, A-3, and A-4), Hawaii (H-1, H-2, H-3, and H-201), and Puerto Rico (PRI-1, PRI-2, and PRI-3). The statute exempted Alaska and Puerto Rico from meeting full Interstate standards.
 

SurfaceTension

Veteran Member
Looks like your in the VA/WV area, yeah I don't see that happening in either of those states. This is more of a fly over country thing. As others said Ike took this idea out of the german's play book and at the time they wanted runways that were far enough inland that german bombs, if they managed to hit the US, would have a harder time hitting the targets. For those who do not know hitler was working on a super sonic missile system, his goal was to be able to bomb any city in the midwest, and he was pretty close to accomplishing his goal. I'm not sure if the US or if someone else ended up with that tech when germany finally surrendered. He was also very close to having an atomic bomb.
Just to close the loop, the two AASHTO publications I mentioned are the bibles for Interstate highway design geometry nationwide. States can impose stricter standards (e.g. require wider clearances) but it would be a state thing.

To bring it down to earth, runway pavements for larger planes (bigger than a Cessna 172) are around 200'+ wide. Additionally, they have "imaginary surfaces" that strictly prohibit structures or obstacles way beyond this width.

A four-lane divided interstate roadway (two lanes each way) typically has two 12' travel lanes or 24' of "full depth" pavement, plus a weaker 4' left shoulder and 10' right shoulder pavement (38' total). Ideally we try to provide a traversable/recovery zone of 30' outside of the 24' travel lanes (else we provide guardrail/barrier) so one could hope for 84' (30+24+30) of relatively level hard-obstacle-free width, though breakaway-post signs are within this zone. More or less, these are nationwide standards.

There very well may be military strategery that has identified certain roads as makeshift landing strips, and the story in the OP may even be legit (though I don't understand what would be gained by it), but I can definitively say that the Interstate road system is not designed with the intent of landing aircraft on them as a federal requirement.
 
Last edited:
The old discussion referenced the large aircraft, such as bombers, being too heavy for the depth of the concrete used during road construction. In my searches, I never found in any of my hundreds of historical manuals and documents anything to back this question up. Alfaman, think you could dig up anything?
The German Autobahn system, built in the 1930s, was designed to accommodate plane landings, of that day. When Eisenhower was in Germany during and after WWII, he evaluated its dual use - military and civilian - and decided the same for the U.S. - hence, the U.S. Interstate System was brought into being during his presidential term.


intothegoodnight
 
Last edited:
The first drill in history is certainly a remarkable event.

Something is up.
Picture shows them using A-10s, for practice. What other types of planes may they also test/practice with?

A-10s certainly have their place for particular types of ground activities . . .


intothegoodnight
 
Last edited:

Millwright

Knuckle Dragger
_______________
Just to close the loop, the two AASHTO publications I mentioned are the bibles for Interstate highway design geometry nationwide. States can impose stricter standards (e.g. require wider clearances) but it would be a state thing.

To bring it down to earth, runway pavements for larger planes (bigger than a Cessna 172) are around 200'+ wide. Additionally, they have "imaginary surfaces" that strictly prohibit structures or obstacles way beyond this width.

A four-lane divided interstate roadway (two lanes each way) typically has two 12' travel lanes or 24' of "full depth" pavement, plus a weaker 4' left shoulder and 10' right shoulder pavement (38' total). Ideally we try to provide a traversable/recovery zone of 30' outside of the 24' travel lanes (else we provide guardrail/barrier) so one could hope for 84' (30+24+30) of relatively level hard-obstacle-free width, though breakaway-post signs are within this zone. More or less, these are nationwide standards.

There very well may be military strategery that has identified certain roads as makeshift landing strips, and the story in the OP may even be legit (though I don't understand what would be gained by it), but I can definitively say that the Interstate road system is not designed with the intent of landing aircraft on them as a federal requirement.
As an academic exercise...

A C-130 has a wheel spread of 15ish feet and a normal landing weight of 130,000 lbs with 4 main gear wheels and two nose wheels. The wingspan is 133 ft.

Considering the rough field landing capabilities of this aircraft, I doubt it would punch through the concrete on your average road. I'd assume that highway design is mainly to handle a zillion compression cycles of 18 wheeler type loads.
If you were to figure lb/sq. inch of tire patch...it probably isn't crazy high, especially if there are going to be only a few landing cycles.

I'd bet that some poor .mil, wonk has spent a lot of time identifying stretches of road which can be utilized for aircraft traffic...to include the logistics of moving in heavy equipment to clear highway shoulders of obstructions and identifying center dividers that can be easily removed for clearance.

A Field Engineer unit could clear a lot of ROW in short order and be down the road in no time.
 
Last edited:

Jaybird

Veteran Member
You can land a plane on any highway. What are you going to do with it once it's there? European country's have built in ramps to park aircraft on into there roads. We haven't. I guess travel stops may work.
 

SurvivalRing

Rich Fleetwood - Founder
Local story, but with national implications…


The United States military made history yesterday when it landed a C-130 aircraft on Highway 287 north of Rawlins during a joint training exercise. Moments after sunrise, the cargo plane burst through storm clouds to the east of the roadway at about 240 miles per hour. 500 feet off each wingtip was an A10. Known also as “flying guns,” A10’s are the Air Force’s primary low-altitude close support aircraft. Until yesterday, the Air Force had never landed a C130 on a roadway, although two A10’s landed on a Michigan highway earlier this month. Prior to that, such a feat had only been done in Estonia during the Cold War.

With a wingspan of more than 132 feet, the four-engine C130 is over 97 feet long and has a 42,000 pound payload. It’s manned by a five-person crew including two pilots, a navigator, flight engineer and loadmaster. The US military has used the C130 since 1956 as a troop, medevac and cargo transport aircraft. It is designed for landings and takeoffs on short, unprepared airstrips in combat zones.

Despite gusty winds, a wet road surface, heavy cloud cover and a speed of 120 miles per hour, the pilots set the C130 down perfectly on the centerline of the highway -- making history.

Tune in to Bigfoot99 this morning for all the details on this historic landing and takeoff, or listen here at your convenience: Air Force pilots test landing skills on Highway 287 during military exercise | Bigfoot 99 Radio

Video by Cali O'Hare/Bigfoot 99

(Checked YouTube…not posted there yet…)

FB video of landing…


FB video of takeoff and C-130 being joined by A-10 fighters


The part of 287 that was used for this test is an extremely straight part of highway…probably 12 to 15 miles arrow straight. Now that the .mil has upped the game on landing large aircraft on non-runway pavement, I expect these “tests” to continue for the foreseeable future…

29AFA358-E9B1-48A6-B118-DCF8BD3A889E.jpeg

Pretty sure this chosen part of Wyoming’s highway system had NOTHING to do with yours truly.

hold on…someone’s at the d……………….
 
Last edited:

packyderms_wife

Neither here nor there.
Dumbass comment #1 from the link:

So how much damage did the road sustain and how much will it now cost taxpayers to fix said road after the military is done playing

Excellent response from the link:

Core samples were taken before it was determined if this could even be done. And those of us at wydot worked for weeks before hand to make sure there was nothing that could be damaged.
 

Dozdoats

On TB every waking moment
Every cropduster airfield in the country is known to the specops support aircrews, who have been practicing with them for decades. The new equivalent of Pilatus Porters, Short Bros. Sherpas and other STOLs can work out of some front lawns out in the country.
 

Publius

TB Fanatic
It's what the interstate system was built for originally, for our military's use, not for us peons.

Idea when they built the interstate roads was to have some of it every so many miles so that aircraft could land on it.
This would allow military to have many runways to hide aircraft or places to land them should a military base be destroyed, also allow the shipping of much needed goods and supplies in an emergency which our government has never had to make use of to this day.
 

packyderms_wife

Neither here nor there.
Idea when they built the interstate roads was to have some of it every so many miles so that aircraft could land on it.
This would allow military to have many runways to hide aircraft or places to land them should a military base be destroyed, also allow the shipping of much needed goods and supplies in an emergency which our government has never had to make use of to this day.
Yeah I knew that, I talked about this in another thread about the planes landing in MI not to long ago.
 

LoupGarou

Ancient Fuzzball
So who are the fools that think they need to do this to see if it can be done?
I'm thinking of the times that we are in, and the "THEY" that are playing around in so many odd places. Just think of a few recent sayings or actions...
E. Swalwell and his comments...
A lot of the current state and fed officials...
A lot of rhetoric from the "press"...
I'm sure the taliban has a few C130s now that are operational....
I would bet that even Antifa or BLM might have one....
 

Wildweasel

F-4 Phantoms Phorever
I'm thinking of the times that we are in, and the "THEY" that are playing around in so many odd places. Just think of a few recent sayings or actions...
E. Swalwell and his comments...
A lot of the current state and fed officials...
A lot of rhetoric from the "press"...
I'm sure the taliban has a few C130s now that are operational....
I would bet that even Antifa or BLM might have one....
The Taliban were pissed when they discovered that the C-130s they captured had been disabled by the landing gear being cut. If you look at the photos of them when the Talibs were crawling over them you'll notice they are leaning over pretty well towards the side the gear was collapsed.

My guess is a couple of wraps with det cord and "Poof!", airplane fall down. I doubt anybody will be selling them a spare, because only Lockheed Martin or the C-130 depot at Hill AFB do replacement work and neither is likely to be sending teams to Kabul to do a field replacement.
 

155 arty

Veteran Member
Local story, but with national implications…


The United States military made history yesterday when it landed a C-130 aircraft on Highway 287 north of Rawlins during a joint training exercise. Moments after sunrise, the cargo plane burst through storm clouds to the east of the roadway at about 240 miles per hour. 500 feet off each wingtip was an A10. Known also as “flying guns,” A10’s are the Air Force’s primary low-altitude close support aircraft. Until yesterday, the Air Force had never landed a C130 on a roadway, although two A10’s landed on a Michigan highway earlier this month. Prior to that, such a feat had only been done in Estonia during the Cold War.

With a wingspan of more than 132 feet, the four-engine C130 is over 97 feet long and has a 42,000 pound payload. It’s manned by a five-person crew including two pilots, a navigator, flight engineer and loadmaster. The US military has used the C130 since 1956 as a troop, medevac and cargo transport aircraft. It is designed for landings and takeoffs on short, unprepared airstrips in combat zones.

Despite gusty winds, a wet road surface, heavy cloud cover and a speed of 120 miles per hour, the pilots set the C130 down perfectly on the centerline of the highway -- making history.

Tune in to Bigfoot99 this morning for all the details on this historic landing and takeoff, or listen here at your convenience: Air Force pilots test landing skills on Highway 287 during military exercise | Bigfoot 99 Radio

Video by Cali O'Hare/Bigfoot 99

(Checked YouTube…not posted there yet…)

FB video of landing…


FB video of takeoff and C-130 being joined by A-10 fighters


The part of 287 that was used for this test is an extremely straight part of highway…probably 12 to 15 miles arrow straight. Now that the .mil has upped the game on landing large aircraft on non-runway pavement, I expect these “tests” to continue for the foreseeable future…

View attachment 289345

Pretty sure this chosen part of Wyoming’s highway system had NOTHING to do with yours truly.

hold on…someone’s at the d……………….
I hope these pilots are taking into consideration their oath and the implications of doing this kind of thing!
 

mistaken1

Veteran Member
The need to deliver federal troops and supplies to remote areas on a moments notice ...... do the commies in mordor on the potomac fear invasion or insurrection?
 

AlfaMan

Has No Life - Lives on TB
I'm thinking of the times that we are in, and the "THEY" that are playing around in so many odd places. Just think of a few recent sayings or actions...
E. Swalwell and his comments...
A lot of the current state and fed officials...
A lot of rhetoric from the "press"...
I'm sure the taliban has a few C130s now that are operational....
I would bet that even Antifa or BLM might have one....
You bring up an old memory. That of people being rushed out of a building under.mil soldier escort (M-16's, crouched, 1 soldier facing in, one facing out at a building) at an airport where I grew up. Watched them hustled into the rear of a Herky Bird, interesting enough.
Won't say the place, but it was in early 1980. And we were chased out of a cemetery by two very official and very menacing men. Scared two 15 year olds (me and a bud) pretty badly. Still got my little black notebook notes on it.
We figured it out a few weeks later when it happened.

Landing a herky bird on a highway isn't that big a deal. You can land (and take off) a herky bird on a postage stamp. Use JATO bottles and you get J-3 Cub takeoff performance.
Here's a website on road materials and road paving standards-might be useful. Each state seems to have their own requirements for weight and loading for their roads, still looking for interstate road building standards.

Road Standards and Paving Standards

Interstate Highway standards - Wikipedia

Public Safety Standards of the United States
 
Top