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Nov 10 2014

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SNC touts Dream Chaser’s network of public airport landing options

Basically, any runway made of concrete over 8000 ft long. The Shuttle required a 12,000 ft runway. Concrete is a requirement because of Dream Chaser’s nose landing-skid equipment.

However, there is still a maze of regulations that SNC has to navigate:

despite the large amount of evaluations that have already taken place, negotiations will be required closer to the time Dream Chaser would require such landing options to become available.

2014-11-08 15_17_15-Challenges and Opportunities Related to Landing the Dream Chaser 5Nov14 20pp.pdfThis includes airspace requirements, given Dream Chaser descends from orbit as a glider, with both a very high velocity and a high sink rate. This renders her incompatible with typical aircraft operations and requires special handling from Air Traffic Control facilities.

Evaluations note that “all commercial aircraft operating at altitudes between 18,000 feet mean sea level (msl) (FL180) and 60,000 feet msl (FL600) are required to operate on flight plans generally under Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) requirements and must be in contact with FAA air traffic controllers.

“Below 18,000 feet msl (FL180), many aircraft are not on flight plans with a mix of IFR and Visual Flight Rules (VFR) operations and, depending on the geographic area, may not be in contact with air traffic controllers.

“These combined considerations make it essential that the Dream Chaser descent be planned in coordination with air traffic control. Specific blocks of airspace must first be identified before planning an airport descent and approach.”

Gotta love regulations…

Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2014/11/10/snc-touts-dream-chasers-network-of-public-airport-landing-options/

1 ping

  1. Report on the challenges of landing Dream Chaser at a public airport | Off to the Space Races

    […] I stumbled upon this article a day or two back when I was commenting on Dream Chaser’s options. […]

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