Preparing for New Large Aircraft

Newly-developed larger and heavier aircraft are increasing the stresses and strains that are exerted on airport pavements. Complex wheel load interactions within pavement structures can contribute to the premature failure of the pavement structures and must therefore be considered in pavement design analyses. To assess pavement requirements for heavier aircraft and to create more cost-effective, longer-lasting airport pavements, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) researchers are developing criteria and methods for the design, evaluation, performance and serviceability of airport pavements. To better predict wheel load interactions and to provide the airport community with a pavement design methodology addressing the needs of heavier aircraft such as the Boeing 777, FAA researchers developed a design program called LEDFAA-Layered Elastics Design method. In 1995, LEDFAA was implemented as a new standard for the design of airport pavements intended to serve the Boeing 777 airplane. The LEDFAA program was modified in 2003 to accommodate new commercial jet aircraft such as the Airbus A-380-800. The FAA has developed and is currently testing a program for rigid pavement thickness design that uses a 3D finite element method to model rigid pavement structure with joints. The new program also incorporates the flexible design procedures from LEDFAA.


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  • Accession Number: 01010501
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Nov 25 2005 10:45PM