View Full Version : Automatic Wake turbulence avoidance proposal

9th Apr 2017, 07:00
I can almost predict the backlash here... i.e. what is the pilot for? what about airmanship? etc etc... but just hear me out and let me know if this idea makes sense.

Wake turbulence for all aircraft types has definitely been considered during the design stage as part of the CFD models. So, we know what the wake is supposed to look like (intensity, direction, etc.)

We already have TCAS RAs, computed based on predicted TAUs. As part of the TCAS data broadcasted, why not have the aircraft gross weight and wind data also broadcast.

The receiving aircraft has it's own wind data and knows it's own gross weight and flight characteristics). Based on the info received, a lateral offset can easily be computed and suggested to the crew.

The deviation suggestion can (just like TCAS) be in the form of just information, or a resolution order, allowing the crew to decide what course of action to take.

New rules and SOPs may be needed to include wake avoidance in busy TMA's and narrow RNP airways.

What say?

Capn Bloggs
9th Apr 2017, 10:37
Stick to chips.

9th Apr 2017, 11:52
No backlash, but in this case it must be emphasised that this type of information would be nigh impossible to create due many variables which are unknown to the aircraft creating the vortices, broadcast from the plane to other craft which are required to decipher for each data received and the amount of equipment changes hereby required would not justify its design and development cost (ROI).

11th Apr 2017, 19:08

Not far off the mark at all, in fact Honeywell already patented such a warning, see https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/honeywell-patents-wake-turbulence-visualisation-tool-314706/ and the Russian Federation proposed a similar system to the ICAO Wake Turb study Group a few years ago too. To my mind, the snag with such tools is that the devil is in the detail. It's not too difficult to predict the likely horizontal extent of the wake, but you need to establish the likely vertical position too, and that is very variable. Most of the time the vortices obligingly drift down below the generating aircraft and mostly, but not always, they have the good manners not to go too far below either. So mostly you can sail through the plan position of the vortex without experiencing anything, because it is either below you if you are at the same level as the generating aircraft, or above you, if you are one level below. Unfortunately, vortices have been known to float up above the generating aircraft or descend 1000ft+ below, and either way, they could give you a nasty surprise. Relying on the plan view alone will produce way too many false alerts.

I would love to see more work done on just making these damn things 'visible'. it is hard to accept that moving air with enough oomph to hold up an A380 can't be seen somehow.