Is volcanic ash only a problem for jets? - boards.ie
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20-04-2010, 12:36   #1
Snickers Man
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Is volcanic ash only a problem for jets?

This may be a silly question but I have got the impression from news programmes that the main problem with the volcanic ash in the skies has to do with jets. Both in the way that jet engines work and because they fly at a height which is where the volcanic ash predominates.

So would propeller-driven aircraft be able to operate pretty much as normal in this environment?

And would there be a market for some enterprising leasing company to perhaps "borrow" some large prop-driven aircraft like those Galaxies or whatever they're called from the military and fly a few hundred people home at a trot?

Just a thought, or have I got completely the wrong end of the stick?
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20-04-2010, 12:40   #2
Tea 1000
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All passenger props these days are turbo props, which is a jet engine driving a propellor basically, and they fly at around 18-20,000 feet. So same problems.
However, I'd reckon that you could still fly a turbo prop at 12,000 feet without too much reduction in economy and cruise speed, so I'm sure Aer Arann would be doing that now if the aviation authorities would let them!
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20-04-2010, 12:43   #3
bladeruner
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Jets are only fuel efficient at high altitude
The "ash" is only at high altitude at the moment (above 20,000 feet) and props dont generally fly that high.
Also props dont turn as fast as jet turbine engines and so wouldnt see the same damage,
Theres a million more reasons.

AFAIK the galaxy is a jet engined aircraft, maybe we need a super constellation
Put Glamour back in aviation ...
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20-04-2010, 13:14   #4
Dacian
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I wonder then why Aer Arann didn't fly a limited schedule over the weekend, even just to keep an airlink with Manchester or Scotland. If they could fly under the ash
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20-04-2010, 16:23   #5
Run_to_da_hills
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Volcanic ash would in effect shotblast any paint and glasswork on the fuselage.

You would probably get away with flying a piston driven DC3 or tiger moth with a pair of goggles through any volcanic cloud.
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20-04-2010, 17:57   #6
Nforce
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Even the piston powered aircraft would suffer as their air filters would clog up and the engines would overheat.
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20-04-2010, 18:10   #7
Su Campu
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One thing I was wondering was could the likes of Aer Arann not run at least the domestic routes under VFR? As far as I understand it the airspace was closed to IFR traffic only - but nothing wrong with filing a VFR flightplan? And the German authorities allowed LH to ferry jets back to Germany under VFR.

We certainly had the weather for it! Or am I missing something?
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20-04-2010, 18:42   #8
probe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Run_to_da_hills View Post
Volcanic ash would in effect shotblast any paint and glasswork on the fuselage.
Perhaps if one was nutty enough to fly over Eyjafjallajökull as it spewed forth its missiles etc.

But flying 1,000 km away from the source in air that has dilute concentrations at best....?

Why aren't all these jets that are ignoring Britain's embargo on European aviation peeled and sandblasted to shreds?

Evidence, SVP!
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20-04-2010, 20:55   #9
jvan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Su Campu View Post
One thing I was wondering was could the likes of Aer Arann not run at least the domestic routes under VFR? As far as I understand it the airspace was closed to IFR traffic only - but nothing wrong with filing a VFR flightplan? And the German authorities allowed LH to ferry jets back to Germany under VFR.

We certainly had the weather for it! Or am I missing something?
I was in Greystones yesterday evening and an Aer Arann plane flew north up the coast around 7.30. It was flying low, hard to say but possibly 2000-3000ft.
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20-04-2010, 21:20   #10
Run_to_da_hills
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Quote:
Originally Posted by probe View Post
Perhaps if one was nutty enough to fly over Eyjafjallajökull as it spewed forth its missiles etc.

But flying 1,000 km away from the source in air that has dilute concentrations at best....?

Why aren't all these jets that are ignoring Britain's embargo on European aviation peeled and sandblasted to shreds?

Evidence, SVP!
Those planes in question were flying well above the exclusion zone.

According to this.

Vilcanic ash plume can "blind" pilots by sandblasting the windscreen requiring an instrument landing, damage the fuselage, and coat the plane (KLM Flight 867 and BA Flight 9).[19] In addition, the sandblasting effect can damage the landing lights, making their beams diffuse and unable to be projected in the forward direction (BA Flight 9). Propellor aircraft are also endangered.

Accumulation of ash can also block an aircraft's pitot tubes. This can lead to failure of the aircraft's air speed indicators.

Cooling channels in the turbine blades become clogged by ash leading to overheating of the blades and their catastrophic failure.
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21-04-2010, 18:39   #11
Snickers Man
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bladeruner View Post

AFAIK the galaxy is a jet engined aircraft,
A quick search on Google images confirms you are right. I was thinking of one of these yokes. I think they're called Hercules.

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21-04-2010, 18:43   #12
donkey balls
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Originally Posted by Snickers Man View Post
A quick search on Google images confirms you are right. I was thinking of one of these yokes. I think they're called Hercules.

the c130 is a gas turbine engine acft so would suffer the same as a jet engine(fan blades)
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21-04-2010, 22:54   #13
bombs away
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I believe Superman has a problem flying through Ash clouds, get's dust in his eyes and nose
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21-04-2010, 23:15   #14
andy_g
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bombs away View Post
I believe Superman has a problem flying through Ash clouds, get's dust in his eyes and nose
And how is this relevant to jets being affected by ash?

Back on topic please.
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