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A Runway With No Weight Limitations

by John M. White |

So, where in the world is there a runway with no landing weight limit, and wouldn't that be handy on some occasions? Well, in the United States there is one, and it is located right along the Atlantic Ocean in mid-Florida. Of course it is at the Shuttle Landing Facility at the Kennedy Space Center where shuttles land after visiting the International Space Station. 15,000 feet long (that's almost 3 miles, Hersch!) and 300 feet wide it is one of the largest runways ever built. But it is not without its own unique problems.


For example, alligators, snakes and turtles frequently traverse the runway enroute from some unknown location to some unknown destination, and they don't let a bit of concrete stop them. The reason? The airstrip is located inside the Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge.
The wandering animals keep the staff busy chasing them off. Hitting one of these creatures on takeoff or landing could have some very interesting consequences. Here's a birds eye view of the landing strip: Shuttle Landing Facility This runway can be used by any aircraft in the world. For example, the AirBus Beluga, which carries some 47 tons, can be handle quite easily on the runway. Below is a photograph showing a section of the International Space Station being unloaded from the aircraft: Airbus Beluga Transport Aircraft How would you like to fly one of these behemoths? Check out this video: Once again aviation proves it can solve any problem, perform any role and is essential to modern production. Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch! JetAviator7 The weird thing is that I hate to fly, and the quote that I give people is that every time I get off a plane, I view it as a failed suicide attempt. — Barry Sonnenfeld, movie director.

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