Blue Ice Runway

A blue ice runway is a runway constructed in Antarctic areas with no net annual snow accumulation, so that the resultant ice surface is capable of supporting aircraft landings using wheels instead of skis. They are intended to make transferring materials to research stations simpler, since wheeled aircraft can carry much heavier loads than ski-equipped aircraft.

Blue ice runways are created as a way of streamlining transport to the interior. Without them, most heavy materials must be brought by ship, then ferried inland by ski-equipped smaller aircraft. Large, wheeled aircraft can fly directly into the interior, saving time and money. In particular, they allow for rare medical evacuations to take place year round.

Because of ice's low coefficient of friction, planes tend to decelerate with reverse thrust, as opposed to traditional means of braking the wheels, and so runways are often several miles long.

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Famous quotes containing the words blue and/or ice:

    I have just come down from my father.
    Higher and higher he lies
    Above me in a blue light
    Shed by a tinted window.
    James Dickey (b. 1923)

    Goodness and evil never share the same road, just as ice and charcoal never share the same container.
    Chinese proverb.