It is made of asphalt, so in essence it is as heavy as concrete, it has its own properties. It can be used to support an aircraft; it is not an air-tight compartment.”
However, this was something that was just a hypothesis and would not be established at the first flight. It was further clarified in a May 14 report submitted by the National Research Council.
“As the aircraft was travelling from the start of its flight path, the aerodynamics of the runway would have been the main determinant. Aerodynamic drag is a factor (1 plus the aerodynamic drag of a plane), so adding or subtracting aerodynamic drag will be effective.”
According to the report, the aerodynamic drag “was generally large but not too large” and not the issue that the study was looking into.
The report also said that an examination of the aerodynamics on the first flight of the P8W had provided the initial impression that the surface of the approach runway was about a foot and a half lower than that on the second flight – suggesting that an over-slope had been introduced on the approach.
The report added: “Since the P8W was on the same runway, and there were similarities to what a plane did on the landing approach as it turned on it’s way to land on the runway, the P8W had already gone through an over-slope.”
However, they also noted that, while the first flight was more aerodynamically efficient than the second, both planes did have a tendency to come in too steep. The P8W had been “too steep in a steep turn into a straight-forward and straightforward taxi, whereas the N9F had a tendency to come in too steep and to come in through an under-slope angle” for the landing approach. The N9F had been “too steep and too low”.
The report said that it had been thought that the P8W, unlike other large aircraft, could have a more pronounced tendency to come in with a high under-slope angle than on the landing approach, resulting in a “vertical dive on landing”.
Airports are required to have a maximum over-slope of 7degrees, though many airports have sloped and under-sloped approaches, and in general the minimum over-slope is 5degrees and the maximum is 10degrees.
As for why the P8W came in on the end of the
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