[from "Airfields on Antarctic Glacier Ice" by Malcolm Mellor and Charles
Swithinbank, CRREL Report 89-21, 1989 full report (PDF)]
2. High probability of finding ice runway 3840 x 60 m (12,600 x 200 ft) with maximum longitudinal grade not exceeding 1.5% and maximum transverse grade not exceeding 1%.
3. Runways are aligned into the prevailing wind and have clear approaches (1:50 glide slope) and clear climb-out path (1:50).
4. Although the surface would be improved by planing to facilitate smooth landings and take-offs, the natural microrelief may be within the landing-gear tolerance of C-130, C-141, and CUB aircraft
5. The runway adjoins a vast area of ice- and snow-free desert on which permanent structures could be erected. Access between desert and icefield is suitable for ordinary wheeled vehicles.
6. Crevasse-free route available for surface travel to South Pole (300 miles).
7. Adds nothing to round-trip distance McMurdo-South Pole.
8. Runway is perpendicular (in grid terms) to the long runway at Mt. Howe, so could prove a useful alternate under high wind conditions.
1. The site is 140 miles farther from South Pole than Mt Howe.
2. The runway has a significantly greater slope than the Mt Howe runways.
(back to the blue ice runway page)