Any old stretch of highway will do…

Craig here.  Ran across this while looking for some good ‘splodie videos today:


Not just for Warthogs either.  Here’s a clip of an F-4 on what looks like the same pattern.


The old F-104 could turn that trick too.


Check out the close tandem landing pattern for these C-160s:


Here’s a compilation of several jets taking off.


Use of sections of the Autobahn as airstrips date back to World War II.  During the Cold War NATO practiced this frequently.  I know certain sections of highway in Korea were likewise set aside for contingencies.   But I’ve seen very few references to American plans to use parts of our interstate system for emergency airfields.  Then again, the United States has the highest number of airfields per capita in the world… and likewise the highest number of potholes per mile of any developed nation.



4 thoughts on “Any old stretch of highway will do…”

  1. It’s not quite true “any” old stretch will do. Most European countries that set aside certain sections of highway for field operations made sure certain attributes were designed into that stretch of roadway. The roadbeds and surfaces were designed to accommodate aircraft, rights of way were maintained that allowed enough space for aircraft to approach and land without smacking a tree or a powerline, and the grade of the road was within normal limits of aircraft operations.

    That is, they built an airstrip into the highway, rather than just picking a stretch of road to operate on.

    1. As my posts have a tendency to get wordy, and I was not sure this link would translate, I opted to leave out additional information about the autobahn airstrips:

      The page details the runway specification right down to the guard rails.

  2. Wheel loads for landing military AC are quite high, higher than the normal design loads for highways. If you tried to land the normal AF jet on an interstate, they’d go through the pavement.

    Originally, Interstates were supposed to have a certain portion of their mileage built to be able to use them as military airstrips. Interchanges were also supposed to have fallout shelters built in as well. The left didn’t like any of that, especially the fallout shelters because that might be provocative and Ivan was easily provoked, as we all know. Ivan, of course, knew we were not easily provoked, so he built shelters out the wazoo so he could protect his slaves.

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