Investigation of the viability of a new type of airport called an Orbitport

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1972

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The purpose of this paper is to present the concept of the Orbitport and to investigate its viability. "Orbitport" is the author"s name for the airport concept he has invented. Orbitport landing rimways have a straight and level section on which aircraft touch-down, followed by a laterally curved and banked section which completes less than a 360° turn, thus leaving a gap. Excepting the gaps, the airport terminal is surrounded by the landing runways" curved sections. Take-off runways are reached from the terminal by passing through the gaps. There are no taxiways between the landing runways and the terminal, as the landing runways and the terminal apron are contained on one uninterrupted concrete surface. In the paper an Orbitport is designed in order to: (a) present the Orbitport concept, (b) demonstrate the required planning and design methodology, (c) identify the important design parameters, (d) provide a plan of an Orbitport. The particular Orbitport designed is then compared economically and on an operations basis against comparable conventional parallel and "V" runway configuration airports. The paper concludes that more research is required before the Orbitport can be pronounced viable or not viable, but it is very promising.

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