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Old 01-13-2022, 11:12 AM   #1
CarlC
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Geo-Textile Runways


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Many times as our club Pres. I'm asked if our club should install a geo-textile runway. It seems obvious that a textile or other paved surfaces would attract increased membership in these days of tiny wheeled aircraft.

Can club execs and members with experience in maintaining such runways please help answer these questions?:

1) Can a genre diverse club ie: everything from floamies to turbines use such runways? Will jets melt it? Helis chop it? ...

2) Is ground reinforcement using traffic bond or similar needed to prevent footprints or ruts left in wet seasons?

3) If ground reinforcement wasn't used were burrowing or ground foraging (skunks) animals a problem?

4) Can strong winds be a big problem?

Looking for knowledge... Cheers! CarlC
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Old 01-13-2022, 11:27 AM   #2
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Re: Geo-Textile Runways

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarlC View Post
Many times as our club Pres. I'm asked if our club should install a geo-textile runway. It seems obvious that a textile or other paved surfaces would attract increased membership in these days of tiny wheeled aircraft.

Can club execs and members with experience in maintaining such runways please help answer these questions?:

1) Can a genre diverse club ie: everything from floamies to turbines use such runways? Will jets melt it? Helis chop it? ...

2) Is ground reinforcement using traffic bond or similar needed to prevent footprints or ruts left in wet seasons?

3) If ground reinforcement wasn't used were burrowing or ground foraging (skunks) animals a problem?

4) Can strong winds be a big problem?

Looking for knowledge... Cheers! CarlC
HVRCFC aka Humber Valley
Geotex for close to 10 years (I believe)
I helped in the first one (yes they have to be replaced eventually.)

Ground prep was pretty easy, cut the grass as low as possible then lay the geotex on top of that. Grass dies eventually.

Laying of the Geotex is another story, trenching at the border, tucking in the borders and use large staple like things to anchor it into the ground. They are invisible and do not interfere if done correctly.

To answer some of your questions above:

1) Can a genre diverse club ie: everything from floamies to turbines use such runways? Will jets melt it? Helis chop it? ...

A diverse club can use Geotex, yes. HVRCF has EDF, Drones, Giants but no Turbines.
Usually Geotex is not the exclusive runway, the foamies and smaller planes will use the Geotex, but the larger ones will touch down way before the geotex and then roll onto it.
OR
There is a long grass area which they will use.

Can a heli chop it? Yes it can, but usually the tears are very minimal and can be fixed by dropping a bit of tar or duct tape. Most use a dollop of tar.

I've seen .60 size planes and larger land on geotex when they lose a wheel, and depending on the MIL thickness you select, it barely makes a mark.

Props, depending on what type and size, are normally not an issue. Most throttle down when they see the nose drop.

Turbine 600 degree ++ temps will melt it, yes. As mentioned above, Jets usually use the longer grass runways aka what they traditionally use at your field.

Geotex is normally laid out with 150 - 200 feet and 2 rows wide. That leaves the rest of the grass area of a typical field still very available.

2) Is ground reinforcement using traffic bond or similar needed to prevent footprints or ruts left in wet seasons?

No ground reinforcement is required for Thackaray Park, it's on a plateau, usually after it's laid out, and the grass underneath dries, the Geotex shrinks and forms a nice smooth surface. People traffic on Geotex is minimal, they normally taxi their planes towards the flight station after landing

3) If ground reinforcement wasn't used were burrowing or ground foraging (skunks) animals a problem?

Being on a dump, there is an 8ft clay cap that the field is built on, there are no animal issues with it here so can't speak to that.


4) Can strong winds be a big problem?

No issues what so ever. The Loooong staples are located strategically and the Geotex has been through howling winds, rain storms, snow, you name it and it stays put. It's all in the prep and how it's put down.
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Old 01-13-2022, 11:31 AM   #3
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Re: Geo-Textile Runways

https://www.wasatchaeromodelers.com/geotex-runway/
JoeT gave a good rundown. My link is obviously pro-geotech .

Here is another pro and con link :https://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/rc-...c-runways.html

There are a number of other googled user comments out there fir reading . As for turbine use ; it should be fine for most except those that have the turbine pointing down at the rear ; then you get a lot of the heat pointed to the surface .

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Old 01-13-2022, 11:55 AM   #4
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Re: Geo-Textile Runways

Our club NIPMAC, in North Bay, has been using a "geo-textile type" runway for about eight years. I'm not sure about the definition of geo-textile and don't want to confuse the product we have with lightweight landscape fabric; the material we use is very heavy and thick and, I believe, is used in the plywood production industry. Years ago, back in B.C, we use to call it "dryer felt." The runway is fastened to the grass using 12" spikes around the perimeter, with large fender washers under the head of the spike. There was no particular surface prep other than rolling the grass as flat/level as possible. We've experience no wear, no animal, or rodent damage, but every couple of years we re-stretch the fabric to remove any buckled areas; we've never had the fabric lift due to wind.

The runway works very well and is used primarily by members with smaller, 60" and less wingspan electric planes and those that have models with particularly small wheels. Gasser and large scale aircraft tend to use the grass runway.

It works extremely well and, because the geo-textile runway is shorter and narrower than the main field, greatly improves ones landing skills...it gives pilots a well defined landing area to shoot for. From my prospective its a wonderful and worthwhile addition to any flying club.

Peter
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Old 01-13-2022, 02:18 PM   #5
kip51035
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Re: Geo-Textile Runways

I worked for three years on a surface like this "Dryer felt". The grass died quickly , it took about a year to year and a half for the roots to rot away. After that I had six inches of soft wet muddy soil under it. I would suggest that you put down a couple inches of drain rock then cover it with two or three inches os sand. Then shallow drainage ditches on both sides. The only thing that will not leave a rut or dint in the sub straight is a cild's foot print. If you need somewhere for the water to go, dig a dry sump at the low end of each ditch.
Dig a four foot diameter hole three feet deep. Fill the first two feet or more with "Big O" and drain rock. Cover with Landscaping fabric, Then dirt and grass. I have one at the back corner of my garage and I can dump a garbage can full of water there and within a few seconds it is gone
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Old 01-13-2022, 05:25 PM   #6
CarlC
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Re: Geo-Textile Runways

Quote:
Originally Posted by kip51035 View Post
I worked for three years on a surface like this "Dryer felt". The grass died quickly , it took about a year to year and a half for the roots to rot away. After that I had six inches of soft wet muddy soil under it. I would suggest that you put down a couple inches of drain rock then cover it with two or three inches os sand. Then shallow drainage ditches on both sides. The only thing that will not leave a rut or dint in the sub straight is a cild's foot print. If you need somewhere for the water to go, dig a dry sump at the low end of each ditch.
Dig a four foot diameter hole three feet deep. Fill the first two feet or more with "Big O" and drain rock. Cover with Landscaping fabric, Then dirt and grass. I have one at the back corner of my garage and I can dump a garbage can full of water there and within a few seconds it is gone
Hi Kip, thanks

Yes the use of a a substrait of some sort to me seems obvious, but I hear folks saying it's not needed. I strongly believe it depends on the site and the drainage situation there.

Cheers!

Carlc
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Old 01-13-2022, 05:26 PM   #7
CarlC
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Re: Geo-Textile Runways

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeT View Post
HVRCFC aka Humber Valley
Geotex for close to 10 years (I believe)
I helped in the first one (yes they have to be replaced eventually.)

Ground prep was pretty easy, cut the grass as low as possible then lay the geotex on top of that. Grass dies eventually.

Laying of the Geotex is another story, trenching at the border, tucking in the borders and use large staple like things to anchor it into the ground. They are invisible and do not interfere if done correctly.

To answer some of your questions above:

1) Can a genre diverse club ie: everything from floamies to turbines use such runways? Will jets melt it? Helis chop it? ...

A diverse club can use Geotex, yes. HVRCF has EDF, Drones, Giants but no Turbines.
Usually Geotex is not the exclusive runway, the foamies and smaller planes will use the Geotex, but the larger ones will touch down way before the geotex and then roll onto it.
OR
There is a long grass area which they will use.

Can a heli chop it? Yes it can, but usually the tears are very minimal and can be fixed by dropping a bit of tar or duct tape. Most use a dollop of tar.

I've seen .60 size planes and larger land on geotex when they lose a wheel, and depending on the MIL thickness you select, it barely makes a mark.

Props, depending on what type and size, are normally not an issue. Most throttle down when they see the nose drop.

Turbine 600 degree ++ temps will melt it, yes. As mentioned above, Jets usually use the longer grass runways aka what they traditionally use at your field.

Geotex is normally laid out with 150 - 200 feet and 2 rows wide. That leaves the rest of the grass area of a typical field still very available.

2) Is ground reinforcement using traffic bond or similar needed to prevent footprints or ruts left in wet seasons?

No ground reinforcement is required for Thackaray Park, it's on a plateau, usually after it's laid out, and the grass underneath dries, the Geotex shrinks and forms a nice smooth surface. People traffic on Geotex is minimal, they normally taxi their planes towards the flight station after landing

3) If ground reinforcement wasn't used were burrowing or ground foraging (skunks) animals a problem?

Being on a dump, there is an 8ft clay cap that the field is built on, there are no animal issues with it here so can't speak to that.


4) Can strong winds be a big problem?

No issues what so ever. The Loooong staples are located strategically and the Geotex has been through howling winds, rain storms, snow, you name it and it stays put. It's all in the prep and how it's put down.

Thank you Joe,

This is exactly the feed back I hoped for. CHEERS!

Carl
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Old 01-13-2022, 05:57 PM   #8
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Re: Geo-Textile Runways

This is our field with 2 runways put in years ago. This is the fellow who was instrumental in installing it you might want to contact him about how it was put in plus he may know the cheapest place to pick the stuff up in Canada.

Contact info sent by PM
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Old 01-13-2022, 07:42 PM   #9
stegl
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Re: Geo-Textile Runways

So I you guys have permanent pylons set up in the distance for pylon racing ..... ?
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Old 01-13-2022, 07:52 PM   #10
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Re: Geo-Textile Runways

Quote:
Originally Posted by stegl View Post
So I you guys have permanent pylons set up in the distance for pylon racing ..... ?
If you are inquiring about the Sunparlor field there is a drone racing area to the extreme left in the picture. Lots of use in the beginning not so much now. Drone guys have to maintain the catch fences and gates if it gets to look abandon it will all come down and get put away. Grass cutting and trim done by the club cutters. They want the dedicated drone field they have to help maintain it.
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