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  • Pca

    Hi everyone,
    I heard about a very interesting system called PCA (propulsion controlled aircraft). It would permit to land safely without using aerodynamic surfaces, just using engines. It would be a great step to improve the aviation safety. But is it used in modern aircraft or just in any kind of test vehicle?


  • #2
    I think that was a NASA development after the DC-10 crash-landing in Sioux City (a DC-10 suffered an uncontained engine damage in the #2 engine -the tail-mounted one- and the debris damage lines of all three hyraulic systems, all the hydraulic fluid was lost and the airplane no control surface would work after that. Having never tried or trained or for this, the crew managed to crash-land the plane on a runway in a semi-controlled way using power as the only means to control the plane -ammount of power to control descent rate and differencial power to turn-).

    The FAA archived the case stating that the cost/benefit was not feasible (a lot of cost to install in all airplanes, very few lives saved).

    Incidentally, an Airbus that suffered a missile strike in Irak was also left with no hydraulics and the crew maanged to land the plane using power only (and without PCA), this time everybody escaped unhurt, including the plane.

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