Re: Windshear detectors: who has?

Date:         02 Dec 96 01:44:35 
From: (RD Rick)
Organization: Netcom
References:   1
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In <airliners.1996.2603@ohare.Chicago.COM>
(Niels Sampath) writes:
>Last night (TUES) here in the UK was the first of a 4 part
>TV documentary on Channel 4 called `Black Box'..a series about
>air accident investigation. At one point it was stated that
>`only Continental Airlines' has installed a windshear detector
>that gives ~45 seconds advance notice that one is approaching
>a microburst area.
>Is this accurate i.e. `only Continental'?

Continetnal is the only carrier whose whole fleet is equipped with
Forward Looking Windshear.  Other airlines are committed to FLW, but
have only onesy-twoseys so far.  It is a major modification/upgrade to
the plane's weather radar.  CO, AA and NW were allowed to try new
windshear detection systems such as the weather radar mod, infrared and
lidar(?).  Only the FLW proved viable, so CO proceeded, while AA and NW
did the reactive windshear installations like everybody else.

The other airlines are now wishing for FLW, as the escape maneuver for
a reactive windshear warning includes firewalling the engines.  Thirty
seconds at full throttle on the modern engines can cook them.  A double
engine teardown on a 737-300 can cost up to $2 million, so it soon pays
for a lot of FLW radars.  Beyond that, there have been many windshears,
that once entered, cannot be escaped.

A couple of years ago, NASA loaded the DFW Delta L-1011 windshear crash
scenario and parameters into a 747-200 simulator.  With FLW, all the
pilots were able to make the recommended go-around at no less than 700
fet agl.  With only reactive windshear guidance, they kissed the

Fedex is in the process of retrofitting their whole fleet with FLW, but
I don't know how far along they are.