7
$\begingroup$

Can a human be blown away by jet engines of an A380 at full throttle? If so what is the largest object that it can blow away and cause significant damage? Can it blow away another parked Airbus A380 and cause damage? Can it perhaps blow away the A320 and cause damage?

If so what is the safest parking distance between aircraft, with regards to jet air at full throttle. What are the safest recommendations?

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ Going out on a limb here, but yeah id say at full throttle they can. $\endgroup$ – Dave Jun 22 '17 at 14:52
  • $\begingroup$ The A380 engines (which are less powerful than the 777 engines) produce about 78-80,000lbs of thrust. Perhaps with some physics work you can calculate what mass and at what distance would be shifted. $\endgroup$ – Ben Jun 22 '17 at 21:08
  • $\begingroup$ There was a Mythbusters episode about this if memory serves. They built armored vehicles for the cast of a storm chaser show on Discovery and used a 747 (again, IIRC) to test them. $\endgroup$ – Matthew Brown Jun 23 '17 at 21:35
11
$\begingroup$

Absolutely. The jet engines used in airliners are quite powerful and can easily blow away human beings, vehicles and small aircraft. Other (large) airliners, not so much.

It depends on the aircraft's size, weight and distance from the engine actually. There are records of a F-16 being tipped over by a B-1B Lancer; as the thrust of an A380 engine is quite higher than that of the Lancer, the damage would be worse.

The minimum safe distance between the aircraft varies depending on the aircraft and engine type. For example, according to the Australian Civil Aviation Order 20.9 - Air service operations - Precautions in refuelling, engine and ground radar operations:

An aircraft engine shall not be started or operated:

...

(b) within 8 metres (25 ft) of other aircraft;

... turbine engines, in addition, shall not be operated within the appropriate distance specified below of any other aircraft, fuelling equipment or exposed public areas which lie to the rear of and within a 15 degree arc either side of the exhaust outlet axis of that engine:

Safe distance

Minimum distance between aircraft for operation of engines; image from Civil Aviation Order 20.9 - Air service operations - Precautions in refuelling, engine and ground radar operations

$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I learned about that as a rookie liney when I watched slack jawed one of these hovering in the jet blast of a Vulcan at idle! $\endgroup$ – Simon Jun 22 '17 at 16:59
  • $\begingroup$ @Simon Are you talking about the missile? Your link goes to a Google image list $\endgroup$ – TomMcW Jun 22 '17 at 18:24
  • $\begingroup$ It does, @TomMcW, but one image is enlarged as the selected one. It's the top image on this blog page. Frankly, seeing that hovering would be quite a sight!! $\endgroup$ – FreeMan Jun 22 '17 at 20:09
  • $\begingroup$ @FreeMan None is selected on my phone, they're all thumbnails. But the missile seemed like the item common to all the pics. That would be rather impressive. That looks like it's pretty friggin heavy. $\endgroup$ – TomMcW Jun 22 '17 at 20:15
  • $\begingroup$ @TomMcW - sittin' at mah desk! Actually, I hardly ever SE on my phone except when I want to see an imgur image that work has blocked... an now, back to our regularly scheduled topic $\endgroup$ – FreeMan Jun 22 '17 at 20:19
6
$\begingroup$

Here is a youtube clip from the Top Gear television show, where they show what the blast from a 747 engine can do to cars.

Top Gear jet engine blast demonstration

The answer is: yes, exhaust blast from a jumbo jet engine can do considerable damage, to a person or to a vehicle.

$\endgroup$
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ That video was the first thing I thought when I saw this question. $\endgroup$ – Noah Krasser Jun 23 '17 at 6:33
2
$\begingroup$

Manufacturers publish this kind of information in aircraft characteristics documents, as it is useful for airport planning and operational safety. You can find the A380 document here.

The document lists the exhaust danger area at max takeoff power. For the Trent 900, this extends 1800 ft aft of the nozzles, and the GP 7200 extends 1553 ft aft. Anything not bolted down should probably be removed from this area.

The document also lists exhaust velocities. At max takeoff power, for GP 7200 engines, the exhaust velocity exceeds 105 mph out to 724 feet, and 65 mph out to 1090 feet. Higher velocities are not labeled.

On Physics.SE, it's been calculated that 45 mph is enough to move a person, and 70 mph could start to overcome gravity (depending on orientation). So if you don't want to be blown over, it's probably best to stay out of the exhaust danger zone.

This paper suggests 95 mph is enough to tip some high profile trucks, trailers, and buses. 200 mph is enough to tip most cars, vans, and pickups. If the vehicles are light, much less than this could be sufficient.

Based on this info we know that at full power, large profile vehicles could be tipped over even at almost 750 feet behind the aircraft. Aircraft designed to fly at slower speeds or lighter aircraft could easily be picked up by these high wind speeds. Tornadoes have been known to move aircraft as large as a C-130.

Jet aircraft generally do not go to max takeoff power unless they are starting their takeoff. Engine speed is usually limited in ramp areas for safety. For engine run ups, the aircraft go to dedicated areas with jet blast deflectors.

Even at ground idle, the exhaust danger area extends 230-280 feet aft of the nozzles.

You may also want to consider temperatures, which can exceed 212 F up to 100 feet aft of the nozzles at takeoff power.

$\endgroup$
0
$\begingroup$

Here's a person being blown away by an A320. You can test it out yourself at St Maarten, a lovely tropical island in the Caribbean! Park your car in the jet blast and see what it does.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ I hope it is a joke when you mean test it out yourself. Getting blown away by a jet blast is dangerous and can result in severe injury or death. $\endgroup$ – kevin Jun 23 '17 at 2:17
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ As in: don't try this at home? It is of course quite obvious from the video that it is dangerous to stand there, but it is It is allowed to be there and to drive and park there - check out this video of the same spot when a B747 takes off, several parked cars can be observed. The island authorities leave it to everyone's own judgement. $\endgroup$ – Koyovis Jun 23 '17 at 11:06
0
$\begingroup$

Can a human be blown away by jet engines of an A380 at full throttle?

yes Human will blown away without any doubt.

If so what is the largest object that it can blow away and cause significant damage?

Jet-Engines will have high thrust,it will easily blow away car in close proximity.

Can it perhaps blow away the A320 and cause damage?

If it blown form front then It will not blow away the another Flight bus it will give significant lift so that another aircraft will tilt little bit.

If so what is the safest parking distance between aircraft, with regards to jet air at full throttle. What are the safest recommendations?

As per the aviation rules no aircraft will be in full throttle in parking. Full throttle will be applied Only while take off on runway.

$\endgroup$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.