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What are the possible materials that can be used on a runway, so as to reduce the plane speed and certainly stop the plane while preventing skidding when the runway is wet?

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I believe the most that is done is to have grooves on the runway surface to help with water runoff.

Airports also use vehicles with large brushes to help keep the runways clean.

Plane tires do not have sipes (the cuts that go across the tire tread) to disperse water out to the sides that car tires have to help with hydroplaning.

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In Alaska where most GA pilots fly tail wheel bush planes, many airports have gravel runways because they work better in the snow and ice. In fact many Alaskan pilots prefer landing on gravel runways even in good conditions because they don't like the fact that tires tend to skid when they first make contact with a hard surface runway.

That being said gravel runways don't tend to work as well for nose gear or heavy aircraft. The bouncy nature of the gravel runway is bad for the nose gear and could result in a prop strike. Also Alaskan planes will usually be equipped with larger wheel base tires that are designed for bush flying and work well for gravel runways.

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  • $\begingroup$ Loose gravel can also be sucked up by the prop and thrown backwards, causing prop dings and dings on the tail. Large wheels on tail draggers keep the prop clear of gravel. Tail still takes a beating. $\endgroup$ – CrossRoads Oct 16 '18 at 17:58

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