Airport runways are probably one the harshest road surfaces on Earth. As airplanes take off and land on a runway, they leave rubber and other residues on the surface. To maintain the ideal surface texture, some runways are cleaned up using the Osprey runway vacuum vehicle from Jetting Systems. It works by vacuuming off the stripped rubber deposits and water off the surface and into a holding tank.
Typical runway cleaners operate at 700 bars of pressure and low volume of cleaning water, which results in longer operating times. Other runway vacuums operate at 2000 bars and 24 liters per minute of water and the result is extremely fast and immaculate. However, the Osprey 3000 works much effectively compared to its contemporary machines and it’s the only one of its kind to use CNC technology. It operates up to 3,000 bars with a water capacity of 18,000 liters providing ultimate output and remarkably neat runway surfaces.
If you’re wondering if the machine hoovers up all the removed rubber deposits then the answer is yes, it recovers almost 100% of the stripped residue without the need for a separate sweeper. The Osprey machine uses a mechanical low ratio gearbox that eliminates the risk of hydraulic leaks or spills. After an operation, the mucky water is drained off via a pneumatic valve. The tank is then emptied with the collected rubber residue. Lastly, the width of the runway vacuum can vary so larger surface areas can be cleaned at once. The machine can be used in a wide range of industries like commercial or military flights.
We never knew this world of runway cleaning existed and the technology used in runway vacuum vehicles is very much impressive.