"Highway 84": When they landed planes on the Autobahn

In 1980, a NATO military exercise called “Highway 84” turned a section of the Autobahn into a landing strip.

Such capabilities were apparently fairly common during the cold war. This particular exercise was on the A29 at Kreuz Ahlhorn - but many other locations exist where you could theoretically create an airstrip.

The idea is, in the case that the Soviets bombed existing NATO air bases, pre-defined sections of road could be rapidly converted into a serviceable strip.

Military vehicles would jump into action, removing guardrails, the central reservation and putting up temporary facilities like this air-traffic control tower mounted to the back of a vehicle.

Other capabilities that had to be built were communications systems, perimeter security, radar systems, weather forecasting stations and even runway lighting.

The exercise lasted 3 weeks, and was the only time that the road was used for this purpose.

In the late 1990s, with the Cold War over, the German government started converting the strips back into conventional roadways. This one, Alhorn remained until 2006.

Source of lots of this information

And also Wikipedia!



So that’s where that 20 mile runway from F&F came from!

05/19/2016 - 10:26 |
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In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Best comment this week

05/19/2016 - 11:23 |
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In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Vin Diesel be like:

05/20/2016 - 22:08 |
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In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Vin Diesel be like:

05/20/2016 - 22:12 |
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Freddie Skeates

Dat VW bus in the last pic

05/19/2016 - 10:38 |
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Like the Libyan one from Back to the Future

05/20/2016 - 02:41 |
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The Canadian 🇨🇦(C350 Squad)(Odyssey Squad)(C

And if people were on the crosswalk above, just hope nobody drives a mustang.

05/19/2016 - 11:41 |
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Neco Arc

This should be in Furious 8.

05/19/2016 - 11:46 |
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Emil Mølhave Pedersen

Sweden has these all over the place as well.

05/19/2016 - 11:50 |
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Darude Her Right In The Sandstorm™

That Warthog tho

05/19/2016 - 11:51 |
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Weird to see ‘how’ old these planes actually are

05/20/2016 - 08:51 |
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Germany also did this is WWII but I think they made no changes to the road to hide the fact it was being used

05/19/2016 - 16:56 |
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In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Back in the day planes could land on gravel, grass and bumpy roads with not too many problems, they also dind’t need a lot of runway ( at least for fighters,dive bombers and atacker ). Today however its quite diferent, unless planes use afterburner they need a lot of runway, jets also need smooth roads or they can’t land safely, not only that, but cargo planes, heavy bombers use tons of run aways too. Thats why its hard to desguise a run away today.

05/19/2016 - 22:06 |
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Taaake meee tooo theee danger zone!

05/19/2016 - 19:10 |
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An equal strip is just a few kilometers from where I live on the A81 between the exits Oberndorf and Rottweil. It’s a pleasure to hit topspeed there when theres no traffic.

05/19/2016 - 19:24 |
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The Irony, in time when Nato bombed Serbia, our air force also used local road near the base. And it was b road, not a highway/motorway.

05/19/2016 - 19:29 |
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