Not every airfield friction tester needs the water system.

The smaller regional airports in the northern states that have colder weather may find that no rubber builds up on their surfaces over time.  They may not need the water system. However, a water system is necessary for those airports that are larger or have more air traffic so rubber builds up.  It is also useful for those airfields that have older degraded pavements where the timing on a resurfacing decision is necessary.  The RT3® Flight with Water System is compliant with the FAA Circular 5320-12C, for the Measurement, construction, and maintenance of skid resistant airport pavement surfaces.

Applying water in front of the friction measurement tires can dramatically change your friction result.  Why?  It depends.

  • Is your surface newer or older?
  • Has your grooving broken down, or is it still effective in displacing the water?
  • Do you have a lot of contaminant build up on the surface?
  • Have you recently put down a chemical treatment to extend the life of the surface?
  • Did you have chemical residue on the surface from removing rubber?

All these variables can dramatically change your runway friction result and your responsibility is to make sure that surface is as safe as possible to land planes.

Why choose the RT3® Flight with Water System.



Accuracy, accuracy and then accuracy.

Through testing, we have established that a 20% variation in water film thickness in front of the measuring tire, can change the friction result up to 45% depending on the surface conditions. To be certain that you know what your surface friction truly is in wet conditions, the flow rate has to be accurate. That is why your water system has been designed with such precision.

How it works

We use a two tank system where a main tank feeds a secondary tank.

The main tank size is based on the vehicle payload capacity and the length of runway Operations want to test before refilling the tank. The secondary tank is much smaller and attaches to the frame of the RT3® Flight Friction Tester. Through this dual tank system, changes in water pressure and water movement in the main tank do not affect the results.

The flow rate is regulated by the pumps in the secondary tank and by a flow rate sensor.   For the FAA, a 1mm film thickness is required for 40mph and 60mph tests. The nozzle is machined to our specifications.  The nozzle deploys (lowers) and water flows when the vehicle reaches 20mph.

This water system can be mounted in two ways. One way requires no permanent modification to the vehicle, but has 20 minutes of set up time to complete wet friction testing.  This is particularly useful to those airfields using GSA vehicles that cannot be altered in anyway.

For normal commercial airfields, we can install the water system by making permanent small modifications to the vehicle, which means there is no set up time to complete testing, except to fill the water tank and check the tire pressure of the measuring wheel.

The water system is removable for winter testing.


No permanent modification is necessary to the vehicle for this installation approach.


Two holes are made in the bed of the truck to connect the main tank to the secondary tank in this installation approach.


Halliday Technologies is committed to promoting environmental sustainability.

We choose each product in the manufacturing process to be durable. Ensuring the RT3® is built to last, we can drive down life cycle costs for our customers. Additionally, through objective and reliable data, our customers can reduce their chemical and salt usage during winter events by optimizing their treatment approach.