Linked Questions

106
votes
13answers
32k views

Why does it take so long to develop modern military jets?

In the 1960's, it took three years to produce a flying prototype of an aircraft that flew faster than anything before, was built out of a novel construction material, used a new type of fuel, and was ...
57
votes
4answers
28k views

Why can't jet engines operate with supersonic air and how do they slow it down?

Typically jets cannot operate when intake airflow is supersonic relative to the engine. Why is this so? Also, why are scramjets able to use supersonic air? To slow down the air to subsonic speeds, ...
37
votes
5answers
6k views

How do aircraft windshields not crack when flying at supersonic speeds through precipitation?

Randall Munroe (author of XKCD and What If), once wrote a What If about how fast one would have to drive a car in order to have rain water shatter the windshield. In the post he mentions that water ...
18
votes
3answers
7k views

Why do some military aircraft use variable-sweep wings?

There are a couple of American military aircraft (the retired F-14 and the B-1 come to mind immediately), that have variable swept wings. I know that they keep the wings full out (roughly ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

Why are many military fighter aircraft designed to fly supersonic?

It is my understanding that these aircraft rarely fly at supersonic speeds anyway—the ordnance they carry, the increased fuel burn (even with supercruise), and the increased chance of detection make ...
7
votes
2answers
4k views

What is the average speed used by modern jet fighters when in dogfight?

I am asking this question pertaining to a game I'm designing. It is well known that many modern jet fighter aircraft can fly at supersonic velocities however I read that this top speed is hardly ever ...
8
votes
1answer
5k views

How does a supersonic jet engine differ from a subsonic jet engine? [duplicate]

All jet engines have the same method of air flowing into the engine, which is compressed and ignited. What can engine designers do to make an engine design create more thrust? For example, what is ...
3
votes
5answers
4k views

Why are there no Mach 4+ fighter planes?

Why are there no Mach 4+ fighter aircraft? It seems that such aircraft would have massive advantages when it comes to being able to fire longer range missiles and evade return fire.
12
votes
2answers
2k views

Can a supersonic plane use a subsonic wing if the nosecone shock produces subsonic airflow around the wing?

A supersonic plane will produce shock waves off the nose cone, as seen below: These oblique shocks reduce the speed of the air that the wing experiences. If the plane is at a low enough Mach number, ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Why maneuverability and top speed are still issues in 5th generation air superiority fighter jets [duplicate]

In a previous question someone asked why do modern fighter jet speeds decrease compared to older fighter jets, and someone hinted that nowadays top speed is not a factor considering modern rockets ...
12
votes
1answer
722 views

What drives and/or allows the move to higher-bypass turbofans on jetliners?

Note: I'm by no means an expert on any of this, I'm just curious. There seems to be a general trend toward higher and higher bypass ratios in commercial jetliner engines. (I'm thinking here of 737/...
2
votes
2answers
488 views

Could a variable sweep aircraft also use negative angle?

Variable sweep on fighter aircraft is a bit out of fashion, but seems to a worthwhile option to adjust the wing to the current speed and needed lift. All this is bought with complexity and weight of ...
3
votes
1answer
679 views

Is it possible to use variable wing geometry on a fifth generation stealth fighter?

Is there any effect on the stealth features due to variable wing geometry? If not, why have such aircraft not been designed till now? Please explain the limitations using any structural principles if ...
2
votes
2answers
852 views

How does the shift in aerodynamic center affect the performance of swing wing aircraft?

I am trying to understand how a variable sweep wing changes the aerodynamic center of a plane, and its effect on the plane's maneuverability. I also would like to know the importance of the pivot ...
5
votes
2answers
339 views

What aerodynamic improvements allow variable geometry wings to be omitted on modern fighter aircraft?

This sounds like a duplicate of Why aren't variable swept wings being used in newer military aircraft? of which there is at least one existing duplicate, but this question is different. This ...

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