Linked Questions

4
votes
0answers
6k views

Why do (jet) airplanes fly at tropopause (and not higher) [duplicate]

I've got a question which is nearly answered by the following thread however not fully to my satisfaction. Why do jet engines get better fuel efficiency at high altitudes? The question ultimately ...
1
vote
2answers
358 views

Is it the engines or the fuselage that limits service ceiling? [duplicate]

Reading this article about the Northrop Grumman E8 it says the the aircraft will be able to fly higher after engine upgrades. Wouldn't the max service ceiling be limited by the fuselage design too?
0
votes
3answers
157 views

What happens if an aircraft goes above maximum altitude? [duplicate]

We all know what happens when a plane goes overspeed... but what happens when a plane goes above their max. altitude? And why are planes certified maximum altitudes anyway? Is it because there won't ...
0
votes
1answer
568 views

Can a commercial aircraft theoretically reach 60,000ft? [duplicate]

As per this question: Altitudes above 60,000 feet are class E airspace. That means that, if you are lucky enough to have an aircraft that flies that high, once you get there you could theoretically ...
0
votes
1answer
528 views

Calculating the maximum altitude of a drone [duplicate]

Is there an equation to find the maximum altitude that a drone or quadcopter can fly to ?
1
vote
0answers
167 views

Why is the F-16's service ceiling 50,000ft? [duplicate]

What defines the service ceiling for aircraft, in particular the F-16? I suppose, as with almost everything, this depends on the aircraft, the engine type, etc. While I'm fine with a comprehensive ...
50
votes
4answers
9k views

Why are many jet aircraft designed to cruise around FL350-370?

If the flight distance permits, the B737-800 will cruise at FL350, the A320 a little bit higher... Flying at FL370. Photo: Live from the Flight Deck by GolfCharlie232 (reframed) Elements such as ...
59
votes
4answers
30k 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, ...
20
votes
3answers
21k views

What is a high speed stall?

I'm told that planes can actually stall when the airflow over the wing goes past Mach 1? Why does this happen and how do you design an aircraft to avoid it?
14
votes
3answers
5k views

What are the limiting factors for high altitude planes (e.g: U2 or SR71) preventing them from going higher?

I'm curious as to why planes like the U2 Dragon Lady and the SR71 Blackbird couldn't fly higher. What physical constraint set their operational ceiling? Pilots wore spacesuits, so that wasn't the ...
19
votes
3answers
30k views

How high can propeller airplanes fly?

Is there a maximum height a propeller airplane could fly? Some lower bounds for maximum flying altitude: 12,000m (39,370ft): Antonow An-70, produced 1994 12,310m (40,387ft): Lockheed Martin C-130J ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

Why would a Su-25, which has more power and is much lighter than an A-10, only fly half as high?

On the web, on several sites, the A-10 is listed with a ceiling of 14 km, the Su-25 with 7 km, although there is data that puts the height for the Su-25 at 10 km. Nevertheless, why would the Su-25 ...
11
votes
3answers
796 views

Can the plane Celera 500L be eight times more fuel efficient than a jet of similar size and capacity?

Celera 500L (see Otto Aviation site for more details) is a plane with a single propeller powered by a piston diesel engine. The constructor claims it is 8 times more fuel efficient than a jet of about ...
9
votes
3answers
4k views

Is the climb rate different for short-haul flight and long-haul flight?

A short-haul flight does not spend much time in its cruise level (let's say less than two hours). Thus, it is important to rapidly reach the optimal flight level and I think this kind of aircraft ...
5
votes
3answers
3k views

At what altitude does aerodynamic forces become negligible?

If I sail on a boat from North to South the boat will be dragged by the oceans which it floats on, and the oceans are dragged by the Earth. Now when you go higher let say 10 km an airplane will also ...

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