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Questions tagged [aircraft-design]

Questions about the different choices that aircraft designers (typically aerospace engineers) make in order to create an aircraft.

29
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3answers
7k views

Aircraft pilot's seats: what is the notch for?

If you do a Google or Bing search for "Aircraft Pilot Seat" then choose images, you might notice a large number, perhaps majority of them, have a notch cut out of the front of the seat. What is this ...
18
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5answers
3k views

Why was a Lockheed L-1011 chosen by Orbital ATK for its Pegasus launches?

Not sure whether this fits better here in Aviation, or would be better suited for Space, but since the question is about a terrestrial aircraft, I'll start it out here. The topic of my question is ...
14
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5answers
6k views

Why do passenger jet manufacturers design their planes with stall prevention systems?

I understand why passenger jets use software that overrides pilot inputs that might cause the jet to exceed the flight envelope. But why do passenger jet manufacturers design their planes with stall ...
5
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2answers
1k views

Do some aircraft now have “full aircraft” parachutes?

I was intrigued to see this mentioned in passing, http://robbreport.com/aviation/cirrus-aircrafts-vision-sf50-personal-jet-completes-flight-testing-video Is it true that some new products now have ...
0
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0answers
74 views

Dust and biofilm accumulation in pitot tubes [on hold]

Are extreme dust storms such as those described in past news stories in Cairo and Khartoum already addressed in pitot cleaning procedures for scheduled and unscheduled maintenance? For example: ...
1
vote
2answers
204 views

Why are fuel pump switches separate?

Since engines are run only when the fuel pumps are on and vice versa , why are there separate switches for this? Why can't it be automated ?
64
votes
5answers
28k views

What determines the maximum altitude a plane can reach?

What factors determine the maximum altitude for a plane? Is it limited by wing design, engine thrust, and so on? Is there a formula by which one can calculate the maximum altitude a plane can reach?
3
votes
1answer
182 views

Could the S.H.I.E.L.D. C-17 actually have a sensible center of gravity?

In a question about whether tail surfaces add to lift, I thought of a fictional example where the tail surface very much adds to lift: The Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D C-17, highly modified and super-engined....
-1
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1answer
79 views

What is a shroud (in aviation terms or engineering terms)?

Please can someone explain what a shroud is and give examples of types of shrouds and their uses on aircraft?
2
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1answer
255 views

Is there less vertical space for an engine under the wing of a 737 Max than for an A320neo?

The source of this question is the understanding that the LEAP-1B couldn't fit under the wing of a 737 without changing its longitudinal position. But this wasn't the case with the design of the LEAP-...
6
votes
1answer
4k views

Why doesn't a full yoke deflection also change the stabilizer trim on the Boeing 737 MAX?

Various websites have stated that during the 737-MAX crash in Indonesia, the pilots could not pitch up because of a faulty AOA sensor pitching the plane down. The stabilizer has a rear fulcrum and ...
-1
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1answer
257 views

Why is Boeing being blamed for the recent 737 Max crashes? [closed]

Boeing has received more than 5,000 orders for the aircraft, it has delivered 350 so far and only 2 of them have crashed. That's not a very high crash rate. The FAA, until just a day ago, was very ...
13
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2answers
3k views

Why is the horizontal stabilizer root interface designed this way?

What is this around the horizontal stabilizer of an Airbus A330? Source It looks like the tail is bionic... compared to this Embraer ERJ-170 trimmable stabilizer. Source What is the purpose of ...
21
votes
9answers
7k views

Has a fixed-wing aircraft ever been built that featured multiple turbines powering a single propeller?

Has a fixed-wing aircraft ever been conceived, prototyped or built that features multiple turbines powering a single propeller? The concept of a twin-engine aircraft with a single propeller is ...
35
votes
4answers
25k views

Why was Concorde's cockpit so complex?

Source Why was this cockpit much more complex than any other modern day aircraft or a fighter jet? It looks to have many more buttons and controls, and very small (interesting) screens. Also, its ...
3
votes
3answers
63 views

Load factor and how does velocity affect it?

An aircraft initially flying level with a velocity of 130 m/s pulls into: a turn of radius 300m at constant altitude (i.e. a horizontal circle) with constant velocity; a loop (i.e. a ...
4
votes
4answers
459 views

Could a C-130 Hercules be built using WW2 technology?

I'm looking at this as a "time traveller carrying only designs in his head" scenario. Obviously turboprop engines are out of the question, but how close in capability would it be possible to get a C-...
7
votes
1answer
387 views

Did the cusp in the Boeing 377/C-97/KC-97’s fuselage structure cause fatigue problems?

The Boeing 377 Stratocruiser - a civilian adaptation of the C-97, a military transport which would also later be developed into the KC-97 - were derived from the B-29/B-50 family by grafting a large, ...
23
votes
1answer
1k views

What's the red light in the left wing of a N.A. T-6 for?

There's a yearly flight show near my location, and there's always this North American T-6 (D-FUKK): Today, I noticed that there's a single white light in the leading edge of the right wing, but a ...
7
votes
4answers
4k views

Why has aluminium, rather than steel, prevailed in airliner construction?

As any cyclist knows, steel has many advantages over aluminium: it's stronger (for the same size) it can handle greater forces without needing to be stiffer it has better fatigue characteristics it's ...
19
votes
6answers
3k views

Why are almost all STOL aircraft high-wing?

Isn't ground effect a big factor in STOL operations? Don't low wings produce greater ground effect than high wings? Or is it a practical concern, that most real-world STOL operations are in ...
19
votes
4answers
8k views

Why are special aircraft used for the carriers in the United States Navy?

Why are aircraft such as the legacy F-14 and now the F/A-18 used by the US Navy carriers? It seems to me that developing a new aircraft from the ground up is very expensive. Is it not possible to ...
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3answers
193 views

Why Buy A C182/172 Instead Of An C180/170? [closed]

So a thought came to my mind which covers not only Cessna planes but all others. The Taildraggers need a little bit less runway becayse AOA on takeoff is good and that AOA eliminates the need of ...
61
votes
8answers
21k views

Why are military drones shaped so strangely?

Military drones, such as the Predator drone or the Global Hawk, tend to have a weird shape with a whale-like head, and engines concentrated at the back. The wings tend to be of very high aspect ratio, ...
9
votes
1answer
531 views

In a piston aircraft, how much noise is generated by the engine, and how much by the propeller?

I've been reading quite a few articles lately about how noise complaints from GA airports across the country. One of the common suggestions to fix the issue is to simply use an electric engine ...
0
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3answers
125 views

How to determine angle of bank caused by shift in centre of gravity in an aircraft?

I’m trying to figure out the angle of a bank caused by a shift in the centre of gravity of an aircraft. How should I do this? What avenues should I go down to calculate this? I know that the plane ...
3
votes
3answers
261 views

What is compressibility drag?

I don't mean wave drag here. What is compressibility drag, which is understood to be a form of miscellaneous drag?
13
votes
1answer
762 views

Why are there so few aircraft that had inhabited wings?

According to an answer by John Frazer The only successful plane with inhabited wing might have been the Ju-38 Is this true? In the whole history of aviation there was only one aeroplane with ...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

Why does the DC-9-80 have this cusp in its fuselage?

The fuselage of the McDonnell Douglas DC-9-80 (marketed as the "MD-80") has a pronounced cusp at floor level, as can be seen in this diagram (courtesy of Boeing, eater of McDonnell Douglas - at least, ...
0
votes
2answers
225 views

Why do the B747 of NASA Shuttle Carrier Aircrafts (SCAs) need additional vertical stabilizer?

Here is picture of B747 SCA of NASA and the AN-225 SCA. There are additional vertical stabilizer in the tip of the elevator to the Boeing's, while the AN-225 is designed with the vertical stabilizer ...
51
votes
3answers
13k views

Could a Dyson fan scale up to be used as a bladeless aircraft engine?

Dyson has been making bladeless fans for a few years now that accelerate a consistent stream of air without exposed blades. If this concept were applied to aircraft engines, it could potentially ...
0
votes
1answer
87 views

How to stabilize the aircraft flight after dropping boosters? [closed]

I want to make aircraft model with boosters, but i don't know how to stabilize it. Аfter dropping the boosters, the center of mass of the aircraft will change, and I would also like to know whether it ...
0
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0answers
53 views

Source and Impacts of cracks on window pane? [duplicate]

Today, I spotted cracks on the outer window panes, of my aircraft, VT-GWH, a 11 year old A320. The cracks were present on every window pane that I could see. On simple observation, I found that the ...
1
vote
2answers
79 views

How are these parameters derived from readings of sensors in an aircraft: angle of attack, slip angle, and airspeed?

From what I've learned, the reading comes from an angle of attack sensor and a slip angle sensor. Let's call the readings $\hat\alpha$ and $\hat\beta$ respectively. These are of either the ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

Why do some aircraft (e.g. Avro RJ85) have rear-mounted air brakes?

I recently saw an Avro RJ100 on approach and I wondered why the Avro RJ100 and also the RJ85 have the air brakes at the rear of the aircraft, and not on top of the wings like most airliners? (...
3
votes
2answers
157 views

What prevents aircraft with a tailcone APU from using tail-mounted airbrakes?

The BAe 146 and Fokker F-28, which are virtually alone among jetliners in lacking thrust reversers, compensate by using large, tail-mounted airbrakes to help slow the aircraft during descent and ...
0
votes
1answer
73 views

Force Balance in Wind Tunnel

I am considering a model wing inside a wind tunnel supported from underneath from its center of mass. Two load cells can be used, when properly oriented, to measure the lift force and the drag force. ...
0
votes
0answers
22 views

What is the relationship between the Center of Pressure and flap deployment?

I have been reading regarding the Center of Pressure of an airfoil (Cp) and the relationship with angle of attack. What is a good way to explain in layman's terms why the pressure changes in such a ...
3
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1answer
95 views

How many variations are there of the Avro Lancaster?

How many different variations of the Avro Lancaster are there?
2
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3answers
568 views

MD81: Why are there so many lights on the fuselage?

Looking at this photo I can see lots of lights on the fuselage of this MD81. It can't be a reflection, can it? Source: Airliners.net Why are there so many lights?
15
votes
3answers
3k views

Why does this regional jet have its air brakes wide open before touchdown?

I was looking at a detailed picture of a plane while following its path on Flightradar24.com. Here is the Avro RJ45 I am talking about: I wonder why its aerobrakes at the empennage seems wide opened ...
17
votes
2answers
16k views

How does chord length affect wing design?

In comments on the answer to a question about transonic speeds and control surfaces I came across this comment and I'm having a hard time understanding it. If you increase the chord, lift goes up ...
12
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3answers
34k views

How does wing sweep increase aircraft stability?

I was told at one point that the sweep of a wing can help with the straight line stability of the craft, in fact I think it's one of the main systems that keeps flying wings flying straight (like the ...
28
votes
8answers
5k views

Could there ever be a fully solar powered airliner capable of transatlantic flights?

Could a new or a modified existing airliner, e.g., a Boeing 737, be fully powered by solar energy and make the normal length trips aviation-fuel powered aircraft make?
11
votes
3answers
6k views

Why does the J58 engine of the SR-71 have a diffuser after the inlet spike?

I heard that the diffuser allows the compressed air after the inlet spike to "spread out". What does this mean? If this means expansion, wouldn't it be beneficial to have it compressed before entering ...
3
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2answers
82 views

Certification of Aircraft Phone/Tablet Mounts/Holders

I would like to know, whether it is required for such items to be certified for application on genaral and/or commercial aircraft: https://www.rammount.com/part/RAM-B-166-MP1U https://mgfproducts....
1
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1answer
136 views

What is the most effective of propeller's rotation in a two-propeller engine airplane?

Consider two-propeller airplane as picture below (picture 1 (the above) and picture 2 (the below)). Which one is the most effective configuration to produce thrust power, stability, structural design, ...
1
vote
1answer
279 views

Could the Cruise-Efficient STOL configuration be as efficient as a conventional airliner?

The Cruise-Efficient Short Take Off and Landing (CESTOL) is a NASA project. There is a video here: The configuration is a conventional fuselage at the very front of ...
11
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3answers
3k views

Why does the F-111 have a capsule ejection system rather than a conventional system?

Following on from the questions F-111 emergency landing with no wheel; what is done to reduce risks when loosing a wheel? and Are there any known incidents of ejections by capsule? What are the ...
0
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3answers
198 views

What makes an airplane STOL?

I watch STOL pilot champs Zenith CH701 here. The engine power are: 130 HP, 80 HP, 120 HP and 100HP, respectively. Amazing. As per my observation, the third airplane ...