# Questions tagged [aircraft-limitations]

All aircraft have specified performance limitations that they cannot (or at least should not) exceed, for altitude, speed, weight etc.

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### Is there a tailwind limit while in cruise?

The storm Ciarán is, as of posting, making its way through the Atlantic Ocean with winds easily passing 300 km/h (161 kts). While this is going on, a BA flight took only 8 h 45 mins to do LAS-LHR with ...
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### Why does the maximum allowable load factor vary with airspeed in some aircraft?

In this ASE answer What is the maximum safe bank angle of a 747?, the author writes: If we stay with stationary turns (without the "falling out of the sky" part), the maximum bank angle is ...
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### accelerated turns in helicopter

In flight Manual of Russian Mi-17 helicopter, it is give that ”max bank permitted in accelerated turns is 45 deg up to 1km altitude”. At the same time it also mention max bank permitted is 30 deg up ...
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### What is the maximum pitch achievable in a medium-powered airplane?

One of the answers to this question proposes a maneuver in which the plane is pointed almost vertically. Obviously, an aircraft with a high thrust-to-weight ratio can achieve this simply by climbing, ...
1 vote
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### Can Obstacle Limitation Surfaces Change over time?

I want to know whether the OLS (Obstacle Limitation Surfaces) around an aerodrome can change over time? I know that if the ground level was altered this would change the limits of each surface. ...
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### Aircraft CG limitations: what drives constraints beyond max weight & a single forward (and aft) limit?

In a chart like the one below, limitations on the max aircraft weight (upper horizontal line), forward-most CG (left vertical line), and aft-most CG (right vertical line) are fairly easy to understand....
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### Why did the Concorde have a prohibition on droop-nose/windscreen-visor operation below 500 feet AGL?

Part of the Concorde's aircraft limitations, from this answer: The last line of the given excerpt, and the one that this section concerns, reads: Nose and/or visor operation must not be made below ...
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### Which aircraft has the highest minimum operating temperature?

Aircraft often have a minimum operating temperature due to fuel, oil, engine, and other limitations. Which aircraft has the highest minimum operating temperature, and why? I'm looking for something ...
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### Could the US military have harnessed the Chinese observation balloon and accessed it without destroying it?

I guess that if it was possible for the US military to have gained control of the Chinese balloon without destroying it, then they would have, especially since they are trying to gather fragments of ...
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### Short Take Off and Landing, and Range

Can a plane have good range with a short take-off and landing (STOL) capability? If not, why. I have noticed STOL planes with lack the better good seat miles per gallon of planes that need longer ...
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### What is really meant by max 240 kt, 220 kt and 185 kt in the picture of Jeppesen chart?

What is really meant by max 240 kt, 220 kt and 185 kt in the picture of Jeppesen chart? What I don't understand is: are the speed limits for waypoints or for routes between waypoints. If speed ...
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### Why should the dust protection on the Mi-17 helicopter not be used above 3000m?

The Russian Mil Mi-17 helicopters have a dust protection device fitted at engine intake (see the rounded part in front of the intake): Its checklist gives an altitude limitation from sea level to ...
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### What would a Category II ILS approach require that a Category III approach wouldn't?

According to @RalphJ's first comment on my earlier question about ILS approaches in an E-Jet sans pitch trim: Are you sure that Cat III approaches are allowed in that condition? Typically, Cat III ...
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### Do private jets ever fly at FL510? If so, at what occasion?

Most private jets have a service ceiling of 51,000 ft. A service ceiling is the altitude at which a plane can climb no more than 500 ft/min, right? However, on flightradar24 I don't remember having ...
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### Engine Bearings Damage in Radial Engines

Studying the P47's dive performance in DCS, I noticed how it's easy to damage the engine bearings if you windmill the prop at high speed. Doing some research, I discovered that all radial engines are ...
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### Why did Concorde have a max pitch down attitude in supersonic flight?

In ITVV Concorde (documentary) as the flight's captain introduced the ADI (attitude director indicator) he explained the dotted line (circled above) as follows: [...] and the little orange dotted ...
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### What is the absolute ceiling of the A319-100, B737-700 and A220?

What is the absolute ceiling of the A319-100, B737-700 and A220? I have found the service ceiling in Jane's and their type certificate data sheets, but nothing on the absolute ceiling.
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### What prevents a small plane like a Cessna or Piper from flying as high as a jet?

Obviously taking oxygen in consideration. What prevents a small plane from being able to fly at a much higher altitude? I know some business jets can fly up to 40,000 ft. Does it have to do with the ...
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### What is "alternate takeoff" in this PT6A performance table?

I am flight mechanic, and I would like to know about this performance limitation: What is the definition of alternate take off? Why is the alternate take off temperature limit (ITT) lower than max. ...
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### Why is the DC-9-80 ("MD-80") prohibited from taking off with a flap setting between 13 and 15 degrees?

A bit of digging into the 7Z9363 accident investigation has brought up some interesting information regarding the DC-9-80 ("MD-80")'s flap system: Flaps may be positioned in any of the six ...
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### Why is there an altitude limitation on operating the slats/flaps on the A320?

As per the FCOM limitations chapter there is an altitude limitation of 20000 feet for operating the flaps/slats on the A320? Why this specific altitude?
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### Why this P-51 limitations placard for diving?

I noticed that this placard has different diving speeds related to altitud. My guess is that those values are a safety speed to prevent going into regions close to Mach 1. I know that the speed of ...
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### What exactly do "attempt" and "cycle" mean in these starter duty limitations?

Can someone please explain me this A320 Starter Duty Limitation in simple terms? E.g. for the CFM56 Starter: No running engagement when N2>20% 4 cycles of max 2 mins Pause between start attempts . ...
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### What is the minimum speed at which the Antonov An-2 can maintain level flight?

The An-2 famously has "no stall speed", as control can be maintained in descent at arbitrarily low airspeed. As wikipedia says: The An-2 has no stall speed, a fact which is quoted in the ...
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### How high can a ramjet go?

Yesterday, there was an off-topic question on Space.SE, asking if a ramjet-missile could place itself in orbit. Impossible for a ramjet, obviously, as it requires a high speed flow of air and is too ...
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### Why can airliners not fly as fast as fighter jets? [duplicate]

Why do passenger aircraft not fly at the speed of fighter jets? What factors stop them from achieving such speed?
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### Why can we not use full throttle in a C172 when cruising at lower altitudes?

My flight training manual (FTM) says that at low altitudes we throttle back our trainers in order to not exceed recommended power settings. We use the Lycoming O-320 engine. But why is that? Is the ...
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### In aircraft where the thrust reversers are not locked out when airborne, is it permissible to go around after reverser deployment?

In general, a go-around, in a jetliner, must either be performed before thrust reverser deployment, or not at all. This is because attempting a go-around after reverser deployment may result in loss ...
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### Why would larger aircraft have higher crosswind takeoff and landing limits than smaller aircraft?

In a response to an earlier question about the paucity of runways at major British airports, a major theme was that the advent of larger, heavier aircraft with higher maximum-crosswind limits for ...
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### What are flight envelope limits of the Stearman Model 75?

Recent monopropeller aerobatic aircraft such as the Zivko Edge 540 have impressive flight envelops limits (up to ±12G, $V_{NE}$ (230 kn) up to 4 times its stall speed ($V_s = 51kn$), low stall speed, ....
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### Why shouldn’t the A330/40’s speedbrakes be used in alternate law?

On page 30 of the ATSB report into the QF72 accident (page 50 of the PDF file of the report), in a table describing the actions required of the flightcrew in response to some of the ECAM messages ...
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### Why are Category II ILS approaches prohibited in an E-Jet with inoperative pitch trim?

Part of the Pitch Trim Runaway checklist for the E-Jet family states that Category II ILS approaches are prohibited if neither pitch trim channel is available: If both pitch trim channels are failed: ...
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### Does burning fuel to get to your max landing weight violate any regulations?

Consider a hypothetical situation where where an unexpected tailwind will cause a flight to arrive at its destination above maximum landing weight. After reviewing all reasonable changes to altitude ...
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### Are fly-by-wire fighters protected in AoA?

When thinking about fly-by-wire, I always think about civilian aircraft (Dassault Falcon 7X, Airbus A350...) for which protections are implemented to ensure the aircraft stays in its designed flight ...
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### What is pressurization influence (if any) on maximum G load an airliner can withstand?

Reading here about skin thickness of airliners I was wondering if, considering some pressurized airliner at cruise altitude, there are differences in maximum operational acceleration loading the ...
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### Why would Boeing be under review if crew-error is determined to be the cause? [closed]

The captain on Lion air's flight 610, re-trimmed the aircraft through 21 MCAS activations. The first officer, who was given control of the aircraft, got 5 more. Although it is speculated that neither ...
1 vote
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### Where and when would a 737-700 be taking off at an altitude of 19 kft?

Another question triggered by reading the 737 technical site; according to this section of the page on the 737's pressurisation system, the 737-700 comes with an option that allows it to safely take ...
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### Why is a 737 Original speed-restricted below 10 kft with inoperative windscreen heating?

According to this page on the 737's operational limitations, the Original 737s (737-100/-200) are limited to 250 KIAS below 10 kilofeet if the windscreen-heating system is inoperative: Anti-Ice & ...
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1 vote
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### Exceeding VLO and by how much is too much?

Piper Seminole (PA-44-180) VLO (max gear retraction speed) is 109 KIAS. I've heard that manufacturer published limitations are significantly lower than actual structural and system limitations. What ...
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### Is it right to extend flaps only in the white arc?

If the cruise speed is >80kts on the downwind leg but I can only extend flaps in the white arc, am I right in saying I need to get to the white arc, even if I'm on - for example - 100kts? For ...
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### Why is FL398 the REC MAX altitude on the A320?

On the A320 PROG page and in our limitations the REC MAX/ MAX FL is listed as FL398. What is the reason behind this ?
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### What makes the Antonov An-2 have no stall speed?

The Antonov An-2 is notable for being able to fly at a very low speed. However, what confuses me is that it has no stall speed: The An-2 has no stall speed, a fact which is quoted in the operating ...
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### What is the largest and heaviest payload ever flown?

Not counting the plane what is the largest or heaviest payload ever flown?
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### How to apply the TO/GA time and EGT limits?

If there is a published 1) EGT limit and a 2) TO/GA time limit, which one should be applied when the EGT is well below the EGT limit and possibly even below the 'max continuous' EGT. Particularly with ...
1 vote
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### 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 ...
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### What is the critical altitude?

What is the definition of critical altitude and why is important to know in Vmc graph? Also, is there any critical altitude in the Piper PA-44 Seminole?
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### What is Temperture of VSI and limits of accurate value?

Within a temperature range of +50C and -20C the VSI is Accurate to within limits of : A)+- 200 ft/min B)+- 0 ft/min c)+- 75 ft/min D)+- 300 ft/min
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### Is extreme wind shear an official classification? Is it rare to land in 65kts headwind, gusting 95kts?

I was a passenger in an A340 during a famous storm 65kts gusting 95kts. Resulted in a go around, but the plane sunk quite fast several times. Is this rare? Are there limits to headwind component? The ...
1 vote
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### If all passengers moved to the back, front or one side, would they crash the plane? [duplicate]

all-time classic: Would the load shift of all passengers herding at the back, front or one side make the plane hard or even impossible to keep in the air ? Are there any passenger aircraft where ...
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