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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59
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8answers
15k views

Even after years of research, why are planes unable to keep passengers alive in case of a fiery crash?

Aviation dates back to the 18th century, and since then tremendous research has been put into making aircraft safer and more efficient. Though these efforts have resulted in better aircraft, why are ...
25
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2answers
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What is the lifespan of commercial airframes (in general)?

You always hear that the Boeing 737 have been flying for so many years and the Airbus A310 for that many years, but of course that include new airframes being produced all the time. What is the ...
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4answers
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What is the maximum taxi speed and who defines it?

Which is the maximum speed that an airliner is limited to while taxiing? I know that during 90 degree turns it is 10 knots, but what about long, straight taxiways? 20 knots? 25? 30? More broadly, ...
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7answers
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What sort of issues related to extreme heat (115°F, 46°C plus) would prevent takeoffs or landings?

I recently flew into and out of McCarran Airport Las Vegas (LAS) and a local told me that they never report the air temperature at the airport above 115°F (46°C) because the FAA does not allow ...
9
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1answer
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Why don't airliners have any mirrors or cameras? [duplicate]

It seems odd that airliners do not have an easy way to monitor critical components on the exterior of the aircraft, should for example, a bird or something else strikes hard enough to cause damage. A ...
15
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1answer
3k views

Why can't Norwegian's Boeing 787 operate from Vegas during hot weather?

In a German news article it was stated that the additional weight (Norwegian puts 291 passengers on their 787-8) leads to operations restrictions in Las Vegas when temperature conditions exceed 40°C. ...
13
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2answers
10k views

What is a demonstrated crosswind component?

What is a demonstrated crosswind component? Is it possible to land in a crosswind greater than the demonstrated crosswind component? Is it safe to?
8
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3answers
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Why is stall speed listed in a POH?

In this comment on this question about stall warning systems, it was stated that: You can stall at any airspeed (see this question and this one) and in any attitude, only the AoA is important ...
27
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4answers
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What is the maximum safe bank angle of a 747?

This question arose during the comments of another question, linked for the curious: What does it take to turn a 747 around 180 degrees? Because the discussion was interesting, (and to avoid ...
17
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3answers
5k views

How come planes can endure more positive than negative g's? I.e. how come V-n diagrams are not symmetric?

In this question A380 reverse thrust on only half the engines some doubts were raised about the strength of structures in certain directions. Specifically, Peter Kämpf states: Aluminium and ...
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4answers
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Why does maneuvering speed vary with weight?

Aircraft certified by the FAA under 14 CFR Part 23 have many V speeds, one of them which manufacturers are required to determine and publish in the POH is maneuvering speed, or Va. In aviation, the ...
16
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1answer
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Why would an airplane be approved for ditching?

So, the Learjet 60 that I used to fly has the following limitation: My question, is why would a manufacturer certify an airplane for ditching if it isn't required? The airplane is most likely going ...
12
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1answer
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What protection does Vno provide?

VNO, the airspeed where the green and yellow arcs meet on the airspeed indicator, is the "maximum structural cruising speed" (FAR 1.2). An airplane should only be flown above VNO in calm air. ...
14
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7answers
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Can aircraft other than rockets go to space?

I always wondered if it was possible for planes and other aircraft to leave the Earth's atmosphere. Normal commercial transport airplanes can fly pretty high, but then they need air to get the speed ...
18
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6answers
2k views

What are the factors that limit how long an aircraft can stay aloft?

The most obvious one is fuel. Many modern military aircraft, however, are capable of refueling in mid-air. Crew fatigue, another obvious one, can also be addressed by rotating a crew out, and is a non-...
25
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4answers
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Is the aircraft used by NOAA specially modified?

I have just seen this short video showing "NOAA hurricane hunters" flying through current hurricane "Irma". My guess is that normally an aircraft would not be able/allowed to fly in winds sustained ...
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3answers
3k views

How do "fundamentally unstable" aircraft deal with the risk of computer failure?

As technology becomes more advance airplanes are becoming less and less stable. In flight school I learned that it's dangerous to load a Cessna out of it's CG range, and now in college (for aerospace ...
11
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2answers
7k views

What determines crosswind limits?

What is typically the limiting factor for how large a crosswind component a given plane can be safely landed in? My impression is that larger planes are less sensitive to crosswind than smaller ones -...
22
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4answers
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Is there a legal maximum altitude?

In the US, is there a highest legal altitude allowed for certain planes and does it depend on the plane? I heard from a sort-of-reliable source that the maximum is 45,000 feet but I haven't been able ...
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3answers
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What are the consequences of throttling up past 100% of N1?

The B737 is probably my favorite aircraft and I'm always sure to never throttle past 100% of N1. I was told the aircraft is pretty much totaled if you take N1 past 100% but you can eke out that extra ...
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3answers
399 views

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 ...
17
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4answers
56k views

What is a Cessna 172's maximum altitude?

What is the maximum altitude at which a Cessna 172 can fly?
34
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6answers
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What is the biggest airplane that does not need a paved runway?

Since we don't need a control tower for instrument landings I was wondering what else that is thought to be needed could be skipped. I know some small general aviation is done on grass runways and I ...
26
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9answers
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Why do airports have to close in bad weather?

Shouldn't aircraft be able to withstand winds of up to 100 mph? When flying the wind is at a much higher speed than that. Shouldn't they be able to take-off through fog using instruments alone? ...
17
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1answer
3k views

Is it legal to overload a plane in Alaska?

Is it true that it's legal to fly a plane over max gross weight in Alaska? If so, what are the rules?
10
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2answers
991 views

Does a quadcopter have flight modes beyond traditional aircraft?

Quadcopters, by virtue of software-piloting rather than human-piloting, are capable of new modes of flight. I've seen one in which the machine maintains altitude despite the loss of two rotors by ...
17
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1answer
4k views

Is there anything extra required to spin a Cessna 172 in the Utility category?

I'm trying to find a suitable aircraft to get my spin endorsement for my CFI rating but am running into trouble with most aerobatic aircraft due to my height (too tall). My last thought is that I ...
16
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3answers
7k views

Is it legal to takeoff in a crosswind that exceeds the design limit of my aircraft?

Suppose the max crosswind rated for my C-182 is 15kts, but the wind is directly across and gusting to 20kts. Is it legal for me to go? I've heard plenty hangar flying stories of many an operation ...
16
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3answers
865 views

Why couldn't my aircraft depart fully fueled on a 44C day?

My flight from Abudhabi to SFO was postponed. Official reason given to us was outside temperatures were too high - around 44+ degree Celsius and aircraft can not take off with full fuel loads at such ...
15
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1answer
4k views

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 & ...
8
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1answer
2k views

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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2answers
979 views

Does MMO (limiting Mach number) assume any maneuvering limits?

This answer to a question about emergency descents notes: [Y]ou can accelerate descents by banking the aircraft into a turn. This allows you to increase angle of attack, thus increasing drag to ...
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2answers
2k views

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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1answer
8k views

Where can I find the various operating limitations of the ATR 72-500? [closed]

Where can I find the various operating limitations of the ATR 72-500? Is there any document that lists them?