Questions tagged [aircraft-systems]

The essential systems found on most aircraft, including power plants, fuel systems, electrical systems, and flight instruments.

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How is fuel dumped in aircraft?

I have heard incidents in which commercial aircraft are required to dump fuel in event of an emergency to avoid landing over maximum landing weight. What systems do aircraft have in place to dump fuel?...
shortstheory's user avatar
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17 votes
4 answers

How does the Guardian counter-MANPADS system work?

I came across this picture of a FedEx McDonnell Douglas DC-10 equipped with an anti-missile defense system. ( According to the picture description: FedEx became the first U.S. ...
shortstheory's user avatar
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38 votes
3 answers

Are fighter jets designed to be so inherently unstable that a human can't fly one unassisted?

I'm told that in order to be more maneuverable fighter jets are designed in a way that makes them impossible for a human to control without the help of a flight computer. Is this actually true? ...
Jae Carr's user avatar
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9 votes
3 answers

Is there any electrical component on an aircraft which can never be turned off by a pilot?

Am I correct to assume that every electrical system on an aircraft can be manually switched OFF/ON by the Pilot OR is there indeed any system, on which the Pilot does not have the ability to switch ...
E.P.D.I's user avatar
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10 votes
1 answer

Is there a real risk of ingesting FOD into jet engines when using thrust reversers?

In the discussion of Why doesn't the A380 use its outboard thrust reversers, one of the reasons given was that engines 1 and 4 would be at great risk of ingesting debris. It was pointed out that the ...
Phil Perry's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer

How do you sump fuel when it's raining outside?

I've been taught to always sump the plane's fuel system before going flying to check for water / contamination / proper fuel grade. However, I've yet to go flying in rain. What's the proper procedure ...
Mike's user avatar
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14 votes
1 answer

Why does manifold pressure increase when you turn on carb heat?

So everyone knows that carb heat decreases engine performance. Yet when we check the heat during run-up, the manifold pressure increases. Why is that? Shouldn't adding carb heat cause the intake air ...
Steve V.'s user avatar
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35 votes
7 answers

Why do airplanes use AC electric power?

Primary electric power on larger airplanes is provided as AC. What aspects of aircraft make AC a better choice than DC?
fooot's user avatar
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40 votes
4 answers

What is a "Flight Director"?

What is a Flight Director, and how does it differ from Autopilot?
Gabriel Brito's user avatar
18 votes
3 answers

What can the Flight Attendant Panel do?

I've noticed that on some airlines (I may have seen it on SAS) the cabin crew had a small touchscreen at the front of the plane which they were using to select recorded audio messages etc, in both ...
Danny Beckett's user avatar
37 votes
2 answers

How does an alpha (AoA) vane work?

The alpha vane (also called AoA vane) is an external probe used to measure the angle of attack. I have been trying to understand how exactly it works, but I can't find any clear explanation or ...
asheeshr's user avatar
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30 votes
5 answers

Can a Boeing 777 be hacked?

All this confusion over flight 370 has me wondering if it would be possible to hack into an airplane and control the autopilot or other on-board systems in a way that the pilots couldn't regain ...
teynon's user avatar
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10 votes
1 answer

Do airliners have an "anti-pilot" warning system?

In February 2014 a co-pilot hijacked Ethopian Airlines flight 702 and took it to Switzerland. Now in March there is some speculation that Malaysia Airlines flight 370 may have been hijacked and ...
Registered User's user avatar
30 votes
3 answers

How do Ram Air Turbines get deployed?

I understand that most larger jets have a Ram Air Turbine (RAT) in case of total electrical failure (for instance, when you run out of fuel) in order to at least have some hydraulics and a couple of ...
falstro's user avatar
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