Questions tagged [airplane]

A heavier-than-air fixed-wing aircraft propelled by one or more engines.

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70
votes
15answers
17k views

Why don't commercial airplanes carry Earth-observing instruments?

Governments and private companies spend hundreds of millions of dollars to send Earth-observing satellites to capture imagery or scan the terrain with lasers or radars. Meanwhile, commercial planes ...
42
votes
10answers
12k views

Is it possible to fly backward if you have really strong headwind?

Is it possible to fly a plane backwards if you have a really really strong headwind? I mean when you are aloft, you have positive airspeed and airflow over the wings but you have negative ground speed....
25
votes
5answers
3k views

Why does airflow separate from the wing during stall?

What causes the airflow separation from the airplane wing, that triggers a stall? To be more precise, what is the detailed explanation of the physics for why flow separation occurs at certain speeds ...
23
votes
3answers
2k views

Can this aircraft wreckage be identified?

I live in Salinas (central coast California) and there’s an old plane wreck (located within the boundaries of Toro Park County Park in a remote section). On a hike yesterday, we located and took some ...
22
votes
1answer
3k views

Why does the Antonov 225 needs 6 crew members?

Why does the Antonov 225 need 6 flight deck crew? What are they called and what do they do?
20
votes
3answers
6k views

Why do non-aerobatic aircraft have a negative G limit?

Why do airplane wings have limit load of both positive and negative g's (e.g., the Weedhopper ultralight has a load factor of +5 and -2gs). Why not just have a positive limit load since most airplanes ...
19
votes
7answers
7k views

What is wrong with a high-speed landing for an ultralight or GA aircraft?

Is it okay to land an ultralight or a general aviation plane at a speed higher than the recommended landing speed for such plane? Will there be any damage if the descent rate is very low?
19
votes
2answers
2k views

What's the function of the plate behind the wheels of the Pilatus Porter?

Anyone knows what's the plate behind the wheel of the Pilatus Porter for?
17
votes
7answers
6k views

Why are airplanes described as the safest method of transportation? [closed]

I will have my first flight tomorrow. It is my first time that I get into an airplane, and by the time am writing this post, I am feeling anxious and stressed a lot. I even don't talk to anyone as it ...
16
votes
5answers
6k views

How do planes maintain constant speeds at cruise altitudes?

I'm a noob so pardon my ignorance. So my understanding is that as the plane gets lighter during the flight, its mass reduces therefore reducing the lift needed to maintain the altitude. At those ...
14
votes
3answers
1k views

What is a biplane propeller and how efficient is it?

Lazair ultralight series II used biplane props to absorb more power from the engine....so my question is what really is a biplane propeller and are they efficient in comparison to a four bladed prop?
12
votes
2answers
3k views

Why are the angle-of-attack sensors on most airplanes mounted on the forward fuselage rather than at the wing roots?

A source of reliable angle-of-attack information is important for airplanes, as flight at an excessively-high angle of attack can cause the airplane to stall, which is generally considered to be an ...
10
votes
1answer
6k views

Is a magnetic compass required for VFR (day) flight in powered aircraft?

As the title suggests, Is a magnetic compass required equipment for VFR (day) flight in powered civil aircraft? I have always been under the impression it was. My question arises from reading CFR ...
9
votes
2answers
4k views

Why are airplanes called ‘she’?

What is the reason that airplanes in English have a female gender? Please illuminate the historical or scientific reason.
8
votes
2answers
343 views

What is the type of the seaplane at the end of runway 18L on Schiphol Airport?

From 47 to 52 seconds into this video we can see a seaplane parked in a small pool of water. What type of plane is this and when did the plane fly for the last time?
8
votes
2answers
2k views

How does an airplane move itself in the runway? [duplicate]

Basically do they move themselves using their powerful jet/propeller engines to propel themselves forward or do they just use an engine that powers the wheels used for landing? I'm not really asking ...
8
votes
1answer
384 views

Lift distribution on biplanes

This Wikipedia page about biplanes says in a wing of aspect ratio 6, and a wing separation distance of one chord length, the biplane configuration will only produce about 20 percent more lift than ...
7
votes
5answers
1k views

Is it legal to make emergency landing on roads?

Recently I've seen many videos of planes landing on car road. Is this legal? Does this only apply to only USA or even other countries?
7
votes
4answers
2k views

What is the backup for a glass cockpit, if a plane loses power to the displays/controls?

I'm assuming there is still power to the rest of the plane - maybe it's an unrealistic scenario.
6
votes
3answers
3k views

What are the disadvantages of using just rudder to roll an airplane?

Ultralights with slight dihedral will roll and yaw on rudder input (e.g the Bloop 3, Maxair Hummer) so some don't have ailerons for the sake of simplicity. Is this kind of control input advisable, or ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the purpose of drag and anti drag wires?

What are drag and anti drag wires,and how important are they to the performance and strength of the wings of an airplane?
5
votes
1answer
266 views

A commercial jet with rear tail-mounted engines and 3+3 seat pattern?

I have just spotted a cameo in one of the old CSI:NY episodes. External shot showed a commercial jet, rather big aircraft, with rear tail-mounted engines. While internal shots shown 3+3 seat rows ...
5
votes
2answers
200 views

Positions of drag wires in a bay

Take a good look at the small dots • on the bays of this two spar wing. My question is: Are the drag and anti drag wire as seen in bay 1 supposed to connect to the root of the compression tube Or ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Can I use PVC pipes for the rib on the wings of my homemade airplane? [closed]

Can I use a PVC pipe as the rib of the wings of my homemade airplane?A rib is already load tested, and it failed at 40kg of weight and it is supposed to hold just 10kg in flight.
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Why are general aviation planes so expensive? [duplicate]

My question simply is why are GA planes so expensive? I can understand that an airliner is an incredible money sink simple because of the size, complexity, development cost and especially the ...
4
votes
4answers
564 views

Is it possible to hack an airplane while it's moving (in general)?

I recently searching Airbus Careers section, and I can say that I saw too many Cyber Security job positions. It was saying in the job description that there is a need of having knowledge about ...
4
votes
1answer
403 views

Is the term “small” applied differently between piston engine planes and jet engine planes? [closed]

My understanding was that "small" covered planes up to 12,500 pounds, no matter the engine type. Would that be gross weight/max takeoff weight? Brought to mind by the two recent Cessna Citation ...
4
votes
2answers
662 views

Why do autogyros exist? [duplicate]

This question has been intriguing me for some time. In Autogyro the rotary blades merely acts as what fixed wings act in normal aircrafts to generate lift. So why not simply have a fixed wing instead ...
4
votes
1answer
321 views

What is this aviation quote?

I remember hearing a quote about aviation that was something along the lines of “asking a pilot why he loves flight is like asking an artist (or a painter?).....”. For the life of me, I cannot ...
4
votes
5answers
371 views

Can you fly 2000 miles on an engine that costs less than $500k? If so, what type of engine?

Ok so Im exploring ways to bring cargo and medical supplies to various rural cities in say Africa without relying on ground infrastructure. Just short and cheap runways spread around the continent. It ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

How can I compute the minimum possible bank angle for a turn with a given radius?

I know that I can find an upper bound for the bank angle for a plane, if I know the maximum sustained load factor of that plane because the roll angle and the load factor $n_z$ in a turn are directly ...
4
votes
3answers
261 views

Freezing cold cabin housing just under a window

I flew on a Boeing 737 plane yesterday and was sitting next to 2 windows. When I tried to rest my arm on the inner housing of the cabin during the flight, I noticed that the inner cabin housing just ...
4
votes
1answer
3k views

Is it best to use a thick airfoil or an undercambered airfoil for slow speed flight?

The more the thickness,the more the frontal resistance,hence the more the drag a thick airfoil will produce. Under cambered can help increase lift without increasing the airfoil thickness , therefore ...
3
votes
4answers
508 views

Could modern military aircraft be retrofitted to work with alternative fuels instead of kerosene?

I am geologist and I have heard in 50 years petroleum will be nearly gone. I know for commercial planes there are working projects with clean energy. I can be wrong, but I think military systems ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Is lift force less than weight during a descent?

In the above image lift is the same during a climb and during a descent. Is lift force not supposed to be less than weight during a descent? Secondly, does descending at an airspeed much lower than ...
3
votes
1answer
213 views

How to calculate the shear centre of a wing?

How is shear centre of a wings calculated? i.e. how can I calculate the wing shear centre of a two spar wing with main spar at 0% of wing chord and rear spar at 75% of wing chord? (Assuming the two ...
3
votes
0answers
159 views

How does pitot tube shape affect indicated airspeed? [closed]

Air flow over wings and engine inlets greatly changes due to a number of factors, such as atmospheric conditions, speed, and the design of the surfaces. On some engines you can see mist behind the ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Is airfoil thickness proportional to drag coefficient?

Does increase in the thickness of a camber airfoil mean more drag will be produced? Why do slow flying planes have thick airfoils when it will just slow them down even more?
2
votes
1answer
511 views

Strut braced or wire braced airplane wings?

For an ultralight (or other airplane designed for slow flight), would a strut-braced or wire-braced wing be more efficient aerodynamically?
2
votes
1answer
229 views

Is it a good thing that ailerons remain deflected and the stick is hard to move?

The aileron stick of my homebuilt ultralight is stiff (hard to move) and the aileron itself can remain in its deflection angle hands free, is that a good thing?
2
votes
1answer
120 views

Do commercial passenger airplanes have cambered airfoils?

It seems to me that they logically would, since they have no need to fly upside down like an aerobatic plane would (so they would not need a symmetric airfoil for any conceivable reason). That being ...
2
votes
1answer
199 views

Why can’t electric motors be used in aviation [duplicate]

Why can’t electric motors be used in aviation? Is it a problem with batteries, torque, or what? From what I’m aware motors at high torque are expensive and need a massive footprint, than a high rpm ...
2
votes
1answer
315 views

Does the wing to fuselage fittings of an airplane ever experience shear load?

Do wing attach fittings of semi-cantilevered plane (i.e. ultralights) ever get subjected to shear force? For example during roll, does the centrifugal force of the wings load the wing attach fittings ...
2
votes
2answers
192 views

To determine wing loading, do you need to subtract the weight of the wing from the gross weight?

Is it true that I must subtract the weight of my ultralight wing from the gross weight of my airplane inorder to determine the wing loading of my ultralight airplane? If yes,why is this so? I read a ...
2
votes
1answer
116 views

How to manage anxiety just before flying? [closed]

I am new to aviation and flying. I have a one hour trip that is making me anxious and sleepless. How can I manage the fear and is it safe or just like the news we hear on news?
2
votes
1answer
123 views

How do you spot the difference between an A320 and a B737? [duplicate]

I'm constantly having problems with identifying aircraft, and was wondering whether there are any tricks with easily identifying whether an aircraft was a Boeing 737 or Airbus A320?
1
vote
5answers
884 views

Why wing ribs have diagonal struts

Why do ribs have diagonal struts,why not vertical as seen in airfoils of Citabria airplane?
1
vote
2answers
408 views

Are there any airplanes with the Centre of Gravity behind the Centre of Pressure? [duplicate]

We are used to seeing a forward CG in all airplanes, from a small Cessna to a large Boeing. I wonder whether any airplane with CG behind wing CP exists in production? Is it even possible? If so, what ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

What are (wing area)/(weight) ratio in birds and airplanes? [closed]

I like to know the usual ratio of wing area over weight in birds and airplanes? I mean if total weight of an airplane is 100 Lbs(Kg), how much should be the least ...
1
vote
1answer
418 views

What is the purpose of this span wise “false spar” on Affordaplane wings?

This is the wing of an Affordaplane Ultralight,what is the use of those spanwise foam boards between the foam ribs,I know it's not for aesthetics.