Questions tagged [commercial-aviation]

Commercial aviation is the part of civil aviation, whether general aviation, non-scheduled service, or scheduled airline service, that involves operating aircraft for hire to transport passengers or cargo.

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65
votes
14answers
60k views

Why are commercial flights not equipped with parachutes for the passengers?

I understand that commercial flights are equipped with life vests. I also understand that most military jets are equipped with ejection seats. It may be costly and technically challenging to equip ...
45
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3answers
51k views

Are cargo holds pressurised these days?

This question is only regarding aircraft that seat more than about 100 people. Are cargo holds pressurised these days, what is the situation? Are only some pressurized, most, of every single one? ...
23
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4answers
35k views

What is the measurement system used in the aviation industry?

I saw this question from History Stack Exchange and noted that the US is still using the imperial measurement system such as feet, miles and pounds. Given that a plane may need to fly from one ...
32
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6answers
16k views

Can jet airplanes operate on 'rough' airfields?

A question I've always wondered is: can jet aircraft - not turboprop in this case - operate from 'rough' airstrips. My definition of 'rough' is grass or maybe a smooth mud airfield. I know that there'...
57
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10answers
18k views

Why is there really only one basic design for passenger airplanes?

So when I look around on the airport, I don't really see many differently shaped airplanes. They all look pretty much the same, only subtle differences. Image: Aircraft Recognition Why is this ...
40
votes
12answers
30k views

Why don't all commercial aircraft transmit GPS data in real time?

It seems strange that trucks and taxis can be set up to transmit GPS data in real time but aircraft cannot. Wouldn't this be a useful function and feasible to implement?
22
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5answers
6k views

Why are there no commercial supersonic flights at present?

I'd think that on certain heavily trafficked routes, especially ones with lots of business travelers, there would be a market for high-speed (supersonic) flights? Why are there currently no ...
98
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9answers
18k views

Is there a maximum possible size for an airplane?

Is there any theoretical or practical limit to the maximum number of passengers - and therefore size - one can build an airplane for?
10
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2answers
29k views

Can foreign pilots get an FAA ATPL and work for a US-based commercial airline?

Could a non-US citizen come to the US, receive flight training, earn an FAA CPL and be hired by a US-flagged airline? Are there any specific rules regarding the employment of foreigners as pilots for ...
24
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4answers
9k views

Why doesn't the aviation industry use SI units?

This is a followup to What is the measurement system used in the aviation industry? and related to this question from History. I can understand the arguments as to why adoption of SI units would not ...
16
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3answers
24k views

Why are delta wings not commonly used in commercial airliners?

Delta wings are most commonly seen on military aircraft. I understand that delta wings are ideal for supersonic flight, and provide high maneuverability. Having high maneuverability and speed are ...
41
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3answers
33k views

Why do pilots have the ability to turn off the transponder in-flight?

These days, when reading news about missing Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200, I keep coming across a scenario where pilot might have deliberately turned off the transponder which is used for the ...
39
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8answers
10k views

Why don't airlines load their passengers like freight?

Apparently, the time for boarding and deboarding an airplane is a large cost factor and something airlines try to minimize but have trouble controlling because the passengers do it themselves. A ...
2
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6answers
1k views

Can commercial airplanes be converted to drones?

Is it possible to convert a commercial airplane into a drone, such that if a pilot fails to respond to ATC it can be remotely piloted?
38
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4answers
7k views

Do commercial aeroplanes use ABS to brake?

I have read that the wheel brakes on an aeroplane are by for the most efficient means of stopping it. I was wondering whether in low grip situations, such as in rain or snow, an ABS (Anti-lock Braking ...
13
votes
1answer
3k views

Who manages International Airspace Traffic?

For example, if a plane is flying from Amsterdam to Miami and is in the middle of the ocean, who manages that traffic? The ARTCC? Or the airplane just flies without communicating for some hours until ...
4
votes
2answers
394 views

Would an accurate weight of a loaded aircraft be helpful?

If a commercial aircraft's actual weight at takeoff is accurately known (instead of being estimated), can this help with use of thrust, optimal altitude, etc and therefore fuel savings, emissions etc.?...
29
votes
2answers
10k views

How much of an improvement would a 1% weight decrease on an airplane be to the industry?

Say I thought of a very easy and inexpensive way to reduce the takeoff weight of a commercial airplane (body, fuel and passengers) by 1%. How much would this mean to the industry? Would it make much ...
14
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4answers
3k views

What are the benefits of long-haul airplanes servicing regional routes?

Following this answer. This is actually a set of three different questions: How often airlines "wastes" money, by putting long-hauls (widebody aircrafts) on regional or domestic routes? Are there any ...
12
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6answers
3k views

What are the barriers to feasibility of stratospheric cruising for commercial air travel? (i.e. Concorde?)

In 2003, British Airways retired the Concorde for a few reasons. Rising maintenance costs Lack of demand due to safety concerns Further decrease in demand due to 9/11 attacks additionally, due to ...
11
votes
3answers
50k views

What is the coordinate system used in an Aircraft?

I know that from nose to tail the aircraft is divided by STA (station). At least for Boeing and Airbus this is the case but I am not familiar with other manufacturers. However, there is also two ...
28
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9answers
35k views

Can a large passenger aircraft recover from a stall?

In fighter aircraft, we know that they have good enough of maneuverability. But in case of a passenger airplane, if a stall happens is the aircraft maneuverable enough to recover from it?
49
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5answers
51k views

Why are the lights inside commercial airplanes turned off during take off and landing?

Before landing and taking off, I notice the lights inside commercial aircraft are greatly reduced. I don't buy the explanation of power saving in case full thrust is needed as nowaday lights don't ...
21
votes
1answer
2k views

What is this device they bring on board from the jet bridge when we park?

Every time I deplane a Virgin America A320, I notice that they grab something from the jet bridge, and stuff it between the jump seats. I haven't seen any other commercial airlines with things like ...
14
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3answers
2k views

Airline safety: what happened between 1959 and 1962?

The graph on page 17 (PDF page 18) of this Boeing air safety publication shows the fatal accident rate for commercial jets in the US and Canada dropped from about 40 per million departures in 1959 to ...
12
votes
1answer
798 views

Under what circumstances should the pilot not flying intervene without asking for aircraft control?

The communication between the captain and first officer is of great importance, especially when it comes to agreeing who is the pilot flying. This question asks for the procedures regarding taking/...
12
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3answers
2k views

Are there risks if the side joystick must be handled with a pilot's weaker hand?

Suppose that a first officer were left-handed and a captain were right-handed. Both are NOT ambidextrous. Even after training, what if their weaker hands' control and degree of versatility remain ...
9
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2answers
16k views

How does one become an airline pilot in Australia?

I am 19 years old and from a young age I have always wanted to become a pilot at an airline. Becoming one is my biggest dream, to me an airline pilot is the most coolest jobs - I get goosebumps just ...
8
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1answer
14k views

Do airlines continue operating in the vicinity of a hurricane?

Have hung around some of the aviation interest groups (like airliners.net) and tried to research this but haven't found very clear answers. Typically when a hurricane (tropical, peak wind-speed in ...
13
votes
1answer
683 views

Why might a passenger jet fly at altitudes in a strong headwind when the winds are more favorable at a different altitude?

I was a passenger on an east to west flight recently. During the flight I was playing with Garmin Pilot's new "Flight profile" feature that nicely shows the wind speeds at various altitudes, and I ...
11
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5answers
2k views

Has Airbus planned to build a larger version of the A380?

The current Airbus A380-800 could carry over 800 people. Has Airbus planned to build a new, larger version that could carry 1000 or more passengers?
13
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2answers
5k views

What makes the swooping noise when a jet flies overhead?

I've lived near several airports and have grown accustomed to a certain noise a jet plane makes when passing overhead: a swooping sound, very bass-heavy, that dives rapidly in pitch, maybe 1.5 seconds ...
31
votes
7answers
7k views

Why are jet aircraft never designed with a slower cruise speed?

All jet airliners have a cruise speed between Mach 0.82 and Mach 0.85. At those speeds the aircraft are flying at their maximum subsonic speed. Any greater cruise speed would only be ...
21
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6answers
6k views

What are the factors behind increasing aircraft window sizes?

Modern airliners like the Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 have bigger windows than older designs, like the Boeing 737 and Airbus A320. What factors have led to this change of window size, opposite to the ...
20
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2answers
7k views

Can a sonic boom produced at 60,000' be heard on the ground?

The Concorde normally cruised at an altitude of 55-60,000 feet, but wasn't allowed to fly over populated areas due to the noise it produces. Can the sonic boom of an aircraft at 60,000 feet be heard ...
13
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2answers
1k views

What is this? Multiple small cracks in passenger window

I have seen this many times in typically older aircraft passenger windows and on a recent flight from Sydney to Melbourne I took the following pictures. It appears as if there are small cracks in the ...
12
votes
3answers
5k views

Which Aircraft Models need a Tripod Jack for tail support at airport?

Which are the aircraft models that need their tail to be supported by a jack when empty? Wikipedia says this: Aircraft Tripod Jack They are used to support a parked aircraft to prevent ...
6
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3answers
5k views

Why did Air France retire Concorde? [closed]

It was developed by British Airways and Air France in the 1970s as the first supersonic passenger/civilian airplane.
5
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2answers
3k views

Why do most A320s make that distinct scream on takeoff?

I've noticed that the engines on the A320 make a very a distinct sound on takeoff. Is there something about the CFM-56 series that causes this? This noise can be heard in this video.
4
votes
4answers
904 views

What are the hurdles to overcome before purely electric commercial aircraft can fly?

What are currently the largest issues with purely electric commercial aircraft (large scale ones like the size of a Boeing 737)? Are there any organizations right now that are trying to solve those ...
4
votes
3answers
4k views

Why is the wing of large commercial jet aircraft usually located below the fuselage?

When the wing of an aircraft is located above the fuselage, the aircraft is generally considered more stable. When the wing of an aircraft is located below the majority of the fuselage, the aircraft ...
16
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3answers
46k views

Can commercial airliners fly over hurricanes?

When Patricia was making landfall yesterday I opened up Flight Radar 24 to see if there were any planes flying around or near it. As I had expected, there were a couple of storm watching planes near ...
6
votes
2answers
887 views

Will optimising the weight distribution of a commercial flight save fuel?

Since the centre of gravity must lay in a certain location, I'm wondering if it would save fuel if it lays exactly in the right spot? Let's assume that you have an A320 and weight distribution is ...
2
votes
2answers
379 views

Is solar power used (as auxiliary power) on commercial aircraft?

Are there any commercial aircraft that use solar energy in terms of auxiliary (not as main power source, as of now) power source ? If Yes, In what forms is the solar power used? If No, Why isn't ...
74
votes
10answers
33k views

Is a firm landing an indication of the pilot inexperience?

In a commercial airplane, when a landing has been a bit firm, a passenger may think it was not perfect, or maybe performed by an inexperienced pilot. (Source) A perfect landing is seen by passengers ...
50
votes
6answers
14k views

Why was my flight cancelled due to bad weather while other flights were not?

I'm stuck in Frankfurt. I missed my connection due to a delay. I was rebooked, but this new flight was also cancelled due to bad weather. About 30 percent of all flights were cancelled today. ...
36
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5answers
9k views

Why are commercial airplanes painted at all?

While there was debate over why airplanes are painted white and a question about how much a new paint job costed, what hasn't been asked is why airplanes are painted at all. I remember one airline ...
23
votes
6answers
20k views

Can a passenger request to visit the cockpit during a flight?

As a kid, I remember going to the cockpit of a plane with my mom (I believe the airline was AOM French Airlines). Is this still possible now? I understand the answer might differ with different ...
32
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4answers
7k views

What do flight attendants do if a passenger asks what is going on in case of a potential emergency?

This is related to, but not the same as, another question I asked on Interpersonal Skills. I was on a flight last year, on a route I fly on a fairly frequent basis. Shortly after takeoff, I heard the ...
21
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6answers
7k views

Can a wide body airliner land safely with a full fuel tank?

Can a commercial double-aisle jet aircraft (e.g., 777, A330) land safely with a full fuel tank (minus the fuel spent on taxing and takeoff)? Has that ever happened?