Questions tagged [experimental-aircraft]

For questions about experimental aircraft that have not been granted a type certificate by a regulatory agency.

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64
votes
2answers
19k views

What is this odd aircraft?

What is this aircraft? It was parked at transient parking at the Southern California Logistics Airport. It is a pusher prop driven plane with a conventional tail. High aspect ratio un-swept wings. ...
49
votes
1answer
6k views

What is the purpose of the extra wheel on the XB-70 main gear?

This photo of the XB-70 Valkyrie's main gear shows a small wheel between the two main wheels: Courtsey of AirPigz.com This smaller wheel doesn't touch the ground, though I can see where it might as ...
32
votes
5answers
10k views

Why Didn't the USSR Build An X-15?

In the history of aerospace engineering in the United States, the X-15 is lauded as a critical and necessary step on the path to manned spaceflight. Throttle-able chemical rocket propulsion systems, ...
26
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2answers
6k views

What is this red canister on the tail of the YF-22?

On the tail section of the YF-22 further back in the image below, there is a red canister. What is that canister for? I suppose it is for some flight testing purposes from what I can see. I can't ...
22
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4answers
3k views

Would an aircraft with contra-rotating propellers longer than the plane's wingspan be able to fly?

I enjoy taking the time to try and visualize how fictional aircraft might actually work in reality. Unfortunately there are some that seem highly impractical from an engineering student's point of ...
22
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1answer
1k views

What was enabling control to the pilot on the Snecma C-450 Coléoptère?

Looking at the Snecma C-450 Coléoptère, I was wondering about the (4?) fins towards its tail: Source: Wikipedia Were they able to pivot to help the pilot control the aircraft? If not, what else ...
21
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1answer
1k views

What is the 'arm' at the rear of the X-29?

In this image of the Grumman X-29, there is an 'arm' just above the exhaust nozzle leading forward and, apparently, attached to the right side of the fuselage. What is this and what is it for? Source:...
19
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1answer
1k views

How can the Perlan II glider climb to 90,000 feet?

I've been reading material about the Perlan II experimental glider. They hope to take it up to 90,000 feet -- higher even than an SR-71 BlackBird. But the Perlan II is just a glider. Can it really ...
18
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3answers
2k views

Was there any progress in ramjet-powered helicopters after 1960?

It seems in 1950's some countries investigated production of helicopters powered by ramjet engines on rotor tips - examples include American Hiller YH-32 Hornet or Polish JK-1 Trzmiel. The enthusiasm ...
10
votes
2answers
645 views

What considerations drove the choice of the Solar Impulse engines configuration?

Solar Impulse makes me think of a motorglider due to its aspect ratio. The Upward cranked tips wing configuration along with the engines configuration particularly draw my attention: The 2 innermost ...
10
votes
1answer
3k views

What kind of Chinook helicopter/airplane hybrid is this?

I had this question: Could this helicopter's body be a flying wing? and this picture came up. What kind of helicopter is this? What is the extra wing for?
10
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3answers
15k views

What is the procedure to turn a certified aircraft into an experimental aircraft?

Last year at EAA Airventure I saw a helicopter (can't remember the model, but it was something like a Eurocopter EC135 or similar with a full glass cockpit). It was US registered (N-Number tail) but ...
9
votes
1answer
5k views

Why did the AvroCar fail to fly above 3 feet?

I don’t quite understand why the AvroCar didn’t reach more than 3 feet? Was it a ground effect keeping it at that height and it didn’t have the capability to fly higher?
9
votes
1answer
3k views

What does YF stand for?

I know that F=fighter, A=attack, F/A=fighter/attack, B=bomber. I can not find any information on what YF stands for. This type of aircraft is usually an experimental aircraft, but why do modern ...
9
votes
3answers
750 views

Has anyone researched or built an aircraft that controls pitch and roll by pumping liquid within the airframe?

I am confident I have seen an article couple years ago about a "static surface aircraft" (or at least a concept of it) with no control surfaces, which uses a "wet mass" to adjust its roll and pitch. ...
8
votes
2answers
885 views

How much could human power add to the endurance of an electric gyrocopter?

If we take a single seater electric gyrocopter like this one, could a human-powered propeller like this add to the endurance of the aircraft? The gyrocopter only needs a 32km/h forward speed to stay ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

Why was the experimental MiG 1.44 so similar to the experimental TKF-90?

Why was the MiG 1.44 so similar to the MBB TKF-90? (for some information on the TKF-90 you have to scroll down this question, it is the only one source I knew about this particular plane) Here is the ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

Does FAA simulator (AATD/BATD) count toward experimental rating 1,000 hours requirement?

In the USA, a pilot can obtain an AEA (authorized experimental aircraft) rating to fly demilled surplus military turbojet-powered aircraft under FAA 5-1580(A). Part of its requirements are to have ...
8
votes
1answer
359 views

How are businesses able to use experimental aircraft?

I saw businesses like this using military jets to sell rides to civilians. Since warbirds are considered experimental aircraft, does the FAA issue special certs to fly them commercially? According ...
7
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1answer
685 views

What is this Lockheed Martin plane?

It's on a Lockheed Martin banner showcasing the company's iconic planes. The plane to the left on a crimson background is the U2, and the plane to the right on a blue & tan background is the C130. ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

Why do forward-swept winged fighters have the main wings in the back?

These are the only 2 fighter jets I know of with forward-swept wings. (Su-47 and X-29, they're both still experimental). As you can see, they both have their wings in the back, not the middle. Why is ...
7
votes
1answer
249 views

Can (part of) the fuel in your tanks be considered “property carried for compensation or hire”?

This question brings up that an experimental category aircraft cannot carry "persons or property for compensation or hire". However, this raises a question regarding civil-registry refueling tankers (...
7
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1answer
351 views

Is there a way for an ultralight or powered glider to smoothly enter a jet stream?

Once inside the jet stream altitude 7-15 km is it all that turbulent or is there a way to enter it smoothly for an ultralight plane or a powered glider? More info
6
votes
1answer
1k views

May I fly with passengers on a homebuilt experimental airplane with only a simple PPL?

So I’m in the market for a small two-seater. I see a lot of homebuilts and experimentals listed that are perfectly priced. I have my private pilot certificate but that’s it. Would I be able to fly ...
6
votes
1answer
327 views

Which FAA regulations apply to the Stratolaunch?

(Image source) Which FAA regulations apply to the Stratolaunch being built by Vulcan Aerospace and Scaled Composites? Do they follow the same regulations for the type cert, production and CofA (...
6
votes
2answers
425 views

Can a gyro-copter soar?

If one centers the gyro-copter in a thermal and then simulates a hover facing headwind; can the gyro-copter climb up like that ? Is it technically possible or is it advisable....
5
votes
3answers
1k views

What are the factors required to estimate the minimum required power for an experimental aircraft of a specific mass?

I have already viewed these questions: Basic aircraft performance: how can you calculate the required power? How can I estimate the required T/O power for propeller aircraft? But is there a ...
5
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2answers
391 views

Has a small airplane ever been air launched from a heavy-lift helicopter?

I would like to know if a small airplane, like a Cessna, has ever been air launched from a heavy-lift helicopter, perhaps as a stunt or as an aviation experiment? I think it would have been a simple ...
5
votes
1answer
549 views

What would be the effect of skinning over the gap in fixed leading-edge slats?

The Zenith STOL CH-750 experimental aircraft uses a modified NACA 650-18 airfoil (having a 17% fatter-than-normal thickness) with a fixed leading-edge slat. In an effort to reduce drag and improve ...
5
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1answer
1k views

How come there is no attempt at an “inter-meshing rotorprop” high-speed helicopter?

There are some prototypes of high-speed helicopters, such as the Eurocopter X³ (X-Cubed), Sykorsky X2, and older ones such as the AH-56 Cheyenne. At high speeds, forward and backward traveling rotor ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Can an amateur-built aircraft ever be used for commercial activities?

There are some non-recreational activities, such as aerial photography, wildlife observation, environmental monitoring, etc., that seem well-suited to certain amateur-built aircraft. The open-cockpit ...
5
votes
2answers
774 views

How can someone without a pilot's license arrange an initial test flight for a homebuilt aircraft?

I think this has more to do with culture and expectations than actual rules, so maybe this might attract opinionated answers, but I still want to know what people think: If a person were to construct ...
4
votes
5answers
2k views

Why did the YF-23 never enter service?

The YF-23 was one of the most stealthy aircraft of all time and had a range capability of 2,000 miles (that's more than some airliners can travel) but never entered service. The F-22, has high ...
4
votes
2answers
633 views

Could the vertical stabilizer be removed on the NASA X-57?

I was reading this article about how NASA will develop this new X-57 X-plane which has many tiny electric motors mounted on the wing. Now, I wonder: How come this aircraft still has a vertical ...
4
votes
1answer
348 views

Are there experimental aircraft regulations in Germany?

The title is the question. Are there any special regulations regarding experimental aircraft in Germany (or the EU)? Those "special regulations" would (hopefully) be looser set of regulations in ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Is it legal to rent out an experimental aircraft?

Is it legal to rent out an E-AB aircraft (not a light sport aircraft)? The aircraft will not be used for hire or compensation but to rent out to a pilot who wants to fly from point A to point B. ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

If I were to scratch build a helicopter, as the manufacturer, would I need a pilot's license to fly it?

If I were to scratch build a helicopter, as the manufacturer, would I need a pilot's license to fly it while its in the experimental stage? This is in the USA, but I'd be interested in how it plays ...
3
votes
1answer
265 views

Would “Mad” Mike Hughes' steam-powered rocket have been certified airworthy by the FAA?

Daredevil 'Mad' Mike Hughes died after his homemade rocket crashed on 22 February 2020. The cause appears to be the premature deployment of the parachute used for a safe return. He was hoping to reach ...
3
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1answer
1k views

Can I do an instrument rating checkride in an experimental aircraft?

The EAA has a document that strongly suggests that IFR operation in Experimental Aircraft is legal. The necessary equipment is described in 91.205. Provided all this is met, as well as all other IFR ...
3
votes
1answer
556 views

Why does the NASA GL-10 Greased Lightning run on diesel?

I've been reading about NASA's experimental GL-10 Greased Lightning tilt-wing aircraft with interest. My understanding is that this is a diesel-electric hybrid aircraft uses stored electrical energy ...
3
votes
1answer
178 views

Can a kite take advantage of crosswinds to gain speed? [closed]

In a form off a kite can wind be redirected like a sail boat in any direction? Can cross winds around a jet stream be helpful in speed in such a design?
3
votes
1answer
121 views

Are there any unmanned variants of Solar Impulse?

Solar Impulse proved to be capable of flying day and night without a single drop of fuel while carrying a pilot. Wouldn't it be easier to design an unmanned solar powered aircraft? Are there any? What ...
3
votes
2answers
117 views

Where can you find wind tunnel visualization data online?

I was wondering if there was a repository of flow visualization results somewhere online, preferably of wing sections categorised in some manner.
3
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1answer
1k views

What are the US regulations governing experimental aircraft?

There are more experimental class aircraft in the USA than any other. That being said, what type of requirements does an experimental aircraft have to meet? Also, are there ways around certain ...
3
votes
0answers
95 views

What were the typical rotation and landing speeds of the X-29?

Looking online through all the available literature, I could not find the typical rotation ($V_r$), landing or even stall speed of the experimental forward swept wing X-29 aircraft. I'm curious to ...
2
votes
2answers
669 views

What are some alternative benefits to electric propulsion?

The context I am asking is regarding if electric motors could ease the fuel cost, take off weight, or runway length if they were set up in 'hybrid' configuration with regular hydrocarbon engines. If ...
2
votes
3answers
747 views

Can a Rutan Quickie be made into a legal Part 103 Ultralight?

I was was thinking about buying a 80s rutan quickie q-1, it has a 18 hp motor. I want to get a ultralight but I like this one because it is fast. Can I get a motor that would be within the ...
2
votes
2answers
923 views

May a commercial pilot transport an owner in the latter’s experimental aircraft for compensation?

Say Olive Oyl owns an RV and wants to hire Popeye, a commercial pilot, to fly her to the beach in her aircraft, which has an experimental certificate. May Popeye legally accept compensation for this ...
2
votes
3answers
394 views

What are the disadvantages of a Tail providing lift? (tandem-wings included)

Most aircraft feature the tailplane configuration, which requires the main wing to provide higher lift than the weight of the plane itself, what seems counterproductive. Few aircraft have featured ...
2
votes
1answer
295 views

What are the FAA's requirements for an experimental type certificate?

What is required by the FAA to obtain an experimental type certificate for a manned prototype aircraft?