Questions tagged [fighter]

A fighter is an aircraft designed primarily for aerial combat.

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15
votes
8answers
5k views

Why do air forces still use bombers?

Something I have wondered about recently, since the advent of ICBMs what is the point of long range bombers like the B-2? I understand they have longer range and can carry more payload but wouldn't ...
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5answers
13k views

Is it possible for an SU-25 to fly high enough to shoot down a Boeing 777?

A common theory from pro-Russian netizens surrounding the MH-17 tragedy is that it was a Ukrainian SU-25 ground attack fighter plane which shot down the civilian airliner. However, MH-17 was flying at ...
25
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5answers
8k views

Was the intended purpose of the F-117 Nighthawk originally a stealth-fighter?

Based on this question, I learned that the F and A-Letters in the naming of (military) aircraft reflects what their intended purpose is. A: Attack (Air-to-ground) F: Fighter (Air-to-air) their names ...
37
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3answers
29k views

Do jet fighters have air conditioning systems?

In most jet fighters, the cockpit is a glass dome and the pilots are exposed directly to the sun. In addition, they are wearing flight suits and full face helmets (most of the time). I can only ...
20
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4answers
5k views

Would a stationary WWII fighter fall on its nose with full throttle and brakes on?

Would a stationary WWII fighter fall on its nose with full throttle and brakes on? It's a general question, but I am interested in the Republic P-47.
13
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1answer
4k views

What is this turn called and how is it performed?

I've found pictures and videos of jets rotating 90 degrees so that one wing points straight down to the ground and the other is straight up, then they suddenly turn away from their course while ...
6
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4answers
3k views

Where do all the bullets end up? [closed]

When planes engage with guns, many of the shots are misses... what happens to the bullets? Do they kill people on the ground and damage facilities? Do we have any records of this happening?
43
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3answers
28k views

Why do many fighter jets have double vertical stabilizers?

Many fighter jets have double vertical stabilizers, e.g. F-14, F-15, F/A-18, F-22: On the contrary, most general aviation planes and commercial airliners do not. While there are certainly exceptions ...
34
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4answers
19k views

Do fighter jet pilots ever use autopilot?

I know that military jets have autopilot, but do the pilots actually prefer to use it? I ask this question because, unlike civilian airplanes, military jets are more likely to come in a situation ...
29
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5answers
6k views

How do aircraft refueling in-air deal with wake turbulence?

Many fighter planes have the capability to refuel in air. When a plane moves in air, turbulence is generated at its back. To refuel, the fighter plane must come near to the parent plane (which has ...
21
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3answers
9k views

How do combat jets know when to launch flares to counter IR missiles?

From my related question, it seems fighter jets do not usually track missiles by radar. Instead, they have a system that warns of radar lock. So what about infrared missiles (heat-seeking missiles)? ...
15
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2answers
12k views

What are the differences between the MiG 31 and MiG 25 (if any)?

What are the differences between the MiG 31 and MiG 25, they look exactly the same, their overall performance the same. Is it the roles they were built for are different?
13
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1answer
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Why do some military jets have needle-like structures at the nose and others don't?

I have seen some military jets have a needle-like structure at the nose and some others do not have that. Lockheed SR-71 Blackbirds have that structure and Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptors do not, why so? ...
12
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5answers
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How do pilots maintain level flight after launching missile?

I saw, on National Geographic, two well built navy guys lifting a comparatively small missile to be attached on wings of an F-18 Super Hornet. So when one missile on left wing is launched doesn't it ...
11
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6answers
6k views

Can a fighter jet be hit by guns?

Can a fighter jet travelling at fast speed be brought down by a weapon like an M134 Minigun or any machine gun?
9
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3answers
1k views

What equipment is used by Boeing to convert the F-16 into an unmanned aircraft (QF-16)?

How exactly does this equipment convert the F-16 into an unmanned aircraft? Is it possible to use this equipment on any other fighter (like the F/A-18 Hornet for example) in order to convert it into ...
9
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4answers
7k views

Do fighter jets have an auxiliary power unit?

Do fighter jets have an auxiliary power unit? If they don't, then how does the propulsion/ignition process start in the engine?
9
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2answers
3k views

How do most fighters slow down after landing?

I understand that many fighters use drogue parachutes and wheel brakes. But aren't there other methods of slowing down after touchdown?
7
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4answers
6k views

Why are civilians not allowed to fly demilitarized US fighter jets?

I have seen it is possible to fly demilitarized Russian fighter jets in the US. Why is it impossible to fly American demilitarized fighter jets?
7
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5answers
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Were WW2 American fighters designed to operate from dirt airstrips?

Fighter or fighter-bomber planes built in America during WW2, such as the P-36, P-39, P-47, P-51. Were these designed to takeoff and land on dirt airstrips? My impression, and correct me if I'm wrong,...
5
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3answers
2k views

Why do fighter pilots use night vision goggles rather than normal light inside the cockpit?

I've seen military personnel using night vision goggles (NVGs). With their flight altitude, I don't think the enemy can notice them. I thought it may be due to eye strain, but other units use red ...
4
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1answer
1k views

Why is the reheat exhaust flame of some fighter aircraft blue while for some it is orange?

Why is the afterburner flame of some fighter aircraft blue while for some it is orange?
26
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2answers
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What happens to jettisoned fuel tanks?

When an F-15 (or your favorite fighter aircraft) punches it's external tanks... ...to engage in combat, (or when they are empty), what happens to them? Through my best reasoning skills and Newton's ...
25
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5answers
7k views

Why don't combat aircraft have rear-facing *laser* weapons?

This question is similar, but only talks about guns. I don't mean a laser that is going to destroy the plane, but why aren't rear-mounted, rear-firing lasers that can blind a pilot a thing? Most of ...
18
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2answers
6k views

Why are these carrier aircraft landing with the canopy open?

I was reading this answer here Aviation.SE, which includes the following video of multiple F7U-3 Cutlasses landing aboard the USS Hancock in 1955 (warning, video includes footage of a fatal rampstrike)...
15
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7answers
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Why isn't the arresting hook always used on land?

Watching Jet Stream, about training to fly the CF-18 Hornet, they comment that the jet was originally certified as a Navy plane, landing on aircraft carriers with an arresting cable. Usually, when ...
14
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2answers
5k views

Do fighters have black boxes?

Or is it just commercial aircraft? I was watching an episode of Scorpion where an "F-120 Firehawk" crashed and they looked at its black box. So, do normal, non-imaginary fighters have them?
11
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1answer
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In a dogfight, can a pilot shoot down a parachute? [closed]

Forgive me if my question sounds more like a rule of engagement for aerial combat than aviation technique. I was wondering that is it ok, in a dogfight, for a victorious pilot to shoot a defeated ...
6
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1answer
3k views

What trade-offs are being made in the design of the planform alignment of stealth aircraft?

Stealth technology uses angles in the aircraft shape, and homogeneous orientation of the surfaces. In the F-22A Raptor wing leading edges, tail surfaces, air intake bypass doors, refueling aperture, ...
5
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1answer
367 views

How often is the name painted on fighters?

This question is restricted to US Air Force fighters, as I don't know if other air forces paint the pilot's name on the fighter. This question pops into my mind because of 2 reasons: this comment ...
3
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4answers
572 views

Why so much throttle work on navy fighter during final approach?

• Look at his left hand: why so much throttle work while flying? What is he doing? • Is the throttle response very slow? It seems to me that the fighter don't accelerate so much when he gives full ...
3
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1answer
411 views

Since when had fighter jet designer stopped caring about Whitcomb's Area Rule?

According to this source, designers of military fighter jets seemed to have stopped centering their design on Whitcomb's Area Rule for quite a while. Yet even the twin series fighters struggle to ...
2
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1answer
1k views

What is the maximum side slip angle that can be achieved by a F-16?

During which flight regime is maximum side slip needed (apart from take-off and landings in cross winds)? I have learned that during a knife edge maneuver, the side slip angle plays a crucial role in ...
2
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2answers
1k views

How does the shift in aerodynamic center affect the performance of swing wing aircraft?

I am trying to understand how a variable sweep wing changes the aerodynamic center of a plane, and its effect on the plane's maneuverability. I also would like to know the importance of the pivot ...
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1answer
106 views

I need some help to understand the rationales behind some STOVL jet designs, especially the Pegasus-Harrier configuration [closed]

In the question:Why do VTOL aircraft (F-35 or Harrier) have only one engine? Aeroailas answered why mature STOVL fighter designs only use one main engine, but did not answer why there are no mature ...

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