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Questions tagged [high-altitude]

Regions on or above the earth's surface located higher than 8,000ft or 2,500m above sea level.

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Critical angle of attack at high altitude

I remember hearing somewhere that at very high altitudes, the critical angle of attack for a given airfoil can decrease a bit. Is there any credence to this idea? Thank you
Terry's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
255 views

Are there any commercial flights that require passengers to use supplemental oxygen?

In the United States, Part 121 operations can apparently can be conducted with cabin altitudes above 15,000 ft as long as all passengers are provided with supplemental oxygen when the cabin altitude ...
331821's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
189 views

Irrational acrophobia-like anxiety caused by wave soaring

This will probably sound utterly bonkers to many and I feel very awkward coming out with this publicly - I'm a gliding instructor with 650 hours flying experience, and I'm scared of heights. It's ...
Toby Wilson's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
1k views

What is the max landing altitude of the Airbus A320 family?

I know the Boeing 737's max landing altitude is 8,400ft standard and 12,000ft with the high altitude option. I am struggling to find the same figures for the A320 family. All I can find online is the ...
1nf's user avatar
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11 votes
2 answers
3k views

Is there anything important to know about flying at ~9000ft for the first time?

When I did my NPPL training, there was a module on flying at minimum altitude, but nothing around high altitude flying, in fact, I've never flown over 3,500ft. This weekend, I intend to fly up to ...
Cloud's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
587 views

is nitrogen put in airplane tires? and Why?

I now the A12 and sr 71 had nitro in tires, but thats extreme. what are the beginning factors that dictate what is put in the tires?
jimb's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
193 views

Can a 747 airfoil be scaled down for smaller jet planes?

At the loss of its acrobatic ability, could an airfoil similar to the 747 be downsized to allow a small jet to climb higher and extend its range? This plane with its wing profile is highly acrobatic, ...
Justintimeforfun's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
124 views

The weather balloon began to bounce less as it entered the stratosphere

We launched a weather balloon where one of the sensors was an accelerometer. The data from it show all parts of the flight (1 launch (0 m), 3 bursts of the balloon (35,800 m), 4 landing (0 M)). We ...
Saturn V's user avatar
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0 answers
154 views

At what elevation is the airfield considered a high elevation field for takeoff and landing for 737-8?

At what elevation is the airfield considered a high elevation field for takeoff and landing for 737-8 ?
Adel Refa'i's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
563 views

Does Indicated Stall speed increase with altitude (Coffin Corner)?

It is my understanding that Indicated Stall speed is mostly constant with altitude, the one that increases is True Stall Speed. Given that PFD show speed as IAS, how come the yellow speed range ...
Max the head's user avatar
25 votes
4 answers
12k views

Does breathing 100% oxygen cause health issues?

When flying at high altitudes in an unpressurized plane, you use portable oxygen tanks to prevent hypoxia and other altitude-related symptoms. but does this 100% pure oxygen cause health issues when ...
Boeing787's user avatar
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15 votes
1 answer
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What does the "High Alt Landing" guarded push button on the A320 exactly do?

I am aware that not all variants of the A320 are equipped with the HIGH ALT LANDING guarded push button. I know that it is pushed before landing at high altitude airfields. Was wondering what it does ...
Tap's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
53 views

How is airliner pressurization being coped with at high altitude airports? [duplicate]

Cabin altitude in a passenger airliner must not become more than 8,000 ft, but what if an airliner flies to or from an airport at a higher elevation, such as Quito and La Paz? How is onboard pressure ...
Better not tell's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
191 views

How was the AeroVironment Helios able to fly to the edge of space at no more than 23.5 kn?

The NASA/AeroVironment Helios holds the FAI record for the highest sustained horizontal flight at 96,900 ft (29.5 km) MSL. It reportedly spent more than 40 min above 96,000 ft. It could fly no faster ...
Giovanni's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
109 views

Is the L-39 Albatros able to go above 40,000 ft in steep flight?

The L-39's service ceiling is 36,100 ft / 11 km but would it be able to easily reach and surpass 40,000 ft MSL if flying a parabola?
Giovanni's user avatar
  • 533
14 votes
2 answers
6k views

Why are planes required to cruise at round flight levels only above 18000 ft of altitude?

AFAIK, planes flying at up to FL180 (18,000 ft pressure altitude) are allowed to fly at both round and semi-round altitudes (e.g. 15,000 ft or 15,500 ft). Planes flying above FL180 must fly at a round ...
Giovanni's user avatar
  • 533
17 votes
1 answer
4k views

Are there any gliders that can fly over the Himalayas?

Do gliders (sailplanes) use ridge and wave lift in the Himalayas to go to extreme altitudes, possibly above Everest's peak?
Giovanni's user avatar
  • 209
3 votes
0 answers
317 views

What is the highest operational ceiling for a nuclear scramjet?

A similar question is: What is the highest operational ceiling for an air-breathing jet engine? The answers point to scramjets. Cited reports focus on combustion kinetics. The Wikipedia Scramjet page: ...
DrBunny's user avatar
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24 votes
3 answers
12k views

What prevents a small plane like a Cessna or Piper from flying as high as a jet?

Obviously taking oxygen in consideration. What prevents a small plane from being able to fly at a much higher altitude? I know some business jets can fly up to 40,000 ft. Does it have to do with the ...
Boeing787's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
431 views

Is it possible to file for a flight level ABOVE an Airway altitude limitation (for high en route airways)?

I'm just curious if it's ever possible to file for, and/or fly, an altitude that is above an airway restriction. Say if the airway has an altitude restriction of FL410 or less. Is it ever possible to ...
John Ward's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
613 views

Are there any high altitude flying options for a private pilot?

If you are a private pilot that wants to fly really high, what are your options? For gliders it's not uncommon to reach FL160. Beechcraft Baron can reach FL190. Assume you want to reach FL200 or FL300 ...
John Mayne's user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
842 views

What is the straight-and-level altitude record for a heavier-than-air winged/lifting-body aircraft?

There are many variants of the flight altitude record. The highest on the list is SpaceShipOne but rocketry isn't really "flight" in the sense of aerodynamic lift. What is the highest ...
Kevin Kostlan's user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
10k views

What is the altitude record for the F/A-18 Hornet?

Does anyone know how high (above MSL) the F/A-18 ever went? Its service ceiling is 50,000 ft, but when going up steeply, is it able to surpass 100,000 ft altitude?
Giovanni's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
132 views

Could the Perlan II glider be used for nearspace tourism?

I asked the same question about the SR-71 Blackbird, and I'm also curious about the Perlan II sailplane which travelled above 70,000 ft, and is planned to be flown to 90,000 ft, if it could be used ...
Giovanni's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
454 views

How high can manned subsonic planes go?

What is the maximum altitude a manned plane that flies subsonically can reach? Subsonic airplanes can't go as high as super- and hypersonic ones of course, so record holders are the latter ones. But ...
Giovanni's user avatar
  • 537
23 votes
3 answers
7k views

Could the SR-71 Blackbird be used for nearspace tourism?

The Blackbird had two seats onboard. Could it be reactivated for nearspace tourism, placing a paying tourist in the other seat? If no, why not or why isn't it being proposed? In leveled flight, the ...
Giovanni's user avatar
  • 537
2 votes
2 answers
461 views

What limits high altitude powered paragliders other than the engine?

Due to their extremely low wing loading, powered paragliders stall at very low indicated airspeeds compared to other airplanes. A typical paraglider can continue flying all the way down to 10-15 ...
Thorondor's user avatar
  • 123
0 votes
0 answers
755 views

What's the highest altitude ever achieved by a (rocket-?)plane for level flight?

As probably most of us know, the SR-71 Blackbird holds the altitude record for leveled flight for (manned) jet planes (and ground-launched planes) at 90,000 ft MSL. However, the very altitude record ...
Giovanni's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
319 views

Did every X-15 pilot become weightless when flying into the upper strato- and mesosphere?

The North American X-15 was aimed at breaking airspeed and altitude records. The flights that sought to achieve new airspeed records (Mach 5+) were rather leveled but the flights into the upper ...
Greenhorn's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
175 views

Are there jet aircraft for whose flights astrodynamics must be taken into account? [duplicate]

Civilian jet airliners don't need to push their yokes down to follow the curvature of the Earth because within the atmosphere the curvature is accounted for by automatical systems, right? I wonder ...
Giovanni's user avatar
15 votes
2 answers
963 views

Could one see stars from Concorde in daytime?

Concorde flew to an altitude of 60,000 ft (18.3 km) where stars should be visible at noon, aren't they? This question asks on how high stars become visible, and it is said Blackbird pilots could see ...
Giovanni's user avatar
  • 161
34 votes
2 answers
3k views

How is altitude reached by aircraft flying above the stratosphere measured?

Aircraft flying above the stratosphere (above 30km) are rare, but there is still the X-15 and the spaceship two. For those aircraft, maximal altitude is measured to within 500 ft. As described in this ...
Manu H's user avatar
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9 votes
2 answers
352 views

What is the maximal altitude at which an emergency slide can be deployed?

If I understand correctly, the mechanism to inflate an emergency slide relies on a tank of inert gas and on an "aspirator" that sucks ambient air. This aspirator works thanks to depression ...
Manu H's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
2k views

How does 'standalone' propeller efficiency change with altitude?

I've seen questions regarding propeller aircraft and altitude and their interaction. But I'm wondering what the relationship between just the propeller and altitude (changing air density) is. How does ...
spaceprops's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
1k views

What happens in an F-16 once the aircraft exeeds its service ceiling?

What exactly is the sequence of events that would unfold as an F-16 attempts to exceed its service ceiling? The scenario is simply full afterburner and attempting to simply climb higher and higher (at ...
AlphaCentauri's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
2k views

What happens if an aircraft goes above maximum altitude? [duplicate]

We all know what happens when a plane goes overspeed... but what happens when a plane goes above their max. altitude? And why are planes certified maximum altitudes anyway? Is it because there won't ...
Air Canada 001's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
435 views

How to adjust time of useful consciousness for pilots acclimatised to high altitudes?

The time of useful consciousness (TUC) is the length of time an average pilot, breathing ambient-pressure air without supplemental oxygen, is capable of functioning usefully at a given altitude. For ...
Vikki's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
1k views

Does high density altitude affect your landing speed?

So I had this question asked in my recent commercial-pilot checkride: The DPE asked me about high-density-altitude airports; he specifically asked me if I should add airspeed when I'm on landing ...
Oswaldo Jose Azuaje Linarez's user avatar
12 votes
2 answers
14k views

Which aircraft can fly at FL600 or above?

I would like to know some examples of aircraft (specific models) which can fly at FL600 or higher. I am interested in aircraft which can or could fly at that altitude on a regular basis (service ...
ppinto's user avatar
  • 707
10 votes
3 answers
4k views

How does latitude affect the air temperature at 8 km altitude where planes fly?

Is the air temperature (at 8km) above the North or South poles colder than the same altitude above the equator? Why? Ground level air temperature difference between coldest and warmest places on ...
Gnudiff's user avatar
  • 225
36 votes
1 answer
8k views

Do the Mt. Everest rescue helicopters have modified engines to operate at high altitudes?

There are so many climbers on Mt. Everest today that there is now a helicopter rescue service there. They operate rescue up to 21,000 + ft. Because this is essentially stationary service it seems that ...
blacksmith37's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
380 views

Where and when would a 737-700 be taking off at an altitude of 19 kft?

Another question triggered by reading the 737 technical site; according to this section of the page on the 737's pressurisation system, the 737-700 comes with an option that allows it to safely take ...
Vikki's user avatar
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5 votes
2 answers
871 views

What kind of drone might be able to fly so high that it "operate(s) outside national boundaries"?

In the question What is a propellant burner trailer? I mention that CNN and NPR have pointed out that the US president recently tweeted a surveillance photo of an explosion of a rocket on a launch ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 5,886
39 votes
4 answers
24k views

Why do private jets such as Gulfstream fly higher than other civilian jets?

I heard in a TV show that private jets such as Gulfstream can fly at about 50,000 ft, higher than other civil jets. Is it an aerodynamic reason (lighter aircraft to be sustained in a less dense air) ...
Luca Detomi's user avatar
  • 1,992
1 vote
4 answers
300 views

Could a hybrid electric steam plane be more efficient at altitude than at sea-level, and how to optimise it to frigid air?

In the thirties a steam powered plane was built. video Could a hybrid electric steam plane be more efficient at altitude than at sea-level, and how could such a steam engine be optimised to benefit ...
Tobe's user avatar
  • 131
5 votes
3 answers
3k views

How do carbureted and fuel injected engines compare in high altitude?

I couldn't find enough information on the internet for this topic. What I found can be paraphrased as: Carburetor means easy engine start while fuel injected means manual fuel start up and ...
Delta Oscar Uniform's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
316 views

What lights to use for a high-altitude weather balloon?

I am designing a high-altitude weather balloon for a college project. The balloon may fly at night, which means that, per FAA regulations, I need a light that is visible for 5 miles. Does anyone ...
Timothy Barrett's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
82 views

Proportionally, what is more affected by a hot and high takeoff - a electrically driven propeller or a turbofan?

My assumption would be the electrically driven propeller would be less affected compared to turbofans at high altitudes and take off as although the air would be less dense at these ambient conditions,...
Geoffry's user avatar
  • 11
14 votes
4 answers
6k views

How do planes know what altitude they're cruising at?

I know that when planes enter the aerodome containing the airfield of destination, the ATIS will tell them an altimeter setting so the system knows how to calculate their altitude above their field; ...
WildGurgs36's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
435 views

What will happen to a modern high bypass engine at 80 000 feet with cruise speed of 0.8 Mach?

While keeping the typical cruise speed of 0.8 Mach, will the engine shut down due to "air starvation" at such high altitude? Is it possible to design a turbofan engine, which is able to provide thrust,...
Electric Pilot's user avatar