Questions tagged [hypotheticals]

Questions regarding hypothetical situations in aviation, and how they would play out if they were to actually occur (regardless of how unlikely this might be).

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1answer
165 views

If propeller-driven planes with electric engine became the norm, would descent for landing with the engines turned off become a routine procedure?

To elaborate on the question: I know that in modern fossil fuel-driven aircraft turning the engines off during descent and/or landing approach isn't feasible for safety reasons (which makes total ...
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2answers
396 views

Could the Space Shuttle take off like an airplane?

This question got me thinking, would the Space Shuttle have been able to use its main engines to roll up to speed and take off horizontally like an airplane? (I'm not asking about getting to space, ...
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2answers
158 views

If all aircraft were TCAS-equipped, how would this change ATC routines?

« The primary purpose of ATC worldwide is to prevent collisions, organize and expedite the flow of air traffic, and provide information and other support for pilots. » (source) If all aircraft ...
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1answer
709 views

If all passengers moved to the back, front or one side, would they crash the plane? [duplicate]

all-time classic: Would the load shift of all passengers herding at the back, front or one side make the plane hard or even impossible to keep in the air ? Are there any passenger aircraft where ...
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2answers
350 views

What would happen if pilots were locked out of the flight deck?

Imagine in a hypothetical situation that a commercial airliner was left on autopilot at some cruising altitude. Next imagine that all pilots left the flight deck and the door slammed shut behind them (...
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5answers
304 views

Can air to air refueling can be done in the rocket engines as done in the Aircraft jet engines?

Can air to air refuelling can be done with rocket engines as is done with conventional aircraft jet engines? If no then what are the possible hazards or conditions preventing this?
2
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2answers
151 views

Hypothetical aircraft drag reduction

What would happen if I mounted a system dumping hydrogen (sound velocity 1310 m/s) at the leading edges of an aircraft flying at i.e. mach 2 (ignore all practicality issues)? What would happen at the ...
0
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1answer
276 views

Can a helicopter enter Vortex Ring State In Auto Rotation? [see qualifiers]

If you are in a vertical descent [no wind] with rotor at max RPM Auto, and you abruptly pull full collective, the momentum of the blades will drive air down creating down wash. Now obviously this is ...
4
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2answers
1k views

Is it possible to survive a free fall from an airliner at cruise altitude?

If an airliner were to breakup in flight, and a passenger were ejected from the cabin, would it be possible to survive the fall? Assume that the aircraft broke up at a cruise altitude 30,000-35,000 ...
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0answers
125 views

Could an airliner (in theory) fly truly “backwards”? [duplicate]

Very much a hypothetical question: At Trondheim a few days ago we had quite a long, fast (to my experience) pushback: now obviously we didn't hit anything close to Vr, but it started me wondering if ...
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2answers
9k views

How are fly-by-wire airliners controlled in case of complete electrical failure?

In this comment, it is postulated that even fly-by-wire aircraft (Airbus) are demonstrated to fly without any electrical systems. All Airbus aircraft are demonstrated controllable with complete ...
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3answers
2k views

What is the effect of non-LASER light sources on pilots?

After all the media coverage about people pointing lasers at commercial aircraft, I started to wonder what was so special about lasers. It seems to me that the amount of distraction that could be ...
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4answers
2k views

What are the limits to lateral Centre of Gravity imbalances?

I've never seen lateral CG limits prescribed for aircraft (though I have very imited experience in this realm). Presumably, aircraft are designed to keep the center of balance as close as possible to ...
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4answers
16k views

Which airliners could survive an EMP pulse?

The incredibly bad, postapocalyptic tv series Revolution begins with a mysterious event that causes all electrical systems to fail all over the globe. Even batteries don't work anymore. In the first ...