Questions tagged [jet]

*Jet* is a generic, informal term for an aircraft with jet propulsion. In a civilian context it may refer to an airliner or small private jet.

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119
votes
9answers
32k views

How do jet fighters get to war?

Currently Australia is deploying F/A-18E/F Super Hornets to the UAE to fight in Iraq. Obviously the UAE (and Iraq) is a very long way from Australia and well beyond the typical range of one of these ...
92
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12answers
52k views

Why do fighter jets still have guns/cannons?

I noticed that the "new" F-35 still has a GAU-22/A cannon installed in it -- albeit with only 182 rounds (more with ammo pods). Why do fighters still have cannons? The day of dogfighting is long ...
70
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11answers
16k views

Why don't commercial jet aircraft have a break-apart, parachute escape system?

Imagine that the pilots on a jet aircraft determine that it will crash. Consider what would happen if the design of the craft allowed it to: Break into four pieces Each piece is pressurized ...
60
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10answers
19k views

Are the guns on a fighter jet fixed or can they be aimed?

Are the (built-in) guns on fighter jets fixed, or can they be elevated up and down or panned right and left for aiming? In other words are fighter jet guns aimed by pointing the whole aircraft at the ...
59
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6answers
92k views

How do fighter pilots manage food, drink & toilet?

There doesn't seem to be any place to bring food or drink. And what about WC? And for single seat combat planes?
56
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5answers
30k views

How is a missile lock detected?

How can a fighter aircraft involved in a face-off detect a missile lock from a trailing aircraft so that it can make evasive maneuvers?
53
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5answers
18k views

Locked out of private jet - how do you get in?

Ok I'm not a jet owner, I'm a novel writer. I wanted to get my airplane facts right for the story. Say my character has a mid-size (can go overseas) private jet. Has a door lock on the outside door ...
52
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7answers
14k views

Why do fighter aircraft manufacturers still focus on making their planes more dogfight-worthy?

In today's age, when dogfights are simply a relic from the past, why do manufacturers keep on increasing their aircraft maneuverability, in order to make them better dogfighters. It is more ...
51
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9answers
21k views

Why don't aircraft use nuclear propulsion?

Nuclear propulsion research for aircraft was abandoned during the 50's. Why wasn't it revived ever?
47
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2answers
27k views

What are these wavy lines on fighters' canopy?

As shown in the images below, what are these wavy lines on the canopy of the aircraft? Do these lines have any utility? These are mostly captured in videos of cockpit views of carrier-based aircraft.
42
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3answers
24k 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 ...
40
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4answers
77k views

Why does an aircraft leave a white smoke trail?

Why does an aircraft leave a white smoke trail?
40
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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 ...
37
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5answers
27k views

On the F15-E, can the WSO take over if the pilot is incapacitated?

The F15-E Strike Eagle features a two-man cockpit. The pilot in the front seat and the WSO (Weapons System Officer) in the back seat. If the jet is cruising straight and level is mechanically sound ...
37
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3answers
26k 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 ...
36
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14answers
12k views

Why do passenger jets accept input that will cause the aircraft to perform dangerous maneuvers it was not designed for?

Examples: A bank angle > 45 degrees is considered an “upset,” putting the plane in a position that can lead to a loss of control. A pitch > 20 degrees can possibly be dangerous and cause the ...
36
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3answers
4k views

When might a pilot hand-fly a jet at cruise altitudes, and is it difficult?

How difficult is it to hand-fly a jet at cruise altitudes? Other than autopilot failure and just doing it for the fun of it, when might you want to hand-fly at those altitudes? I suspect the answer ...
34
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4answers
17k 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 ...
33
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9answers
11k views

Is it correct that a jet fighter can be used as a non-lethal (sonic) weapon?

Imagine you have a crowd of people, who want to go to a certain territory (e. g. close to the border). An airplane flies over them such that when it reaches supersonic speed, there is a loud bang. ...
33
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2answers
85k views

Which engine is more efficient between turboprop vs jet?

Are turboprops really more efficient than jets? If yes, does that mean that airlines who use jets sacrifice fuel for faster flights?
30
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11answers
13k views

Why does flight training usually start with (unsafe?) propeller planes and not with (safer?) jets?

I live in the UK and would like to learn flying jets, but most courses seem to start with propeller planes. Not sure if this might be a misconception about the safety of different aircraft types, but ...
30
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5answers
5k views

Can a fighter jet land on a modified airliner?

Imagine this scenario: A modified military 747 is flying at a constant speed and altitude. On the top of the fuselage there is a device like a helipad but with three holes to accommodate the fighter ...
30
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3answers
16k views

Why do turbine engines take so long to spool up?

Piston engines reach full rpm within a second or two, but turbines take much longer. Why is that?
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 ...
29
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6answers
6k views

Can someone/something other than the pilot trigger the ejection seat?

Let's say there was a two-person jet (take the F-15 for example) that was involved in some sort of accident in the air that incapacitated the pilot (unconscious but still alive) and left the aircraft ...
27
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9answers
96k views

Why do some fighter jets have two pilots while others have only one?

Why do some fighter jets have two pilots, while some have only one? For example the newer fighter jets such as Dassault Rafale, Eurofighter typhoon etc. are mostly with single-seat, but two-seat ...
26
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2answers
7k views

Why does NASA have F/A-18s?

I always remember playing FSX as a kid and using the NASA F/A-18, and never thought much about it. And then I saw the picture of the Space Shuttle on top of the 747 being escorted by these planes. ...
25
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6answers
46k views

What is an afterburner and how long can a jet fly on afterburner?

I heard this word so many time in military documentary about jets, especially fighter jets, but I don't fully understand what it is or how it works. In a documentary from the Discovery Channel, all ...
25
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2answers
4k views

What is the rescue arrow decal on a military jet pointing to?

I've noticed that a lot of military jets often have an arrow decal with the wording "RESCUE" pointing to a rectangle of some sort. I tried looking around for information about it but I could not find ...
23
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10answers
9k views

Would it be feasible to build a jet fighter plane based on a wooden construction?

I read about the de Havilland Mosquito recently and that it was a quite successful British bomber in WW2 due its lightweight wooden construction. As far as I understand it, usual planes at that time ...
21
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7answers
18k views

How does a fighter jet perform good and quick maneuvers with such small wings?

Fighter jets like the F-16, F-15, etc. have wings smaller than the length of the fuselage and can perform great maneuvers very quickly while an airliner with a long wingspan takes a lot of time to ...
21
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3answers
8k 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)? ...
21
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2answers
9k views

How do fighter jets communicate with an intercepted plane that's lost comms?

RAF Typhoons were scrambled today to intercept an Antonov 26 that lost comms, triggering a sonic boom over London. The flight was escorted to Stansted airport, and the answer at What's the point ...
20
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3answers
5k views

What kind of jet plane is this?

The cockpit can hold one person, is smaller than a compact car and as narrow as a motorcycle. What kind of plane is this and how hard would it be to fly?
20
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4answers
5k views

What is the smallest manned jet aircraft?

In the movie Spy Kids (2001), there is a scene where the characters board a small jet aircraft "built for one passenger". The aircraft is about 2 meters tall with a 3 meters wingspan, and features a ...
19
votes
2answers
34k views

Why don't big commercial planes have full aircraft parachutes?

On smaller aircraft, like some Cirruses for example, they have parachutes attached to the body of the aircraft that can help the plane get to the ground safely in an emergency. I'm wondering why ...
19
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4answers
6k views

Why don't most fighters have thrust reversers?

With the exception of the Panavia Tornado, fighters do not have thrust reversers. Why is this? Why does the Panavia Tornado have them?
18
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5answers
5k views

Why does the speed of commercial airliners fluctuate, sometimes as high as 1,060 km/h or as low as 800 km/h?

I've noticed that (long-haul) airliners sometimes travel at as high as 1000 km/h (I believe I've even seen 1040 km/h), but usually they fly closer to 800 km/h, for most of the trip. This seems odd ...
18
votes
2answers
6k views

Why is the de-icing fluid sprayed on jets coloured orange?

On a cold night or if it's been snowing, jets are sprayed with orange de-icing fluid: But why is it orange? If it's to see where's been sprayed and where you've missed a bit, black would be the most ...
18
votes
3answers
4k views

Why don't airplanes have smoking cabins?

Is there any airplane model that has a small lavatory-like cabin just for smoking? I have never seen any such planes and that made me wonder why this is? It would not take much more room than a normal ...
18
votes
2answers
2k views

When does the use of afterburners save fuel?

An afterburner uses a lot more fuel for a little more thrust (rule of thumb: 50% more thrust for 5 times the fuel flow with full dry power). Is a flight maneuver possible where using the afterburner ...
18
votes
2answers
11k views

Why do all new European fighter jets have delta wings?

Why do all new European fighter jets - Typhoon, Gripen, Rafale have delta wings? As I know, they were all designed separately. And they are not new either. Is there any particular advantage that ...
18
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2answers
3k views

Why are HUDs usually green instead of red?

Every HUD I've seen, whether photographs or in video games, uses green light to draw the lines and text. Why green? I thought red was a better color for pilots' eyes so they can stay adjusted for ...
17
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3answers
4k views

Can a missile be fired when a fighter jet is inverted?

Is there an attitude limit for firing a missile from a fighter jet? Can the pilots fire them when they're pulling Gs, or inverted?
17
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3answers
3k views

What's the name and purpose of a barrier raised behind a carrier based jet?

I saw this picture in Wikipedia with a Su-33 jet on carrier deck with some barrier raised from the deck behind the jet tail: What is this barrier for and what's the official term for it?
16
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3answers
8k views

Why is it called “Dry Thrust”?

When reading the specifications of a jet aircraft anywhere on the Internet, it usually states that its engine produces X pounds of "dry thrust". Why is it called "Dry" Thrust? As opposed to what?
16
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3answers
3k views

Why isn't the F-15E called F/A-15?

In my understanding, "F" stands for "fighter" (air-to-air) and "A" for "attack" (air-to-ground). E.g., the F/A-18 Hornet can attack air and ground targets, which is why it's called F/A-18. the A-10 ...
16
votes
3answers
4k views

How do pilots set the exact amount of thrust needed for a reduced power takeoff?

I know jet-powered airplanes very rarely use 100% available power for takeoff, and most often reduce power to increase engine life. How does a pilot set thrust to an exact level? The airplanes I'm ...
16
votes
3answers
4k views

How can you stop your missile locking onto a friendly target?

In the modern day we have advanced planes, and advanced missile systems, however, how can you stop your missile firing at a friendly aircraft? In planes like the F22 Raptor you can turn on sight lock,...
15
votes
2answers
3k views

Is Jetman flying above other aircraft allowed? How it is possible?

According to the Times of India: Yves Rossy and Vincent Reffet - have achieved the rare feat of flying with the innovative Jetman wings, on either side of an Emirates A380 aircraft, the world's ...

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