Questions tagged [military]

For questions relating to military aviation or possible effects of a country's military on other forms of aviation.

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84
votes
5answers
31k views

Why does the F-111 sometimes squirt a giant fire plume behind it? (NOT afterburners!)

As seen in multiple pictures: First, this one, it appears the aircraft is spraying copious amounts of fuel into the exhaust! Surely this provides no thrust, not in the way an afterburner (which the ...
6
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1answer
3k views

Emergency landing at Air Force airfield [duplicate]

What would happen if I perform an emergency landing at an Air Force airfield? Would they send fighters planes to intercept me? Would they arrest me? Would they detain my aircraft?
26
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2answers
9k views

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
6k views

How hard is it to fly with night vision goggles?

I was talking to a Sheriff's Department helicopter pilot and he was saying they fly around at night with night vision goggles. I know the military does too. What are some of the considerations that ...
12
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1answer
6k views

Do tanker aircraft distribute their own fuel?

Do tanker aircraft, (such as the KC-135, KC-10, S-3B, etc), distribute fuel from their own fuel tanks, or is it strictly from a separate cargo tank? Obviously, some cargo tanks are going to be ...
16
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1answer
3k views

Does the F-22 (or any other stealth aircraft) carry chaff?

Considering it is nearly undetectable on radar, it seems like it wouldn't have to worry about radar guided missiles; in addition to this it is sure to have sophisticated jamming capabilities. So why ...
8
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2answers
1k views

Are snatch pickups used today?

John T. Downey, who spent 20 years imprisoned in China, was captured when his plane was shot down during an attempted "snatch pickup". The spy they were supposed to retrieve had been turned by the ...
26
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1answer
3k views

What is the purpose of the extremely high cabin altitudes in military aircraft?

The Lockheed SR-71 and the (old) Lockheed U-2 were engineered to maintain cabin altitudes in excess of 25000 feet AMSL at an altitude of more than 70000 feet AMSL. However, in both airplanes, pilots ...
10
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1answer
13k views

Do military pilots use amphetamines or other stimulants?

Related to this question: Do military pilots have flight & rest hours regulation? According to the wikipedia article, amphetamines were commonly given to Allied pilots. Are they still in use ...
15
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3answers
11k views

Which hand do fighter pilots use for the control stick?

Here is a question that has been bothering me for a while. Do right-handed fighter pilots use their right hand to hold the control stick? And do left-handed fighter pilots use their left hand? Or is ...
11
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1answer
9k views

Do military pilots have flight & rest hours regulation?

I have read that civil pilots have stringent regulations regarding flight hours and hours of rest between flights. What about military pilots? Does it change between wartime and peacetime? Between ...
85
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11answers
50k 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 ...
15
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8answers
4k views

Why do Air Forces still use bombers?

Something I have wondered about recently, since the advent of ICBM's what is the point of long range bombers like the B2? I understand they have longer range and can carry more payload but wouldn't ...
57
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6answers
88k 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?
29
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8answers
19k views

Why/How is the B-52 still in service?

The B-52 was introduced in 1955, and is still used by the US Airforce, and is expected to remain in use till the 2040s. On the other hand, the A-4 Skyhawk was introduced in 1956 and retired in 1998/...
116
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9answers
31k 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 ...
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 ...
17
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4answers
2k views

How does the Guardian counter-MANPADS system work?

I came across this picture of a FedEx McDonnell Douglas DC-10 equipped with an anti-missile defense system. (wikimedia.org) According to the picture description: FedEx became the first U.S. ...
32
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3answers
31k views

Are fighter jets designed to be so inherently unstable that a human can't fly one unassisted?

I'm told that in order to be more maneuverable fighter jets are designed in a way that makes them impossible for a human to control without the help of a flight computer. Is this actually true? ...
31
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4answers
7k views

How are anti-aircraft missiles tested?

How are anti-aircraft missiles and counter-measures tested? When they design an anti-aircraft missile, how do they test it so that it actually locks on to a target and destroys it? Do they simply fly ...
40
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6answers
26k views

What's the point in escorting a threatened flight with two fighter jets?

Two days ago I read in the news: Two U.S. fighter jets escorted a Canada-to-Panama flight back to Toronto after a passenger allegedly threatened the plane Friday morning. The nature of the ...
17
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2answers
3k views

Why are predator drones being used over civilian California?

A couple of months back I was going on a road trip through California and stopped by a dry lake called El Mirage Lake. It's a very tacky area requiring a permit to enter. My friend and I showed up ...
19
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5answers
9k views

Should I report my cured mild PTSD in the FAA medical certification application?

I am a combat veteran who was diagnosed with moderate Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after getting out last year. I decided to seek treatment and, upon reevaluation, am now at a very mild ...
20
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3answers
17k views

Why do (almost) all military transports have high wings and civilian transports low wings?

I've observed that almost all military transports have high wings (with a pronounced anhedral) and almost all civilian airliners have low wings (with a pronounced dihedral) — why is this? The ...
3
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1answer
2k views

What does an Air Battle Manager do?

I heard someone talking about a position in the U.S. Air Force called an Air Battle Manager or ABM. What does a person in this position do?
3
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2answers
545 views

What types of aircraft perform military airlift operations?

What planes are the key players in military airlifting? I know the C-130J, C-17 and A400M are among them, what others are there? What are the key differences between the above mentioned planes?
20
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4answers
9k views

Do you ever get to practice ejecting out of a plane as a fighter pilot?

The military throws away a lot of equipment simply because it doesn't hold up to current standards. So I was wondering the following. As a fighter pilot, would you ever get a practice run ejecting ...
15
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7answers
5k views

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 ...
10
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2answers
3k views

Why is thrust vectoring not used on commercial jets?

Is there a particular reason for which thrust vectoring is not used in airliners as it is with military aircraft besides weight and complexity factors? I understand that on military aircraft ...
15
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1answer
1k views

Are ATC towers built in warzones?

Take Afghanistan as a for instance; do governments (e.g. USAF/RAF) or NATO construct ATC towers? I'd imagine so, at the air bases, in order to land/takeoff the vast amount of aircraft. Who controls ...
2
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0answers
777 views

Enemy plane detection [closed]

Suppose that an enemy plane comes into our radar surveilled airspace, and that this plane is mimicking the signature of a friendly aircraft. Can this tactic be recognized? Is there a way of ...
13
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1answer
457 views

Is it possible to get access to flight logs of USAAC trainer planes from the 1930s?

After answering this question on History.SE, I started to wonder if it would be possible to find out even more detail about the plane now that its serial number is known. I have no idea what kind of ...
5
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2answers
608 views

Did the NSDAP help to fund Lufthansa?

During WWII, a number of German companies received financial backing and slave labourers from the government at the time. Companies such as Hugo Boss, Volkswagen and Lufthansa. A thread on Airliners....
13
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1answer
1k views

Is this an external cannon on an F-16?

What is the black pod starboard of the front landing gear on this F-16-I? At first I thought that it was a laser finder, but upon closer inspection it seems to resemble some type of short cannon. What ...
39
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8answers
44k views

Is it possible to recover from a flat spin?

In Top Gun, Maverick's F-14 enters a flat spin after flying through another F-14's jetwash, forcing him to eject and causing the death of Goose. Is this scenario possible or was it only created for ...
233
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4answers
146k views

What is the dark spot visible below the cockpit on A-10s?

On most A-10s I have seen, the area under the cockpit is darker than the rest of the plane. Is there a reason for this?
16
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5answers
4k views

Why are military and civil aircraft landing gear generally so different?

Why do military aircraft have a lower landing gear than civilian? I have in mind the difference between a Lockheed C-130 Hercules and a Boeing or Airbus. The first possibility that jumps to mind is ...
22
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1answer
7k views

How does IFF work?

How does Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) work? Are radar images of friendly planes recorded, or do friendly planes have transponders on them?
24
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4answers
4k views

Do similar angles on a plane make it more stealthy?

I learned in my intro to engineering class at my college that 5th gen fighters (which are stealth aircraft) are designed with similar angles to evade radar. Why is this true? Also, does the angle ...
17
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4answers
12k views

What's the point of intercepting an aircraft?

I know that it's possible for military aircraft to "intercept" a civilian or foreign aircraft (and I'm well aware of the US interception procedures), but why would they be doing it in the first place?...
15
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2answers
2k views

Are civilian/GA pilots expected to “see and avoid” fast military jets in VMC?

I don't know if this also applies to the U.S. or just to Europe, but in Europe the civilian airspace is frequently used by military jets. On numerous occasions I've seen F-16's and other fighter jets ...
18
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3answers
4k views

What happens to the ejection seat after a pilot ejects?

When a pilot ejects, what happens to the ejection seat? Does the pilot stay in the seat until he lands, or does it get disconnected from the pilot somehow?
22
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5answers
9k views

Is there a minimum altitude for ejection seats?

Is there generally a minimum altitude for ejecting in order for the sequence to function reliably (all the way to opening the chute, and slowing down to a survivable descent rate)? I've seen ejector ...
34
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3answers
16k views

What process do I follow to land a civilian aircraft on a military base?

Let's say I have business on a US military base (e.g. JBLM), and I'd like to fly a privately owned aircraft there. What is the process I follow before the flight to get approval to land, and once I'm ...
13
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3answers
1k views

How common are conformal fuel tanks?

I know that the F-16 (F-16I and Block 50/52/60 models) have conformal fuel tanks standard now on top of the wing/fuselage area. The Silent Eagle model of the F-15E proposed by Boeing for South Korea, ...

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