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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4answers
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Can an intercepting fighter jet force a small propeller aircraft down without completely destroying it?

A rogue aircraft may fly into a no fly zone, and be intercepted by standard military procedure. That involves increasingly intense attempts to establish communication. When all these fail, it may be ...
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Why do the MiG-15 and MiG-17 have a split air intake in their noses?

MiG-15 and MiG-17 both have a split air intake in their nose. However, they have only one jet engine. So why is the air intake split? Wouldn't it be a lot less drag to just let the intake flow ...
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How can a military combat pilot indicate surrender?

If a military pilot is captured by an enemy, how can he indicate that he has run out of ammunition to engage in combat or is not in a position to retaliate? Does he use lights, radio, and/or flares?
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Did the XF-84H Thunderscreech really cause “900 sonic booms per minute”?

The Republic XF-84H, known as the "Thunderscreech" was an experimental version of the F-84F Thunderstreak. It was intended to be a supersonic turboprop fighter. Even at idle, the prop tips rotated at ...
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1answer
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Can anyone identify the aircraft in the background of this photo?

This photo was found in some family belongings and we're trying to date it to identify the family member who may have been in his tri-service imaged. So, can anyone identify the plane in the ...
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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?
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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 ...
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Do US military aircraft have tail numbers beginning with “N”?

Military aircraft usually display a serial number along with other insignia on the tail or body of the aircraft, as described here. However military serial numbers are not the same as FAA tail ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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How are aircraft transported to, and then placed, in an aircraft boneyard?

I was looking at the boneyard at Davis Monthan Air Force Base and was wondering: How are aircraft brought there, and then how are they placed so tightly together?
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Is joining the air force a good way to become an airline pilot?

I've always loved the air force. However, my main goal is to become an airline pilot. Would joining the air force affect becoming a commercial airline pilot? I am asking because if I join the air ...
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Why would a RAT be deployed at takeoff?

(Source) Is that a Ram Air Turbine (RAT) on the port side below the wing? Why is it already deployed and spinning during takeoff? This answer mentions a minimum airspeed at which RAT can be deployed....
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How can civil ATC maintain safety with military aircraft around?

I've been asking myself for a while how ATC can maintain air traffic safety with regard to military aircraft - or if they just don't. As I understand it, all bigger planes (let's for now focus on ...
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Why does the radar dome on the E-3 have a white stripe down the middle?

Every picture I can find of the E-3 has a blue/black radar dome on top with a fairly thick white stripe down the middle but I can't figure out why. Is it related to the position of the radar unit ...
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Why do military jets seem to always take off using the afterburner?

I was wondering. At different places I heard that civilian airplanes often (or even most of the time?) take off at less than 100% thrust. For example a question that tackles this is here: Is it ...
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What are these engine inlet devices used for?

While looking at the Boeing Chinook CH-47 for this question, I noticed the screens in front of the engines, and found similar devices in other photos: Source: left -- right What are these devices ...
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How do mixed-bag-of-hardware military coalitions handle communications, IFF, et. al. interoperability?

Back in the Cold War era, there were Western-allied air forces on one side using NATO-standard communications and IFF equipment, and Warsaw Pact-allied air forces on the other side using Soviet-...
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1answer
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What are these sensors on the Night Stalkers' Chinook MH-47G?

What are these sensors (or lights) on this heavy assault Chinook MH-47G of the US 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, "Night Stalkers"? Source, picture by Russell Hill This regiment was the ...
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Are there laws about how close military aircraft can fly to passenger jets, and are they enforced?

Yesterday I was on a passenger plane flying at 35000 feet from Denver to JFK on a fairly clear day. Just west of Sioux City, we made a relatively sharp, but short, right turn for whatever reason (may ...
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Why does the CF-100 autopilot have a toggle switch labeled 'ATTACK'?

I took this photograph of the autopilot controls inside the cockpit of a CF-100. There are a bunch of switches for the autopilot. Why does one have a label of "ATTACK" and what did turning it on/off ...
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How are naval jets moved around below the deck of a carrier?

There are many kinds of jets on an aircraft carrier. I'm curious how they're moved around below deck. They have to be moved around for storage and to get to and from the large elevator that takes them ...
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How are in-air refuelling craft grounded to each other?

This answer mentions that before refueling equipment is connected the F-16 and the refueling vehicle must be connected to each other. This does not seem to be the case for in-air refueling. Why is ...
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Why are the guns on the AC-130 not mounted on the underside of the aircraft?

Why must the guns of the AC-130 be on the side forcing the plane to circle the target. Would it not be more practical to have the guns underneath the plane shooting downwards?
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Can small airplanes be towed (or carried) as cargo to be dropped at some other location by air?

Is there any present technology where a large plane can carry a small plane (or multiple small planes) and drop it midair where the small plane deploys itself? This would be very good from defense ...
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How does dropping ordnance affect the weight and balance of the aircraft?

During a mission, military aircraft often shed a lot of weight from takeoff to landing. An F-15C (empty weight: 28,000 lbs) carries an internal fuel load of 13,455 lbs (almost a third of take-off ...
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Can civilians fly military aircraft?

I saw a few videos of the Sukhoi Su-35 doing some amazing aerobatics and I was wondering if a civilian could ever fly one - either for aerobatics or just fly it as their personal jet. Obviously ...
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What does the “remote control” for a QF-4 look like?

As I understand it a QF-4 is a Phantom which is converted to a remotely controlled plane for use in weapons testing. (Apparently in non-destructive runs, a pilot is still on board for safety, ...
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Why does the US Marines continue to fly the AH-1 Cobra, retired by the US Army in the late 90s?

My father flew Bell AH-1 Cobra for the United States Army in the late 1970s and a young man in my daughter's USN winging class (July 2017) was being assigned to Camp Pendleton to fly Cobra's for the ...
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1answer
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What does the letter E signify for the E-3 AWACS?

I came across the E-3 AWACS aircraft with the designation E-3, I could not find what the letter E means in E-3.
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Why don't bombers have close-in weapon systems (CIWS)?

Besides the TU-22 radar-controlled rear-cannon, why aren't there close-in weapon systems (CIWS) on planes to defend against incoming missiles? The tech seems to be there.
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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 ...
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What is this partially disassembled aircraft in the desert?

I found this plane on Google Earth. I'm guessing it is being deconstructed, as there are no factories nearby. What countries could it have originated from? The coordinates are 35°54'10.9"N, 117°43'51....
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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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How did the US get the necessary knowledge to maintain their MiGs?

I read a book entitled America's Secret MiG Squadron by Gaillard Peck some time ago. Just occurred to me though, how exactly did the US maintain these birds? Did we write any tech data? Did we acquire ...
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1answer
551 views

What would the ranks most likely be of the crew of a B-1B?

I'm currently attempting to write a novel which briefly features a modified B-1B undertaking a risky, highly important mission in support of a Special Access Program. Since a few scenes are set in the ...
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What are the flaps on the exhaust of military airplanes for?

I have been looking over some pictures of military airplanes, and I noticed that some of the more modern air planes have flaps on the exhaust I was wondering if anyone knew what the purpose of the ...
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If a circling airplane (AC-130) fires a bullet how does the plane's trajectory alter the shell's flight path?

Background: An AC-130 is a military aircraft that has a cannon that fires out the side of its fuselage. If an AC-130 (or similar aircraft) is traveling in straight, level flight at a constant rate of ...
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How does maintenance differ for military fighters/bombers vs. commercial airliners?

And why do military fighters/bomber require so many maintenance hours compared to commercial airlines, which seems like just kicking the tires? What do they actually do? How does maintenance differ ...
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1answer
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What's the point of the Total In-Flight Simulator?

Picture of the contraption: Source: wikimedia.org After a quick research, and Simon's link, it turns out to be a simulator for how different aircraft would handle. And was useful is simulating ...
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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 ...
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Why does the P-3 Orion use an engine driven compressor instead of bleed air for pressurization?

In another question, an answer mentions that the P-3 Orion uses a gearbox driven compressor for cabin pressurization, even though the aircraft uses T-56 turbine engines that supply bleed air in other ...
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What are these pipes on an Avro Vulcan?

As you can see above, there are two small pipes next to the main engine exhausts on this Avro Vulcan(the one at Duxford). I'm curious what these pipes are/what they are for. Are they fuel dump pipes? ...
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What aircraft did this canopy come from?

This canopy was found near Wetumka, Oklahoma in a small creek running through my best friend's property. The canopy is about 12 feet long. Can anyone tell me what aircraft it came from, or who I could ...
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What is the meaning of nose-art on the Tu-160 bomber?

The BBC reports another Tu-160 interception on 15 Jan 2018 and it's clear that there is a large message painted on the side of the bomber. Looking at the Wikipedia page, it seems this style of nose-...
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Why is the F-35 engine nozzle exposed?

I was wondering why the F-35 engine is exposed. The F-22, F-16 and the YF-23 Black Widow have the exhaust nozzles of their engines blended flush with the fuselage. (YF-23 Black Widow) (F-35) The YF-...
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Why do aircraft (namely military) need/use formation lights?

Why are formation lights used,and why are they largely/always used only on military aircraft and not civilian?
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What are the differences between the MiG-15 and MiG-17?

Apart from the extra wing fence and angled leading edge of the MiG-17, what are the differences visually between the two aircraft?
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What would happen if a helicopters rotor hit the [in-air] refueling probe?

My first guess is that they would catastrophically fail - but I also read the Eurocopter Cougar has propeller blades that will withstand the impact of a 20mm round (I'm guessing other military ...
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Why is there a difference between military parachutes and those used for skydiving?

A couple hours ago I was watching a youtube video where skydivers jump using the skydive parachute, and after that, a military training where the soldiers jump using "old" type parachute, the dome ...
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Why does the J58 engine of the SR-71 have a diffuser after the inlet spike?

I heard that the diffuser allows the compressed air after the inlet spike to "spread out". What does this mean? If this means expansion, wouldn't it be beneficial to have it compressed before entering ...

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