56 votes

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

We will take the case of an unsupercharged piston engine, as used in most small Cessnas and Pipers. All engines need the oxygen in air to burn their fuel. As an airplane climbs, the air thins out and ...
niels nielsen's user avatar
51 votes

Is it possible to fly a B-24 under Bixby Bridge?

A Liberator has wingspan of 34m, while the central span of the bridge is 110m wide, and 280ft high, so the aircraft will fit under the bridge. Bixby creek approaches the bridge from the north-east, ...
Hobo Sapiens's user avatar
45 votes
Accepted

Is the aircraft used by NOAA specially modified?

Except for modifications related to instrumentation, not much. The WP-3D was developed from the Lockheed P-3 Orion, which was a navalized L-188 Electra. Orion is a sturdy platform. Used during the ...
aeroalias's user avatar
  • 100k
43 votes

What is the biggest airplane that does not need a paved runway?

The H-4 Hercules (Spruce Goose) should easily win this contest. That plane was ridiculously huge and, in fact, couldn't use a runway, rather it was a "flying boat" that took off from the the water. ...
Jae Carr's user avatar
  • 24.2k
43 votes
Accepted

What is the biggest airplane that does not need a paved runway?

Military transports are designed to be operated from unpaved runways- by extension, any of these converted to civilian use can operate from unpaved runways. For example, the Antonov Airlines ...
aeroalias's user avatar
  • 100k
42 votes
Accepted

Is it possible to fly a B-24 under Bixby Bridge?

Neglecting any potential power lines, I believe the manoeuvre is possible. I had to play around a little bit to get my simulation to work, though, showing that in real life, any attempt to underfly ...
Cpt Reynolds's user avatar
  • 4,807
38 votes
Accepted

What's the purpose of "over G" penalties in Red Bull Air Race?

It's a safety rule to protect the limits of the airframe and the pilot. See the video (also on youtube) from this Red Bull Air Race page which explains the rules. The G-limit is discussed from 3:30. ...
DeltaLima's user avatar
  • 83.4k
37 votes

Is it possible to fly a B-24 under Bixby Bridge?

Interesting... It looks possible under ideal conditions in a modern aircraft. (I attempted a basic simulated flight in google-earth flight simulator-vid below) Edit: The service cables mentioned in ...
Tom's user avatar
  • 471
35 votes

Why can we not use full throttle in a C172 when cruising at lower altitudes?

These engines are not designed to run at maximum horsepower output all the time with a lean mixture. They are designed to cruise at 50-75% of their rated max power, and deal with that level of ...
John K's user avatar
  • 131k
32 votes

Is the aircraft used by NOAA specially modified?

The simple answer to your question is no - the aircraft is not structurally modified. However, to add some context to @aeroalias's answer, here is a great visualization of windspeeds at various ...
J...'s user avatar
  • 1,612
28 votes
Accepted

Why is a 737 Original speed-restricted below 10 kft with inoperative windscreen heating?

To reduce damage in case of a bird strike. The restriction is not only for the 737-100 and -200 models, the 737 NG QRH says: WINDOW HEAT OFF In flight: WINDOWS HEAT switch (affected window) ..... OFF ...
Bianfable's user avatar
  • 55.9k
27 votes
Accepted

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

What limits a small plane to be able to fly at a much higher altitude? Money. Power and lift on an aeroplane both decrease with increasing altitude, as shown in the image above, from my paper copy ...
Koyovis's user avatar
  • 61.7k
22 votes

What is a Cessna 172's maximum altitude?

The absolute ceiling, or the maximum height an aircraft can fly to, is usually not published; manufacturers usually use service ceiling as the benchmark. Service ceiling is the maximum altitude which ...
Romeo_4808N's user avatar
  • 73.7k
22 votes

Is it okay to take off with weight more than the POH max gross weight?

Can you take off over gross weight? Yes, it's possible on any airplane, dependent on how far over the weight limit you are, the density altitude, how much runway you have, what obstacles are in the ...
GdD's user avatar
  • 54k
22 votes

Is it right to extend flaps only in the white arc?

Yes you must slow down to the white arc, or whatever your flap extension speed is for a given condition, regardless. If you are 10kts above the white arc and drop flaps anyway, it's not going to make ...
John K's user avatar
  • 131k
21 votes

What is the biggest airplane that does not need a paved runway?

It's not quite as big as the Antonov An-124, but honorable mention would have to go to the Lockheed LC-130. It's designed to resupply scientific and military operations in polar regions, and so it ...
Michael Seifert's user avatar
19 votes
Accepted

Is there anything extra required to spin a Cessna 172 in the Utility category?

Provided you meet ALL of the requirements for utility category operation as spelled out in the POH (within W&B limits for the utility envelope, no aft passengers, empty baggage compartment, and ...
voretaq7's user avatar
  • 68.4k
19 votes

What is the biggest airplane that does not need a paved runway?

These oldies seem worth mentioning... If you loosen your definition of "airplane" to "the longest class of flying machine and the largest airship by envelope volume" you could think of a Hindenburg-...
Xen2050's user avatar
  • 405
17 votes
Accepted

How high can a ramjet go?

Here's a quick estimate for this. The maximum altitude for level flight is when the engine can't produce the thrust required to fly fast enough to generate the lift required to balance the weight. ...
Robin Bennett's user avatar
15 votes

What sort of issues related to extreme heat (115°F, 46°C plus) would prevent takeoffs or landings?

Aircraft performance is a many-faceted topic. Insofar as it being so hot that operation is prohibited, a couple of things come to mind. Aircraft performance figures are supplied by the aircraft ...
Terry's user avatar
  • 39.1k
15 votes

What is the biggest airplane that does not need a paved runway?

Going off on another direction if ice counts as "unpaved", a Boeing 757 was landed in Antarctica in November 2015, the first commercial airliner to do that. Source is from the link above.
SMS von der Tann's user avatar
13 votes
Accepted

What makes the Antonov An-2 have no stall speed?

The horizontal tail can't make sufficient down force to slow the plane to get the slatted wings to stalling AOA. With the slat system, the stalling AOA will be perhaps 10 degrees higher than without. ...
John K's user avatar
  • 131k
13 votes

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

The previous answers give an excellent overview of limiting factors regarding high altitude flight with powered civil aviation aircraft like a small Cessna. Of interest might be that people have ...
Thomas Perry's user avatar
  • 1,255
13 votes
Accepted

Why did Concorde have a max pitch down attitude in supersonic flight?

I'm assembling this answer mostly based on Concorde operating manual, volume 2, in French. ADI The Attitude & Director Indicator is (was) actually a superb instrument, only outdone by the Orbiter ...
mins's user avatar
  • 73.4k
12 votes
Accepted

What is the maximum crosswind limit for a C150/2 aircraft?

Section 4 of the C152 POH lists the demonstrated crosswind component as 12KIAS. The 150 had a few variants so finding a published number is a bit more tricky. The Aerobat's are sometimes listed as ...
Jamiec's user avatar
  • 33k

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