76

They do! Well, at least some of them. There is for example a project called TAMDAR (Tropospheric Airborne Meteorological Data Reporting) that e.g. Icelandair is a part of. There is a document published by the Icelandic Meteorological Office about it. Another example is MOZAIC/IAGOS: Atmospheric Research Using Commercial Airliners.


75

Yes, certainly! If your airspeed is lower than the speed of the headwind, the aircraft will fly backwards relative to the ground. Example videos: from ground (noisy, better turn down your volume) from cockpit However, note that headwind cannot cause a plane to fly backwards through the surrounding air. Constant wind does not affect airspeed.


60

I work in the aviation industry, specifically repair, maintenance and engineering. While not an engineer myself, I work alongside them. Adding anything to an airframe, internally or externally, always has a cost in time, materials and funds. Our company is in the process of modifying ERJ regional aircraft with seatside electrical outlets for passenger ...


44

Good news The good news is: you really are safe in an airliner, so safe that you could spend every minute of every day of the the rest of your life flying in one, and still not face any greater meaningful risk of a disaster. It's difficult to answer your question why it's so safe (i.e. what makes it safe), but the record is there, plainly, that it is so ...


40

You can get negative load factors (g forces) in different ways than just flying upside down: Change in pitch: When you push on the control column, the pitch will start to decrease. Depending on how fast you do this, the load factor can even become negative from this. Some aircraft do this intentionally to reduce the g force to exactly zero: (image source: ...


26

A plane should be able to be identified by the serial numbers of the various parts recovered at the crash scene. The history of any part on a plane is documented extensively by the serial number. The NTSB should be able to track down when the part was produced and who the part was delivered to. As Tanner mentioned the NTSB should be contacted immediately ...


23

Yes, I have done this many times in hang gliders, and at least once in a Cessna 152. In the latter case, the wind aloft was much stronger than at the ground-- it would be foolish to take off or even taxi in a ground-level wind strong enough to fly a light plane backwards. You may enjoy this video of flight at zero groundspeed (I am not the pilot!) -- ...


21

It works in a half-assed way but the key word is half-assed. You'll always be skidding around the sky since sideslip is required to obtain and maintain any rolling moment. Control response can be somewhat laggy, since you have to induce a skid and wait for the roll, depending on how much dihedral you have. So to have something approaching snappy control ...


21

Looks like a sort of gravel kit. Real gravel kits are used by jet powered aircraft to land on rough airfields. In this case though, the engine is in front, so it is likely that it is only there to reduce the amount of dirt raised when landing/taking-off so to reduce the chances of damaging the aircraft.


20

Keeping too much speed in an approach in any airplane can be risky depending on how much runway you have as it all has to bleed off before you can stop. It's a great way to end up in a hedge. Extra airspeed means you'll either float in ground effect for a very long time, or if you somehow manage to get the wheels down you won't get much braking action as the ...


20

Aside from the issues of weight and complexity, there are potential legal and political considerations regarding commercial carriage of certain kinds of observational equipment. Korean Airlines Flight 007 was shot down by a Soviet interceptor in 1983 when it inadvertently flew over Soviet territory leading the Soviets to believe it to be a military ...


20

Would installing the AOA vane (or, in general, sensor) at the wing root be more accurate than installing it near the nose? No, it wouldn't. In fact, it may be slightly worse due to the larger upwash at the wing leading edge and the vane protrusion may even negatively interfere with the wing aerodynamics. Traditionally, AOA measurements are used for stall ...


19

Been there, done that. A poorly forecast cold front once had me flying backwards in a Cessna 172 over Altoona, IFR (instrument flight rules) at night. Center asked me several times to verify my heading. Then when it was clear to them, they asked me my intentions. I told them I had lots of fuel and could continue to wait things out for an hour or so. The ...


19

Air flowing underneath the wing at an angle is pushed downwards, regardless of the shape of the lower surface: high pressure has few practical limits. Air flowing over the upper surface cannot suddenly change direction though because it is driven by an under-pressure gradient. It can follow a slowly curving surface to the limit of the pressure differential ...


18

Much of aviation has a history in Nautical terms, lore... and law. Ships were referred to as "she" perhaps for one of the following reasons The latin word for Ship is "Navis" which is a feminine noun Or perhaps mostly male ship owners would name their ships after/for their (invariably female) loved ones. Ships were often dedicated to godesses, or women of ...


18

Ships are subject to storms, aircraft fly above them. Cars are confined to a very crowded space called a road, and can collide with all the other cars sharing the road - aircraft have the infinite skies. Understand an aircraft - they are very competently engineered constructions and are indeed the safest form of transport. Accidents are mainly caused by the ...


18

Is there any insurmountable technical or legal limitation to equip commercial airplanes with Earth Observing instruments? This question would probably be better answered on space.se, by people who know what are the advantages of a satellite over an aircraft and the reasons why missions are not conducted on aircraft. However several aspects indeed differ ...


18

A quick search points to the following being part of the crew Pilot Co-pilot 2x Flight engineers: one on the engine controls; I am not sure of the purpose of the second one but a good guess is hydraulic and electric system monitoring, based on his proximity to the circuit breaker panel (source, scroll down for a 3D photograph of the flight deck). Navigator: ...


17

It is essentially two propellers stack on top of each other. You can see it in this picture of a Lazair. As for why they were chosen for the Lazair, Many have asked why Ultraflight opted for double propellers stacked in a biplane fashion. This is a very unique setup and draws lots of attention. Apparently when Ultraflight changed over to the Rotax ...


16

I wouldn't expect press headlines to adhere to the FAA or ICAO definitions of "small", "large", "heavy", etc. This would be a public vernacular definition of "small", which would distinguish from the big airliners most people think of when hearing about jet planes.


15

I even don't talk to anyone as it is the last day of my life and need to live it alone. I read that this is called "fear of flight" or "phobia of airplanes". No it is not, in fact its going to be the first day when you learn new heights you can go to, you will make new friends if you're good at it. You will see new views from the Sky. You will see a new ...


15

Consider giving the National Transportation Safety Board a phone call. If they don't know about the wreckage already, they might be interested in examining it. You're not really "reporting an accident", but in any case, the page "Report an Aircraft Accident to the NTSB" says: Contact the NTSB's 24-hour Response Operations Center (ROC) at 844-373-9922 to ...


15

Space fan here, and I think you are underestimating the size of the task. Earth has a surface area of 510 million km2. A plane travelling at 500 km/h with a 10 km observation track can cover 5000 km2/h, or 50000 km2 per 10 hour operational day, ignoring transit to/from nearest available airport. It would need approximately 10,000 days (...


14

Ironically air travel is safe BECAUSE you are so afraid of it ;-). A big contribution to the safety of air travel is that people are so fearsome about it. You are not the only one - being confined to a metal tube in an environment where you could not breath and would freeze to death at the same time in the matter of seconds without the continuous operation ...


13

I'll answer this question as "If the glass cockpit instrument fail, what are the backup? " This answer will also be General Aviation oriented (as I'm a PPL student) The short answer is redundancy. At first, let's look at a G1000 (standard GA glass cockpit) architecture : The most important components are : One (or multiple for redundancy) AHRS : ...


12

Yes. When aloft, an aircraft only cares about how the air is flowing over its wings; how fast the air is moving relative to the ground is irrelevant.


12

The flow separation commences at the boundary layer, due to adverse pressure gradients (from Wiki): You can find a basic mathematical explanation in the linked article: The streamwise momentum equation inside the boundary layer is approximately stated as $$ {\partial u \over \partial s} = -{1 \over \rho}{dp \over ds} + {\nu} {\partial^2 u \over \...


12

To clarify, it's a Fokker F-27 Friendship 500. Manufacturered in 1971, PH-NIV has photos of it on Wiki: Registration details here As to how it's in Amsterdam Schipol: towed to entrance at Oude Meer nr Schiphol East 12.07.12 as PH-NIV in old Fokker proto cs owner Coöperatieve Vereniging Anthony Fokker Logistics UA moved to permanent display location ...


11

You can, in theory, fly a faster landing speed than the default Vref of 1.3*Vso. But it’s wasteful in the round out and potentially very dangerous on short field landings. When an airplane lands, the pilots needs to enter the round out with only enough energy to arrest the descent and establish the airplane in the correct attitude for touchdown approx 1-2 ...


10

The power to move an aircraft from point A to point B on an airport is provided by the same engines that power it in flight unless you hook up a tug, in which case the tug provides the power. There have been experimental developments that provide power to the main landing gear wheels, but there have never been any real implementations of these systems. Small ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible