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95 votes
Accepted

Were there any planes used in WWII that were able to shoot their own tail?

The Douglas SBD Dauntless's rear gunner could shoot its own tail. The SBD-5 had two 30-cal machine guns that could be popped out of storage in the aft fuselage and locked into a ring frame around the ...
Rob McDonald's user avatar
  • 13.2k
74 votes
Accepted

Why did the pilots in Top Gun: Maverick invert at the crest of the mountain before descending?

It’s to maintain a positive loading throughout the maneuver. The F/A-18E is load limited to +7.5G/-3.0G, depending on loadout and flight operations. With a designed in factor of safety of 1.5, the ...
Romeo_4808N's user avatar
  • 74.1k
48 votes
Accepted

What did Chuck do wrong in this Chicken Wings comic?

Chuck landed blindfolded. He's using a hood, a device worn like a visor which blocks part of your vision so you can only see the instrument panel and nothing outside. Pilots practicing instrument ...
TypeIA's user avatar
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35 votes
Accepted

What type of aircraft do Tintin and Captain Haddock use on their way to Peru in "The Seven Crystal Balls"?

It bears a distinct resemblance to a Short Sunderland, except that it lacks the gun turrets. The shape of the hull, the fin, the engine configuration, the cockpit, the forward observation window (a ...
DJClayworth's user avatar
  • 4,501
26 votes

Why did the pilots in Top Gun: Maverick invert at the crest of the mountain before descending?

Human negative G limits for pushing the nose down are about 3G, vs. maybe 9G positive G limit for pulling the nose up (or downward while inverted), very roughly, and as other answers explain, negative ...
Peter Cordes's user avatar
24 votes

Could someone really die in the way that Goose did in the movie "Top Gun"?

I was a pilot in the Tomcat for 1,800 hours 1975-85. We actually had a written and memorized procedure that when ejecting from a FLAT SPIN you did not just pull the ejection seat handle(s). The ...
Greg Quist's user avatar
24 votes

Is this an at-all realistic configuration for a DHC-2 Beaver?

If the mixture control is at cutoff, then all fuel flow to the engine is... well, cut off. That means the engine is going to shut off from lack of fuel. Now, some carbureted engines can run for a few ...
HiddenWindshield's user avatar
17 votes
Accepted

What is this military aircraft from the James Bond film Octopussy?

There is such thing as the Internet Movie Plane Database which has a page for Octopussy It includes this picture: which it lists as: Modified nose section of a Dutch built Hawker Hunter, serial N-...
Jamiec's user avatar
  • 33.7k
16 votes

What aircraft is used in the movie Plane (2023)?

Short answer: It's an MD-80 which can fly at 40k feet and happens to have a glass cockpit. Complete answer: Inspect the following images from the filming set and trailer... This is an aircraft from ...
Aditya Sharma's user avatar
14 votes
Accepted

Is this an at-all realistic configuration for a DHC-2 Beaver?

Not likely as the engine has no fuel going to it at this point with the mixture at idle cutoff. A DHC-2 Beaver is also a normally aspirated airplane so manifold pressures that high are unrealistic as ...
Romeo_4808N's user avatar
  • 74.1k
9 votes
Accepted

What's an ESAT as filmed in "Top Gun: Maverick"

If you google the AN/PRC-90 you’ll get very close. I am guessing this is either (a) a more modernized replacement, or (b) more likely, a “dramatized version” of the PRC-90 with dramatized features. ...
Max R's user avatar
  • 3,808
9 votes

Why did the pilots in Top Gun: Maverick invert at the crest of the mountain before descending?

Positive G vs Negative G. The pilot and aircraft can sustain greater pos G than neg. This would allow them follow a sharper arc going over the top, and stay closer to the landscape. Of course, an ...
WPNSGuy's user avatar
  • 9,077
7 votes

Why did the pilots in Top Gun: Maverick invert at the crest of the mountain before descending?

Virtually every aircraft is designed with a positive-G limit that is between 2 and 3 times the negative G-limit. Most FA-18 models have a positive G limit of 7.5G and a negative G limit of -3.0G. For ...
Max R's user avatar
  • 3,808
6 votes

What, if anything, could actually cause one helicopter blade to be more eroded than the others?

Other than manufacturing defect there is nothing that would cause dissimilar wear on helicopter blades. The prank in the joke references the master rod of radial engine. All the blades cut air in the ...
Jpe61's user avatar
  • 29.1k
6 votes
Accepted

What does this handle from the movie Flight (2012) do?

The movie Flight (2012) shows a McDonnell Douglas MD-80 series aircraft (same as Alaska Airlines Flight 261, on which it is loosely based). There is no such handle in an MD-80 cockpit. Compare the ...
Bianfable's user avatar
  • 56.5k
5 votes

Why did the pilots in Top Gun: Maverick invert at the crest of the mountain before descending?

Also worthy of mention is that the pilot may have a significantly better view of the terrain while inverted.
Frog's user avatar
  • 1,852
5 votes
Accepted

In The Final Countdown, why did F-14 gun down the first A6M2 Zero, but the other F-14 fired an air-to-air missile at the second A6M2?

YouTuber and former F-14 RIO Ward Carroll published a very thorough video commentary on this film. It's well worth watching. There's tons of interesting information in it (for example, and since you ...
TypeIA's user avatar
  • 14.4k
5 votes

What aircraft is used in the movie Plane (2023)?

After watching the Plane (2023) Trailer, I am sure it is some variant of the McDonnell Douglas MD-80.
Mike Sowsun's user avatar
  • 37.8k
4 votes

What, if anything, could actually cause one helicopter blade to be more eroded than the others?

The blade has been damaged and then replaced by another, old and worn blade from the different (same type) helicopter. From the source, blades can be damaged during the ground handling. In this case I ...
h22's user avatar
  • 12.1k
4 votes

What is this military aircraft from the James Bond film Octopussy?

I think the short answer is it's not a real aircraft. It looks like a prop. It bears the closest resemblance to me to the McDonnell Douglass F-4 Phantom II, but shares a few commonalities with the ...
MDBenson's user avatar
3 votes

What does this handle from the movie Flight (2012) do?

I watched the clip and was glad I didn't go see the movie because I would've been screaming in the theatre will all the made up nonsense and ridiculous procedural depictions (no crew acts like that), ...
John K's user avatar
  • 132k
3 votes
Accepted

Are the F-18 movements in the Top Gun: Maverick movie really possible?

The "Cobra maneuver" is primarily an airshow stunt. To my knowledge it has never been performed or verified in actual combat.
Juan Jimenez's user avatar
3 votes

Could someone really die in the way that Goose did in the movie "Top Gun"?

Ejection in general is not a safe thing to do. It's a measure of last resort. For example, the ACES II seat used by most US military aircraft is listed as having a 94% success rate in envelope, and 89%...
tj1000's user avatar
  • 8,787
2 votes
Accepted

What is the aircraft type in the movie 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood'?

Presumably a wrong B747. I haven't seen the movie yet but from all I read about it, it contains an airplane scene in which a wrong airplane is shown for the time the film is set. The Internet Movie ...
PerlDuck's user avatar
  • 3,186
2 votes

What, if anything, could actually cause one helicopter blade to be more eroded than the others?

No. It's a cartoon. The naive young student was tricked by the salty mechanic. It's humorous, just like telling the new person to fetch a bucket of prop wash and 10' of flight line is humorous.
Michael Hall's user avatar
  • 26.9k
2 votes

What did Chuck do wrong in this Chicken Wings comic?

As people of previously pointed out, the instructor is surprised that the student pilot landed the aircraft completely under the hood, without any visual reference to the runway, as is required by §91....
Romeo_4808N's user avatar
  • 74.1k
1 vote

Has anyone ever heard of a Bresthaven Dragon-Fly III?

There is no Bresthaven Dragonfly III, nor is Bresthaven an airplane manufacturer.
300D7309EF17's user avatar
  • 2,400
1 vote

Is this an at-all realistic configuration for a DHC-2 Beaver?

Unless this is an amphibious float equipped Beaver, or any other float plane, you wouldn't be flying at night. There are no lighted water landing areas, and you wouldn't see obstacles in the water, ...
Gray Wings's user avatar

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