97 votes
Accepted

How was I able to just plug in my headphones and listen to ATC and pilot chatter?

This is a feature offered on some United Airlines aircraft and flights. It's an interesting way to hear what's going on in the cockpit. You can find lots of information by searching for United channel ...
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  • 8,833
65 votes

MH370 blackbox - is it still possible to retrieve data from it?

There are precedents: the flight recorders of AF447 spent two years at the bottom of the ocean, and revealed all that had happened after being retrieved. So they had survived being immersed in salty ...
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  • 58k
65 votes
Accepted

Why didn't Philippine Airlines Flight 113 dump fuel prior to forced landing?

If you had an engine fire, even though it may be "out", you want your airplane on the ground as soon as you possibly can. You don't know what structural damage is lurking as a result of the fire. ...
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  • 105k
63 votes
Accepted

Why does one of the Boeing 777's spoilers deploy differently from the rest?

Roll control is provided by 2 flaperons, 2 ailerons, and 14 spoilers. Spoiler panels 4 and 11 are controlled mechanically rather than electrically. They are driven directly from control wheel ...
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  • 32.2k
55 votes

Why didn't Philippine Airlines Flight 113 dump fuel prior to forced landing?

On twin-engined aircraft the standard procedure for engine failure is to land as soon as possible. Since it is possible to land overweight—and aircraft are designed so that it is—delay to dump fuel is ...
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  • 54.1k
51 votes
Accepted

Why is the 777 fuel burn rate graph U shaped and skewed to the left?

What does the graph show? The graph plots the average fuel required per distance as a function of the total flight distance. It does not show fuel flow rate as a function of time during the flight. ...
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  • 45k
45 votes

Where can I find Boeing 777 safety records?

The Boeing 777 has an excellent reputation when it comes to safety. Just under 1500 have been built which have accumulated more than five million flights and 20 million flight hours. Only 6 aircraft ...
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  • 74.8k
38 votes

How was I able to just plug in my headphones and listen to ATC and pilot chatter?

ATC and aircraft communications (at least in the US) are not restricted for receiving. Anyone can purchase (or make) an "Air band" receiver (or scanner radio) tunable through (roughly) 118-140 MHz and ...
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31 votes
Accepted

What is the "Brake to Exit" feature on the Boeing 777X?

It is a system that Airbus already uses in the A380 and some A350's. They call it BTV (Brake to Vacate). It allows the pilot to select a certain runway exit in advance (e.g. while approaching). ...
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  • 3,156
29 votes
Accepted

What is the purpose of the small fins on top of the wing surface of Boeing aircraft?

They are called vortex generators, and their function is to create a small vortex which re-energizes the boundary layer. Here is a better picture which also shows that their leading edge is swept like ...
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29 votes
Accepted

How could an airliner as big as B777 make a U Turn on ground?

Turning Radius, as found in a planning document: 28.7m for a Boeing 777-200 34.7m for a Boeing 777-300 Rotating around one a point a bit off the wing to allow both wheels to roll throughout. ...
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28 votes
Accepted

Why does the Boeing 787 have fewer cockpit windows?

It is because of the carbon fibre. This is the same reason that the 787 has bigger passenger windows. Here you can find a link explaining the polarized windows on the 787. Because of its higher ...
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28 votes

Can an airliner with no brakes be slowed down after landing by steering it into the grass?

Depends on what the alternative is. Hopefully you're going fairly slow when you get to that point. In any case, if the choice is between grass and a drop off into a ravine, go for the grass. If the ...
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  • 105k
26 votes

How far can a 777 fly with just one engine at altitude?

Flying with only one of two engines will not increase range, but reduce it. A gas turbine consumes fuel in proportion to the mass of air moving through it, so with increasing altitude consumption ...
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25 votes
Accepted

Why has the 777x been designed with folding wingtips?

The Boeing 777X website states that this is to enable a more efficient wing (read: wider span) while maintaining the airport gate and taxi footprint of the classic 777 (which ensures airlines can use ...
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  • 4,522
25 votes

Why has the 777x been designed with folding wingtips?

Many modern aircraft have been designed with winglets, and older ones have been retrofitted with them. They allow a wing to produce more lift with less drag. However, the benefit is even greater if ...
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  • 69.7k
24 votes

Why does the Boeing 777X have a flight deck similar to the 787 and not to the previous 777?

The reality is that the 777X is not all that different from the 777 when considering cockpit procedures or 'user interface'. What is different is the hardware platform(s) that are used. I worked ...
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  • 17.7k
23 votes

What is the purpose of the small fins on top of the wing surface of Boeing aircraft?

They are vortex generators, used to delay flow separation. These vortex generators are usually attached near the leading edge of the wing and create small vortices, that prevent flow separation at ...
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  • 98.6k
22 votes
Accepted

Why will the 777X be tested for crosswind handling with wingtips raised?

If you read the details in the Federal Register, you can see that this refers to crosswind handling on the ground, not in the air: The folding wingtips and their operating mechanism must be designed ...
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  • 70.3k
21 votes
Accepted

Was this bumpy Boeing 777-300 landing caused by windshear?

Some comments state this was a wind-shear, is that correct? Looking at the windsock which appears in the right bottom corner at 0:12 and remains visible for about 4 seconds, you can tell there is ...
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  • 74.8k
20 votes
Accepted

Why does the B777 have no winglets? Are there any drawbacks to having winglets?

As in anything in aviation design, the use of wingtips has both advantages and disadvantages. In the end, the decision to use (or not) a winglet is based on the cost-benefit analysis of the winglet to ...
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  • 98.6k
19 votes

MH370 blackbox - is it still possible to retrieve data from it?

If not, why would you still be looking for the missing aircraft and especially the blackbox, if there was nothing to find out about the reason that caused the 777 to disappear? In fact we are ...
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  • 1,722
19 votes

What happens if the autopilot fails to initiate a flare?

In the B767 and B757 the autopilot (autoland) system (triple redundancy) monitors required system components throughout the approach. The flare mode is displayed at 1500 ft and at 45 ft it activates. ...
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  • 18.7k
18 votes

What does the Boeing 777 autopilot do after reaching the last programmed waypoint?

The first point I would stress on is that you don't program the autopilot. You program the FMS (Flight Management System), which looks like a very large calculator. In this picture it is the device ...
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18 votes

Why does the Boeing 787 have fewer cockpit windows?

The rules on visibility from the cockpit have been updated. There are rules and regulations imposed on the view from the cockpit, for very good reasons - collision avoidance for instance. During ...
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  • 58k

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