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45 votes
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What is that device on an Su-27 pilot's helmet?

That is the mounting point for night vision goggles. The following image shows a helmet with NVG mounted. Helmet mounted NVG; image from lemt.by The USAF has helmets with different mounting and some ...
aeroalias's user avatar
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44 votes
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What are the "spur" devices on this U2 pilot's boots?

These are part of the foot restraint system fitted to the seats used in the SR-71, later U-2 and some Space Shuttles. (They're all derived from the same basic design). The spurs engage in two ball ...
Airsick's user avatar
  • 286
34 votes

Am I allowed to take a liferaft onto a commerical flight?

The CO2 cartridge will probably be considered as hazmat. When I've traveled with Scouts with self-inflating life vests (going to a sailing camp), the vests all had to be in checked luggage. Removing ...
Ralph J's user avatar
  • 51.8k
26 votes

Am I allowed to take a liferaft onto a commerical flight?

No. Life jackets and self-inflating devices are considered dangerous goods and can only be carried if registered in advance See Swiss Baggage rules. I strongly suggest you contact the airline BEFORE ...
Paul Smith's user avatar
  • 1,095
21 votes

Am I allowed to take a liferaft onto a commerical flight?

Since the life raft is packed, and you are not allowed to unpack/repack it (only authorised service centres can do it), it will contain a full CO₂ cylinder. IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations, and more ...
jcaron's user avatar
  • 2,271
18 votes
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What is that black pod on the left wing of a TBM?

That is the front of the housing which encloses the 10" GWX70 Color Weather Radar antenna. Here are some close up shots of a TBM depicting the weather radome. Source: Own work Note the lightning ...
J W's user avatar
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18 votes
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How do they quickly replace the pylons after a hit during the Red Bull Air Races?

The 25m tall asymmetrical pylons used in Red bull air races are made of 9 different sections, which are connected with zippers for easy removal and installation. In this image, you can see the ...
aeroalias's user avatar
  • 100k
17 votes
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What can trigger the ELT on GA aircraft?

There are four different types of ELTs: Automatic fixed ELT (ELT(AF)). An automatically activated ELT which is permanently attached to an aircraft. Automatic portable ELT (ELT(AP)). An automatically ...
Aquarello's user avatar
  • 456
16 votes
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What is this hole on the tail of an MD-88?

That is the ram air intake for the air conditioning packs.
Mike Sowsun's user avatar
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14 votes
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Was John F. Kennedy Jr.’s accident airplane equipped with an autopilot?

According to the NTSB, the accident airplane did have a functioning autopilot and GPS. The airplane was equipped with a Bendix/King 150 Series Automatic Flight Control System (AFCS), which was ...
Greg Bacon's user avatar
  • 5,710
13 votes

Do flying boats carry anchors?

I can confirm they had one: I was lucky enough to own an HU-16 Albatross, many years ago. Prior to my purchase the bird was down in Arizona, near the Davis-Monthan boneyard. It still had the original ...
proplabs's user avatar
  • 131
12 votes
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Do pilots have separate volume knobs on the radio panel?

Some modern audio panels allow for independent volume control for pilot (left seat), co-pilot (right seat) and passengers. For example, a popular panel, the Garmin 340 has controls on each side of ...
Canuk's user avatar
  • 8,472
11 votes
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What is a "Lifeline Extension Belt"?

I think what the placard actually says is. Lifeline Extension Belt (ie, its 2 things, not one!) An A320 equipment specification indicates the narrow OHB you reference as number 16. Which is titled &...
Jamiec's user avatar
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11 votes
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What is this weapon spotted at an airshow in South Africa?

It's a British Tigercat short range surface to air missiles launcher system. The cones are protective weather covers for the missiles which are removed prior to launch. As to the 'buckets and chains' ...
Romeo_4808N's user avatar
  • 73.8k
10 votes

What is this weapon spotted at an airshow in South Africa?

In Britain it's a Tiger Cat and in the South African defense force it was called a Hilda missile system. I operated one when I did national service there. The missiles are connected to a firing ...
Luis Da Graca's user avatar
10 votes

What is the purpose of the glazed round area atop the Ju 87 Stuka G?

I think it's a transparent cover for a direction-finding loop antenna. The rear gunner doubled as navigator, and probably needed to check the position of the moveable loop antenna. Ref.: Luftfahrt ...
xxavier's user avatar
  • 11.1k
10 votes
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What are the different ways my alternator is failing?

If you have a voltmeter installed, a failed alternator will cause it to read ~12V (or ~24V) while a working alternator should show ~14V (or ~28V) The voltage regulator (wired in after the alternator) ...
Dave's user avatar
  • 101k
10 votes

Am I allowed to take a liferaft onto a commerical flight?

If you are planning to carry a full CO2 cartridge: no. From the TSA: CO2 Cartridge Carry On Bags: No Checked Bags: No Except for personal medical oxygen cylinders, you can only carry an EMPTY ...
Quora Feans's user avatar
  • 3,681
10 votes

Did pilots use the radio in the Spanish Civil War?

The Heinkel 51s used in the Spanish Civil War had radio equipment. Messerschmidt Bf 109 versions A to E served in the conflict, the model B1 had FuG 7 radios. I can't find a source but I'd guess ...
Dave Gremlin's user avatar
  • 2,740
9 votes
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What are the defining characteristics of aviator glasses?

Aviators are nothing more than a marketing gimmick developed by Bausch & Lomb back in the 1930s. The Wikipedia page on them quotes: They are characterised by dark, often reflective lenses ...
Romeo_4808N's user avatar
  • 73.8k
9 votes
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What exactly is the winter baffle in parentheses, where is it used and what does it do?

They are little plates that block off part of the air intakes for winter operations. With the really cold air, the normal flow velocity provides way too much cooling, so to limit the effect, you block ...
John K's user avatar
  • 132k
8 votes

What are the "spur" devices on this U2 pilot's boots?

Those were attachments for the ejection seats leg restraints to be used when bailing out of the aircraft in an emergency.
Romeo_4808N's user avatar
  • 73.8k
8 votes

Am I allowed to take a liferaft onto a commerical flight?

It's due for inspection in 3 months anyway So you might as well either leave the CO₂ cartridge in your home country ... or just drain/empty it and carry it separately. Now you have no trouble with ...
Harper - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
7 votes

What is that black pod on the left wing of a TBM?

It is weather radar. Most multi-engine aircraft have radar in the nose but single engine aircraft mount it on the wing. They have been doing it since WW II, but with night fighter radar. US Night ...
Mike Sowsun's user avatar
  • 37.8k
7 votes
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Why is there a cutout in the pilot seat (looking as if it had separate "legs")?

I can't speak to all aircraft, but on the 727-100 and 747-100/200 aircraft I flew, the seat cutout accommodated the strap on 5-point seat belt systems that went down between your legs. See https://...
Terry's user avatar
  • 39.2k
6 votes

What is this ring-shaped device behind this DC-8's jet engine?

It's an ejector and was fitted on the DC-8's equipped with JT3C, JT4A or RR Conway engines. Normally extended for T/O and landing, it is retracted in flight after T/O because it is no longer needed ...
Jeff Jarvis's user avatar

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