Hot answers tagged

66

The stick does not need to move in order for the pilots to sense their inputs! Humans have very accurate force sensors in their fingers, and no direct position sensors. Without looking, we only have a very vague idea where our hand is due to muscle tone sensing, but we don't need to look at our hand to know exactly how hard it is pushing something. For the ...


60

The nose design of aircraft, like any other part, is a result of optimization in response to a number of factors. The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 'Fishbed' is a supersonic, second/third generation Soviet fighter/interceptor. The first jet aircraft to enter serice during the WWII, the Messerschmitt Me 262 'Schwalbe' and Gloster Meteor had twin engines in their ...


59

In an aircraft designed to go supersonic, it's an absolute non-event, and one is only aware of it by observing the instruments, and noting diminished control authority-- slower roll rate, etc. At least, that was my experience in the T-38, and according to every account I've read. If the aircraft is NOT designed to go supersonic, then the experience can be ...


39

A lot of early jet aircraft had the intake in the nose. Here's a few more examples: The cone in the front is required because the Mig-21 is a supersonic aircraft. The cone breaks the shockwave so that the inlet air is sub-sonic. The SR-71 is a very different type of aircraft but you can see that its engines have a very similar style of inlet:


35

The design philosophy which led away from the nose intake was to fit a powerful radar to the aircraft, which in turn was a consequence of switching from guns to air-to-air missiles as the primary armament of fighter aircraft. Most designs of the late Forties and early Fifties did not consider powerful radars in individual aircraft, but were based on ground ...


24

The simplest answer to your question is that the F-16 has not yet been retired because, for its cost, there's nothing better being built in enough numbers to replace the nearly 4500 Falcons produced. The F-16 was designed on the trailing edge of a surge in technological development by the U.S. military in the wake of Vietnam. The U.S. had fought that war ...


24

If you take a look at the picture again, you'll see that the missiles are in fact lined up quite nicely with the nose of the plane. The missiles are not pointed down, they are pointed forward. The wings and engine (and the entire back two-thirds of the plane) are pointed up, which provides the lift to keep the plane in the air during normal flight. You can ...


24

You can watch for yourself 4 minutes in on this video. Can't tell at all, so much so that they have to let people know with a big sign. Once the issues of buffeting during the transition were fixed in the design of supersonic aircraft, pretty anticlimactic.


19

No. This would require a docile pitch behavior of the airframe up to approx. 110° angle of attack. The design of both the Su-27 and the MiG-29 is based on a geometry that has been carefully optimized by TsAGI to behave nicely over its full AoA range, a care that has not been spent by General Dynamics while designing the F-16. The specifications did not call ...


17

MIL-STD-1760A is simply the standard that a processor must conform to, and is not an actual model of CPU. There are actually a lot of independent computers in a military aircraft, each with specific responsibilities. They are usually linked up via networks, typically over MIL-STD-1553 busses for older platforms. The radar has its own processor(s) and ...


16

In this picture from Wikipedia it can be clearly seen that the two along the bottom of the fuselage are both heated air data probes, as Federico pointed out. The probes are heated to prevent ice from forming and blocking air flow to the sensors. The forward one is a pitot probe, and the aft one is a total temperature probe. The AOA sensor can also be seen as ...


15

They are Conformal Fuel Tanks. See http://israeli-weapons.com/weapons/aircraft/f-16i/F-16I.html: Conformal Fuel Tanks (CFT) - These tanks are manufactured by the "Israel Aircraft Industries" and increase the aircraft's amount of internal fuel by 50%. Their purpose is to significantly prolong the aircraft's flight range and ability to remain in the air. ...


14

Usually stores are hung off an aircraft in such a manner to facilitate a safe auxiliary free-fall release. The AUX release is used if the CAD misfires and the stores cannot be physically ejected downward away from the aircraft. Although this wouldn't really apply to the wingtip loaded aim 9's, so I can't really account for those. In the super hornet the ...


14

It is the intake of the jet engine which gives it that shape, a good number of earlier jet fighter planes did have that configuration. The pointed part is the shock cone for when the plane flies supersonic so that the shock would not mess with the aerodynamics of the plane especially inside the engine. Image by USAF


14

Short answer: By not flying faster than the 104 did and adhering to the lessons learned. Flutter first started to cause crashes in WW I when improved engine power and aerodynamics made a substantial rise in flight speed possible. Every time technological advance allowed higher speeds, flutter became an issue which was then solved both by trial and error ...


13

With a deflection-sensing (conventional) stick, it takes a certain time to move the stick. If you're trying to do quick manoeuvres going from (say) full nose-up to full nose-down deflection, that fraction of a second can be a significant delay, especially in a fly-by-wire aircraft with powerful, fast-acting actuators. With a force-sensing stick, that delay ...


11

A lot of supersonic aircraft of the era had the same kind of intake, the English Electic Lightning off the top of my head: EE Lightning F6 'XS904 / BQ' by Alan Wilson is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 The cone is to slow down the supersonic airflow, so that the air is relatively calm when it goes into the turbine, which ensures a smooth burn. It's in the nose ...


11

The wing design is different between F-16 and F-22 (which is similar to YF-23) because the requirements were different. The wing of F-22 (and that of F-23) were designed with stealth in mind, with the wing (and control surface) edges parallel to each other. There was no such design requirement in case of F16. F-16 is a highly maneuverable aircraft in its ...


10

THE USAF has had a program for converting manned aircraft into unmanned ones for decades. The aircraft used so far include, QF- 104 (from F-104 Starfighter) QF- 102 (from F-102 Delta Dagger) QF- 100 (from F-100 Super Sabre) QF- 106 (from F-106 Delta Dart) QF- 4 (from F-4 Phantom II) Note that both aircraft are piloted. According to fencecheck.com, (QF-...


10

The XF-104 is a prototype aircraft, which lead to the F-104 starfighter. Usually, during the development of an aircraft, flutter testing is carried out and corrective actions are taken. The Wikipedia article you liked has a point: Production aircraft would also feature a redesigned fin structure using stainless steel spars to eliminate the flutter problem....


10

The purpose of the anhedral is to get the tail surfaces away from the wing wake. The distance between the wing's trailing edge and the horizontal tail is low enough so that the tail needs a vertical offset in order to have full dynamic pressure available locally. Earlier designs moved the tail up for the same reason (Lockheed F-104, Grumman F-9F) until it ...


10

For most aircraft, the advantage of flying high is that the air is thinner, so you go faster for the same fuel burn. For fighters, height gives you the ability to dive to gain speed, giving them the option for intercept a lower plane, or run away faster than a lower plane can follow. If they're relying on their own radar, it also allows them to see further ...


9

To be extremely simple without going into too much technical design theroy. It allows the engine to breath at high speeds. You will notice that in front of a high speed fan or a cooler it will be extremely difficult for you to breath, try putting your head out of the car and breath when travelling at 60mph , it will be much more difficult to breath ...


9

My first guess based on the sound repeating when the thrust is idled near the end of the video is that's the sound of the actuators of the variable geometry nozzle. Googling that actually auto-completed it to Great F-16 Actuator Sound (video). Bonus answers to the bonus questions: It's a ground test of the engine, making sure it's working fine with no ...


9

No. The aircraft in question do not have ballistic protection, though they do offer system redundancy for battle damage and have to meet certain survivability criteria in live fire tests during development. Just a note: the only armor an A10 carries is a titanium pressure vessel for a cockpit which can take the kind of ballistic punishment you described. ...


8

There are a few reasons for choosing the cranked delta wing, as used in F-16 XL. The main one is to maintain comparable performances in the supersonic and sub/transonic speeds- a reason similar to the variable geometry wings, like one used in F-111, with the same disadvantages. According to NASA, The new wing, common for both the -1 and -2 versions, was ...


8

The main benefits are: High root thickness, so the wing can be made stiffer and stronger where the loads are highest. Better pitch stability in the post-stall region, so no AoA limit needs to be observed. The X-31 could maneuver with thrust vectoring only because its cranked arrow delta wing was more or less neutral in pitch over the full AoA range. A ...


7

F-16D/E Block-60 is an evolutionary upgrade to the F-16A/B Block-15 with the following differences: Engine: General Electric F110-GE-132 in place of Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-200 turbofan. Avionics: This is where the majority of upgrades have been carried out. Block 60 has the AN/APG-80 'Agile Beam' AESA radar, AN/ASQ-28 IFTS (Internal FLIR and Targeting ...


7

It fulfills the role it was designed for adequately, a replacement is not needed so why would they stop using it? The B-52 Stratofortress was introduced in the 1950s and is still in service. The airframes are older than their flight crews and have undergone extensive refits over the decades, but the basic design is 60 years old.


7

Depends on where it hit the airplane and what other systems were subsequently damaged. A typical rifle bullet will cut through the aluminum structure of an aircraft like a knife through butter. If it was a clean shot where the bullet penetrated the tank and exited the aircraft, hitting nothing else, it would result in minor damage and a small fuel leak, ...


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