12 votes

Could the Space Shuttle take off like an airplane?

Despite the scene in Moonraker the Shuttle orbiter carried no fuel for the main engines. Further, the orbiter sat nose down on its landing gear, lacked the elevator authority to raise the nose off ...
Zeiss Ikon's user avatar
  • 17.1k
11 votes
Accepted

What would it take for a balloon to reach the thermosphere?

Strangely I have some serious domain experience here, I have in the past been involved in commercial/research balloon operations to about 130,000’ at "industrial" scale, involving tens of ...
Max R's user avatar
  • 3,790
10 votes

If all aircraft were TCAS-equipped, how would this change ATC routines?

Think of the ATC system as the road network, traffic lights, road signs, and police. TCAS is a standalone device in your car that warns you the guy coming at right angles to the intersection in front ...
John K's user avatar
  • 131k
7 votes
Accepted

What would happen if pilots were locked out of the flight deck?

The flight deck door lock system is normally turned on while on the ground and remains on for the entire flight. Once the system is turned on, the door DOES lock automatically when closed and can only ...
Mike Sowsun's user avatar
  • 37.8k
7 votes

Would the FAA let me fly a plane with no windows?

If such an aircraft were to obtain a type certificate, and if you subsequently obtained a type rating in that aircraft, then the answer is yes. Both aircraft and you would have had the proper testing ...
Michael Hall's user avatar
  • 26.1k
5 votes

Would the combustion chambers of a turbine engine generate any thrust by itself?

Yes you can. However you would need a means to compress the air prior to it entering the combustion chamber. This can be accomplished with a turbo compressor as in a typical jet engine. Other ...
Romeo_4808N's user avatar
  • 73.7k
5 votes

Would the combustion chambers of a turbine engine generate any thrust by itself?

Yes. The expanding gases from combustion is what does the work in an engine. Most of the thrust of a turbojet engine comes from the combustors. The rest of the engine is really just there to provide ...
fooot's user avatar
  • 73.2k
5 votes
Accepted

If all aircraft were TCAS-equipped, how would this change ATC routines?

It would not change the ATC system at all, since TCAS and ATC work on completely different levels and have vastly different purposes. We even have an ICAO recommendation clearly stating that ATC ...
60levelchange's user avatar
4 votes

Can air to air refueling can be done in the rocket engines as done in the Aircraft jet engines?

It depends if you are asking about rocket ships or rocket planes. On any note, its unlikely in the lower atmosphere, but in orbit, quite possibly. There are a few issues you may encounter, Some ...
Dave's user avatar
  • 101k
4 votes

Would it be realistic to live in an airplane?

Sure, it actually is more common than you might think. While the general notion of a private plane is a small sleek jet to dart about in, plenty of wealthily people own larger jets equipped as you ...
Dave's user avatar
  • 101k
4 votes
Accepted

If propeller-driven planes with electric engine became the norm, would descent for landing with the engines turned off become a routine procedure?

It's unlikely the pilot would be switching the "propulsion master" off, but it's very probable that "idle power" on the throttle or thrust lever would in fact be a stopped or stopped/feathered motor. ...
Zeiss Ikon's user avatar
  • 17.1k
3 votes
Accepted

Can a commercial aircraft fly at night with complete navigation and communication equipment failure?

For the sake of the IFR/In the blind answer, lets assume that for this question at least the backup attitude and airspeed indicators are working and the pilot can in some capacity fly the plane in the ...
Dave's user avatar
  • 101k
3 votes

Would it be realistic to live in an airplane?

Realistic yes, it's expensive and not that convenient. There are people who live out of RVs or boats, traveling around for years with no fixed abode and it works out fine because there's an ...
GdD's user avatar
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3 votes
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Can a helicopter enter Vortex Ring State In Auto Rotation? [see qualifiers]

To enter VRS you have to have near zero forward airspeed and a descent rate of about 500 fpm or more under power. Note that VRS is not "settling with power" regardless of what the FAA says - they are ...
John K's user avatar
  • 131k
3 votes

Hypothetical aircraft drag reduction

Consider that, without any hydrogen, the surface of the wing is coated in aluminum, a material with a sound velocity of 6,300 m/s. It's not the speed of sound on the surface of the wing that matters. ...
Finbar Sheehy's user avatar
2 votes

Hypothetical aircraft drag reduction

Assuming sufficient flow to engulf the entire airfoil and that the free flow residency time is much shorter than the diffusion time (to assume the injected gas leaves downstream before it can mix, ...
AEhere supports Monica's user avatar
2 votes

Which airliners could survive an EMP pulse?

Having been in the Air Force and worked on bombers and fighters that can carry nuclear weapons all systems avionics and electronics are shielded from EMP. They are not “one time use” and we want them ...
Marcus Butzin's user avatar
2 votes

If all passengers moved to the back, front or one side, would they crash the plane?

The issue at hand is known as weight and balance. Most of the larger airliners do not have much of a problem with a large shift in Passenger weight but shifting cargo has indeed caused accidents (See ...
tnorris's user avatar
  • 65
2 votes

Would the combustion chambers of a turbine engine generate any thrust by itself?

Technically yes, BUT... ...The compressor of a jet engine is one of very few devices capable of actually supplying the required amount of air at the required pressure. According to PEter's answer here ...
Therac's user avatar
  • 26.9k
2 votes

Can air to air refueling can be done in the rocket engines as done in the Aircraft jet engines?

Refueling is done a few times per year on the ISS. A visiting spacecraft arrives, docks and transfers some of its fuel to tanks on the ISS for its engines. Refueling while in orbit is relatively ...
Hobbes's user avatar
  • 10.2k
2 votes

What would happen to a tethered airplane?

The ultimate stall! An airplane needs forward velocity to generate lift. No matter how powerful its engine is or how much thrust it has, if it does not have forward speed it does not have lift. ...
Robert DiGiovanni's user avatar
2 votes

What would happen to a tethered airplane?

This is somewhat speculative b cause there are no unbreakable or indestructible objects, but if we assume that the objects in question won’t break subject to the forces in the experiment, and if we ...
Frog's user avatar
  • 1,712
2 votes

How to compute final aircraft attitude, if we know starting attitude and degrees of rotation around each axis? (Specific example)

First off: for your specific example, no calculus is required (but quite a bit of linear algebra), since you only rotate around one axis at a time. If you start doing complex maneuvers, combining ...
Sanchises's user avatar
  • 13.3k
1 vote

Would the combustion chambers of a turbine engine generate any thrust by itself?

supplying fuel and air in the right measurements, would the expanding gasses exiting the combustion chambers produce any thrust? Exposed to the open air, no. Essentially you've built yourself a ...
Robert DiGiovanni's user avatar
1 vote
Accepted

What would happen if you tried to take off in a vacuum?

It would depend on how high the pilot could raise the nose. The wings aren't doing anything and you might as well remove them. If a rocket were just rolling along the ground with no atmosphere, well ...
John K's user avatar
  • 131k
1 vote
Accepted

What would happen to a tethered airplane?

Assuming that both the rope and plane are indestructible, the biggest problem in this scenario for the people in the plane is that the rope is attached to the tail. This would rob the crew of any ...
Engin Kurutepe's user avatar
1 vote

Could the Space Shuttle take off like an airplane?

The cargo payload capacity of the Shuttle is about 22 tonnes when external tank weights 760 tonnes when full and is used up in 8.5 minutes. Hence it would be enough fuel for 14 seconds of flight. The ...
h22's user avatar
  • 12.1k
1 vote

What would happen if pilots were locked out of the flight deck?

It would have to be an extraordinary situation for both pilots to leave the flight deck, but in any case the doors don't work like that. They don't automatically lock on closing and have to be locked ...
John K's user avatar
  • 131k
1 vote

Can air to air refueling can be done in the rocket engines as done in the Aircraft jet engines?

Another factor to consider: the extreme speed and altitude of anything rocket propelled. Rockets, which carry both fuel and oxidizer, tend to operate well in excess of Mach 1, typically at altitudes ...
tj1000's user avatar
  • 8,777
1 vote

Can air to air refueling can be done in the rocket engines as done in the Aircraft jet engines?

Both aircraft (tanker & tankee) need to be really close, and their relative velocity needs to be zero. Both could be achieved by rockets, as the wing loading is very high, and thus the ...
bukwyrm's user avatar
  • 438

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