Skip to main content
104 votes
Accepted

How do conventional missiles fly?

Air-to-Air guided missiles are little airplanes. If there are only fins at the tail, it's a ballistic rocket, basically a fin stabilized artillery shell accelerated by a rocket motor instead of an ...
John K's user avatar
  • 132k
41 votes

What is meant by "Fox Two"?

Fox codes are used by NATO military aircraft to designate a release of an air-to-air munition, generally missiles. Fox One is a semi-active radar guided missile, for example the AIM-7 Sparrow. This ...
Benson_YoureFired's user avatar
39 votes
Accepted

Propulsion method for MANPADS missiles

Missiles like a LAWS or Stinger use solid rocket motors. Despite liquid fuel being preferred for space launchers, for a MANPADS type missile the combination of storability, inertness in transport, low ...
Zeiss Ikon's user avatar
  • 17.1k
39 votes

Why do missiles typically have cylindrical fuselage and not a fuselage that generates more lift?

Rockets with solid fuel must be round, or they would weigh more. Remember that the rear part is filled with fuel which gradually burns away, so the whole fuel container has to withstand the pressure ...
Peter Kämpf's user avatar
36 votes
Accepted

What's this black rectangle painted on the side of a V-1 flying bomb?

A "Pallung" is a piece of wood (or something similar) that prevents ships (or something similar) from falling over when they are on land. "abstellen" means to put something down (...
Jan's user avatar
  • 496
32 votes
Accepted

Can a missile be fired when a fighter jet is inverted?

The combat advantage of fighters (as opposed to heavier-payload bombers) is their maneuverability, therefore a missile delivery restriction such as g-limit (think Sidewinder heat-seeker in a dogfight) ...
air servant's user avatar
31 votes

Do missiles need anti-icing?

In a history of NASA's Icing Research Tunnel, "We Freeze to Please," NASA SP-2002-4226, Fig. 5-2 shows Hellfire missiles being tested. But it conspicuously mentions nothing about de-icing ...
Camille Goudeseune's user avatar
25 votes
Accepted

How do internally carried IR missiles acquire a lock?

If you are referring to the Sidewinder missile, the first iteration AIM-9X did not have a requirement to be launched from internal stores, known as captive carry, but in testing it demonstrated that ...
Juan Jimenez's user avatar
25 votes
Accepted

How do missiles steer (mainly air to surface)?

Take a look at the following image. What do you see? The Fins, Wings, and Canards, as seen in the diagram, work in a similar fashion to rudders/elevators/ailerons to develop drag to yaw/pitch/roll ...
Super's user avatar
  • 1,293
24 votes
Accepted

Why do heavy bombers not carry air-to-air missiles?

Well, actually, they do. Or at least it has been proposed on several occasions. The ill-fated A-12 stealth attack aircraft was going to carry 2 x AIM-120 AMRAAMs as part of its defensive package ...
Romeo_4808N's user avatar
  • 73.9k
24 votes

What's this black rectangle painted on the side of a V-1 flying bomb?

abstellen is "to cut off / shut down." That's one meaning of the word, what we need here is "putting down", "parking" or "putting in storage". I don't know ...
Bergi's user avatar
  • 613
23 votes
Accepted

Can anti-radiation missiles be used to target stealth fighter aircraft?

There are many anti-radiation missiles in many arsenals, they are designed for air to ground missions, attacking surface to air missile radars from a long distance. I don't know whether it would be ...
GdD's user avatar
  • 54k
23 votes

How do missiles navigate and determine their orientation without GPS?

As per comments, this question is referring to guided weapons such as Stinger (IR guidance). Guided missiles that acquire their target via signal return, such as infrared, radar or laser designation (...
Jpe61's user avatar
  • 28.8k
22 votes

How do conventional missiles fly?

The missile's wings are very large for it's mass, and produce a great deal more lift than the wings of the aircraft firing the missile. One thing to note from the OP's linked video is that the F-35 ...
dotancohen's user avatar
  • 6,377
20 votes

How do conventional missiles fly?

In the video you posted, the missile appears to continue falling even after the motor ignites -- you can see the missile start to overtake the aircraft even as it continues to drop: By the last ...
Johnny's user avatar
  • 681
20 votes

Image recognition in air to air missiles

It is used by modern missiles. Military isn't the birthplace for every tech, but they've been working on image recognition long before the general public heard the term "image recognition". ...
Therac's user avatar
  • 27.4k
16 votes

Why do missiles typically have cylindrical fuselage and not a fuselage that generates more lift?

There are several reasons why most missiles have a round shape. I try to list (some of them) in roughly ascending order of importance: Round shapes with wings are easy to calculate: Well known rough ...
U_flow's user avatar
  • 3,840
15 votes

Can anti-radiation missiles be used to target stealth fighter aircraft?

If the stealth aircraft's radar were continually transmitting, then, yes, the other stealth features would be completely useless, and missiles would easily home in on them and shoot them down. Which ...
HiddenWindshield's user avatar
15 votes

Propulsion method for MANPADS missiles

Most shoulder-fired missiles, whether anti-tank or anti-aircraft, are actually two-stage rockets. The first stage is a very fast-burning motor, designed to burn out before the missile exits the launch ...
user62800's user avatar
  • 151
15 votes
Accepted

Image recognition in air to air missiles

Modern missiles are using computer vision or image processing technology. Obviously, for this to work you need an image, which is typically provided by an image-generating IR-sensor (note that this ...
U_flow's user avatar
  • 3,840
14 votes

How did a Soviet SA-3 missile manage to shoot down the F-117 Nighthawk?

"Stealth" does not mean invisible. In fact, there are photographs of F-117s, so clearly, they are visible. Stealth means less observable than a comparable non-stealth design. A stealth aircraft still ...
Jörg W Mittag's user avatar
14 votes

What's this black rectangle painted on the side of a V-1 flying bomb?

Contrary to some other answers Palle is actually a real German word, though it is used mostly in context of shipyards. A Palle is a wooden or concrete block on which ships are resting in drydock. See ...
joha's user avatar
  • 141
13 votes

Can a missile be fired when a fighter jet is inverted?

Yes. Specific weapons can be employed within specific limits and load factors of the flight envelope, some of which includes inverted flight for air to air missiles, as this F-22 test pilot ...
Romeo_4808N's user avatar
  • 73.9k
13 votes

How do conventional missiles fly?

Depending on the range and mission of your missile, body lift alone may be enough to keep it aloft. @dotancohen pointed out that a typical missile's wings are large for its mass, but look at the ...
aerobot's user avatar
  • 865
13 votes

Do missiles need anti-icing?

Do missiles need anti-icing? Apparently not, because they have no provision for that. At least none of the USAF/NATO missiles I've ever seen. And it wouldn't be just missiles, but bombs as well. The ...
WPNSGuy's user avatar
  • 9,037
12 votes
Accepted

Do different types of missiles indicate different lock tones to the pilot?

Lock tones are normally used for (surface/air)-to-air infrared homing missiles. Air-to-surface missiles don't "growl". The tone is used to indicate missile readiness and quality of lock, not the type....
c4n's user avatar
  • 358
12 votes
Accepted

Why do cruise missiles look different than subsonic jet aircraft?

They are designed to fly at one Mach-altitude combination only. Regular aircraft have to take off and land (low Mach, low altitude) and cruise (high Mach, high altitude). Cruise missiles are launched ...
Peter Kämpf's user avatar
12 votes

What's this black rectangle painted on the side of a V-1 flying bomb?

"Abstellpallung" isn't a word in German. If you search the web for this word, you will find lots of links to the V-1, and it seems this word has been exclusively used on restored V-1 in ...
Peter Kämpf's user avatar
12 votes
Accepted

How do missiles navigate and determine their orientation without GPS?

Modern missiles pretty much all determine their orientation via some sort of IMU. Note that you do not need super-expensive RLG-IMU, but you might get away with cheaper MEMS-based IMUs (*1). However (...
U_flow's user avatar
  • 3,840
11 votes
Accepted

Can a P51 outrun an missile?

The P-51 Mustang is not designed to go supersonic, in fact no propeller airplane is designed to do that... Can propeller driven aircraft sustain speeds at or above Mach 1? For example, the Republic ...
Ron Beyer's user avatar
  • 36.2k

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible