34 votes

Why aren't aircraft built with carbon fiber tubes?

If you're going to build from carbon fibre, you generally aren't going to bother with a very "old fashioned" structural method like tube and fabric; you're going to go with the natural ...
John K's user avatar
  • 131k
28 votes

Was wood used in the construction of the TU-144?

You're looking at a typical metal wing's innards with stringers (small lateral stiffeners made from aluminum angle) riveted to aluminum sheet, and the remnants of wing ribs also attached. The colour ...
John K's user avatar
  • 131k
26 votes

Why does the wing root of the A330 have a pronounced twist?

Short answer: To create a funnel for all the air streaming towards the fuselage. Slightly longer answer: Air approaching a swept wing will be accelerated towards the area with the lowest pressure and, ...
Peter Kämpf's user avatar
26 votes
Accepted

Why aren't aircraft built with carbon fiber tubes?

They sometimes are. The Carbon Corsair is an ultralight built with a fabric-covered frame of CFRP tubes for the fuselage. This is an all-new design. Using CFRP tubes allowed it to have a +6/-4 g ...
Therac's user avatar
  • 27k
18 votes
Accepted

Why do fabric skin constructions not show up much in larger single engine piston aircraft?

This answer assumes that "GA" means "little piston planes." Aluminum (or non-fabric) aircraft tend to "hold up" better against the elements. I would not store a Stinson 108 outdoors but would not ...
acpilot's user avatar
  • 6,016
15 votes
Accepted

What are these green "bags" on the SSJ100?

That's cabin insulation - probably fiberglass. It's not always in green bags (blankets), and not always fiberglass, but some kind of insulation is necessary to help control temperature and reduce ...
voretaq7's user avatar
  • 68.4k
12 votes

How realistic is the plane scene in Captain America: The First Avenger?

Though 'getting on/off aircraft through landing gear' is a favorite trope in movies, it is practically impossible in most of the modern airliners. Airliners are pressurized, and as a result, the cabin ...
aeroalias's user avatar
  • 100k
12 votes

Why aren't aircraft built with carbon fiber tubes?

In addition to the other great answers, consider some drawbacks of carbon. E.g. Fibreglass will be more wear resistant than carbon fibre, which is why you prefer it on leading edges, etc. (see first ...
Marco's user avatar
  • 221
10 votes
Accepted

How is a wing joined to the fuselage?

You marked in the comments that you are interested in the process of attaching. Therefore I'd like to provide you some more information. I have done some sketches numbered I) to III) for the Wing Root ...
Ingenium's user avatar
  • 116
10 votes
Accepted

Is Rutan's method of foam core construction obsolete?

I was a regular at Oshkosh during Rutan's heyday in the 70s, and had a chum that was building a Dragonfly, which used the same construction method. Rutan's mold-less process is only suitable to one-...
John K's user avatar
  • 131k
9 votes

Why do fabric skin constructions not show up much in larger single engine piston aircraft?

This should be understood as a supplement to @acpilot's excellent answer. All his points are valid and correct, and I just want to add a few more. Fabric covering is easy to build and hard to ...
Peter Kämpf's user avatar
9 votes
Accepted

Did Boeing really use ferrets to run wires through aircraft during construction?

No, Boeing didn't do that. I asked their assembly plant tour to confirm or deny this, when I found a report that around 2010 some visitors heard this from a tour guide. On 2020 Nov 3 they replied: ...
Camille Goudeseune's user avatar
8 votes

How were fighter jets built in the 1950's?

Building an airframe did not change all that much in the jet age. Assuming you are talking about all aluminum aircraft the power plant is somewhat abstracted from the equation in terms of a production ...
Dave's user avatar
  • 101k
8 votes

Are modern fighter jets bulletproof and armored?

With very select exceptions like the Su-34, and the A-10 if you consider it modern, they are not. Even in these cases only the pilot and a few critical parts are armored. Most of the aircraft's skin ...
Therac's user avatar
  • 27k
7 votes

What was the first aircraft designed with a plug-system fuselage, and why?

This should be a Zeppelin. You said "aircraft", not "airplane", so lighter-than-air systems qualify also. Already the model submitted with the patent application in 1895 (yes, back then the inventor ...
Peter Kämpf's user avatar
7 votes
Accepted

How realistic is the plane scene in Captain America: The First Avenger?

Regarding holding onto the landing gear as the aircraft takes off, or otherwise getting into the wheel well, stowaways do try this on a regular basis. As other answers have said though, they then ...
Graham's user avatar
  • 2,404
7 votes
Accepted

On video equipment used to help assemble the X-59

The system may have many names depending on detailed configuration, but it is basically a mixed reality assisted manufacturing system. One example is described in this pdf document. The system ...
Jpe61's user avatar
  • 28.8k
6 votes
Accepted

How are aircraft shipped to their customers?

They are flown to their customers by either Boeing or pilots from the given airline. As for the Boeing factory its self, the Everett Factory users Paine Field as their runway. If you look closely ...
Dave's user avatar
  • 101k
6 votes

How are engine pylon designed?

Like all complex artifacts, aircraft primary structure design is an iterative process. It begins with aerodynamicists designing the Master Surfaces of the Aerodynamic Envelope. Structures designers ...
Romeo_4808N's user avatar
  • 73.7k
6 votes

How is a wing joined to the fuselage?

On lighter aircraft, the wings are sometimes designed to be detachable for ease of transport: To achieve this, the wing spar has a stump at the inboard edge that is inserted into a hole in the either ...
AEhere supports Monica's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

Question about Eurofighter structure

Radar mounting bulkhead: this is the vertical plate to which the radar antenna is attached. This is just a structure. Strobe light/anti-collision beacon: this is a bright light that flashes to make ...
Hobbes's user avatar
  • 10.2k
6 votes

Which are the main aluminium alloys used in airliner construction?

2000s, 6000s, and 7000s series alloy are very common for aircraft construction over the past 8 decades of metal aircraft design. Boeing aircraft are largely manufactured from 2000s series aluminum ...
Romeo_4808N's user avatar
  • 73.7k
6 votes

What physical tests are involved with verifying a wing spar is suitably constructed for a homebuilt aircraft, such as the piper cub kit from wicks?

For a homebuilt a static load test is required. Whereas a full certification would require a loading to 1.5 the maximum load, this factor is reduced for experimental aircraft to 1.0. But performed it ...
Peter Kämpf's user avatar
6 votes

Do modern aircraft still use load bearing ribs in wing construction?

Modern transport category aircraft utilise a semi-monocoque construction. Best to check the FAA Maintenance Handbook Vol. 1, chapter 1 [1]. Basically, both an internal frame and the skin share the ...
AerospaceDoctor's user avatar
5 votes

Do modern aircraft still use load bearing ribs in wing construction?

Your question contains the answer ;-) Since ribs have the really important job of preserving the aerodynamic shape of the wing, it follows that they are stressed. They are actually so stressed that in ...
sophit's user avatar
  • 11.9k
4 votes

What is aeroelastic deformation?

Aeroelasticity is the elastic deformation of a structure caused by aerodynamic forces. An example is the flexing of a wing. The change of the shape of the structure has in turn an effect on the ...
DeltaLima's user avatar
  • 83.4k
4 votes

Why don't short-haul regional jets go for composites?

The C-Series has a carbon wing box. The fuselage is aluminum but is a newer fairly exotic aluminum lithium alloy that is a bit lighter than 2024. The decision to go with aluminum for the fuselage ...
John K's user avatar
  • 131k
4 votes
Accepted

Why don't short-haul regional jets go for composites?

There are some all-composite business jets, like the newest Bombardier Learjet. The design choice is about trade-offs in manufacturing: supply chain, number to be built, available tools and workers, ...
Max Power's user avatar
  • 2,604

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