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60 votes
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What's wrong in this engine test cell picture from the book 'Ignition'?

I think there's a mix-up in the labeling of the photo. Here's the photo and caption from a copy of "Ignition" that I just downloaded: Here's the photo and caption from the next page: Seen together, ...
JRE's user avatar
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39 votes
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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
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29 votes
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Why was a Lockheed L-1011 chosen by Orbital ATK for its Pegasus launches?

One reason the L-1011 was chosen was that the keel beams on the L-1011 are spaced such that they could create an opening inside the aircraft for the verticle tailfin of the Pegasus when mated to the ...
Richard's user avatar
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26 votes
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What is this plane and what are the rockets on the back used for?

As the source linked next to the image in the other question says, it is a C-130 performing a "rocket assisted takeoff". These are performed to safely achieve V1 on short airfields, where the ...
Federico's user avatar
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24 votes

Why are the grid fins on Starship pointy and sharp?

Such design, with hyperbolic leading edges, has been invented by MBDA (Airbus branch for missile systems) represented by BAE Systems (defense contractor), and is described in the European patent 3 599 ...
mins's user avatar
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18 votes

What is this plane and what are the rockets on the back used for?

This C-130 is with the Blue Angels demonstration team. Affectionately nicknamed Fat Albert. The rockets are JATO(Jet Assisted TakeOff) bottles, and basically jets/rockets that provide a temporary ...
slookabill's user avatar
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17 votes

How do rocket engines produce more thrust than aircraft jet engines?

Seems as though everyone has missed the simple, obvious answer: the rate at which the engine burns fuel. To take a concrete example, the Saturn V's first stage carried 205,400 gal/770,000l of ...
jamesqf's user avatar
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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
13 votes

Could entrained air be used to increase rocket efficiency, like a bypass fan?

It's called an air-augmented rocket. They add a lot of weight, but yes, they work. They've been discussed on SE here: Limits of bypass ratio in air-augmented (ejector-jet/ducted) rocket
Therac's user avatar
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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
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11 votes

Why does a rocket engine increase power with speed if the burn rate is constant?

Put simply, the variation in power is due to the distinction between the exhaust jet power and mechanical power added to the vehicle. The power of the exhaust gas stream measured in the rocket-fixed ...
Liriodendr0n's user avatar
10 votes
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At what altitude does a wing become useless?

Maybe wings never mattered... Altitude: The answer depends a bit on the design of the craft in terms of control surfaces/wings. Atmospheric reentry begins at the Karman line at an altitude of 100 km ...
Dave's user avatar
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10 votes
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Why do TFRs for spacecraft launches have ceilings?

That TFR is mainly for the general aviation flying under VFR. As you are in class A airspace when you fly above FL180 there is a good chance that you have to look out for a different NOTAM. There is ...
Chris's user avatar
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8 votes
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Why Apollo 11 was launched in summer? (Performance question)

The temperature of the environment doesn't have a significant impact on the performance of a rocket engine. Air breathing engines have better performance in cold air because the mass density is higher ...
Alec Martin's user avatar
8 votes

Why do TFRs for spacecraft launches have ceilings?

TFRs are mostly intended for notifying recreational VFR traffic navigating on their own. Above FL180 all aircraft are under positive control, so ATC can keep them clear of the airspace.
Michael Hall's user avatar
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7 votes

Why was a Lockheed L-1011 chosen by Orbital ATK for its Pegasus launches?

It needed ground clearance for the rocket limiting the choice to the largest of the widebodies. At the time of selection (mid 1990s) the L1011 was already out of production and much cheaper to ...
Pilothead's user avatar
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7 votes
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What was the last rocket-plane?

Spaceship Two https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SpaceShipTwo currently flying (at least as of July 2021: https://www.theverge.com/2021/9/29/22701195/faa-virgin-galactic-spaceshiptwo-cleared-investigation )...
jamesqf's user avatar
  • 2,577
7 votes

Why astronauts during launch fly faster than jets but experience less Gs?

You are confusing velocity and acceleration. Flight speed is velocity (meters persecond, miles per hour, knots, etc) while "Gs" are acceleration (meters per second per second, ). I think it ...
SMS von der Tann's user avatar
6 votes

Would "Mad" Mike Hughes' steam-powered rocket have been certified airworthy by the FAA?

Interesting topic. Rockets and spacecraft are still highly experimental vehicles and are recognized as such under 14 CFR ยง1200. The laws, liabilities, and regulations for private spaceflight are ...
Romeo_4808N's user avatar
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5 votes

How can ballistic techniques be used for passenger transport?

Welcome to Aviation Stack Exchange, and interesting question. I assume you know something about the ballistic process for vehicles such as ICBM's and so I'll start my explanation from there. Firstly,...
Jihyun's user avatar
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5 votes
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Are the nearby airplanes cleared of the sky when launching Falcon Heavy?

SpaceX launches from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS), Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB), and Kennedy Space Center (KSC). All three have Restricted/Warning areas overhead and out to sea, from ...
StephenS's user avatar
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5 votes

How do rocket engines produce more thrust than aircraft jet engines?

The answer is simpler than others mention here. It is simply that the rocket operates at much higher temperatures than gas turbines do. This translates to more thrust at the greater temperatures. ...
M. F's user avatar
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5 votes
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Would it be possible to build a "rocket" using a series of ducted fans?

From the link you provided: Specification: Rotor Diameter: 90mm Fan blades:11 blades Weight: about 350g Working Voltage:6s(22.2V) lipo battery Motor:Brushless Motor 3553 1450kv No Load Current: 4.1 ...
Koyovis's user avatar
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5 votes
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Does/did Russia or the Soviet Union ever fly rocket planes?

Yes First, we should clarify the fact that a "rocket engine" is a variant of a jet engine. A rocket engine is usually understood as a jet engine that requires external supply of all ...
Zeus's user avatar
  • 9,083
5 votes

What was the last rocket-plane?

Rocket Racer was a one-design air racing class founded in 2005, to be powered by a small ethylox rocket engine. The airframe was a Velocity (kit plane) with some modifications (Rocket Racing League ...
Zeiss Ikon's user avatar
  • 17.1k
4 votes

What is the theoretical maximum speed of a rocket-powered aircraft in the atmosphere?

The upper limit is given by the L/D of the rocket-powered vehicle and its thrust. In order to follow the curvature of the Earth so it will stay within the atmosphere, the vehicle must create enough ...
Peter Kämpf'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
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4 votes
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Credible Sport Project: Is it possible to revive the idea with modern avionics?

It wasn't a lack of technology. The technology to automatically fire the rockets is not actually very complicated: a radar altimeter, airspeed data and maybe input from the landing gear load sensors ...
GdD's user avatar
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4 votes

What is the difference between a guided rocket and a guided missile?

Generally, in the military world: Missile - Powered, guided Rocket - Powered, unguided Dumb bomb - Unpowered, unguided Smart Bomb - Unpowered, guided News outlets frequently mix it up.
WPNSGuy's user avatar
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