Hot answers tagged

131 votes

Why would seaplanes use a curved takeoff run?

Years ago now I gave a fair amount of instruction for seaplane ratings. I remember it quite fondly as seaplanes combine the fun of flying with aspects of the fun of boating. There were three ...
Terry's user avatar
  • 39.2k
116 votes

Why did my flight climb so sharply on takeoff?

Your flight took off during a storm. During a storm, the wind speed close to the surface of the earth is much lower than the wind speed a bit higher up. This variation of wind speed over a short ...
DeltaLima's user avatar
  • 82.9k
93 votes

Has an airplane ever been launched from a submarine?

Yes, The HMS M2 had a single seaplane aboard that it was capable of launching. Her 12-inch gun was removed, replaced by a small aircraft hangar, the work being completed in 1927. This could ...
Dave's user avatar
  • 100k
90 votes

Why don't short runways use ramps for takeoff?

V1. There are other valid reasons, as have been listed - cost, bidirectional runway use, etc. These would still not completely disqualify ramps, just limit them to very special circumstances. But the ...
Therac - Peace for Palestine's user avatar
85 votes

Why does the B-52 take off without rotating?

The reason was to give the bombs the place close to the center of gravity. Wing sweep (for high cruise Mach numbers) in combination with a high aspect ratio of the wing (for low induced drag) made it ...
Peter Kämpf's user avatar
83 votes

Why is indicated airspeed rather than ground speed used during the takeoff roll?

Because wings work on air moving past them, not ground moving below them. Heck, in a 35 knot headwind, the Antonov-2 could be rolling backwards at 2 knots and still take off!
Harper - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
69 votes

Why are bird strikes on approach or landing not as common as on takeoff?

I've heard about lots of bird strike incidents that occured during a takeoff roll or the early phase of takeoff climb but hardly heard of bird strikes on approach or landing. This is always a ...
Noah Krasser's user avatar
  • 8,982
57 votes

Why does the B-52 take off without rotating?

Adding to the excellent Peter's answer who explained why for this particular model the wheels are placed far behind the centre of gravity (CG), I would like to clarify why this makes it impossible to ...
DarioP's user avatar
  • 1,166
53 votes

How can Ural Airlines fly an A320 from an unpaved field after an emergency landing?

TLDR: cold winter will freeze the ground and make it hard enough. First, there was a similar case of Alrosa flight 514 that landed on a disused runway in Izhma in September 2010, was fixed and flew to ...
culebrón's user avatar
  • 995
52 votes

Would a takeoff be aborted if 'rotate' is not called out?

That could end up being a really bad idea if you've accelerated past your V1 speed -- your abort would then put you off the end of the runway, and the consequences from that range from bad to ...
Ralph J's user avatar
  • 49.8k
50 votes

Why don't short runways use ramps for takeoff?

Because then you can only land in one direction. What do you do if the wind blows exactly along the runway so that departing and landing planes have only tailwind then? You would waste a precious ...
Federico's user avatar
  • 32.4k
46 votes

Could airliners use a steam or electric powered catapult for take-off?

Let's see what the savings are: A mid-sized airliner carries maybe 20% of its mass in fuel. This fuel has an energy density of 43 MJ per kg. Of that chemical energy at most 40% is converted into ...
Peter Kämpf's user avatar
46 votes

Why would an F-35 take off with air brakes behind the cockpit extended?

That is not the air brake, but the cover for the vertical air intake on the F-35B model, which is operated by the RAF.
WPNSGuy's user avatar
  • 7,568
45 votes

When does an airliner switch from using the tiller to the rudder?

I flew for two 747 carriers that never bought new aircraft, and thus this answer applies to 747-100/200 aircraft as originally manufactured for a number of different airlines. The tiller is active ...
Terry's user avatar
  • 39.2k
43 votes

Why is indicated airspeed rather than ground speed used during the takeoff roll?

Because what determines the amount of lift generated is the indicated airspeed, not the ground speed. As usual, it is always easier to think about an extreme case. If you have an aircraft with VR (...
DeepSpace's user avatar
  • 4,420
41 votes

Why don't helicopters always takeoff from a hover out of ground-effect?

Forward flight is much more efficient than hovering. As airspeed builds, lift increases from "translational" lift as the air moves more horizontally over the disc. Since the relative airflow is more ...
Simon's user avatar
  • 31.2k
41 votes

Is an Airbus A319 allowed to fly with a missing flap track fairing?

Fully permitted according to this Configuration Deviation List for the A320: One fairing may be partly or completely missing. There are more posts about this occurring. As Noah Krasser points out, ...
Thunderstrike's user avatar
41 votes

Why does the Eurofighter Typhoon pitch up on brake release?

When the brakes are on, they apply a backwards force that counters the engine thrust. This force is applied at ground level, and the engine thrust is higher. These two forces result in a moment that ...
Robin Bennett's user avatar
41 votes

Why is this plane struggling to gain altitude?

According to the video's information: EMB-721 Sertanejo heavy and insane takeoff in Carlos Prates This is "EMB-721 Sertanejo heavy and insane takeoff in Carlos Prates. Full fuel, 6 on board plus ...
PcMan's user avatar
  • 560
40 votes

What are those hatches on the engines of a B-2 that are open during takeoff?

These are secondary intake doors which allow more air to reach the engines. They are opened by the engine control computer when the main intakes are not providing enough air for the power setting of ...
Peter Kämpf's user avatar
40 votes

Has someone with no experience at all ever taken off in a plane? Could they?

The Aviation Safety Network has an article listing 11 airplanes that crashed after being stolen by a non-pilot. The most recent was the Horizon Air Dash 8 that was stolen by a ground service agent in ...
fooot's user avatar
  • 71.8k
39 votes

Why do pilots slowly give the plane more thrust during takeoff?

The engines may accelerate slightly differently, resulting in an asymmetric thrust. Spooling up slowly at first (normally to about 60% N1) prevents this. After that, you can accelerate up to full TO/...
tsg's user avatar
  • 2,731
38 votes

What is the guy in green showing to the F/A-18E pilot before catapult launch?

That's a weight check. The sign has the weight of the aircraft in pounds. The catapult crew guy first shows the presumed weight to the PIC who must give a thumbs up, agreeing, "Yes, that is the weight ...
Tyler Durden's user avatar
  • 13.3k
37 votes

Why would a turboprop rev down just before going full throttle during takeoff?

Because the pilot is taxiing the airplane with the props in the beta range (turboprops turn into landsharks if you don’t do this and you end up really riding the brakes to keep the speed down), then ...
Romeo_4808N's user avatar
  • 72.8k
35 votes

How do hot air balloons get started (without burning the fabric)?

The balloon is spread out on the ground and rigged to the basket. Then, a cold air blower is used to do the initial inflation, blowing air into the envelope through the bottom aperture. This gets the ...
Airsick's user avatar
  • 366
32 votes

What makes snow on the wings during take off so dangerous?

it is not obvious if it could alter the wing shape for this to be a problem It may not be obvious but it is so. Plain old snow will just blow off as soon as the plane picks up speed, but if the wing ...
A. I. Breveleri's user avatar
32 votes

Why would a turboprop rev down just before going full throttle during takeoff?

It's because he was taxiing in DISC (discing, or flat pitch making the prop like a big disc), which is in the ground beta range, then coming out of it. Beta range is a mode where propeller blade ...
John K's user avatar
  • 126k
31 votes

Do pilots reject takeoff if aircraft doors are not properly locked down?

The crew has already secured the door just before leaving the gate, cross-checked them and the pilots saw the sensors indicate closed. So if the warning goes off during take-off roll, it is not ...
Jan Hudec's user avatar
  • 56.2k

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