Aircraft are man-made vehicles intended to operate while flying through Earth's atmosphere.

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atmospheric phenomenon? What causes condensation trails to converge?

This air plane just caught my eye. Two contrails apparently are flowing backward, slightly off-centered and then ultimately converge, giving the overall shape of a very narrow rhomboid parallelogram, ...
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3answers
221 views

How to compute the speed necessary for an airplane to fly?

I give some physics lessons to a friend. She asked me a question that I am unable to answer. Could you help me ? A plane has a weight of $2\times10^6$kg. The surface of the wing is $1200 \text{m}^2$. ...
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1answer
843 views

Paper plane between two fans - is this possible?

The setup: two fans facing each other, distance around 1m. Both are turned on. In between them, place a simple paper plane and according to this video, it will fly. ...
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1answer
289 views

Why ballasted gliders fly faster

The fact: Gliders have ballast tanks that can be filled with water. The addition of ballast increases weight, and this allows the glider to fly at faster airspeeds while maintaining the same glide ...
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2answers
539 views

Does “Air caterpillar” exist or even possible?

Air-Elf Aircraft Concept Is Able to Take-off or Land Vertically Air-Elf aircraft concept is to solve road congestion. The core of the concept is a new type of wing, “Air Caterpillar”. It can be ...
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Turning an Airplane. What actually causes the circular motion in a banked (roll) turn?

Basically I'm wondering if this is correct. Which essentially says that you need a torque to get the nose of the craft to turn and that this is provided by the rear tail surfaces. After trying to ...
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2answers
525 views

Given a radius and velocity calculate position of an aircraft banking to make a turn in three dimensional space

Suppose an aircraft is moving at a certain fixed altitude above the ground. It follows a path defined by latitude and longitude. Now if we want to define the position of an aircraft at any point in ...
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2answers
377 views

Forces on an airfoil

I'm building an airplane (Super Baby Great Lakes) and I'm wondering something about airfoils. In particular (this plane is fabric covered), I'm wondering about the lifting forces on the main wings. ...
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2answers
301 views

Why does the higher pressure of air underneath an aeroplane wing keep it flying?

With aeroplane flight, the wings are shaped so that the air that goes over the top of the wing has to travel faster than the air that goes below the wing. This means that the air below the wing has ...
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2answers
130 views

How fast can toy helicopters change the turning direction of their propellers?

I saw someone do some tricks with a toy helicopter where he would turn it upside down for a while and it would still stay in the air. I thought it should have crash or at least not fly for very long ...
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3answers
384 views

In-flight damage to a supersonic jet

I'm doing some research for a book I'm writing, and, as the title implies, I'm looking to understand what happens when a supersonic jet sustains in-flight damage. Specifically, what happens to the ...
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2answers
633 views

What happens when a supersonic airplane flies through a cloud?

What happens when a supersonic airplane flies through a cloud? Will it punch a hole or is it more like a bullet through water (= hole closes immediately after the aircraft has passed)? Is there some ...
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1answer
211 views

Why does aircraft tail not project down from the fuselage? [closed]

Just what the title states; I was browsing photographs and it struck me how aircraft tails typically 'stand' atop the fuselage. A few aircraft (think it dates to the 40s-50s) have a tail that projects ...
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4answers
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Why do aircraft inner wings lose lift when turning?

first question here, so please be gentle! I'm reading an entry-level engineering course book and am currently up to discussion of aircraft design. There's one particular statement that is unclear to ...
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0answers
88 views

Practical personal aircraft today? [closed]

Is it possible to build, today, a personal aircraft that not use an impracticable amount of fuel for everyday use? What are the physical concepts that could be used to build it?
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1answer
595 views

How does a V formation save fuel for the lead plane?

I'm watching an episode of Mythbusters where they show aircraft saving 3-5% fuel when flying in a tight V formation. Interestingly, this also applies for the lead airplane. How is that possible for ...
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3answers
961 views

Does my model aircraft propeller beat the sound barrier?

I fly model aircraft. Recently I changed from a "1300kv" motor to a "1500kv" motor. The difference is in speed; the 1300kv can go about 16,400rpm full-throttle and with a fully charged battery and the ...
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2answers
2k views

Paper airplane physics

I am working on a game involving flying and steering a paper airplane for WP7. I want the plane to fly just like how normal paper airplanes fly (see this game for an example ...
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1answer
567 views

What does cross-track wind mean?

In aircraft literature, what does cross-track and along-track wind directions mean? Please explain in terms of the aircraft's motion relative to the wind direction. I can hazard a guess: along-track ...
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4answers
598 views

Why does an airplane have more lift near the ground?

I've noticed that an airplane appears to have more lift when it's almost touching the ground then it has 100 feet or more in the air. What causes this to occur?
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1answer
1k views

time difference with airplane travel direction

a fight from east to west, (e.g. Australia melbourne to perth) takes longer than travel backwards. (west to east). What's the reason?
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1answer
279 views

How much friction is caused by a 10x10 cm window on the side of an airplane?

Say that the airplane is going in 1000 km/h. On the side of the airplane, there is a 10x10 cm window. How much friction would this window cause. For the sake of the calculation, imagine that the ...