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

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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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3answers
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Could a real-life X-Wing fly in Earth's atmosphere?

From an aerodynamic point of view, could a full-size aircraft of X-Wing design fly in Earth's atmosphere? Assuming you were free to add control surfaces here and there, could the wings in open ...
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1answer
306 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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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
789 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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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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2answers
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Why does an airliner burn more fuel at lower altitudes?

At lower altitude an aeroplane usually has more lift. However an aeroplane flying at low altitudes (with gear/flaps up) at low velocity burns the same amount of fuel it would flying much faster at a ...
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4answers
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Does the rotation of the earth dramatically affect airplane flight time?

Say I'm flying from Sydney, to Los Angeles (S2LA), back to Sydney (LA2S). During S2LA, travelling with the rotation of the earth, would the flight time be longer than LA2S on account of Los Angeles ...
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2answers
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How can airplanes fly upside down?

I've read many times, including here on this very site that the commonly known explanation of flight is wrong, and that airplanes can fly because the shape of their wings deflects air down. This makes ...
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3answers
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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
785 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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1answer
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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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3answers
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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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10answers
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Why do space crafts take off with rockets instead of just ascending like an aircraft until they reach space?

I guess it's not a very educated question, but I never quite understood why spacecrafts have to shoot up and can't just reach space by simply continuing an upwards ascent like an airplane.
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1answer
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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
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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 ...
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4answers
783 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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10answers
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What really allows airplanes to fly?

What aerodynamic effects actually contribute to producing the lift on an airplane? I know there's a common belief that lift comes from the Bernoulli effect, where air moving over the wings is at ...