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

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Coriolis Effect vs airplane

So, if I build a highway from north pole towards equator and sit in a car, speed pretty fast towards it, I should feel force with the Earths rotation due to the different rotation speeds of this ...
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Air flight and Earth's rotation

I read a response asking why flights of equal distance east and west take roughly the same time (disregarding wind actions). I have trouble visualizing part of the answer; "the speed of the rotation ...
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How is determined the shape of the wings of an airplane?

My understanding of the reason why a plane fly is summarized by the following figure: because the upper part of the wing is curved, the air above the wing has to flow faster than the wing below. This ...
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Roll angle for banked turn of an aircraft on a tilted plane

It is known that for a banked turn of an aircraft on a plane parallel to the ground, the roll angle $\Theta$ computes as $\Theta=\arctan(\frac{a}{g})$, with $a=\frac{v^2}{r}$ the centripetal ...
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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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How does quadcopter's battery capacity relate to it's maximum flight time?

Suppose that we have a quadcopter weighing 3 kg (without a battery) and a battery (let it be Li-Ion type) weighing 2 kg. With this battery our quad can hover for 20 minutes until the battery runs flat....
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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 http://armorgames.com/play/...
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Affect of temperature and pressure on humidity

If the temperature outside is 0°C and the air is fully saturated, when I heat the air to 21°C without adding any water the relative humidity inside the house would be a very dry 25%. The dewpoint does ...
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How is pressure reduced on the upper part of an aircrafts wing? [duplicate]

I have heard part of the explanation and that is that air on the top part of the aircrafts wing wants to move in a straight line, but the air is pulled down the slope or camber, but that's as far as I ...
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How much lift does an airplane get from its wings, vs the rest of the airframe?

Consider a big commercial airliner, like a 727, 747, or a 787. At cruising altitude, under standard conditions, how much of the lift of the aircraft comes from the wings, and how much from the rest ...
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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. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=...
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Is it possible that a plane in turbulences has more downward acceleration than gravity's

In multiple Hollywood movies and TV shows I've seen scenes where a plane enters turbulences and for a moment the people in the plane seem to move upwards relative to the plane. As far as I know, as ...
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2 airplanes same size and shap different mass

2 identical balls of different mass dropped from same height reach the ground at the same time due to the acceleration of gravity being constant. If I understand correctly the ball with more mass ...
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If the Earth is curved, why don't planes need to adjust attitude to stay parallel to the ground?

If I'm flying parallel to the ground and I never adjust my attitude, shouldn't my altitude above the ground start rising if the Earth is curving away from me? In practice, why doesn't this happen. ...
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Faster alternative to travel to any location in the west? [closed]

Suppose one needs to travel to Somalia from Indonesia(which are approximately at a distance of $4000$ miles from each other on the line of equator). To accomplish this task, I suggest the following ...
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Aircraft Thrust to weight ratio contradiction with energy conservation

Usually, airliners have (Thrust/Weight) T/W ratio in the range of 0.2 to 0.8 and for steady flight W = lift My question is, for example, that Antonov 225 has Thrust/weight: 0.234 for max takeoff ...
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65 views

How to sensor Jerk=$d^3{\bf r}/dt^3$, or higher derivatives (4th, 5th, 6th order) when applied in the equation of motion of a ballistic missile?

Given a 6th order differential equation of motion as usually used in ballastic missile dynamic models. What kind of sensors are usually used to measure Jerk, (or higher order derivatives in kinematics)...
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Why is an Aircraft Runway NOT like a Teaspoon?

If the aircraft runway were like a teaspoon (by this I mean, flat in the beginning, then curving downwards and finally upwards), would it not work in favor of the propulsion of the aircraft? In spite ...
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63 views

How much energy would it take to take down a 747 using vibrations? [closed]

Background Information: All materials have a resonant frequency, which is the frequency at which they are most easily excited (vibrated). That's how glass is shattered using high-pitched sounds. ...
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80 views

rocket vertical landing [closed]

SpaceX has published a couple of videos that show one of their heavy-lift rockets landing vertically in a highly specific location. How is it possible that they are able to control so many ...
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Why does moving air have low pressure?

According to Wikipedia lift in an aircraft is due to an area of low pressure formed above the wings of an aircraft due to the fast moving air there. So why exactly is an area of low pressure created ...
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How do I figure out the totally airborne height for a given machine?

Technically "airborne" can just mean to move through the air, but I would like to know how high you have to be before you are entirely supported by air in a helicopter-like machine, as opposed to ...
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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 ...
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Does it take significantly more fuel to fly a heavier airplane?

I was reading in the papers how some-airline-or-the-other increased their prices for extra luggage, citing increased fuel costs. Now I'm a bit skeptical. Using the (wrong) Bernoulli-effect ...
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Speed of sound and Break the sound barrier

What happens when plane exceeds the speed of sound? and What is the interpretation of the conical shape that appears behind the plane?
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How does gas spin the turbine in a jet engine?

I am confused about how the energy from the ignited gas spins a turbine in a jet engine, as pictured below                &...
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Speed limit to air travel? [closed]

Is there a hard limit on the speed of air travel on earth? That is, if you consider the way the human body reacts to gravity. Is there active research ongoing in this area?
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Can an Adequately Long Tube Float?

I was just pondering in my head one day (I don't recall what I was pondering), but I came across the thought: If an adequately long (and light) tube is placed in the atmosphere, can the difference in ...
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Trying to understand jet engine [closed]

I'm trying to understand at a high level how a jet engine works. I want to know if the following summary I wrote is more or less accurate: The jet compresses regular air into a combustion chamber. ...
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283 views

Does laser beam expand along distance or not? [duplicate]

Why does laser dot become bigger at bigger distance? e.g: from millimeter to inches so that it distracts pilots in aircrafts. I knew that laser beam should't expand over distance, but remain stable. ...
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Are the hypotheses of the Bernoulli equation satisfied for a bird or airplane wing at low Mach number?

A previous question by David Zaslavsky was a request for a broad, "how things work" type of explanation of the lift of an airfoil. The answers given there are enlightening, but don't address a more ...
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258 views

How thick does a spider web have to be to stop a 747 in flight? [closed]

There is an idea I've heard since I was a kid that involves the relative strength of spider web. The claim is that if it were something like an inch thick it could stop an airplane in flight. How true ...
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No need Power to fly ? Paradox [duplicate]

I would like to know how much power I need for magnetic levitation. $$P = Fv.$$ $F = F_g \approx \text{mass} \times 10$, okay. But $v = 0$! I can't believe I need no power to keep an object in the ...
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How much effect does the Bernoulli effect have on lift?

I understand that the Bernoulli effect is a flawed explanation for the cause of lift, and does not cause much at all, but how much? Is there any experimental data on the force caused by the ...
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Why do vapour cones form around jet fighters?

Apparently this phenomenon has nothing to do with jets breaking the sound barrier and has something to do with the Prandtl-Glauert singularity as described on Wikipedia. But, the Wikipedia article isn'...
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why aren't there nuclear powered aircraft?

I know this might sound like more of an engineering question that about physics, and it probably is, but bear with me: i'm still not sure if the answer to my question lies in the physics or in the ...
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Fluid Dynamics applied to Aircraft wings [duplicate]

On aircraft wings, the bottom is flat and the top is curved. I know this benefits the aircraft by producing lift, but I wish to understand how. I'm told it has something to do with how fluids behave.
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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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Why don't we build helicopter based space shuttles?

As seen in this video: the principle of the helicopter does work in space. So we could make a helicopter based space shuttle! It would be easier to navigate with it than with propulsors.
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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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Why are the backs of airplanes curved?

I get the front part, but why is the back curved too? I do not see a problem with the back being flat.
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Is fuelless aviation possible?

I've read the article Gravity powered aircraft flies with no fuel. This is making me confusion, as I can not discern if it is credible. Is it an hoax?
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Disconnected aileron/surface deflection in terms of speed?

Would a disconnected surface, especially aileron, deflect upwards as you slow down due to increased alpha? I figure out it is more likely to deflect upwards as you increase your airspeed, thus having ...
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Is speed of propeller-driven airplane limited by the speed of sound?

Mine line of thoughts goes like this: A propeller is effectively pushing itself away from molecules of air. The best any propeller can do is to create total vacuum in the front of itself. The ...
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The velocity of air on an airfoil

They say that velocity of the top layer on an airfoil is higher than the lower layer. But, according to the continuity principle of fluid, the velocity of air is inversely proportional to the surface ...
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241 views

Since Earth spins, would an aircraft travelling opposite to direction of Earth spin take less time? [duplicate]

Suppose we want to reach the point on earth which in relative terms is exactly on the opposite end of the sphere we call earth (I know it is not an exact sphere). We either dig vertically downwards, ...
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Movie airplanes and suction

Having watched a recent action movie (with zombies in it) I wondered whether the suction from a hole in the airplane's hull would really be able to rip out luggage, persons and even seating benches. ...
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Aircraft Level Flight Trajectory

An aircraft climbs to 15000 feet and enters 'level flight' phase. My basic knowledge of physics says that forces on the aircraft at this time are balanced - as seen in this diagram. Would an ...
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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.