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Questions tagged [aircraft]

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

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245
votes
14answers
69k views

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 ...
5
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1answer
1k views

Can a hovering helicopter travel half the globe in 12 hours? [duplicate]

Suppose we have a helicopter that is able to stay stationary in flight for extended periods of time. If such a helicopter stayed at point A in the sky for 12 hours straight, would it reach the other ...
22
votes
4answers
174k views

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 ...
11
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4answers
5k views

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 ...
11
votes
7answers
62k views

What will happen if a plane trys to take off whilst on a treadmill?

So this has puzzled me for many a year... I still am no closer to coming to a conclusion, after many arguments that is. I don't think it can, others 100% think it will. If you have a plane trying to ...
24
votes
12answers
10k views

Why do spacecrafts 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.
4
votes
3answers
7k views

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'...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Beryllium Vacuum Sphere Boat/Aircraft [closed]

Is it possible to make a solid rigid evacuated "balloon" out of Beryllium or other elements or alloys? The critical buckling pressure at which an evacuated sphere is given as $$ P_1=\frac{2E\cdot\...
42
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2answers
51k views

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 ...
8
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3answers
3k views

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. ...
4
votes
2answers
173 views

Sonic Boom in Aircraft and Spacecraft

I would like to know why aircraft, and spacecraft produce a double sonic boom on breaking the sound barrier. A while ago, I thought I got it, as there’s a start and finish point to every vehicle. ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

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 ...
2
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6answers
14k views

Coriolis force on bullet vs airplane

Why do airplanes experience negligible Coriolis force while bullets experience the Coriolis force in long range shooting, even though the mass of airplane is much bigger than a bullet?
3
votes
3answers
15k views

Flying a toy helicopter inside an accelerating train [duplicate]

Scenario: You ride in a train, you have this helicopter toy. The train is not yet running when you flew your helicopter on a constant altitude (say 1 meter above the train's floor). Question: What ...
0
votes
2answers
2k views

Will a helicoper which is hovering inside a closed box move with the box when we move it? [duplicate]

I got this micro helicopter to play with, you know that cheap double bladed ones you can find for $25 or so. Anyway last night I was on bed trying to sleep and I got this idea, what if we put the ...
0
votes
2answers
130 views

Calculate work done by a hovering helicopter over time

This is likely to be very simple, but... How does one calculate work done by a hovering unmoving aircraft over time? As in work in Joules. In this scenario, to remain hovering the aircraft has to ...
4
votes
3answers
7k views

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 ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Speed of sound and Break the sound barrier [duplicate]

What happens when plane exceeds the speed of sound? and What is the interpretation of the conical shape that appears behind the plane?
0
votes
1answer
914 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, ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

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. ...
3
votes
3answers
400 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 $1200 \text{m}^2$. ...
-1
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
664 views

Why Does A Ramjet Produce Net Forward Thrust

So every (non-technical) explanation of ramjets I've seen talks about how the intake slows and pressurizes the incoming air before combustion but then takes for granted the fact that burning fuel ...
-1
votes
2answers
646 views

Would an electromagnetic jet engine work? [closed]

If the front fan on a gas turbine had a blade, or some of its blades extending into the surrounding housing, where there was a maglev ring of electromagnets, could fuel use be reduced by the engine? ...
-4
votes
3answers
119 views

Does a rope connecting an object to a constant-velocity aircraft fly at an angle?

A massive object is hanging by a massless cord from an aircraft. The aircraft is moving at a constant velocity v. Even assuming that air resistance exists, shouldn't the cord be perpendicular to the ...