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This Page Last Updated: June 24, 2003

Table of Contents

Page 1

  1. C-130F US Forrestal Carrier Landing. . .
  2. What is the best fighter-bomber in world?
  3. What is the best wing design?
  4. How do planes fly?
  5. F-105 called a starfighter and YF-12 called an SR-71??
  6. Why can't VTOL planes travel supersonic?
  7. What is a microburst?
  8. What is Jetwashing?
  9. What's 'dead man's plunge'?
  10. Can a plane fall from strong turbulence?
  11. What is the top speed of the F-22?
  12. Has an airplane ever reached mach 3, if not, is it theoretically possible?
  13. What is the world's largest airplane?
  14. Are there any commercial aircraft with in-air refueling capabilities?
  15. How many planes are there in the world?

    Page 2

  16. What is the combat radius of the Gripen, how does this compare to other fighers?
  17. Infomation on the AH-1 Cobra needed.
  18. Most sophisticated US plane.
  19. B767 blowing apart at 414mph+ and 1500ft.
  20. What were some of the weaknesses and contributions of the F-14B Tomcat?
  21. What year were the first commercial airplanes put in service?
  22. Airspeed of a single prop private plane vs. a commercial airline.
  23. Where can I find all the parts of an aircraft from nose to tail?
  24. Which commercial airplane has the largest passeneger capacity?
  25. What is meant by the term "supercritical wing"?
  26. What are the roles of the Loadmaster and Radar Intercept Officer?
  27. Who was the first woman to pilot a plane across the Atlantic Ocean?
  28. Where was the first skywriting exhibition held?
  29. Who was the first president to fly in an airplane as president?
  30. What does the aviation term cantilever mean?

    Page 3

  31. How do the F-22 Raptor and S-37 Berkut compare. . .
  32. (1) Is it possible for an aircraft to reach the speed of the X-15 with no rocket engines? (2) What's the most powerful engine available for an aircraft and what speed would it be able to take an aircraft to?
  33. What is agility?
  34. What are the advantages of swept back wings?
  35. What is the heaviest plane ever built?
  36. Is the X-15 faster than the SR-71 Blackbird?
  37. Where are the other helicopters between the AH-1 Cobra and AH-64 Apache?
  38. How does reverse thrust work?
  39. In a 747, if one engine is damaged it can still operate normally, why?
  40. What are the interior dimensions of the Boeing 727?
  41. Will there be a replacement for Columbia in the near future?
  42. What will be the true replacement of the F-14?

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Page 1

Question 1

In 1965 a C-130F aircraft landed on the aircraft carrier Forrestal 90 miles north of Lajes Field, Azores Portugal, 21 times in one day with no hooks and no catapalt. It was a Navy / Marines aircraft, piloted by a Marine. Where can I get information about this mission?

      Here is a good page about that mission (USS Fortestal landing). Here is a quote from that website, ". . .Not only was it possible, it was done in moderately rough seas 500 miles out in the North Atlantic off the Boston Coast. In so doing, the airplane became the largest and heaviest airplane to land on a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier, a record that holds to this day."

The Aviation Zone Forrestal C-130 Landing

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Question 2

Which is the best strike fighter and bomber in the world, please tell about their avionics,and can u name them in 1 to 10.

There aren't many strike fighters in the world today, most are fighter-bombers. The best strike fighters and fighter-bombers in the world, in my opinion and based on facts, are: 1-5 are strike, 6-10 are fighter-bombers

  1. F-15E Strike Eagle
  2. Panavia Tornado IDS
  3. SEPECAT Jaguar
  4. MiG-27 Flogger
  5. Su-17 Fitter
  6. F/A-18 Hornet
  7. F-16 Falcon
  8. (8-10) F-14B/D Tomcat and Mirage planes (III, 2000, F1)

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Question 3

Which wing is the best in speed, agility, and carring armaments:
  • delta
  • swept back or forward
  • the wings like on su-37 or f-22.
The best wing overall would be the delta wing, with plenty of room for armement and great low and high speed agility.

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Question 4

How do planes fly, are they really held up by will power alone?

      Its all about science. High and Low pressure , acceleration, thrust, lift (high and low pressure). This is how planes fly. . .

      You cannot strap an engine on a brick and expect it to fly. In order to fly you need a perfect combination of the following: Lift, thrust, and aerodynamics. Lift can be done by all sorts of things, most commonly a wing is used to provide the lift needed yet the shape of the airplane can also provide lift like a lifting body aircraft. The shape of the wing determines the planes maneuverability and even speed. Look at these drawings to get a visual on how a wing can cause lift:


      According to the laws of science, objects are drawn to low pressure. As the first drawing shows, the air flowing over the bottom of the wing has a straight shot to the end, yet the air on the top of the wing has a larger area to cover. Both air flows have to meet at the back of the wing at the same time and in order to do this, the air flowing on the top of the wing must travel at a higher velocity, thus causing a low pressure on top and causeing lift.

      The next thing needed to fly is thrust. This can be done by many types of engines like:
Rockets - solid and liquid, turboprop (propellor), or jet engines. Nuclear and laser are newer ways they are testing. This thrust gives a forward motion and causes the airflow over the wings, thus providing lift and forward movement. Aerodynamics conserve fuel and let aircraft travel faster because the airflow over the fuselage doesn't have many obstacles to flow over, slowing the plane down.

      Actually, small stubby wings have been incoorperated on numerous flying machines like the F-4, F-104, F-117, X-3, and helicopters. Yes, helicopters have thin-long "wings". The F-4 is not a marvel in flying and the engineers did not do an amazing feat just for making it fly at low speeds and altitudes. There is an obvious scientific answer to that, and that can be shown like a helicopters blades. The angle of attack of the helicopters "wings" provide lift, even though they are extremely thin, the angle of them makes up for their size by making the air over the top of the blade travel even FASTER than it would if the blades were level like a wing-providing an even lower pressure above the wings and thus more lift. Speed or angle of attack can drastically change the lift a wing can give. This is the only way the F-4 and the like can fly at low speeds and low altitudes. It is not because they have a large powerplant, yet that would help keep it up in the air somewhat because the engine exhaust would be pointed more downward at high angles of attack, giving upward lift and forward lift that way.

      As the part about a brick able to fly with an engine, yes, this is somewhat possible. If you take a look at the AV-8B harrier and all of the other V/STOL aircraft, the engines provide upward lift making the aircraft able to hover in mid air, if the engines were slanted diagonally, they could provide upward and forward lift making the brick fly.

      So All aircraft need a type of wing, no matter how large. Lifting bodies are a wing themselves, acting with low pressure above the aircraft and higher pressure below - providing the lift needed without wings.

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Question 5

I thought the F-105 was called a starfighter and the YF-12 was called an SR-71.

      The Lockheed F-104 was designated the Starfighter. The Republic F-105 went under the name Thunderchief.

      The Blackbird program came to be with the test aircraft designated the A-12. After preparation and testing, it was designed into the YF-12. The YF-12 was the next Blackbird program to be started. It was designed as a high speed interceptor. After that program did not succeed, it was redesigned yet again into a high altitude, high speed reconnaissance aircraft designated the SR-71. All three aircraft designs look very similar, mostly because they were all generated from the same aircraft -- the A-12.

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Question 6

Why aren't the VTO jets, like the Harrier Jump Jet and the V22, able to fly at super-sonic speeds? Is it because of the pitch of the blades in the jet engine?

      The only reason the V-22 cannot fly supersonic is because it is a propellor plane. Propellor driven planes are usually not capable of supersonic flight. The Harrier aircrafts are slightly underpowered and heavy, so they can only fly just under the speed of sound. The new Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) models will be much larger and more powerful than the Harriers and will be able to fly supersonic.

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Question 7

I heard the other day someone say that some airplane in the Orient fell because of a "microbust". What's that?

      Microbursts are an extremely violent downward blast of air that hits the earth and radiates outward. With its sharp shifts in wind direction and wind speed, it can cause an aircraft to lose lift and crash. Crashes are more likely during takeoff or landing, when the slower speeds and closeness to the ground make altitude correction more difficult.

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Question 8

The other day I was in a small plane when I felt death comming. This little plane swung violently like in a weird S shape from side to side. When we landed the captain said we were experiencing "jet washing" and a big 747 had just passed. What is that?

      Jet Wash happens when air is disturbed around a plane's wings or other flight control surfaces. When trailing a plane, jetwash can cause the plane to shake violently and do strange things. When the 747 passed, it disrupted the airflow causeing the plane to veer side to side.

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Question 9

I was watching a documentary on John F. Kennedy Jr. death and I heard something about the "dead man's plunge". What's that?

      JFK Jr. couldn't properly read his flight instruments. When its nighttime and visability is low, you have to use your flight controls to tell whether the plane is going down or leaning, etc. JFK Jr. had no clue his plane was steeping downwards, so he took the 'dead mans plunge'.

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Question 10

I've wondered this for a while. Can a plane actually fall from a strong turbulence?

      I suppose if the turbulence was strong enough to do damage to the aircraft or cause the wings to lose lift then it could take a plane down, most of the time turbulence is nothing to worry about.

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Question 11

What is the top speed of the F-22? They say that it'll do MACH 1.58 without afterburner, but only top out at 1.7 with afterburner - but it's more aerodynamic and powerful than the F-15, which does MACH 2.5.

      The F-16 and F-15 do not go mach 2+ on average. The F-16s normal speed is actually SUBsonic while its max speed is Mach 2 with full afterburner. No one will ever see an F-16 going double sonic on a normal basis. So the F-22 isn't that much far behind. The F-15 rarely goes over mach 2 either, its top cruise speed is around mach 1 or less. The F-22 is also classified as a mach 2 category fighter, meaning it has the ability to reach mach 2 just like the F-16, yet RARELY will ever go near that fast.

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Question 12

Has an airplane ever achived a speed of mach 3, or if not, is it theoretically possible?

      The X-15 acheived a top speed of mach 6.72 with an altitude of about 350,000 feet. The only reason it cannot take off from the ground is because it barely had enough fuel to make the short flights that it did, so taking off from the ground would waste way too much fuel.

      The SR-71 (A-12 and YF-12) all went over mach 3.2 and are currently the fastest planes to be able to take off under their own power - not having to be carried to altitude by a B-52 like the X-15.

      The XB-70 went over Mach 3 also. 2 protoypes were made, one crashed and the other is in a museum. It could acheive a top speed of around mach 3.2 and an altitude of 95,000+ feet.

      And it is true that at one point in the atmosphere entrance of the space shuttle, the shuttle reaches a top speed of mach 21 or more because of gravity and the kinetic energy the shuttle has from going through space.

      The fastest speed attained by a craft with humans in it is 24,790 miles per hour (around Mach 37). This was the re-entry speed reached by the Apollo 10 craft. The fastest speed recorded for a craft with no humans in it was 150,000 miles per hour (around Mach 227), reached by the Helios satellite that is in orbit around the Sun.

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Question 13

What's the world's largest airplane?

      The largest plane in the world is the Russian An-225 Cossack. The only model made of it was called the Myriad, or dream in english. It has a length of 275 feet 7 inches, a wing span of 290 feet, and maximum takeoff weight of 1,322,770 pounds!!

Just to add more information, here are some more largest planes in the
world in different categories. The An-225 is the largest plane in the
world to takeoff under its own power, but . . .

  • The An-124 Condor is the second largest plane to be produced in the world (like the An-225, it was made by Antonov), with a length of 226 feet 8.5 inches, a wingspan of 240 feet 5.75 inches, a height of 68 feet 2 inches, and a maximum takeoff weight of 892,782 pounds.

  • The C-5 Galaxy is the thrid largest plane in the world to be produced (made by Lockheed - USA). It has a length of 247 feet 10 inches, a wingspan of 222 feet 8.5 inches, a height of 65 feet 1.5 inches, and a maximum takeoff weight of 837,000 pounds.

  • The Be-42 Albatross (made by Beriev - Russia) holds the record for the largest amphibious aircraft in the world, with a wingspan of 136 feet 7 inches, a length of 143 feet 10 inches, a height of 36 feet 4 inches, and a maximum takeoff weight of 189,595 pounds.

  • The largest pusher plane (propellor is being aircraft pushing instead of a tractor plane where propellor is in front pulling the aircraft) is the B-36 Peacemaker, made by Convair - USA. It has a length of 162 feet 1 inch, a wingspan of 230 feet, a height of 46 feet 8 inches, and a maximum takeoff weight of 357,500 lbs.

  • The HK-1 Spruce Goose (more commonly known as the H-4) is the plane with the largest wingspan in the world. The wingspan of the Spruce goose was 320 feet long, with a height of 80 feet, a length of 218 feet, 6 inches, and a maximum takeoff weight of 300,000 pounds.

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Question 14

Are there any commercial aircraft which have in-air refueling capabilities?

      No real commerical airliners today have in-flight refuelling capabilities because they were created for a specific distance, 747 for long range, 717 shorter range, etc. They don't need extra fuel to get to their desired place. Another factor is safety, in-flight refueling takes tons of skill and is very dangerous. There is no way any airliners would put their passengers in peril just to make a short range aircraft go further when they could just use a long range aircraft.

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Question 15

How many planes are there in the world?

      Counting Spain and France, there are well over 1,000,000 planes (including Cessnas) in the entire world today.

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