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Are there any aircraft still in production that use a radial engine?

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Until relatively recently the answer would certainly have been yes. The Antonov AN-2 was still being produced until 2001, and many are still in service carrying passengers and freight.

Sukhoi Su-29 (and others in that line) are still in production (as far as I know). These are aerobatic aircraft with radial engines, made in Russia, and prized for their performance. I believe the newer Su-31 also uses a radial engine.

Posted on Oct 25, 2017

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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Will composite planes have the same longevity as all-metal planes?


As an aircraft engineer I have deep concerns over composite and plastics used in aircraft construction. I personally don't think they can possibly last simply because repairing structural damage cannot be 100% guaranteed. Metal and wooden structures are easily repaired or replaced. Splicing and repairing plastic and composites are not so easy and expensive to do. It's often cheaper to buy a new one, which means that the aircraft will be written off rather than anyone having to guarantee any complicated repair. Metal aircraft, however, can easily be repaired given a skilled sheet metal worker and the repairs are often stronger than the original structure.
What worries me about plastic is its tendency to become brittle over time. Most of us have experienced those horrific plastic garden chairs that don't last more than a year before they break. Whilst composite aircraft are clearly of superior quality, I like to see a manufacturer who is prepared to guarantee that his composite (plastic) aircraft will not suffer the same fate over time. There was a plastic glider that broke up in the UK in the late 70s. The owner had painted a dark green band around the rear fuselage just in front of the tail. The differential heat absorption from the sun seriously weakened the area and the tail broke off in flight. No-one can tell yet what we will be confronted with in the future or what people might do to their aircraft and I predict that many will have to be retired when we find out the real lifespan when they start to fail. I personally would need a lot of convincing before I bought one.

Jan 04, 2017 | Aircrafts

3 Answers

How do you start a plane?


Technically anyone could get in and start a big jet aircraft, but it would have to be pointing in the right direction. Getting a large transport jet going is allot more complicated than just starting the engines. The whole aircraft has a multitude of systems that have to be brought on line even before the start is selected. Failure to do so would have the computers on board sulk until you said good morning to them. The first operation, thus, is to 'power-up' the aircraft, this means to establish electrical power. This can be done in two ways, one being establishing a ground power unit and secondly, the aircraft's own auxiliary power unit, which is normally a little jet engine in the tail of the aircraft. The APU as it's called (auxiliary power unit) will also supply air pressure for cabin air conditioning and to the air starter units used to spin the main engine turbines at high speed to start the main engines, when commanded to do so. This is why the air-conditioning temporarily goes off when the engines are starting, because the APU cannot supply both engine start air and conditioning air at the same time.
After electrical power has been established, the on-board computers will come to life. Some computers are in their own little world and control things that are fully automatic, you only hear from them if they detect a defect in their own self test. Other computers are in pairs and threes, they monitor each other and alert the pilots and engineers via other computers if any detects faults in the others. There are two or three inertial navigation systems that are driven by lazar light. In each unit there are at least three lazars in different orientation. These units can detect the slightest movement and calculate the position of the aircraft by adding that movement to the aircraft's current position. The IRS units are very - very clever since they measure the movement by measuring the shift in the light spectrum when the aircraft moves. Since they measure movement, they have to know the speed the world spins at and the speed of the earth through space, to deduct that from the small movement on the aircraft in order to calculate the position. Allowing the IRS units to come on line is essential and must be done before main engine start. The aircraft must be completely stationary for this to happen.
After all that has been done the main navigation computers are programed for the route to be flown and with other information. The Flight management computers (as they are called on some aircraft) can also acquire their own information, like how much fuel is on board, and in flight the airspeed of the aircraft the angle at which the aircraft is at and from that it will calculate the weight of the aircraft.
So when all the systems are up and running and the computers have done their thing and have been programmed where required we can carry out all the other checks, switch on the galley power and call for a cup of tea and when we have drunk that we are nearly ready to start the main engines.
When ready to start the main engines the air system has to be re-configured to enable the starters to operate, following that the normal procedure is to place the engine start switch in the auto start position, where all the starting functions are carried out automatically. Both pilots monitor the engine start as sometimes things can go wrong like a hung start or a hot start. These sort of malfunctions can seriously damage a multi-multi million dollar engine in a flash and no pilot would want to be responsible for that. As the engine spins up to speed, at a predetermined percentage RPM the captain will select the fuel switch to the run position which will allow the fuel to be injected into the engine for light-up. Following a normal start the air system is then reconfigured once more as part of the after start check list, along with other post start items.
All in all what I'm trying to say is that it is a complicated procedure and not just about turning a key like a car. So if you were to board a dead aircraft on the tarmac and turn the start switch nothing would happen.
So what if the engineer wanted to run an engine for an engine test, would he have to follow the same procedure? Well, apart from loading the flight data into the flight computer, he would have to do everything else, if only to prevent all sorts of warnings that would occur trying to short cut the procedure, since the only warnings he would wish to see is anything that is relevant to the engine start, otherwise engine starting and running warnings may well be disguised by other more insignificant malfunctions. Hope this has been helpful.

Jan 04, 2017 | Aircrafts

1 Answer

How to know if the aircraft is airworthy?


From a pilot's point of view, every aircraft comes from the factory with a checklist of things to look at specifically before every flight to ensure airworthiness. It's generally called a walk-around inspection, checking flight controls for security and condition, tire condition, engine for obvious problems. propeller, fuel and oil quantities. and many other things. The walk around also includes checking to ensure all required paperwork is there including weight and balance, airworthiness certificate, aircraft registration, operator's manual. etc. I would also check the log book to verify the transponder check was done within the past 24 months and the annual or 100 hour inspection is current. From an A&P mechanic point of view much the same applies, however I would look much closer at the maintenance logs for engine and airframe.

Jan 04, 2017 | Aircrafts

2 Answers

Why does the USA uses companies like Boeing and Lockheed to make there military aircraft and other military eqipment?


The cost in designing, developing, and testing an aircraft is staggering!!! Defense contractors as those you mention have extremely strict regulations to follow regarding export control and no equipment is sold to a foreign government without the express approval of the US gov't.

Jan 04, 2017 | Aircrafts

1 Answer

Why do pilots have their microphones so close to their mouths when flying?


Most headset and aircraft mics have noise cancelling because between engine and wind noise it would be difficult to understand the pilot without it. To use the noise cancelling mic it must be very near the lips

Jan 04, 2017 | Aircrafts

2 Answers

Why can't a DC-10 fly without a flight engineer?


no but the flight engineer moniters fuel and electrical use hydraulic levels and apu operation

Jan 04, 2017 | Aircrafts

1 Answer

Why do the left propeller on aircraft spin clockwise and the right engine spin counter clockwise?


Its easier to control the airplane with that balance, a twin like that would be easier than a single for the same reason that the prop rotation makes the plane easier to turn to one side than the other.

Jan 04, 2017 | Aircrafts

2 Answers

How can air traffic controllers determine when it's clear for takeoff and landing?


They go through very intense training to be able to sequence aircraft safely. If there's a controller then there's at least a Class D area and all aircraft operating in that area must contact tower and let them know where they are and what they want to do. This is the information that lets them determine when it's clear.

Jan 04, 2017 | Aircrafts

2 Answers

Why There are not new aircrafts ?


space has put an end to this type of spy aircraft and cost to operate is very expensive

Jan 04, 2017 | Aircrafts

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