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Aeronautical Engineering/Airplane stop in mid air?


watt wrote at 2008-06-06 20:41:46

If there is enough wind it is possible for a stunt pilot to, "stop" his/her plane and, "hover" by flying directly into the wind. All planes have what is called a, "stall speed" that is, how fast the plane needs to be going to produce enough lift to stay in there air. If the wind speed is as high as the plane's stall speed or higher it is possible for the plane to stay aloft without moving relative to the ground.

To hover in that method is a delicate procedure that an airline pilot would probably not attempt, but when landing a plane it is advisable to land facing into the wind so that the plane's speed relative to the ground is minimized. It is possible that what your friend saw was the plane turning into a strong wind and the ground speed being reduced to such a degree that it appeared to be stopped from your friend's vantage point. A commercial airliner can be flying at over 10,000 meters. From that far away traveling at 120kph can seem like nothing.

jose wrote at 2013-03-24 02:20:58
I have experience this I tought about what I saw and I tought to myself airplanes can't stay in the mid of the with out speed!  So we stoped the car and it wasn't moving cause we rode under it but there wasn't any movement nor sound! Crazy that a airplane was in mid air and wasn't even making a single noise  

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Paul Soderman


Aeronautics, Aerodynamics, Fluid Mechanics, Aeroacoustics, Noise Control, Muffler Design, Wind Tunnel Research.... I know nothing about India - do not ask about schools, jobs, application requirements, career choices, etc. for India. Please, no text message verbiage; I prefer full words in full sentences. Thanks.


38 years as research engineer at NASA


B.S. and M.S. Aeronautical Engineering - U. of Washington, Graduate work Standford U.

Awards and Honors
AIAA Associate Fellow (American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics)

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