Last week we were talking about wind patterns and how they affect flight time. But it is also worth mentioning that Space shuttles are launched almost at all times from West to East to take advantage of the earth’s rotation
How does earth’s rotation affect shuttles ?
Earth is a spherical body rotating with some angular velocity. And as a result of this, the equator is rotating at a higher velocity than the poles. By launching a space shuttle from the equator you are getting a ‘speed boost’.
This means that if a shuttle is launched from the pole, it has to accelerate from 0 to 17000mph to reach orbital velocity.
But if a shuttle is launched from the equator, it only needs to accelerate from 1025 to 17000mph. (that 1025mph initial velocity is given by the earth free of charge)
This saves valuable amount of fuel required for propulsion
Not all rockets are launched from the west to east and the direction is determined by the purpose of its payload.
The satellites that are used for mapping for instance follow a Polar Orbit i.e they move from north to south or vice versa and therefore during launch they cannot take advantage of the earth’s rotation.
Florida or California
Another characteristic of launching satellites is that the launching
stations are generally located near the coast just in
case of failure of the launch, the satellite falls in an uninhabited area.
NASA primarily uses Kennedy Space Center, Florida for east-west launches and Vandenberg Base California for polar orbits for the very same reason. ***
It takes a pressure difference between the top and bottom parts of the wing in order to produce lift. But when the flow of air becomes turbulent ( i.e during a stall ), this pressure difference is no longer established.
As a result of which, the lift drastically decreases and the aircraft starts dropping to the ground.
How to get out of a stall ?
Stalls can cause problems only when the pilot is not aware that the aircraft is stalling. ( Unlikely but has caused accidents in yester times )
As the airplane loses altitude, its nose dips down and airspeed picks up quickly. This restores the lift and the pilot would be able to regain control and bring the aero-plane into level flight.
How are stalls detected ?
On light aircraft there is a reed (much like used on a musical wind
instrument) mounted on one wing root, which is angled such that at the
Angle of Attack which would cause a stall, the reed “plays” which can be
heard in the cockpit.
Here is a view of where this system is mounted on a Cessna
On some aircrafts, it is a similar principal, however instead of a
reed, it uses a fin which at critical AoA pushes a micro-switch which
activates a buzzer/horn inside the cockpit.
Here is the assembly on a Beech 18
Large commercial aircraft typically rely on either Angle of Attack (AoA) Vanes or Differential Pitot Tubes to supply input to flight computers for the purpose of calculating AoA.
A lot of important stuff regarding aerodynamics in this post. Here’s a summary of the post:
Boundary Layer concept — > Why do aircrafts stall ? — > How to get out of one — > How are stalls detected ?
That’s all folks!
Hope you enjoyed today’s post and learnt something new.
Have a good one !
This post covers the fundamental principles from which the subsequent posts queued up for this weekend are derived from. Stay tuned.. It is gonna be wild ride.
Electrical power is
used to run systems for preflight checks. Some APUs are also connected
to a hydraulic pump, allowing crews to operate hydraulic equipment (such
as flight controls or flaps)
prior to engine start.
This function can also be used, on some
aircraft, as a backup in flight in case of engine or hydraulic failure.[
GPU ( Ground Power Unit )
Many a times you can also find the aircraft connected by some wires. This is the Ground power unit
and supplies the aircraft with electricity while the generators or the auxiliary power unit (APU) are not running.
airports reduce the use of APUs due to noise and pollution, and ground
power is used when possible.
What we behold as merely a small hole on the tail has so much depth to it .Pretty cool eh?