The Engineering Behind Why It’s Too Hot to Fly

I’ve read a lot of articles talking about an interesting fact: this summer was so hot that in some cities like Phoenix aircraft could not fly. If you are an engineer or a pilot, it should not be a surprise that in hot weather an aircraft’s performance can deteriorate until the point it is unsafe to attempt take off. But maybe you have not considered all the possible causes of why it’s too hot to fly. I will try to explain things in a very basic and simplified way, for the benefit of those who are not familiar with these phenomena.

American Airlines canceled dozens of flights out of Phoenix on June 19 due to extreme heat. (AP Photo/Matt York)

Continue reading

Landing Gear: An Aircraft System We Take for Granted

Watching the news recently I saw a video of an aircraft landing without one of its landing gear fully deployed. Wonderful job by the pilots and crew.

As it turns out, it is not that difficult to find other on-camera examples.

Continue reading