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Spinning an Airliner

Old 10-09-2006, 05:27 AM
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Exclamation Spinning an Airliner

was speaking with a CFI the other day and he was saying that pilots have intentionally spun large aircraft.... I was under the impression that due to wing design, they are more suseptible to flat spins and therefore usually end in catastrophe.

Is it true that this is done and for what kind of test?

Secondly, who the hell would want that job???
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Old 10-09-2006, 05:43 AM
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Spinning in a Katana was pretty scary. I can't imagine spinning in a 737 or something like that!!
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Old 10-09-2006, 08:20 AM
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Spinning a large airplane would be a bad idea! I Wonder where your buddy heard that one?
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Old 10-09-2006, 08:24 AM
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I have once seen a video (no fake, really!!!) from an airshow where an A318 does a looping! I'll look for it and post it here. I couldn't believe what I saw but it was real. There are pictures on www.airliners.net as well. I personally didn't know that the structure was strong enough to stand something like that.
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Old 10-10-2006, 12:04 AM
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A loop or aileron roll is not the same as a spin in large aircraft with swept wings. Looping or rolling an airliner would not be difficult if one was trained in entry and exit procedures. A spin on the other hand would be difficult to manage and extremely difficult to recover from. No thanks!
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Old 10-10-2006, 07:54 AM
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i was under the impression that perhaps and new production aircraft must go thru a rigorous flight test before being delivered for passenger use... part of that test i assumed would cover stall and spin recovery, just as in any other airplane
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Old 10-10-2006, 08:50 AM
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My favorite is a video of Boeing's chief test pilot Tex Johnson rolling a Boeing 707 about 500ft off the ground.

Unfortunately, large commercial aircraft do not undergo spin testing prior to certification. With the advent of more powerful computing languages, we can basically simulate spinning an airliner (Thank you MATLAB). Generally in engineering we like to take some experimental results to back up predicted results, but I think it is too dangerous to spin a Boeing 777.
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Old 10-10-2006, 09:09 AM
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I think a Lufthansa 707 crashed once because the pilots rolled on a ferry flight. I'm not sure about that though. Can anybody confirm?
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Old 10-10-2006, 12:42 PM
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The problem with spinning a large aircraft is centrifugal force. The farther a piece of the airframe is from the center of rotation, the larger the forces on that piece. If the cockpit is 20 feet from the center of rotation, the forces on the pilots would be extreme and could make it impossible to move, let alone control the airplane. The forces on the engine pylons and tail would similarly be extreme. If a large aircraft like a 747 got in to a spin I believe it would tear itself apart.

If anyone has a video of a large aircraft recovering from a long multiple rotation spin, (not just an entry) I'd love to see it.
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Old 10-10-2006, 08:30 PM
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Originally Posted by UConnQB14 View Post
i was under the impression that perhaps and new production aircraft must go thru a rigorous flight test before being delivered for passenger use... part of that test i assumed would cover stall and spin recovery, just as in any other airplane
Approach to stall, anmd recovery, yes; spin----positively not. And, not required for certification.
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