CX A330 at near-zero ground speed

Old Nov 9, 11, 5:48 pm
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CX A330 at near-zero ground speed

Courtesy of Jalopnik:

"This is what happens when a 230-ton Airbus A330 has the right angle of attack, the right low speed and the right amount of head wind: it gets suspended in the middle of the sky for a few seconds."

http://jalopnik.com/5857968/watch-th...-a-few-seconds

Very nifty video of an apparently motionless CX A330 - timeless color scheme.
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Old Nov 9, 11, 5:57 pm
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How does this affect CX?? CX being singled out once again I presume?!
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Old Nov 9, 11, 6:58 pm
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Originally Posted by maortega15 View Post
How does this affect CX?? CX being singled out once again I presume?!
There's no criticism of CX.

I can't find any safety issue at all with the video. The A330 is meant to do what it was filmed doing under strong headwinds. It it not entirely coincidental that the jet involved is CX cos CX is one of the largest operators of A330 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airbus_A330#Operators

OP - quite an amazing clip, I agree. I dunno why, but I quite like the A330.
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Old Nov 9, 11, 7:41 pm
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One of the comments there is interesting, which is that doing this so close to the ground could be very dangerous, as if the wind suddenly dies down, would the aircraft fall out of the air?

Is that a correct statement or would the aircraft keep retain its forward momentum even though it's actually going nowhere?
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Old Nov 9, 11, 7:49 pm
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Alright, this can happen to any airliner at any time.
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Old Nov 9, 11, 8:06 pm
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Originally Posted by midlevels View Post
One of the comments there is interesting, which is that doing this so close to the ground could be very dangerous, as if the wind suddenly dies down, would the aircraft fall out of the air?
Not really. It appears the aircraft still has lift. It's just encountered strong headwinds it has little forward momentum.
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Old Nov 9, 11, 8:27 pm
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Originally Posted by percysmith View Post
Not really. It appears the aircraft still has lift. It's just encountered strong headwinds it has little forward momentum.
It has lift because of the headwinds. If the headwinds suddenly die down, thus killing the lift, combined with the little forward momentum, what happens?
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Old Nov 9, 11, 9:00 pm
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Originally Posted by midlevels View Post
It has lift because of the headwinds. If the headwinds suddenly die down, thus killing the lift, combined with the little forward momentum, what happens?
I am not a professional pilot, but unless there is evidence the engines are not turning, I imagine the plane resumes forward motion and flying (and gaining lift) in the normal manner.
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Old Nov 10, 11, 5:27 am
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Even though the engines are still running, I assume that one will still say that the heavy load/weight would push the aircraft downwards at such a low speed.

Was that an emergency landing in the end?
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Old Nov 10, 11, 11:20 am
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Originally Posted by midlevels View Post
It has lift because of the headwinds. If the headwinds suddenly die down, thus killing the lift, combined with the little forward momentum, what happens?
What happens when you're walking along one of the moving walkways at HKG and suddenly it stops? You'd still move forward, albeit at a somewhat slower pace.

The pilots would simply have to lower the angle of attack, and combined with the high climb power setting already in place, the plane will regain its airpseed and continue the climb as normal. The plane would have less climb performance (i.e. feet per minute) but would increase its groundspeed. Remember that planes are not really moving across the ground, they are moving inside a parcel of air. During a climb into a strong headwind, the groundspeed may be low but the airspeed will still be normal. Flying in high, gusty winds at low airspeeds (i.e. takeoff and landing) does pose risks and challenges though.

(I used to be a charter pilot)
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