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can airplanes stand still in mid air?

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No but they can run you the F over

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Only answer that I laughed at :D
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Yes, only the Harrier Jet can...or helicopters. (Didn't anyone see "True Lies"?)

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No.
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waldorff
Small (light) airplanes, like small Cessnas and Pipers can do this fairly easily in strong winds. See my answer for more details...
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Nothing else can do this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HHStTN8z1MQ
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xkobitz

Noo

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In a balanced stall, yes.

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waldorff
What the heck is a balanced stall? And what relevance is it to the question?

In a normal straight-ahead stall, an airplane is producing less lift than what is needed for sustained flight. Normally this is a temporary situation, as the nose drops and it builds up speed. If you hold an airplane in a stall, it will descend, accelerating down until the total lift is once again equal to weight. If a descent is necessary to maintain this lift/weight balance, it will continue to descend. This has got nothing to do with standing still. It's forward airspeed in this mode is just about stall speed. The ground speed will depend on the magnitude and direction of the airmass (the wind).
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honey, they can't stand. they can fly.

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No, they are propelled forward and they need certain wind pressure (helped by its aerodynamic design etc.) and speed to maintain flight.

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waldorff
Yes, they need airspeed. But if the wind speed is greater than stall speed, and it OFTEN is at altitude, they can hover happily...
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Right and if an airplane was in space, there would be no gravity and it would float happily too. Unfortunatly both of those are very unlikely circumstances.
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waldorff
An airplane floating in space? Are you serious? There's no air in space, how the heck could it float?
See my answer below - I've seen this, and I've done it in my ultralight.
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Okay yes you seem very educated on this, but a normal few hundred or so passenger plane would fall under most conditions. And actually there is a very small amount of air in space, but the plane would not be in an atmosphere with gravity which would cause it to float, kinda like a satellite.
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waldorff
Yeah... I'm a flight instructor, so I've got some experience in this.....
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Haha
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U need 140 mile per hour wind
So basically no

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Umm no duh

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waldorff

Yes, they can - I've seen it. Of course, you have to have a small airplane with a low stalling speed - 30mph or so. The airplane I saw do this was a Luscombe, which took off from the Fremont Airport (now closed) in a very strong wind, and just hung there, about 100 feet above the ground. Notice that it's airspeed was just above stalling speed, but it's ground speed was zero.

Also, when I had my ultralight, which stalled around 7mph, if memory serves, it was fairly common to take off and just climb vertically, because the airspeed was a comfortable 15 mph, but the ground speed was zero.

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no but helicopters can

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It's simple: lift has to equal the pull of gravity, or you have to provide vertical thrust. The Harrier jump jets do this, as do several other VTOL designs
In a normal aircraft, lift is caused by pressure differentials over an airfoil, typically, the only kind of airplane that can hover in place is one that has a moving airfoil: a helicopter.
In the rare event that there is sufficient airflow over the airfoil caused by wind, one can hover in place if lift, drag and other aerodynamic forces are in rough equilibrium. This would require a very light and efficient airfoil with a wide wingspan, such as the Gossamer Albatross, in light wind (11-13 mph).

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The harrier can, but not for long, also the osprey can, and the F22 (I think it is) can for a little bit. But generally unless you have the right conditions the cannot unless as stated by waldorff above.

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