Thursday, May 21, 2009

Reverse Gear...

A huge aircraft with a tiny jeep in front of it... Seems a familiar scene for some but a strange sight for others like me ... There is a chain that connects the aircraft’s nose with the bonnet of the jeep. What is a tiny jeep doing? Are the two vehicles playing tug-of-war! Of course not! :)

Though an aeroplane may be one of the largest vehicles, yet it lacks an important control. The reverse gear! I was extremely surprised when I found this out. Why should an aircraft not need a reverse gear? Or is it unnecessary for it to go in reverse direction in the air? I am not sure.

Can anyone help me understand this?


Pooja said...

Hi Arathi.. Visited your blog a couple of times.. Just thought will leave a comment on this post-

Aircraft wheels aren't gear driven like a car and they don't have a geared transmission like a car.There is just an engine that spins a shaft (or two/three) on which either propellers or compressor fans are attached.Some aircraft do have the capability of going backwards but only on ground that too if equipped with reversible pitch propellers.

Reversing an aircraft might cause the aircraft to tilt backwards. To be more specific, aerodynamics wouldnt allow it.

But as mentioned airplanes do have thrust reversers which are used for slowing down the plane, not moving backwards.

Hope this helps!.
P.S( My dad is an Aeronautical engineer. I share a curiosity for aviation)

Arathi Prakash said...

Thanks so much Pooja for such a vivid explanation... Now I know why aircrafts cant go in the reverse direction! :)