Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Cars & TransportationAircraft · 9 years ago

How can a plane fly under the radar?

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  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Radar is "Line of sight", meaning it can see up and straight. It can not see over the horizon.

    Low flying aircraft, hugging close to the ground can not be seen until very close to the radar antenna.

    The closer to the ground they can come in under the radar.

    Source(s): Retired AF SNCO.
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  • MK
    Lv 4
    9 years ago

    Depends on what kind of radar. There are two kinds used to identify aircraft, primary and secondary.

    Primary radar is the traditional "old fashioned" kind of radar, it uses radio waves to determine the aircraft's distance and azimuth from the station. In order to avoid detection, the pilot must fly low to the ground, or fly an aircraft with stealth abilities such as acute angles on the airframe, or absorbent paint.

    Secondary radar is all electronic. The unit on the ground is an interrogator, it transmits a radio signal to the aircraft's transponder. The transponder sends back a replying signal to a decoder on the ground. A computer processes the replying signal, and the end result is the aircraft's identification, speed, and altitude, displayed in the form of a data block on the radar screen. In order for a pilot to avoid detection from secondary radar, all he/she has to do is turn off the transponder.

    Source(s): Commercial pilot with some air traffic control experience
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  • 9 years ago

    Radar towers are usually placed at the highest points possible to extend the range of the radar. This means on the tops of hills and mountains. If no mountains are in the vicinity, radar towers are built to a height of about 150 feet. The radar dish is located on top of this 150 foot tower and can only see horizontally and about 60° above in a complete circle around the tower. this means that anything below 150 feet is blind to radar. When a plane flies under the radar, it's flying below the radar's blind spot which is below 150 feet. Naval radar on board ships, on the other-hand are have almost no blind spot so flying under Naval radar is near impossible.

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  • 9 years ago

    Simple, fly extremely low. Most radar Centers only pick up objects above 800 feet and have some trace of Aeronautical aluminum (that's why wooden aircraft from the nazi era were able to pass through at 20,000 feet and no one knew)

    Source(s): PPL/ Done it before by accident.
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  • 9 years ago

    You not only have to fly low, you have to fly slow. Fast moving objects are easier to spot on a RADAR screen.

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  • 9 years ago

    The material the plane is made out of absorbs the radar, or most radar will not pick up planes that fly below 400.

    Source(s): United States Air Force
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  • Fox
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    by literally flying under the radar's signal/beams

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  • 9 years ago

    A plane flies 'under the radar' because it was made with special materials and equipped with enhanced radios and other technology to reflect or deter radio waves away from it's body, allowing the plane to be stealthy and fly under the radar.

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  • 9 years ago

    There is horizon noise that makes picking out an airplane near impossible. So a plane flies low enough to be in the noise area. Generally about tree top high.

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  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    Fly as close to the ground as you can stand. Heads up for high tension power lines and poles with guide wires, birds and other planes.

    PS: make sure your life insurance is paid.

    Source(s): pilot
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