DALLAS — Aviation is full of terms and sayings that the majority of non-aviation people have a hard time understanding.
From acronyms to plain language synonyms, you can find brand-new meanings for words in the aviation industry. The following list includes 21 flight theory and six meteorological terms, 17 acronyms, and finally, six terms pilots use.
Theory of Flight — Aircraft Jargon
- Angle of Attack- The angle between the relative airflow and the chord line (see number 6).
- Anhedral- The angle of the wings relative to the horizontal of the fuselage.
- Aileron- One moving portion of the wing that can move up and down to deflect oncoming air in order to roll the aircraft left and right.
- Base Leg- The penultimate leg to turning final while approaching an airport.
- Best Angle of Climb- The optimal angle for an aircraft to achieve the greatest altitude in the shortest distance.
- Camber- The angle (in degrees) of the curvature of the wing.
- Chord Line- An imaginary line connecting the leading edge and trailing edge of a wing.
- Empennage- The collective term referring to the entire tail assembly of an aircraft
- Elevators- Devices on the horizontal stabilizer that move up and down in order to increase or decrease pitch in order to increase or decrease altitude respectively.
- Flaps- Devices on the wing that can extend the wing area of an aircraft in order to increase lift and decrease speed. Allowing an aircraft to maintain lift at a slower speed.
- Drag- The backward or rearwards force acting on an aircraft.
- Fuselage- The main body of an aircraft (excludes wings).
- Lift- The upwards force acting on an aircraft. Required for a fight to take place.
- Pilot in Command (PIC)- The pilot responsible for the safe operation of the aircraft.
- Roll- The left/right motion of the aircraft about the longitudinal axis (runs nose to tail).
- Stall- An condition of flight where the critical angle of attack is exceeded and the wings can no longer produce lift.
- Thrust- The forward force acting upon an aircraft. Created by jet turbine engines or propellers.
- Weight- The downward motion acting upon an aircraft.
- Wing- The surface of the aircraft extending out from the fuselage. Used to create lift as well as house the ailerons and flaps.
- Yaw- The left/right motion of the nose. Controlled using the rudder pedals to control the rudder.
- Yoke- The cockpit control used to pitch the aircraft up and down, and also used to roll the aircraft left and right. Also known as the control column.
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