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The rate of change of velocity with respect to time.


The controlling surface that regulates an aircraft's roll.


A part or surface, such as a wing, propeller blade, or rudder, whose shape and orientation control stability, direction, lift, thrust, or propulsion.

Angle of Attack

The acute angle between the direction of the relative wind and the chord of an airfoil.

Aspect Ratio

The ratio between the wingspan and average chord of a wing.

Bernoulli's Principle

As the speed of a fluid increases, its pressure decreases.


A measure of the curvature of the airfoil.


The width of an airfoil or wing.

Dihedral Angle

The angle between an aircraft wing and a horizontal line.


Resistance of the air (technically a fluid) against the forward movement of an airplane.


The controlling surface that regulates an aircraft's pitch.


The tail assembly of an aircraft, including the horizontal and vertical stabilizers, elevators, and rudder.


Control surfaces attached to the trailing edge of the wing extending outward from the fuselage to the midpoint of each wing. Flaps can increase the lifting efficiency of the wing and decrease stall speed.


A gas or liquid that tends to take the shape of its container.


Transferring of energy to an object, typically by pushing or pulling on that object.


The central body of an aircraft where wings and stabilizers are attached.


An airplane with no attached source of thrust.


The force that attracts a body toward the center of the earth or toward any other physical body having mass.


An aircraft of greater weight than the air displaced.

Horizontal Stabilizer

An airfoil (usually at the back of an airplane) that resists up and down changes in motion.


Relates to speed five or more times that of sound in air.

Leading Edge

The front, usually rounded, edge of an airplane wing or airfoil.


The force that directly opposes the weight of an airplane and holds the airplane in the air.


An aircraft of less weight than the air displaced.

Mach 1

760 MPH. When a plane travels faster than this speed, it is breaking the sound barrier.


The quantity of matter, which a material contains.

Newton's 1st Law

Objects at rest stay at rest and objects in motion stay in motion unless an external force is applied. It is known as the law of inertia.

Newton's 2nd Law

The relationship among an object's mass (m), acceleration (a), and an applied force (F), is Force equals mass times acceleration (F= ma).

Newton's 3rd Law

For every action there is an equal and opposition reaction.


The up or down movement of an aircraft.

Precise Input

A method of placing geometric entities at precise x and y coordinates on a plane.


A chemical mixture that is burned to produce thrust.


An airfoil mounted on a revolving shaft. It creates low pressure in front of it, thereby moving an aircraft forward because of the high pressure area behind the propeller.


The means by which aircraft and spacecraft are moved forward. It is a combination of factors such as thrust (forward push), lift (upward push), drag (backward pull) and weight (downward pull).


An engine that can operate only when moving at high speed since it has no moving parts and no device for drawing in air.

Rocket Engine

An engine that produces thrust by expelling hot gases from a rear nozzle.


The clockwise or counterclockwise rotating motion of an aircraft.


A controlling surface on an aircraft's tail that regulates yaw.


Protrusions from the leading edge of a wing that, when combined with the flaps, result in a significant increase in lift.


Device used to destroy lift. Found on top of the wing and in varying sizes.


A force applied to a body to propel it in a desired direction. The force which moves an aircraft through the air.

Trailing Edge

The rear edge of a wing.


A rotary engine that extracts energy from fluid turning blades.

Vertical Stabilizer

A vertically oriented airfoil at the back of an airplane that resists left and right movements.


A vector quantity that includes the speed and direction of an object.


The force generated by the gravitational attraction of the earth on the airplane. Lift must be equal to weight in order to sustain flight.


The major horizontal surface on an airplane that provides lift.


A side-to-side motion of the nose of the aircraft.

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