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I've heard this term used a few times to describe a really smooth landing (one where you hardly feel a bump). But where does this term actually come from? I'm not sure how grease (a lubricant) came to symbolize a low g-load on landing?

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    $\begingroup$ I'm not certain on the etymology of the term, but I imagine it has something to do with the smoothness of the landing (analogous to the smoothness of a well-greased bearing or similar moving parts). $\endgroup$ – voretaq7 Jun 10 '14 at 18:46
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    $\begingroup$ Note that there's a common phrase in English "greased lightning". (Indeed for example there's a pop song by that name - from the famous film "Grease".) (In that case it's about a 50s hot-rod car.) It's common in English that people take common phrases (example: "Watergate") and slightly change the phrase (example: "Climate-Gate" etc etc) - often making a sort of pun on the original. Note further that the new variation often does not make that much literal sense; it's more just "kind of funny" because (a) it sort of sounds like the well-known phrase and (b) it kind of makes sense. $\endgroup$ – Fattie Dec 14 '15 at 21:11
  • $\begingroup$ The literal answer to the question in the title is: "it is a play on the common English phrase 'greased lightning'." My guess would be that in aviation in fact it does NOT have a really specific, accurately defined, agreed "meaning". (Some slang terms have perfectly defined, well-agreed meanings -- some do not; they're more just something that someone has yelled out in excitement on a few occasions.) $\endgroup$ – Fattie Dec 14 '15 at 21:13
  • $\begingroup$ @JoeBlow Its an interesting theory, if you have any evidence to support it, feel free to put it in an answer and post it. $\endgroup$ – Jay Carr Dec 15 '15 at 6:07
  • $\begingroup$ @JoeBlow Again, you information is interesting, but coincidence and precedence are not actually evidence. I'm aware of the phrase, I'm aware of the phenomena you speak of but, frankly, I'm not sure how being a writer qualifies you as an etymologist anymore than being a pilot would qualify one as an electrical engineer. If you can't be bothered to provide evidence, please state you theories as theories, not answers you can "assure" me of. Though, again, if you have evidence, I would love to see it. $\endgroup$ – Jay Carr Dec 15 '15 at 20:58
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I've always heard this referred to as a "greased landing" or a "greaser", but never a "greaser landing".

My understanding is that it is referring to a landing that was so good that somebody must have greased the entire runway so that you didn't even feel the airplane touch down. If you've ever tried to pick something up that has been well greased, then you know what they are referring to. It's very slippery and slides right out of your hands no matter how hard you try.

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    $\begingroup$ Changed it to "greased" :), thanks for the explanation. $\endgroup$ – Jay Carr Jun 10 '14 at 21:00
  • $\begingroup$ Isn't the issue with a greased landing ( a landing where the g-forces felt is extremely minimal ) that the plane is very apt to simply take off again, and is hard to stop due to the lift not being completely gone? Contrasted to a full-stall landing, which is the opposite ( a hard, hard felt, and hard on the gear ) landing is one where there is by definition no lift left? $\endgroup$ – CGCampbell Jun 11 '14 at 0:14
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    $\begingroup$ @CGCampbell You can have a greased landing even to a full stall - If it is done at 1/4" above the runway. Full stall landings don't have to be hard on the gear or the passengers! $\endgroup$ – Lnafziger Jun 11 '14 at 3:17
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    $\begingroup$ @CGCampbell I don't think it's quite accurate to say that there is, by definition, no lift left in a full stall. If you really have exactly zero lift on touchdown in an airplane, something is probably very wrong and you will probably have a bad day. IIRC, aerodynamic stall is the point at which increasing AoA gives less lift, not none at all. $\endgroup$ – reirab Jan 8 '15 at 21:00
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    $\begingroup$ A stall is defined based on the air flow no longer being linear over the wing. You will still get the force of the air hitting the wing at a high angle providing some lift. $\endgroup$ – Michael Shaw Sep 4 '16 at 20:14

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