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I perfectly understand yaw, pitch and roll. I'm wondering what a few special terms are for other unusual movements, such as those executed by a helicopter, drone or even perhaps something like a Harrier jump jet.

  • If "climb" refers to a straight up vertical motion along the z-axis, what is the name for the opposite? One might think fall, but I believe (keep me honest) in aviation, a "fall" is akin to a crash-landing type scenario, where the vehicle is out of control. Another word might be descent, but to me, that implies a downward change in pitch so that the vehicle gradually starts to lower its altitude over time and distance; instead I just want the opposite of a helicopter "climb"
  • I understand yaw means a change in left/right direction of the vehicle, but what motions describe a 90 degree, perpendicular change in motion to the left or right? Meaning, vehicle doesn't yaw, pitch or roll, it just "slides" 90 degrees to the left or right?

Any ideas as to what the correct terms are here?

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The opposite of climb is "descend" (that's an easy one).

The second one can be "translate" or possibly "slew" but I think the most appropriate word is "slip" as in sideslip.

Translate is a controlled movement from one place to another, and slew is an uncontrolled one according to Oxford, but when you work the "slew" switch for a directional gyro system, it's a controlled action, so there you go.

However, those terms apply to a stationary object that starts to move sideways, "slip" describes lateral non-turning movement of an airplane sideways when it's already moving forward, so this is probably the best definition.

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"Descent" is the opposite of "climb".

"Translation" describes the second case.

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