Questions tagged [terminology]

For questions about words, phrases and definitions that are specific to aviation or used in a different way in aviation.

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1answer
39 views

How common is it in current British usage for the angle between the chord line of a wing and the flight path to be called the “angle of incidence”?

In American usage, the angle between the chord line of a wing and the flight path is called the "angle of attack". The angle of attack is also represented by the greek letter "alpha". However, some ...
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2answers
66 views

Is there a standard word or phrase in the English-speaking world to describe the angle between the fuselage and the flight path / relative wind?

Is there a standard word or phrase, or several alternative commonly-used words or phrases, in the English-speaking aviation world to describe the angle between the longitudinal axis of the fuselage, ...
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7answers
5k views

What does “Ground loops are costly. Fly them until they stop” mean?

In one of the earliest scenes of William A. Wellman's 1942 film Thunder Birds, a sign can be seen in a room of a USAAF base (some relax or briefing room, apparently), which says: Ground loops are ...
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4answers
16k views

What is the difference between a positioning flight and a ferry flight?

What's the difference (for the purpose) between positioning and ferry flight?
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2answers
4k views

What is the piece that covers the top part of tires?

I would like to know the name and the usefulness of this piece that covers the top of the tire of some planes, such as some Cessnas.
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1answer
175 views

What does “mission mixing” mean for long-range aircraft?

I know very little, like long-range aircraft will be used for short-range and medium-range operations. But what is the purpose of using them like that? Also I want to get complete details of "mission ...
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1answer
201 views

What does pre/post modification mean in Airbus MPD?

What is the difference between POST MOD (with partial mod i.e SXXXX) and PRE MOD (with partial mod) in the applicability column of an Airbus MPD (Maintenance Planning Document)?
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1answer
200 views

How are “charter” and “passenger” flights defined in the AIDX standard?

I'd like to know the difference between these flight types in the IATA AIDX standard; specifically, for use in fuel order notifications.
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1answer
169 views

What is the term for an aileron that’s also used as a ground spoiler?

Ailerons and spoilers1 have a considerable amount in common; both are wing-mounted panels, hinged at their leading edges, that move up and/or down to alter the aircraft’s aerodynamic characteristics. ...
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4answers
2k views

What exactly is a “coordinated” turn?

I am wondering what turn coordination really means and what makes a turn uncoordinated? I know that when the turn is coordinated, there is no slip and skid, an aircraft is flying a perfect circle ...
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1answer
59 views

What is the meaning of “transition area” as used by the FAA? Has the meaning changed over time since the term was introduced?

What is the meaning of "transition area" as used by the FAA? Does it currently have a specific meaning? Does the FAA still use the term at all? Has the meaning changed over time since the term was ...
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6answers
3k views

What is the difference between a glider and a sailplane?

The words "glider" and "sailplane" seem to refer to similar or the same type of aircraft. In particular, the Wikipedia articles "Glider (aircraft)" and "Glider (sailplane)" seem to be describing the ...
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1answer
14k views

What does “Boeing” mean?

We know about the existence of Boeing planes like the 737, 747, and other planes. But where did the name "Boeing" come from?
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4answers
4k views

What is an aircraft magneto?

I know that magnetos are related to the engine and that on many planes, they are used to start the engine. But what exactly do they do in the engine?
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1answer
770 views

What is an airliner's “green dot speed”, and how does it vary with weight, and why?

A related question told us, quoting from an Airbus performance manual, Green dot speed (minimum gradient) is a function of weight. Comments under the question stated that the "green dot speed" ...
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1answer
109 views

Does the phrase “.78/280/250” have a standard meaning to an airline pilot, in the context of a long descent?

Does the phrase ".78/280/250" have a standard meaning to an airline pilot, in the context of a long descent? Specific context-- the table in this answer-- Is the descent performance of the PMDG 737-...
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2answers
116 views

How do STOVL and V/STOL aircraft differ?

Wikipedia's page for STOVL begins with A short take-off and vertical landing aircraft (STOVL aircraft) is a fixed-wing aircraft that is able to take off from a short runway (or take off vertically ...
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1answer
2k views

What are the components of a crew pairing?

I need to do some modeling for an FRMS (Fatigue Risk Management System). By crew pairing I mean a sequence of flights that starts and ends at crew base. From my understanding, crew pairings are made ...
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3answers
5k views

What exactly is the meaning of “detent” in aviation?

I come across it in many different situations e.g. "settings changed to flight detent" or "landing altitude changes at first detent". There are other scenarios which I came across in the past, but I ...
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2answers
81 views

“Gross” and “net” planned runway length for the Haifa airport

My city's mayor was just boasting on how she'd gotten an approval for an airport runway of length "2100 m gross, 1900 m net length", and that this would be enough to connect the city - Haifa - to hubs ...
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7answers
350 views

Why is a reduction in lift called 'drag'?

Induced drag is high pressure air 'leaking' to the upper part of the wing (low pressure zone) creating a vortex which means the area of the wing tip with the vortex can't create lift. Drag on the ...
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2answers
105 views

What is the difference between Review and Analysis in DO-178C?

In the context of DO-178C, what is the difference between review and analysis of the outputs of the software development processes? Are they both the same?
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7answers
7k views

At what point does an aircraft become an airliner?

For me, the term 'airliner' conjures up an image of a passenger jet that is capable of hosting a large number of passengers¹ but I'm finding it difficult to source a reputable definition or etymology ...
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3answers
272 views

What's the meaning of “the break is a level” in a recovery operation of an aircraft carrier?

The break is a level, 180° turn made at 800 feet (240 m), descending to 600 feet (180 m) when established downwind. Landing gear/flaps are lowered, and landing checks are completed. (source: wikimili....
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2answers
385 views

Is there a term for the general design used in most modern fighters?

Is there a term that encompasses the overall design of modern fighters (e.g. F-15, F/A-18, F-14, Su-27, Su-30,33,35,37, Mig-29, J-11, etc.), with dual vertical stabilizers, leading edge extensions, ...
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3answers
122 views

Does it make sense to say an aircraft has an attitude of 3° or that it has a flight position of 3°?

I am trying to translate an aircraft manual, and there is a diagram showing what the HUD would look like given a "posición de vuelo de 3°". The diagram is captioned in Spanish as "vuelo horizontal a ...
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3answers
195 views

What is “company compensation fuel” and “pad fuel”?

I tried to find the definition of these fuels but I could't. Does anyone know about company compensation fuel or pad fuel? In which document can I find the definition of these fuels?
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3answers
2k views

What is a seal in aeronautics?

I've read phrases like "All gas turbine engines use pressurized seals for their shaft bearing compartments to keep [...]" but I do not understand what "seals" means. In spanish we haven't a word for ...
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3answers
2k views

What does it mean when autoland is fail passive / fail operational?

The below explanation is what I've got from the internet about fail passive and fail operational: Fail operational - Where you have 3 autopilots engaged, such that any single failure will result in ...
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2answers
250 views

What does “short parked” mean?

Recently, when flying (as a passenger of a regular flight) from Stockholm/Arlanda, there was quite a long bus ride from the gate to the aircraft, because the latter was "short parked", according to ...
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2answers
4k views

What is the difference between MCP and METO?

I was reading the Cessna 150H POH earlier today and noticed that the manual mentions something like "Normal cruising is done at 65% to 75% of METO power." The Cessna 172S POH charts refer to cruising ...
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1answer
6k views

What is the difference between fail-safe and fail-soft?

I have heard the following terms related to safe system design but I cannot really see a difference between fail-safe and fail-soft (graceful degradation). To get a common understanding I will just ...
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0answers
57 views

What does “representative sample engine” mean for an overhaul extension?

If the PT6 turbo prop engine is required for an extension for overhauling due to operational reasons, the manual has to be searched if the extension is feasible for the company. The company states ...
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1answer
159 views

What is “scintillation” and are “qualified pilots” aware of it?

This answer to Has great eyesight been necessary for astronomers? mentions Astronomer Jocelyn Bell Burnell's recounting of a likely first visual observation of a pulsar. This can be found for example ...
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1answer
103 views

Launch control equivalent while take-off

What is the proper term used when the plane is stopped and the engine is ramped up and after a certain thrust is reached, it suddenly starts off with a jerk.
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1answer
192 views

What does it mean when an aircraft engine is de-paired?

What does it mean when an aircraft engine is de-paired? e.g. the PW1000g engines being de-paired because of issues in the LPT or the Rolls Royce Trent 1000 engines due to excessive corrosion on some ...
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2answers
2k views

What is the correct name for this ILS Indicator?

What is the correct terminology for the name of the aircraft instrument that looks like this?
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1answer
110 views

Are the “centerbody”, “fan hub frame”, and “intermediate case” all the same thing or separate parts?

I'm curious about the frames & cases at the front of an engine. I've seen OEMs call them the centerbody, fan hub frame, and intermediate case. Are these all the same thing or are these each a ...
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0answers
72 views

What is the difference between flight watch and home reserve?

Can anyone explain the difference between 'flight watch' and 'home reserve' with regards to flight and duty periods. This is in regards to a charter operation, where crew members are on standby at ...
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1answer
114 views

Is the “wing area” of a biplane the projected area or the total area?

When you specify the wing area of a biplane, do you specify the planform area (the projected area) or do you specify the effective area of both the wings?
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4answers
4k views

How does bank angle differ from roll angle with respect to stability in fixed-wing aircraft?

I would like a clarification on bank angle and how its different from roll angle with respect to to fixed wing aircraft. It is my understanding that the bank angle is a result of rotating the aircraft ...
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2answers
592 views

What is a “slender delta” wing?

I am curious about delta wings. I read some articles and found the term "slender delta". Please help me to understand this term.
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3answers
1k views

Does tailless means no tail at all?

When I was reading about the HAL Tejas I observed that it was described as a "tailless" plane. However I could see a tail in the picture. After careful reading I am assuming that being tailless means ...
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4answers
18k views

What is fly-by-wire?

What exactly does the term "fly-by-wire" mean? Where did it originate? I understand that it refers to control systems. If an aircraft is not fly-by-wire, what is it? That is, what are the alternatives?...
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1answer
3k views

In a Practice Forced Landing (PFL), what are Low Key and High Key and how are their locations determined?

Please explain what are "low key" and "high key" in practice forced landings? Are they any particular locations with respect to the airfield? Are they the same for every aircraft? Will they change ...
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3answers
4k views

What does the term “tanker” mean when used in regards to a passenger airliner?

In a comment on this answer: Airlines will tanker fuel if it's substantially cheaper at another airport I've wondered what that term meant before, and now this comment leads me to think that ...
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4answers
201 views

Is falling a mode of flying? [closed]

I frequently observe people arguing (on this very web site) about the question if falling is a mode of flying or not. It appears to me that the majority of people have a strong opinion that it is not. ...
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3answers
178 views

Is “wingman” strictly a military term?

Does it have to be a potential combat situation for a pilot flying on another's wing to be called a wingman. If two aircraft are being flown in formation to a destination simply for the purpose of ...
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2answers
144 views

In the modern aviation context, is the word “supercharger” generally assumed to mean a gear-driven system rather than an exhaust-driven system?

In the modern aviation context, is the word "supercharger" generally assumed to mean a gear-driven system rather than an exhaust-driven system? At one time the word "supercharger" often was used to ...
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1answer
555 views

What is the difference between an aileron and a flap?

I have already been searching Google for the difference between an aileron and a flap, but I am not much satisfied, so now I am asking here on SE. What is the difference between an aileron and flap? ...

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