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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15
votes
1answer
2k views

When buying airliners what is the difference between “orders”, “options” and “purchase rights”?

I've often seen announcements by aircraft manufacturers or operators along these lines "Qantas announced today that they will buy 10 A380's and have taken options on another 10". What does it mean to ...
14
votes
3answers
8k views

What is the name of the maximum altitude at which a helicopter can fly?

What is the name of the maximum altitude at which a helicopter can fly? I recall it as "vertical limit", but I can't find a Wikipedia page for it other than a movie of the same title, which seems to ...
22
votes
3answers
2k views

Why is the “Dutch” roll called so?

Why is the "Dutch" roll called so? When did this name enter common usage, and what is its origin? Please cite sources if possible!
39
votes
3answers
147k views

What are the differences between Bearing vs Course vs Direction vs Heading vs Track?

This answer from English.SE does not focus on aviation, and does not explain 'Track'. In basic, simple English, would you please compare and contrast all 5 terms in my question's title? The ...
8
votes
1answer
650 views

What is TAPS in this report?

In researching for this question, I came across some reports from EASA referring to TAPS. What is the meaning of TAPS in this context?
8
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the origin of the term “Tyro” for inexperienced pilots?

Over the years I have been aware of the term "Tyro" to mean a new or inexperienced pilot. I'm pretty sure it is/was used more in a military setting than a GA one, but none the less I was interested to ...
42
votes
4answers
17k views

Why is the autopilot called “George?”

The autopilot of an airplane is frequently referred to as "George" (for example, in this answer). When did this nickname enter common usage, and what is its origin? Please cite sources if possible!
7
votes
1answer
550 views

What do you call the portion of a tail-dragger takeoff when the tail is in the air?

During a take-off roll out down the runway, in a tail-dragger airplane, what is the period of time called where the plane is level, with the main gear still on the runway, but the tail has come up off ...
10
votes
1answer
461 views

Why are the power and drag curves called polars?

See Wikipedia:Drag polar and Wikipedia:Polar curve (aviation) for example. These curves are not on a polar coordinate system. Why are they called polars?
9
votes
2answers
5k views

Where does the term 'steam cockpit' come from?

Why are traditional style cockpits with gauges called 'steam cockpits'? Do the instruments actually run on steam?
20
votes
3answers
12k views

What are the differences between various simulator levels?

I've heard of level A, B, C, and D simulators, (as well as FTD and AATDs) but know nothing about them. What criteria is used to certify a sim as a particular level?
17
votes
2answers
21k views

What exactly is a QRH?

In this question about aircraft dumping fuel I was told that there may possible be guidance in the QRH. I know that there are a lot of guidelines given to pilots, but I've never heard of this one. ...
7
votes
3answers
8k views

If the “Fuel Shutoff Valve” is ON, wouldn't fuel be cut off?

Ok, so this may be more of an english lanugage question, and I can confirm from context that when the fuel shutoff valve is ON fuel does indeed flow to the engine, but wouldn't that just make more ...
24
votes
5answers
70k views

What does the term “trimming” most commonly mean in aviation?

Why does an airplane need trim, and what does it do during the flight? Does an autopilot adjust the trim automatically?