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The airplane flies because lift created by the wings counteracts its weight created by gravity. To create lift the surface of the wing must be in relative forward motion through the mass of air. Thrust created by the engine generates the forward motion which is opposed by drag. As long as thrust is greater than drag, the wing can move forward and generate ...


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The angle at which the nose of the aircraft points has less to do with descending or climbing than your intuition would lead you to think. Airspeed affects the rate of climb, not attitude. The faster the air flows over the wings, the more rapidly the aircraft will climb. Slower air flow causes the aircraft to descend.


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I understand this much but what I’m not able to grasp is the fact that QFF would change every now and then, what happens to the calculated height of the hill then, does it also change? You measure the pressure at the top and at the reference point and use the temperature and humidity at that moment to calculate the height, write it down and be done with it. ...


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The extremely coarse "explain it like I'm 5" answer: You know how they talk about in school, how the curved top part of the wing has faster air across it at lower pressure, and that creates lift? They make a big deal about the Bernoulli Principle and how it's not just a wedge pushing through the air. Yeah, they didn't tell you the whole story. Airplanes ...


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Really short version: "How does an aircraft descend without its nose pointing down?" By descending with its nose pointing level or up. Thrust is not required to do this. Here's an example: Now for a tiny bit more detail: How does an aircraft descend without its nose pointing down? By flying along a shallow glide ...


33

A plane descends when it does not have enough thrust to maintain its altitude. A plane can descend with its nose pointed up or down so long as there is not enough thrust to maintain altitude. Altering the pitch of an aircraft is used to control airspeed: pitching up slows an aircraft down (and may cause a climb if done from a level attitude) and pitching ...


13

When an aircraft ascends or descends, its inertial velocity vector (let's simplify by saying the ground is inertial) will be pointed upward or downward. The angle with respect to the horizon, or ground, is called the flight path angle ($\gamma$). There are two more angles relevant to this story: The pitch angle ($\theta$) is the aircraft attitude with ...


2

Maps and charts show true elevation, meaning tape measure altitude from the sea level. The way the mapmakers and chartmakers measure elevation has changed over time. Currently, I think GPS is prevalent. The way GPS computes elevation is depend on the WGS84 Geoid earth model. This modes surface does not coincide with actual sea level but GPS takes that into ...


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