# Aerodynamics of Flight | Aeronautical Knowledge

## Aerodynamics of Flight

As the principal application of aerodynamics is the design of aircraft, air is the gas with which the science is most concerned. Although aerodynamics is primarily concerned with flight, its principles are also used in designing other structures. Thrust, drag, lift, and weight are forces that act upon all aircraft in flight. Understanding how these […]

## High Speed Flight

Subsonic Versus Supersonic Flow In subsonic aerodynamics, the theory of lift is based upon the forces generated on a body and a moving gas (air) in which it is immersed. At speeds of approximately 260 knots or less, air can be considered incompressible in that, at a fixed altitude, its density remains nearly constant while

## Weight and Balance of an Aircraft

The aircraft’s weight and balance data is important information for a pilot that must be frequently reevaluated. Although the aircraft was weighed during the certification process, this information is not valid indefinitely. Equipment changes or modifications affect the weight and balance data. Too often pilots reduce the aircraft weight and balance into a rule of

## Load Factors | Aerodynamics of Flight

In aerodynamics, the maximum load factor (at given bank angle) is a proportion between lift and weight and has a trigonometric relationship. The load factor is measured in Gs (acceleration of gravity), a unit of force equal to the force exerted by gravity on a body at rest and indicates the force to which a

## Aircraft Propeller Principles

The aircraft propeller consists of two or more blades and a central hub to which the blades are attached. Each blade of an aircraft propeller is essentially a rotating wing. As a result of their construction, the propeller blades are like airfoils and produce forces that create the thrust to pull, or push, the aircraft

## Angle of Attack Indicators

The FAA along with the General Aviation Joint Steering Committee (GAJSC) is promoting AOA indicators as one of the many safety initiatives aimed at reducing the general aviation accident rate. AOA indicators will specifically target Loss of Control (LOC) accidents. Loss of control is the number one root cause of fatalities in both general aviation

## Aircraft Stalls | Aerodynamics of Flight

An aircraft stall results from a rapid decrease in lift caused by the separation of airflow from the wing’s surface brought on by exceeding the critical AOA. A stall can occur at any pitch attitude or airspeed. Stalls are one of the most misunderstood areas of aerodynamics because pilots often believe an airfoil stops producing

## Aerodynamic Forces in Flight Maneuvers

Forces in Turns If an aircraft were viewed in straight-and-level flight from the front [Figure 1], and if the forces acting on the aircraft could be seen, lift and weight would be apparent: two forces. If the aircraft were in a bank it would be apparent that lift did not act directly opposite to the

## Effect of Wing Planform

Understanding the effects of different wing planforms is important when learning about wing performance and airplane flight characteristics. A planform is the shape of the wing as viewed from directly above and deals with airflow in three dimensions. Aspect ratio, taper ratio, and sweepback are factors in planform design that are very important to the

## Aircraft Design Characteristics

Each aircraft handles somewhat differently because each resists or responds to control pressures in its own way. For example, a training aircraft is quick to respond to control applications, while a transport aircraft feels heavy on the controls and responds to control pressures more slowly. These features can be designed into an aircraft to facilitate

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