Plane & Pilot
Saturday, March 1, 2008


In this edition, "acrobatics" through "induced drag"

wingipediaThe computer generation has come to depend on digital explanations for everything courtesy of Wikipedia (and, no, we don’t know where the name came from). That being the case, we thought we’d come up with our own, more common sense, aviation-based encyclopedia, hence “Wingipedia.” If you think something’s missing, add your two cents through the link at the end of this article.
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This is a computer that calculates arrival and en route times, wind-correction angles, true airspeed and everything else pertinent to navigation. It’s purely digital (you use your fingers) and has no batteries to fail.

Experimental Aircraft Organization: an upstart organization built around the outlandish notion that flying should be fun and that it’s possible for mere mortals to build (and/or restore) both new and ancient flying machines. It’s not likely to succeed as only a few (hundred thousand) have joined. ☺

Earhart, Amelia
This 1930s aviatrix will always head the “Unsolved Mysteries” list because of her 1937 disappearance in the Pacific. Best guesses are that she was within 100 miles of Howland Island, when she ran out of fuel searching for it.

The French were leaders in aircraft development prior to 1910 through 1912, so many of our aircraft terms are in that language, including aileron, longeron and “empennage,” which originally meant the feathers on an arrow, hence “tail feathers.”

Flight Simulator
As would be expected from Bill Gates, Microsoft’s Flight Simulator is the standard by which all other sims are measured. It lets the pilot sit in an office chair and run procedures that transfer knowledge from pixels to neurons while keeping fuel burn to a minimum.

Flying Circus
This referred to German fighter squadrons during WWI because of the colorful paint schemes applied to their aircraft. The most famous was Jagdstaffel 1, originally led by the Red Baron, Manfred von Richthofen, himself.

Fowler flaps
As used on Cessnas, these flaps move back at the same time they move down, thereby increasing the wing area and, equally important, creating a gap between the flap and the wing. Air accelerates through the slot keeping the boundary layer attached so the flap is still generating lift at a greater deflection.

Fuel is the commodity that always seems to be running short when ceilings are coming down, nightfall is upon us and we’re not sure where our destination airport is.


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