Plane & Pilot
Saturday, March 1, 2008

Wingipedia


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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wingipedia
Photo by Cindy Rousseau
I
IFR
If you have the gauges and the training, IFR means “instrument flight rules”; if you don’t, it means “I follow roads.” Continued flight into IMC conditions is one of the leading causes of fatal aircraft accidents, so draw a hard line between the two and don’t cross it.

Incidence (wing)
The angle of incidence is the angle at which the wing is attached to the fuselage and is the measurement between the airplane’s centerline and the wing airfoil’s chord line (not bottom of the wing). Most airplanes have one to three degrees of wing-up attachment angle.

Incident (FAA)
The concepts of “incident” and “accident” loom large in every pilot’s life, and often something is reported that doesn’t need to be, which is sure to cause heartburn. Familiarize yourself with FAR Part 830.2 and save yourself some grief.

Induced drag
Absolutely nothing is free in aviation, and that applies to lift as well. To produce lift, an airfoil must have an angle of attack. This tilts the lift vector slightly back so part of the lift is holding the airplane back. It’s known as induced drag—drag induced by lift. Of course, the alphabet doesn’t stop with “I.” Another edition of Wingipedia is in the works.

Click here to see what other pilots are saying and let us know what you think!



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