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V-G diagram.


While this list does not include all aviation terminology, it is the purpose of this glossary to aid the general viewer in better understanding aviation terms as it pertains to content on this website.



























A chart that relates velocity to load factor. It is valid only for a specific weight, configuration and altitude and shows the maximum amount of positive or negative lift the airplane is capable of generating at a given speed. Also shows the safe load factor limits and the load factor that the aircraft can sustain at various speeds.
A design which utilizes two slanted tail surfaces to perform the same functions as the surfaces of a conventional elevator and rudder configuration. The fixed surfaces act as both horizontal and vertical stabilizers.
See takeoff decision speed.
See takeoff safety speed.
The design maneuvering speed. The maximum speed at which full, abrupt control movement can be used without overstressing the airframe.
A problem that mostly affects gasoline-fuelled internal combustion engines. It occurs when the liquid fuel changes state from liquid to gas while still in the fuel delivery system. This disrupts the operation of the fuel pump, causing loss of feed pressure to the carburetor or fuel injection system, resulting in transient loss of power or complete stalling. Restarting the engine from this state may be difficult. The fuel can vaporize due to being heated by the engine, by the local climate or due to a lower boiling point at high altitude.
Compass error caused by the difference in the physical locations of the magnetic north pole and the geographic north pole.
See visual approach slope indicator.
A force vector is a graphic representation of a force and shows both the magnitude and direction of the force.
Navigational guidance by assigning headings.
The speed or rate of movement in a certain direction.
A specially shaped tube attached to the outside of an aircraft to produce suction to allow proper operation of gyro instruments.
An imaginary line passing vertically through the center of gravity of an aircraft. The vertical axis is called the z-axis or the yaw axis.
A magnetic compass that consists of an azimuth on a vertical card, resembling a heading indicator with a fixed miniature airplane to accurately present the heading of the aircraft. The design uses eddy current damping to minimize lead and lag during turns.
Stability about an aircraft’s vertical axis. Also called yawing or directional stability.
Electronic navigation equipment in which the flight deck instrument identifies the radial or line from the VOR station, measured in degrees clockwise from magnetic north, along which the aircraft is located.
The central cavity of the bony labyrinth of the ear, or the parts of the membranous labyrinth that it contains.
The maximum speed with the flaps extended. The upper limit of the white arc.
At a scale of 1:250,000, a chart that depicts Class B airspace, which provides for the control or segregation of all the aircraft within the Class B airspace. The chart depicts topographic information and aeronautical information including visual and radio aids to navigation, airports, controlled airspace, restricted areas, obstructions, and related data.
See visual flight rules.
Airways based on a centerline that extends from one VOR or VORTAC navigation aid or intersection, to another navigation aid (or through several navigation aids or intersections); used to establish a known route for en route procedures between terminal areas.
A visual aid of lights arranged to provide descent guidance information during the approach to the runway. A pilot on the correct glideslope will see red lights over white lights.
Flight rules adopted by the FAA governing aircraft flight using visual references. VFR operations specify the amount of ceiling and the visibility the pilot must have in order to operate according to these rules. When the weather conditions are such that the pilot can not operate according to VFR, he or she must use instrument flight rules (IFR).
Landing gear extended speed. The maximum speed at which an airplane can be safely flown with the landing gear extended.
Landing gear operating speed. The maximum speed for extending or retracting the landing gear if using an airplane equipped with retractable landing gear.
Minimum control airspeed. This is the minimum flight speed at which a light, twin-engine airplane can be satisfactorily controlled when an engine suddenly becomes inoperative and the remaining engine is at takeoff power.
See visual meteorological conditions.
The never-exceed speed. Operating above this speed is prohibited since it may result in damage or structural failure. The red line on the airspeed indicator.
. The maximum structural cruising speed. Do not exceed this speed except in smooth air. The upper limit of the green arc.
See very-high frequency omnidirectional range.
A ground facility which emits a test signal to check VOR receiver accuracy. Some VOTs are available to the user while airborne, while others are limited to ground use only.
A facility consisting of two components, VOR and TACAN, which provides three individual services: VOR azimuth, TACAN azimuth, and TACAN distance (DME) at one site.
See VOR test facility.
The stalling speed or the minimum steady flight speed in the landing configuration. In small airplanes, this is the power-off stall speed at the maximum landing weight in the landing configuration (gear and flaps down). The lower limit of the white arc.
The stalling speed or the minimum steady flight speed obtained in a specified configuration. For most airplanes, this is the power-off stall speed at the maximum takeoff weight in the clean configuration (gear up, if retractable, and flaps up). The lower limit of the green arc.
See vertical speed indicator.
Best angle-of-climb speed. The airspeed at which an airplane gains the greatest amount of altitude in a given distance. It is used during a short-field takeoff to clear an obstacle.
Best rate-of-climb speed. This airspeed provides the most altitude gain in a given period of time.
Best rate-of-climb speed with one engine inoperative. This airspeed provides the most altitude gain in a given period of time in a light, twin-engine airplane following an engine failure.