Come fly with me/Glossary Grade 7-9

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the vaporization of an outer covering used to keep the inner part cool (as on Apollo mission capsules)


to cut short a mission or flight because of a malfunction


the rate of a change in velocity over time; usually expressed in meters per second per second (m/sec2)


the science of the motion of air around or against a body like a plane or rocket and the behavior of a body moving through air


the science or art of designing, making and operating aircraft


the earth's atmosphere and the space beyond


a movable hinged section on the trailing edge of the wing of an airplane used to control the rolling movements of the plane


a machine which flies in the air supported by its own buoyancy or by the action of air over its surfaces


a part of an aircraft (flat or curved) which is designed to keep the craft up or to control its movements through the air


a self propelled, lighter than air craft which can be steered (blimp or dirigible)


the speed of an aircraft relative to the air rather than to the ground


device for measuring the relative altitude of an aircraft by measuring atmospheric pressure


device for measuring the velocity of the wind


the point in an orbit farthest from the center of attraction; in an orbit about the Earth, the point farthest from the Earth


United States program with the objective of earth-orbiting a space laboratory, launching astronauts to the vicinity of the moon, and landing a man on the moon, then returning him to earth


a prefix meaning "star" or "stars" and, by extension, sometimes used as the equivalent of "celestial," as in astronautics

Astronomical Unit (AU)

a unit of distance in astronomy; the mean distance between the center of the Earth and the center of the Sun (149.6 x 10 km or 92.9 x 10 mi or 499.01 light seconds)


the initial angle or direction between true North and a great circle course


an airtight bag filled with heated air or with a gas lighter than air so as to rise and float above the ground


to incline an airplane laterally when turning

barometric pressure

the pressure of the atmosphere as indicated by a barometer


a signal light or radio transmitter emitting signals for guidance of airplanes

Bernoulli's principle

as the speed of a confined fluid increases, the fluid pressure decreases


aeronautics considered for its effect upon animal life or plant life


the first stage of a multistage rocket providing thrust for the launching and the initial part of the flight


a unit of thermal energy; the energy required to raise one gram of water one degree Celsius


a small pressurized compartment for an aviator or astronaut for flight or emergency escape


the greatest height at which an airplane can maintain level flight or operate efficiently or the base of a cloud cover


metric measure of temperature (centigrade) (freezing = 0°; water boils at 100°)

center of gravity

the point through which the resultant forces of gravity act no matter how the body is oriented

centrifugal force

the force that tends to impel a thing or parts of a thing outward from the center


a space in the fuselage of an airplane for the pilot or the pilot and crew


any of 88 groups of stars forming patterns or an area of the sky covering one of those groups


direct visual observation of the earth's surface made from an airplane


negative acceleration, that is, slowing down


moving from a higher level to a lower level


the retarding force acting on a body (as an airplane) moving through a fluid (as air) parallel and opposite to the direction of motion


Experimental Aircraft Association


the science dealing with the relationship between electricity and magnetism


a movable airfoil usually attached to the tail section of an airplane for producing a change in pitch (motion up or down)


the tail assembly of an airplane

escape velocity

the minimum velocity that a moving body (as a rocket) must have to escape from the gravitational field of the earth


the outer fringe region of the atmosphere


from outside the Earth


Federal Aeronautics Administration


the English unit measure of temperature (freezing = 32°; water boils at 212°)

flight line

a parking and servicing area for airplanes

flight path

the path of the center of gravity of an airplane in flight

flight plan

specified information relating to the intended flight of an aircraft that is filed orally or in writing with an air traffic control facility

front (weather)

the boundary between two different air masses


the main structure or central section of an airplane which houses the crew, passengers, cargo, etc.

g force

the force of acce1eration due to gravity; at sea level on Earth, about 9.8m/S2 or 32 feet per second per second (32 ft/Secs)


sustained forward flight in which speed is maintained only by the loss of altitude


a heavier-than-air aircraft, the free-flight of which does not depend upon a power-generating unit


the force of attraction between two bodies; the force that makes a body, if free to move accelerate toward the center of the earth

ground speed

the speed of the aircraft relative to the ground

ground visibility

prevailing horizontal visibility near the earth's surface as reported by the National Weather Service or an accredited observer; (the average of the visibility measured N, E S, and W)


the direction in which the nose of the airplane points during flight


the measure of water vapor content in the air


oxygen deficiency in blood cells or tissue


the maximum angle between the plane of an orbit and a reference plane

Instrument Flight Rules

IFR - rules governing flight within the atmosphere when visibility of reference points on the ground is restricted


the tendency of a body to remain as it is, either at rest or in motion, until acted upon by some outside force


angular distance from a primary great circle or plane; on earth, the distance in degrees North or South of the Equator

light year

the distance light travels in one Earth year (5,878,000,000,000 miles)


the force on an airfoil, perpendicular to the relative wind, exerted normally upward, opposing the pull of gravity


the distance in degrees of a plane through the polar axis from the prime meridian measured East and West


the quantity of matter in a body


the study of atmospheric phenomena (weather)

Newton's Laws

the three laws of motion which explain most motions of planets and satellites


to send up and make revolve in an orbit (orbit a satellite)

parabolic ref1ector

a curved reflective surface which brings parallel light or radio waves striking the surface to a focus point


a flexible-winged, kite-like vehicle designed for use as a recovery system


the difference in direction of a celestial body as measured from two points on earth


the orbital point nearest the center of attraction, nearest the Earth when the Earth is the body being orbited


the blade angle of a propeller; rotation of an aircraft about the crosswise axis


a devise which detects and reacts to radiant energy


the action of reentering the earth's atmosphere after travel in space


rotation about the lengthwise axis of a plane


revolutions per minute; how fast something spins


a strip, either paved or improved, on which takeoffs and landings are effected


an object or vehicle which orbits the Earth, the moon, or other celestial bodies

solar cell

a device which converts solar energy striking it into electrical energy

solar system

the sun and the planets, asteroids, comets and meteors that revolve around it


a vehicle designed to navigate outside the atmosphere of the earth


a prolonged stall in which an airplane rotates about its center of gravity while it descends


the tendency of an airplane in flight to remain in straight, level, upright flight


the fixed airfoil of an airplane used to increase stability


the flight maneuver or condition in which the air passing over and under the wings stops providing lift

standard temperature lapse rate

a temperature decrease of approximately 2° Celsius for each 1,000 feet increase in altitude


the forward force on an airplane in the air provided by the engine


any turning or twisting force


the flight path made good over the ground by an aircraft

traffic pattern

the traffic flow that is prescribed for aircraft landing at, taxiing on, and taking off from an airport


usually refers to the open-ended flight path of a missile as opposed to an orbit which is closed


irregular motion of the atmosphere produced when air flows over a comparatively uneven surface


the angle difference at a given point between true north and magnetic north (dec1ination)


a measure of the rate of change in position; has the dimensions of magnitude (speed) and direction (expressed in meters per second or mi1es per hour for example)


a tube which has a smaller diameter in the middle than at the ends; the pressure of a fluid passing through the tube decreases and the speed increases as the diameter of the tube decreases


sensory confusion, usually expressed as dizziness or ability to tell which way is up

visual flight rules

VFR - when weather conditions are above the minimums prescribed for visual meteorological conditions, pilots may fly with visual reference to the ground

wind sock

a cloth sleeve, mounted aloft at an airport to use for estimating wind direction and velocity

wind tee

an indicator of wind direction for takeoff and landing


an airfoil whose major function is to provide lift

wing flap

a movable section of an airfoil used to change the effect of air flow over the airfoil (usually allows the plane to fly slower)


to turn about the vertical axis


the condition of weightlessness

Zulu time

Universal time; local civil time in Green which, England, used throughout the world in navigation