Airplane parts and movements

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  • Publicado : 5 de mayo de 2010
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The types of questions we are asked at this site span the whole range, from the very broad and simple to the very detailed and specific. So we thought it would be a good idea to take a step back and define some basic terminology about the components that make up a typical aircraft. Explaining these definitions will hopefully level the playing field a bit and allow our regular visitors to betterunderstand some of the more complex subjects we routinely deal with on this site.
Let's start by first looking at a very basic schematic of a traditional aircraft layout, and we will add more complexity as we go.
1) Basic Components:
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Basic components of an aircraft
fuselage: The fuselage is that portion of the aircraft that usually contains the crew and payload, eitherpassengers, cargo, or weapons. Most fuselages are long, cylindrical tubes or sometimes rectangular box shapes. All of the other major components of the aircraft are attached to the fuselage. Empennage is another term sometimes used to refer to the aft portion of the fuselage plus the horizontal and vertical tails.
wing: The wing is the most important part of an aircraft since it produces the liftthat allows a plane to fly. The wing is made up of two halves, left and right, when viewed from behind. These halves are connected to each other by means of the fuselage. A wing produces lift because of its special shape, a shape called an airfoil. If we were to cut through a wing and look at its cross-section, as illustrated below, we would see that a traditional airfoil has a rounded leadingedge and a sharp trailing edge.
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Definition of an airfoil
engine: The other key component that makes an airplane go is its engine, or engines. Aircraft use several different kinds of engines, but they can all be classified in two major categories. Early aircraft from the Wright Flyer until World War II used propeller-driven piston engines, and these are still common today onlight general aviation planes. But most modern aircraft now use some form of a jet engine. Many aircraft house the engine(s) within the fuselage itself. Most larger planes, however, have their engines mounted in separate pods hanging below the wing or sometimes attached to the fuselage. These pods are called nacelles.
*horizontal stabilizer*: If an aircraft consists of only a wing or a wing andfuselage, it is inherently unstable. Stability is defined as the tendency of an aircraft to return to its initial state following a disturbance from that state. The horizontal stabilizer, also known as the horizontal tail, performs this function when an aircraft is disturbed in pitch. In other words, if some disturbance forces the nose up or down, the horizontal stabilizer produces a counteractingforce to push the nose in the opposite direction and restore equilibrium. When in equilibirum, we say that an aircraft is in its trim condition. The horizontal tail is essentially a miniature wing since it is also made up of an airfoil cross-section. The tail produces a force similar to lift that balances out the lift of the wing to keep the plane in equilibrium. To do so, the tail usually needs toproduce a force pointed downward, a quantity called downforce.
*vertical stabilizer*: The vertical stabilizer, or vertical tail, functions in the same way as the horizintal tail, except that it provides stability for a disturbance in yaw. Yaw is the side-to-side motion of the nose, so if a disturbance causes the nose to deflect to one side, the vertical tail produces a counteracting force thatpushes the nose in the opposite direction to restore equilibrium. The vertical tail is also made of an airfoil cross-section and produces forces just like a wing or horizontal tail. The difference is that a wing or horizontal tail produces lift or downforce, forces that are pointed up or down from the aircraft. Meanwhile the vertical tail produces a force pointed to one side of the aircraft....
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