Chicagoland's Only Aviation Museum

Aviation Glossary

Aerodynamics:
The study of fluids in motion.

Airfoil:
A wing's cross section.

Chord:
A wing's width (leading edge to trailing edge)

Percent of Chord:
The position of the thickest part of the wing, from the leading edge; i.e. 25% chord is the thickest part of a wing, one quarter of the way from the leading edge.

Laminar Flow Profile:
The thickest part of a wing, located well back from the leading edge.

Lift/Drag Ratio:
Normally, lift must equal an aircraft's weight. The ratio gives an indication of a wing's efficiency. (the L/D ratio for a jet airliners is about 16)

Aspect Ratio:
A measure of wing slenderness, equal to the square of the span divided by the area. Highest aspect ratios are found on championship sailplanes (37+); most aircraft have an Aspect Ratio around 7 (the Concorde's Aspect Ratio is 1.7)

Slats:
An "auxiliary wing" along the top of a wing's leading edge. Puffed open by extra lift exerted on it, creating a slot (narrow gap between the slat and wing) what prevents a stall by guiding the air over the wing.

Ailerons:
Hinged pieces on the trailing edge of a wing, working in oppositions to each other. When the aileron on one wing is deflected down, that wing will rise while the opposite wing's aileron is pushed up, causing that wing to fall. This action will cause the aircraft to bank. Once the aircraft banks it will begin to turn. Use of the ailerons must be coordinated with the rudder.

Rudder:
Like a boar rudder, used to steer an aircraft.

Stabilizer (elevator):
Hinged piece at trailing edge of the horizontal stabilizer which is located at the tail of the aircraft. When the elevator is deflected down the aircraft will pitch down and descend. When the elevator is deflected up the aircraft will pitch up and climb.

Elevons:
Elevator / aileron combination. Elevons are normally used on flying wings like the B-2 bomber.

Flaps:
Hinged pieces, or pieces extended on a curved track from the rear of the wing. When the flaps are extended the lift of the wings is increased which allows the aircraft to fly slower. Flaps are used during landing.

Monocoque:
A method of aircraft construction created in the 1930s. Previous aircraft construction used a tubular frame skeleton for the structure of the of the fuselage. Monocoque construction uses the aircraft's skin for structure. Most aircraft today use monocoque construction.

Wing Load:
Weight divided by wing area (low wing loading is required for short takeoff distance). Most general aviation aircraft have a wing loading of 11 pounds per square foot. Aircraft like the T-28 and Boeing -727s have a wing loading of 55 pounds per square foot.

Please call (630) 466-0888 about booking a tour or educational presentation.


Air Classics Museum of Aviation
43W624 US Route 30
Sugar Grove, IL 60554
Phone: (630) 466-0888


Web site supported by: Roth's Consulting 
E-Mail: webmaster@airclassicsmuseum.org

Web Site - Copyright 2003, Air Classics Museum

URL: http://www.airclassicsmuseum.org