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Lesson 1 - Aerodynamics of Flight - Ascent Ground School

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FAA Private Pilot Question Bank: 09/28/16
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Private Pilot | Lesson 1 - Aerodynamics of Flight

TABLE OF CONTENTS:
1.1 AIRCRAFT PREFLIGHT INSPECTION
1.2 AIRPLANE WINGS, FLAPS, AND RUDDERS
1.3 TAXIING TECHNIQUE
1.4 THE "FOUR FORCES"
1.5 ANGLE OF ATTACK
1.6 INHERENT STABILITY OF AIRPLANES
1.7 ABOUT STALLS AND SPINS
1.8 FLIGHT IN GROUND EFFECT
1.9 HOW AIRPLANES TURN
1.10 ABOUT P-FACTOR AND TORQUE
1.11 LOAD FACTOR EXPLAINED

1.1 Aircraft Preflight Inspection

Every flight should begin with a thorough preflight inspection. For the first flight of the day, the preflight inspection should be accomplished by a thorough and systematic means recommended by the manufacturer.

During the preflight inspection the pilot in command is responsible for determining that the aircraft is safe for flight.1

The owner or operator is responsible for maintaining the aircraft in an airworthy condition.

EXAMPLE:
Imagine that a student pilot, Joe, rents a training aircraft from ABC Flight School. During the preflight, Joe is responsible for conducting a thorough preflight, and determining that the aircraft is safe to fly. However, it is ABC Flight School's responsibility to ensure that the aircraft is maintained and kept in airworthy condition.

Ascent Quick Quiz
Quick Quiz - 1.1 Aircraft Preflight Inspection
Question 1: During the preflight inspection who is responsible for determining the aircraft as safe for flight?
Answer

Question 2: Who is primarily responsible for maintaining an aircraft in airworthy condition?
Answer

Question 3: How should an aircraft preflight inspection be accomplished for the first flight of the day?
Answer


1.2 Airplane Wings, Flaps, and Rudders

Wings - Some of the integral parts of an aircraft wing are as follows:

  1. Leading edge - This is the most forward edge of the wing. It is important to check the leading edge of the wing for any damage, dents, etc. before every flight.
  2. Wing Spar - This is the main support structure of the wing itself.
  3. Wing Tip - This is the end of the wing. Usually, the wing tip holds the navigation lights.
  4. Ribs and Stringers - These act to help maintain the rigidity and shape of the wing.
  5. Skin - This is the thin outer covering of the wing. Skins can be made from aluminum, cloth, or composite materials.
  6. Trailing edge - This is the most rearward portion of the wing.

Flaps - One of the main functions of flaps during the approach and landing is to increase wing lift, which allows an increase in the angle of descent without increasing airspeed. The flaps on an airplane are always located inboard in relation to the ailerons. Some aircraft have very small, short flaps,while others have large, wide-span flaps. Some larger airliners have multiple sets of flaps.

Enpennage - The enpennage is the entire tail section of an airplane. It is made up of the horizontal and vertical stabilizers, which are the fixed portions of the tail. The movable surfaces include the rudder, the elevator, and one or more trim tabs.

Rudder - The rudder is the movable portion of the vertical tail at the rear of the aircraft. The rudder is used to control the yaw about the airplane's vertical axis.

Ascent Quick Quiz
Ascent Quick Quiz - 1.2 Airplane Wings, Flaps, and Rudders
Question 1:What is one purpose of wing flaps?
Answer

Question 2: One of the main functions of flaps during approach and landing is to?
Answer

Question 3: What is the purpose of the rudder on an airplane?
Answer

References:

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1.3 Taxiing Technique

When taxiing, it is important to keep in mind the wind, and how it can affect the aircraft even while taxiing. (This is especially true when taxiing tailwheel aircraft.) When taxiing high-wing, nosewheel-equipped airplanes, the most critical wind condition is a quartering tailwind.

  • Taxiing with a headwind
    • When taxiing into a strong quartering headwind, the aileron should be up on the side from which the wind is blowing.
    • The elevator should be in the neutral position for tricycle-geared airplanes. The elevator should be held in the up position for tailwheel airplanes.
  • Taxiing with a tailwind
    • When taxiing away from a strong quartering tailwind, the aileron should be down on the side from which the wind is blowing.
    • The elevator should be held in the down position (for both tricycle and tailwheel aircraft).





Ascent Quick Quiz
Ascent Quick Quiz - 1.3 Taxiing Technique
Question 1: When taxiing with strong quartering tailwinds, which aileron positions should be used?
Answer

Question 2: Which aileron positions should a pilot generally use when taxiing in strong quartering headwinds?
Answer

Question 3: Which wind condition would be most critical when taxiing a nosewheel equipped high-wing airplane?
Answer

Question 4: (Refer to figure 9, area A.) How should the flight controls be held while taxiing a tricycle-gear equipped airplane into a left quartering headwind?
Answer

Question 5: (Refer to figure 9, area C.) How should the flight controls be held while taxiing a tricycle-gear equipped airplane with a left quartering tailwind?
Answer

Question 6: (Refer to figure 9, area B.) How should the flight controls be held while taxiing a tailwheel airplane into a right quartering headwind?
Answer

Question 7: (Refer to figure 9, area C.) How should the flight controls be held while taxiing a tailwheel airplane with a left quartering tailwind?
Answer


1.4 The "Four Forces"

In flight, there are four aerodynamic forces that act on the airplane
  • Lift – the upward-acting force
  • Weight – the downward-acting force
  • Thrust – the forward-acting force
  • Drag – the rearward-acting force

These forces are in an equilibrium only when the airplane is in unaccelerated flight. In other words, the sum of all the upward forces (Lift) = the sum of all downward forces (Weight). And, Thrust = Drag.

Ascent Quick Quiz
Ascent Quick Quiz - 1.4 The "Four Forces"
Question 1: The four forces acting on an airplane in flight are
Answer

Question 2: When are the four forces that act on an airplane in equilibrium?
Answer

Question 3: What is the relationship of lift, drag, thrust, and weight when the airplane is in straight-and-level flight?
Answer

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1.5 Angle of Attack

The angle that the wing is actually striking the oncoming air mass is referred to as the angle of attack.

The angle of attack can be visualized by the angle between the wing chord line and the direction of the relative wind (the on-coming air).

The wing chord line is an imaginary straight line from the leading edge to the trailing edge of the wing.

The relative wind is the direction of airflow with respect to the wing.

Additionally, Bernoulli’s Principle states that as the velocity of a moving fluid (liquid or gas) increases, the pressure within the fluid decreases. This principle explains what happens to air passing over the curved top of the airplane wing. Since air is a moving gas, one can begin to see how and why an airplane wing develops lift; as the wing moves through the air, the flow of air across the curved top surface increases in velocity creating a low-pressure area above the wing, thus creating lift.

Ascent Quick Quiz
Ascent Quick Quiz - 1.5 Angle of Attack
Question 1: The term "angle of attack" is defined as the angle
Answer

Question 2: Angle of attack is defined as the angle between the chord line of an airfoil and the
Answer

Question 3: (Refer to figure 1) The acute angle A is the angle of
Answer

Question 4: The angle of attack at which an airplane wing stalls will
Answer

Question 5: Which statement reflects Bernoulli's Principle?
Answer


1.6 Inherent Stability of Airplanes

Most manufacturers design airplanes to be inherently stable. An inherently stableairplane requires less effort to control, because it tends to return to its original condition (position and attitude) after being disturbed by some force, such as turbulence or by the pilot knocking or altering the yoke accidentally.

Longitudinal stability is the quality that makes an airplane stable about its lateral axis. The location of the center of gravity (CG) with respect to the center of lift on the wing determines the longitudinal stability of an airplane.

Airplanes, except for T-tail airplanes, will normally pitch down when power is reduced and the no other control inputs are made. This is because the downwash from the propeller slipstream on the elevators reduced when the power is reduced. As a result, the elevator effectiveness is reduced also. This is what causes the airplane to pitch down.

The center of gravity of the aircraft plays crucial role in determining the stability of the aircraft. When the center of gravity (CG) of an airplane is located at, or rear of, the aft CG limit, an airplane can become unable to recover from stall conditions. Additionally, with an aft, or rear-of-aft CG, an airplane becomes less stable and at all airspeeds.

Ascent Quick Quiz
Ascent Quick Quiz - 1.6 Inherent Stability of Airplanes
Question 1: An airplane said to be inherently stable will
Answer

Question 2: What determines the longitudinal stability of an airplane?
Answer

Question 3: An airplane has been loaded in such a manner that the CG is located aft of the aft CG limit. One undesirable flight characteristic a pilot might experience with this airplane would be
Answer

Question 4: What causes an airplane (except a T-tail) to pitch nosedown when power is reduced and controls are not adjusted?
Answer

Question 5: Loading an airplane to the most aft CG will cause the airplane to be
Answer


1.7 About Stalls and Spins

A stall is the rapid decrease in lift that is caused by the separation of the smooth airflow over the wing. A stall is what occurs whenever the critical angle of attack is exceeded during flight.


An airplane can be stalled at any airspeed, and in any flight attitude in reference to the horizon.

An airplane in a will stall at the same indicated airspeed regardless of altitude, in a specific configuration (for example, with the flaps fully extended). This is because the airspeed indicator is directly related to air density. Also, the angle of attack at which a wing stalls will remain constant regardless of the weight, the way the airplane is loaded, etc.

Spins - A spin is an aggravated stall that results in an airplane descending in a spiral-corkscrew path. In order for an airplane to enter a spin, the airplane's wings must be stalled first. Then, an airplane begins to spin when one wing is "less" stalled than the other wing.

Ascent Quick Quiz
Ascent Quick Quiz - 1.7 About Stalls and Spins
Question 1: As altitude increases, the indicated airspeed at which a given airplane stalls in a particular configuration will
Answer

Question 2: In what flight condition must an aircraft be placed in order to spin?
Answer

Question 3: During a spin to the left, which wing(s) is/are stalled?
Answer


1.8 Flight in Ground Effect

Ground effect- The result of the interference of the ground (or water) surface with the airflow patterns about an airplane.

An airplane is affected by ground effect when it is within about the length of the airplane's wingspan above the ground, but the effect is most often recognized by pilots when the airplane is less than half the wingspan's length above the ground.



The vertical component of the airflow around the wing is restricted by the ground surface. This alters the wing's upwash, downwash, and wingtip vortices. The reduction of the wingtip vortices due to ground effect alters the spanwise lift distribution, and reduces the induced angle of attack and induced drag. Therefore, the wing will require a lower angle of attack in ground effect to produce the same lift coefficient or, if a constant angle of attack is maintained, an increase in the lift coefficient will result.

Ground effect may cause an airplane to float on landings, or permit it to become airborne with insufficient airspeed to sustain level flight at altitudes above the area of ground effect.
Also, an airplane may settle back to the ground abruptly after flying through the ground effect area if the pilot has not attained recommended takeoff airspeed.

Ascent Quick Quiz
Ascent Quick Quiz - 1.8
Question 1: What is ground effect?
Answer

Question 2: Floating caused by the phenomenon of ground effect will be most realized during an approach to land when at
Answer

Question 3: What must a pilot be aware of as a result of ground effect?
Answer

Question 4: Ground effect is most likely to result in which problem?
Answer

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1.9 How Airplanes Turn

For an airplane to turn, a portion of the total lift must be transferred into a horizontal component of lift.

The horizontal component of lift makes an airplane turn.

A pilot uses coordinated aileron, rudder, and elevator to bank the aircraft and attain this horizontal component of lift.

The rudder on an airplane controls the yaw (the rotation about the vertical axis), the rudder does not cause the airplane to turn.

Ascent Quick Quiz
Ascent Quick Quiz - 1.9 How Airplanes Turn
Question 1: What force makes an airplane turn?
Answer


1.10 About P-Factor and Torque

P-factor- A tendency for an airplane to yaw to the left due to the descending propeller blade on the right (as seen from the rear) producing more thrust than the ascending blade on the left.

P-factor (asymmetric propeller loading) causes the airplane to yaw to the left when at high angles of attack. P-factor is greatest at low airspeeds, high angles of attack, and high power settings; it is quite noticeable during takeoff.

The torque effect (another left-turning tendency of airplanes) is also greatest at low airspeed, high angles of attack, and high power.

Ascent Quick Quiz
Ascent Quick Quiz - 1.10 About P-Factor and Torque
Question 1: In what flight condition is torque effect the greatest in a single-engine airplane?
Answer

Question 2: The left turning tendency of an airplane caused by P-factor is the result of the
Answer

Question 3: When does P-factor cause the airplane to yaw to the left?
Answer

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1.11 Load Factor Explained

Load factor- During turns, the additional weight that must be supported by the aircraft structure and wings due to the airplane's weight PLUS the centrifugal force created.

The amount of excess load that can be imposed on an airplane's wings varies directly with the airplane's speed and the excess lift available. An increased load factor will result in an airplane stalling at a higher airspeed.

  1. At low speeds, very little excess lift is available, so very little excess load can be imposed.
  2. At high speeds, the wings' lifting capacity is so great that the load factor can quickly exceed safety limits.

As bank angle increases, the load factor increases.
The wings not only have to carry the airplane's weight, but the centrifugal force as well.

NOTE: During your exam, the chart above is given with the bank angle in degrees on the horizontal axis (along the bottom of the graph), and the load factor in G units on the vertical axis (up the left side of the graph). Additionally, notice that there is a table that provides the load factor corresponding to specific bank angles which can be found on the left side of the chart. Use this table to answer the load factor questions given.

To compute the load factor, multiply the airplane's weight by the load factor which corresponds to the given angle of bank.

EXAMPLE:
If an airplane weighs 2,000 lb., what weight would the airplane's wings be required to support in a 60° bank?

To solve:
First, find the 60° angle of bank of the table. Note that for a 60° angle of bank a load factor of 2.000 applies.
Then, simply multiple the 2,000 lbs. by the load factor of 2.000. So, (2000 lbs. x 2.000 = 4000 lbs.).

Ascent Quick Quiz
Ascent Quick Quiz - 1.11 Load Factor Explained
Question 1: The amount of excess load that can be imposed on the wing of an airplane depends upon the
Answer

Question 2: Which basic flight maneuver increases the load factor on an airplane as compared to straight-and-level flight?
Answer

Question 3: During an approach to a stall, an increased load factor will cause the airplane to
Answer

Question 4: (Refer to figure 2.) If an airplane weighs 2,300 pounds, what approximate weight would the airplane structure be required to support during a 60° banked turn while maintaining altitude?
Answer

Question 5: (Refer to figure 2.) If an airplane weighs 3,300 pounds, what approximate weight would the airplane structure be required to support during a 30° banked turn while maintaining altitude?
Answer

Question 6: (Refer to figure 2.) If an airplane weighs 4,500 pounds, what approximate weight would the airplane structure be required to support during a 45° banked turn while maintaining altitude?
Answer


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Lesson 1 - Aerodynamics of Flight Study Quiz