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GLOSSARY

AERODYNAMICIST

A person who studies aerodynamics.


AERODYNAMICS

The science that deals with the motion of air and other gaseous fluids and the forces acting on objects as a result of the relative motion between the air and the object..


AILERON

The part of the airplane that control the roll .


AIRFOIL

A streamlined surface designed in such a way that air flowing around it produces useful motion. The cross section of an airplane wing is an airfoil.


AIRSPEED

This indicates how fast the wing moves through the air, or how fast the air is moving past the wing. Depending on the system of units we are using, it is measured in miles per hour, feet per second, or kilometers per hour.


ALTITUDE

This indicates the height above sea level at which our wing is flying. It is measured in feet or meters. This becomes important for wings because the conditions of the air (temperature, pressure, and density) change as we go higher. This will effect the amount of lift that a wing generates.


ANGLE

This indicates how the airfoil is inclined to the air coming towards it. It is measured in degrees. At zero degrees, the front of the airfoil is pointed directly into the stream. At

90 degrees it is pointed straight up. It is also referred to as the Angle of Attack. The angle of attack in this simulation is limited since it does not depict stall characteristics.


AREA

This indicates the wing area in square feet or square meters when the wing is viewed from above. It is equal to the chord length times the wing span for our simple straight wing. The simulation only shows the side view (cross-section) of the airfoil.


CAMBER

This is a measure of the curvature of the airfoil. The mean camber line is an imaginary line which lies halfway between the upper surface and lower surface of the airfoil and intersects the chord line at the leading and trailing edges. But between the leading and trailing edge the camber line can curve above or below the chord line. The camber value specified here

gives the highest value above or below the chord line divided by the chord length.


CHORD

The chord length is the distance from the leading edge to the trailing edge of the airfoil. The chord line is a straight line connecting the leading and trailing edges of an airfoil.


ELEVATORS

The part of the airplane that controls the pitch.


EQUATION

A statement that relates two quantities, usually with an equals sign (=).

(examples: A=6, A+B = C)


FLAPS

The part of the plane that is deployed when landing or taking off. The flaps increase lift and decrease velocity.


FORCE

A push or pull exerted on an object usually measured in pounds or Newtons.


FRICTION

The resistance to relative motion between two surfaces in contact


GEOMETRY

1) the physical shape and dimensions of an object, 2) the branch of mathematics that deals with the relations and measurements of lines, angles, surfaces and solids.


LIFT

A force generated by a wing which acts perpendicular (90 degrees) to the incoming flow. This is what lets an airplane climb.


PITCH

The up and down motion of an airplane.


PRESSURE

The ratio of force exerted over a unit area divided by the area. (e.g., k-pascals, pounds per square inch).


ROLL

The maneuver an airplane uses to turn the airplane.


RUDDER

The part of the airplane that controls the yaw (side to side motion) of the airplane.


SPAN

The span of a wing is the distance from one wing tip to the other.


STAGNATION

The point on an airfoil that separates the upper and lower streamlines. These are depicted by a single white line between the yellow and green streamlines.


STREAMLINES

A line depicting the flow path of a particle of air.


THERMODYNAMICS

The science concerned with the conversion of heat to energy.


THICKNESS

This gives the maximum difference between the upper and lower airfoil surfaces divided by the chord length.


TRAJECTORY

The curve described by a projectile in flight


TURBULENCE

Irregular motion of air; uneven currents of air.


VELOCITY

The rate of motion in a particular direction. The combination of airspeed and direction.


WIND TUNNEL

A facility where an airstream is forced across an airfoil or other objects to study aerodynamics.


WING

A three dimensional object that moves through the air and can generate lift. In this simulator we will study a simple straight wing whose leading edge and trailing edge are parallel. When viewed from above, this wing will look like a rectangle and when viewed from the side, we will see a cross-section which can be either a flat plate, or an airfoil

shape. The cross-section will be displayed on the airfoil view panel.


YAW

The side to side motion of an airplane.



Related Pages:
LIFT Home Page
Aeronautics Activities
Aerospace Activities Page
Aerodynamics Index

 

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Editor: Tom Benson
NASA Official: Tom Benson
Last Updated: Jun 12 2014

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