What Are Some Common Terms in the Aviation Industry?

Whether you are just entering the world of aviation or are a seasoned veteran in the industry, there is an entire library of terminology that you must be familiar with in order to succeed in this field. For those already acquainted with the industry, consider this an important review. And for those fledgling pilots, pilot mechanics and the like: get your study hat on and get to work.

Index of Terms

Absolute Altitude: height distance above ground level

Airline Transport Pilot (ATP): ATP refers to the pilot certificate necessary for anyone wanting to work for major and commuter airlines, as well as regional carriers. This certificate is meant to distinguish pilots with the highest level of experience. In order to obtain this certificate, you would need to complete a flight assessment and written test and would also need to have a minimum of 1500 hours of flight experience.

Airfoil: The basic structure of a wing, this refers to a surface with a carved top and a flat bottom

Axes of Flight: Refers to the three axis of flights which are 1) pitch, 2) yaw, and 3) roll. See definitions below.

Bernoulli Principle: A very important fundamental truth in flight, this principle was published in 1738 by Swiss scientist Daniel Bernoulli. In his book Hydrodynamica, Bernoulli explains how lift can be generated via air pressure over an airfoil. The curved top of the airfoil cuts the natural flow of air, increasing air pressure below the wing and lowering pressure above. This, in turn causes the aircraft to lift.

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA): the official United States national authority responsible for regulating all aspects of aviation in the US including air traffic management, construction and operation of airports, operation and construction of US airports, etc.

Federal Aviation Regulation (FAR): the official rules outlined by the FAA which regulate all aviation activities in the US including flights, pilot training, drone operations etc.

International Air Transport Association (IATA): a trade association that consists of 290 of the world’s airlines, with primary major carriers from 117 countries

Knots: refers to nautical miles per hour (100 knots is equivalent to flying 115 MPH)

Nautical Mile: used to measure aviation distance (one nautical mile is equal to 1.15 standard U.S. miles)

Pitch: one of the three axis of flights, refers to the axis which is perpendicular to the yaw axis. It is also parallel to the wing plane and located towards the right wing tip

Roll: one of the three axis of flights, perpendicular to the pitch and yaw axis, directed towards nose of aircraft

Slipstream: stream of air that is created by either a rotor or generator

Transponder: A device for transmitting and responding details on an aircraft’s position and altitude. Transponders are used to provide alerts of aircraft to air traffic controllers; useful for averting on air collisions

Yaw: one of the three axis of flights that is directed toward the bottom of the aircraft, and perpendicular to the plane of the wing with its origin at the center of gravity

These are just a few selections of important aviation terms but there are many more terms that are needed to understand aviation. You can trust that experts in the industry, such as the professionals at ASAP Aviation Unlimited, will understand these terms and know how they apply in the field. For any such questions you might have on important military parts, NSN parts or CAGE Codes, feel free to consult us by calling +1-919-348-4040 or emailing us at  sales@asapaviationunlimited.com


June 1, 2020


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