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Category Archives: Aerodynamics

Aerodynamics: Propeller Basics

Back to basics today on the Learn to Fly Blog: your propeller. The aircraft propeller consists of two or more blades and a central hub to which the blades are attached. Each blade of an aircraft propeller is essentially a rotating wing, and thus the blades act like airfoils producing thrust. Today’s post comes from […]

CFI Brief: Torque

Today’s discussion is on torque. An airplane of standard configuration has an insistent tendency to turn to the left. This tendency is called torque, and is a combination of four forces: reactive force, spiraling slipstream, gyroscopic precession, and P-factor. Reactive force is based on Newton’s Law of action and reaction. A propeller rotating in a […]

CFI Brief: Parasite and Induced Drag

Monday’s post touched on the topic of aerodynamics, specifically drag. As you can imagine, drag is an extremely crucial part of flying and also one of the four forces acting on an aircraft in flight (Thrust, Drag, Weight, Lift). Today I want to briefly cover and test your knowledge on the two types of drag: […]

Aerodynamics: Drag

This week on the Learn to Fly Blog we’re talking about drag. One of the four forces of flight, drag opposes thrust and at rearward parallel to the relative wind. We’ll get more into the practical application of your understanding of drag on Thursday with our CFI, but today we will define the two types […]

CFI Brief: Velocity vs. G-loads Diagram

Using the knowledge you learned from Monday’s post on the Vg diagram, let’s see if we can answer some of these sample FAA knowledge test questions. Remember, a complete database of sample questions can be found in ASA Test Prep Books and Prepware Software! Reference the figure below for all questions, however please note on […]

Aerodynamics: Vg Diagram

The flight operating strength of an aircraft is presented on a graph whose vertical scale is based on load factor. The diagram is called a Vg diagram—velocity versus G loads or load factor. Each aircraft has it’s own Vg diagram which is valid at a certain weight and altitude. The curved lines representing maximum lift […]

CFI Brief: Ground Effect, Pop Quiz!

I sure hope you read Monday’s post on ground effect because today I’m throwing a pop quiz at you! Remember that ground effect occurs when flying within one wingspan or less above the surface. The airflow around the wing and wing tip is modified and the resulting pattern reduces the downwash which reduces the induced […]

Aerodynamics: Ground Effect

Thinking about your takeoff technique? Today we’ll consider the role of ground effect. Simply put, ground effect is the reaction of the airflow against the ground surface. Today’s post comes from our foundational flying textbook The Pilot’s Manual 1: Flight School. Here’s a basic overview: The cushioning of ground effect when the airplane is flying […]

Aerodynamics: Stalls and Spins

Today, we’re going to look at some flight maneuvers from one of our favorite books, the Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge. Critical load factors apply to all flight maneuvers except unaccelerated straight flight where a load factor of 1 G is always present. Certain maneuvers considered in this section are known to involve relatively high load […]

Aerodynamics: Spins

This post on spins is derived from the FAA Airplane Flying Handbook, available from ASA in print and in PDF format. A spin may be defined as an aggravated stall that results in what is termed “autorotation” wherein the airplane follows a downward corkscrew path. As the airplane rotates around a vertical axis, the rising […]

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