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Category Archives: Aerodynamics

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 […]

CFI Brief: Steep Turns

Steep turns are a fun and exciting maneuver and right in line with this week’s discussion on load factors. As a student pilot part of your training will include performing steep turns to established standards as outlined in the Private Pilot Practical Test Standards and shown below. Key concepts to be learned are coordination, orientation, […]

Aerodynamics: Turns and Load Factors

We’re devoting this week to aerodynamics, specifically the load factors experienced in turns. There’s more to turning your airplane than smoothly coordinating your ailerons and rudder pressure. Understanding the role of lift and gravity in a turn will help you fly efficiently and within the limitations of your airplane. The following is excerpted from William […]

CFI Brief: Forward vs. Aft CG

Happy New Year! After a great holiday it’s time to get back in the grind and what better way to start 2015 off then with a discussion on stability! So just what is stability? In the sense we are discussing, stability is the inherent ability of an airplane to return, or not return, to its […]

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