Man's physical universe

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AERODYNAMICS 375

An Airplane Practically Flies Itself.

It is said that a well-trained pilot is four times as safe flying in an

airplane as he would be in driving an automobile but that a poorly

trained pilot is four times as safe in an automobile as he would be in an

airplane. The student pilot has a tendency to use brute strength and

violent manipulation of the controls when an airplane goes into an

unexpected motion, and in his excitement he may do the wrong thing.

A safe rule is to leave the controls alone and let the airplane return to

its normal position by itself, provided that there is sufficient altitude.

The majority of airplane accidents are caused by flying so close to the

ground that there is not time for the airplane to return to a normal

position if something unexpected happens.

A poor automobile driver is constantly turning the steering wheel

back and forth and manipulating the brakes; a poor pilot likewise

trys to do too much of the work which the airplane is designed to do

for him.

An airplane wall not fall just because the engine fails.

Gliders often

remain in the air for many hours, and the heavier airplanes can glide

for some time in search of a landing field,

provided that the original

altitude above the ground was high enough.

There are no such things as air pockets, and up- and down-currents

of air are not serious except when flying too close to the ground or when

the air currents are very powerful, as in thunderstorms or in mountainous

country. Bumpy air does no more harm to an airplane than a

rough sea does to a ship.

1. What is an airplane?

STUDY QUESTIONS

2. What causes the dynamic action of the air upon an airplane?

3. How is the effect of propeller torque counteracted in the rigging (adjustment)

of an airplane?

4. How could left-wing heaviness be corrected?

5. Why is the vertical fin often offset slightly?

6. What are the probable causes of nose-heaviness, and how may nose-heaviness

be corrected?

7. What is parasite resistance?

8. Of what use is an adjustable stabilizer? What substitutes for adjustable

stabilizer do some airplanes have?

9. What is an airfoil?

10. List the airfoils of an airplane and mention the useful purpose of each.

11. What are the four forces which act on an airfoil?

12. What is the angle of attack?

13. In flying out of a small field, which would be preferred, a small pitch or a

large pitch for the propeller?

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