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Parts Of An Aircraft

Private pilots should do more than just know how to fly a plane, learning about how the whole machine works is an important part in passing that checkride and obtaining that private pilot license. Getting to know the aircraft is vital in order to be prepared for hardware error scenarios.

  • Fuselage – The fuselage holds the structure together and accommodates passengers and/or cargo.
  • Cockpit – The cockpit holds the command and control section of an airplane. Modern aircraft cockpits have a number of vital instruments for controlling the airplane on the ground as well as when flying.
  • Engines – Engines generate thrust and provide hydraulic and electric power. Modern aircraft are employed with different types of engines, although jet engines are favored with by most commercial airliners.
  • Undercarriage – The undercarriage, also known as landing gear, provides a platform for the aircraft to stand as well as plays an important obvious role in landing and take-off.
  • Wing – Wings generate lift and control the airflow while flying. Wing design is a crucial factor in aviation: a wing is designed to reduce drag at the leading edge, generate lift by its crescent and manage airflow using the rear edge. Furthermore, while gliding (i.e. without engine power), the wings allow the pilot to increase and decrease the descent rate.
  • Slat – Slats adjust the angle of attack of the wings, increasing lift.
  • Flap – Flaps adjust the camber of the wings, increasing lift. Flaps are normally fitted at the trailing edge of the wings. Extending the flaps increase the camber of the wings airfoil, thus increasing lift at lowers speeds, an important feature for landing.
  • Spoiler – Spoilers adjust the camber of sections of the wings, decreasing lift. Spoilers are fitted on top of the wings, and are used to reduce lift on a section of the wing in a controlled manner.
  • Aileron – Ailerons increase or decrease lift asymmetrically, in order to change roll and, thus, move the aircraft left or right while flying. Ailerons are hinged sections fitted at the rear of each wing.
  • Horizontal stabilizer – The horizontal stabilizer helps maintain an airplane’s equilibrium and stability in flight.
  • Elevator – Elevators increase or decrease lift on the horizontal stabilizer symmetrically in order to control the pitch motion of an airplane.
  • Rudder – The rudder controls the yaw motion of an airplane. The rudder is a hinged surface fitted to the vertical stabilizer.
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