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Airplanes Essay

1550 words - 6 pages

- To lengthy...One of the first things that is likely to be noticedduring a visit to the local airport is the wide variety ofairplane styles and designs. Although, at first glance, itmay be seen that airplanes look quite different from oneanother, in the long run their major components are quitesimilar. These similarities lie in the fuselage, wing,empennage, landing gear, and powerplant. The four forces offlight which all planes have in common are lift, weight,thrust, and drag.The fuselage serves several functions. Besides being acommon attachment point for the other major components, ithouses the cabin, or cockpit, which contains seats for theoccupants and the controls for the airplane. The fuselageusually has a small baggage compartment and may includeadditional seats for passengers.When air flows around the wings of an airplane, itgenerates a force called 'lift' that helps the airplane fly.Wings are contoured to take maximum advantage of this force.Wings may be attached at the top, middle, or lower portion ofthe fuselage. These designs are referred to as high-, mid-,and low-wing, respectively. The number of wings can alsovary. Airplanes with a single set of wings are referred toas monoplanes, while those with two sets are called biplanes.To help fly the airplane, the wings have two types ofcontrol surfaces attached to the rear, or trailing, edges.They are referred to as ailerons and flaps. Ailerons extendfrom about the midpoint of each wing outward to the tip.They move in opposite directions - when one aileron goes up,the other goes down. Flaps extend outward from the fuselageto the midpoint of each wing. They always move in the samedirection. If one flap is down, the other one is also down.The empennage consists of the vertical stabilizer, orfin, and the horizontal stabilizer. These two surfaces arestationary and act like the feathers on an arrow to steadythe airplane and help maintain a straight path through theair.The rudder is attached to the back of the verticalstabilizer. Used to move the airplane's nose left and right.Actually, using the rudder and ailerons in combination duringflight to initiate a turn.The elevator is attached to the back of the horizontalstabilizer. During flight it is used to move the nose up anddown to direct the airplane to the desired altitude, orheight.Most airplanes have a small, hinged section at the backof the elevator called a trim tab. Its purpose is to relievethe pressure it must be held on the control wheel to keep thenose in the desired position. In most small airplanes, thetrim tab is controlled with a wheel or a crank in thecockpit.Some empennage designs vary from the type of horizontalstabilizer. They have a one-piece horizontal stabilizer thatpivots up and down from a central hinge point. This type ofdesign, called a stabilator, requires no elevator. Move thestabilator using the control wheel, just as in an elevator.When you pull back, the nose moves up; when you push forward,the nose moves down. An...

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