Bernoulli’s Principle of Pressure

Bernoulli’s Principle of Pressure states that the pressure of a moving fluid (liquid or gas) varies with its speed of motion (1).  If the fluid’s speed increases, a drop in pressure will be seen.  This principle is a key component of flight.  It is used as a basis for the measurement of airspeed and for analyzing the airfoil’s ability to produce lift (1).


Air Pressure Decreasing in a Venturi Tube

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Air Density

The Atmosphere

Your aircraft will be flying through atmosphere at a certain elevation, so we might as well start there.  Think back to your early science classes when you were taught about the environment.  You may not remember the exact mixture, but I’m sure you recall that our atmosphere is a mixture of gases.  What you might not recall is that gases have weight, and are thus subject to the laws of physics.  Thus, we can determine some basic facts about the air based on the temperature, humidity, and pressure of the air.  Why is this important?  Because temperature, humidity, and pressure affect air density – and air density is a key component of aircraft performance!

Density Decreases with Altitude (Generally)

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Aviation 101 Video on Hulu

The Aviators - TV ShowIf you’re looking to just sit back and watch a video about aviation, you’re in luck.  There’s actually a video on Hulu titled “Aviation 101” from a show called: The Aviators.  The show is about 30 minutes long and, of course, has some advertisements interspersed, but I still think it’s worth the watch.

The episode itself speaks briefly about the categories of aviation: commercial, military, and general aviation.  It then goes on to show various types of airplanes and teaches us about the very basic elements of the plane.  You’ll hear about the aircraft fuselage, engine, rudders, wings, etc…  About mid-way through the program you’ll see a section that discusses the principles of flight.  This gets into details about how the aircraft is actually able to fly.  This is then followed by a review of the various pilot’s license endorsements that are needed to fly the various types of aircraft. [Read more…]

Exterior Components of the Aircraft

Front view of a Cessna If you’re here, you likely already know a thing or two the general structure of an airplane: fuselage, wings, power-plant, empennage, and landing gear.  Nevertheless, we’re going to cover the basics to ensure you have a good feel for each of the latter.  If you ever intend to take an aircraft to flight, you’ll want to know it all inside-and-out. [Read more…]