Sunday, April 20, 2008


DIHEDRAL—The positive acute angle between the lateral axis of an airplane and a line through the center of a wing or horizontal stabilizer. Dihedral contributes to the lateral stability of an airplane.

DILUTER-DEMAND OXYGEN SYSTEM—An oxygen system that delivers oxygen mixed or diluted with air in order to maintain a constant oxygen partial pressure as the altitude changes.

DIRECT USER ACCESS TERMINAL SERVICE (DUATS)—A computer based program providing NWS and FAA weather products that are normally used in pilot weather briefings.

DIRECTIONAL STABILITY— Stability about the vertical axis of an aircraft, whereby an aircraft tends to return, on its own, to flight aligned with the relative wind when disturbed from that equilibrium state. The vertical tail is the primary contributor to directional stability, causing an airplane in flight to align with the relative wind.

DISTANCE MEASURING EQUIPMENT (DME)—Equipment (airborne and ground) to measure, in nautical miles, the slant range distance of an aircraft from the DME navigation aid.

DRAG—An aerodynamic force on a body acting parallel and opposite to the relative wind. The resistance of the atmosphere to the relative motion of an aircraft. Drag opposes thrust and limits the speed of the airplane.

DRIFT ANGLE—Angle between heading and track.


DUTCH ROLL—A combination of rolling and yawing oscillations that normally occurs when the dihedral effects of an aircraft are more powerful than the directional stability. Usually dynamically stable but objectionable in an airplane because of the oscillatory nature.

DYNAMIC HYDROPLANING—A condition that exists when landing on a surface with standing water deeper than the tread depth of the tires. When the brakes are applied, there is a possibility that the brake will lock up and the tire will ride on the surface of the water, much like a water ski. When the tires are hydroplaning, directional control and braking action are virtually impossible. An effective anti-skid system can minimize the effects of hydroplaning.

DYNAMIC STABILITY — The property of an aircraft that causes it, when disturbed from straight and level flight, to develop forces or moments that restore the original condition of straight and level.

EDDY CURRENT DAMPING— The decreased amplitude of oscillations by the interaction of magnetic fields. In the case of a vertical card magnetic compass, flux from the oscillating permanent magnet produces eddy currents in a damping disk or cup. The magnetic flux produced by the eddy currents opposes the flux from the permanent magnet and decreases the oscillations.

ELEVATOR—The horizontal, movable primary control surface in the tail section, or empennage, of an airplane. The elevator is hinged to the trailing edge of the fixed horizontal stabilizer.

EMPENNAGE—The section of the airplane that consists of the vertical stabilizer, the horizontal stabilizer, and the associated control surfaces.

EMPTY-FIELD MYOPIA— Induced-near-sightedness that is associated with flying at night, in instrument meteorological conditions and/or reduced visibility. With nothing to focus on, the eyes automatically focus on a point just slightly ahead of the airplane.

ENGINE PRESSURE RATIO (EPR)—The ratio of turbine discharge pressure divided by compressor inlet pressure, which is used as an indication of the amount of thrust being developed by a turbine engine.

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