Monday, May 5, 2008


LONGITUDE—Measurement east or west of the Prime Meridian in degrees, minutes, and seconds. The Prime Meridian is 0° longitude and runs through Greenwich, England. Lines of longitude are also referred to as meridians.

LONGITUDINAL AXIS—An imaginary line through an aircraft from nose to tail, passing through its center of gravity. The longitudinal axis is also called the roll axis of the aircraft. Movement of the ailerons rotates an airplane about its longitudinal axis.

LONGITUDINAL STABILITY (PITCHING)—Stability about the lateral axis. A desirable characteristic of an airplane whereby it tends to return to its trimmed angle of attack after displacement.

LORAN-C—A radio navigation system that utilizes master and slave stations transmitting timed pulses. The time difference in reception of pulses from several stations establishes a hyperbolic line of position, which can be identified on a LORAN chart. A fix in position is obtained by utilizing signals from two or more stations.

MAGNETIC BEARING—The magnetic course to go direct to an NDB station.

MAGNETIC COMPASS—A device for determining direction measured from magnetic north.

MAGNETIC DIP—Avertical attraction between a compass needle and the magnetic poles. The closer the aircraft is to the pole, the more severe the effect. In the Northern Hemisphere, a weight is placed on the south-facing end of the compass needle; in the Southern Hemisphere, a weight is placed on the north-facing end of the compass needle to somewhat compensate for this effect.

MAGNETO—A self-contained, engine-driven unit that supplies electrical current to the spark plugs; completely independent of the airplane's electrical system. Normally there are two magnetos per engine.

MAGNUS EFFECT—Lifting force produced when a rotating cylinder produces a pressure differential. This is the same effect that makes a baseball curve or a golf ball slice.

MANEUVERABILITY—Ability of an aircraft to change directions along a flightpath and withstand the stresses imposed upon it.

MANEUVERING SPEED (VA) — The maximum speed where full, abrupt control movement can be used without overstressing the airframe.

MANIFOLD ABSOLUTE PRESSURE (MAP)—The absolute pressure of the fuel/air mixture within the intake manifold, usually indicated in inches of mercury.

MASS—The amount of matter in a body.

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