Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Introduction to Aircraft Structure
An aircraft is a device that is used, or intended to be used, for flight, according to the current Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) Part 1, Definitions and Abbreviations. Categories of aircraft for certification of airmen include airplane, rotorcraft, glider, lighter-than-air, powered-lift, powered parachute, and weight-shift control. 14 CFR part 1 also defines airplane as an engine-driven, fixed-wing aircraft that is supported in flight by the dynamic reaction of air against its wings. Another term, not yet codified in 14 CFR part 1, is advanced avionics aircraft, which refers to an aircraft that contains a global positioning system (GPS) navigation system with a moving map display, in conjunction with another system, such as an autopilot. This chapter provides a brief introduction to the structure of aircraft and uses an airplane for most illustrations. Light Sport Aircraft (LSA), such as weight-shift control, balloon, glider, powered parachute, and gyroplane have their own handbooks to include detailed information regarding aerodynamics and control.