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7 Questions To See How Well You Understand Aerodynamics

You many think you know aerodynamics, but we'll let these questions be the true determination of that!


  1. 1) You're in a stall, you kick the rudder over, and you enter a spin. What's happening to your wings?

    That's right, in a spin, both wings are stalled.

    In a spin, both wings are stalled.

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  2. 2) Your friend says "so there I was, flying at a high angle-of-attack..." What does angle-of-attack really mean?
    Erik Brouwer

    Yep, AOA is the acute angle between your wing's chord line and the relative wind.

    AOA is the acute angle between your wing's chord line and the relative wind.

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  3. 3) You retract your flaps after takeoff in your 747. What's happening to your wings?

    That's right, as you retract flaps, you also decrease camber, or the 'curviness' of the wing cross-section.

    As you retract flaps, you also decrease camber, or the 'curviness' of the wing cross-section.

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  4. 4) When you're flying a training aircraft, your plane's center of lift is normally _____ of the center of gravity.
    cfournie

    The center of lift is normally aft of the center of gravity in training airplanes.

    The center of lift is normally aft of the center of gravity in training airplanes.

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  5. 5) You come in a little fast on final, and you float down the runway in ground effect. And you float some more. And some more. Why is this happening?
    Marcin Wichary

    That's right, ground effect is caused by a reduction of induced drag as your airplane gets within approximately 1 wingspan or less of the ground.

    Ground effect is caused by a reduction of induced drag as your airplane gets within approximately 1 wingspan or less of the ground.

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  6. 6) You're climbing in a single engine aircraft at its service ceiling. What does your VSI read? (max weight, clean config, max continuous power)
    Josh Beasley

    Yep, a single engine aircraft will have a climb rate of 100 FPM at its service ceiling.

    A single engine aircraft will have a climb rate of 100 FPM at its service ceiling.

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  7. 7) When you load an aircraft tail-heavy, your CG and center of lift move _____, and your aircraft becomes _____ stable.
    David DeHetre

    That's right, when you load an aircraft tail heavy, the CG and center of lift move closer together, and the aircraft becomes less stable.

    When you load an aircraft tail heavy, the CG and center of lift move closer together, and the aircraft becomes less stable.

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Well, you could have done better, but you could have done worse too...

You scored % But look on the bright side, think about what you learned in the last few minutes...

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Nice work, you know quite a bit about aerodynamics.

You scored % Not bad.

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Looks like you pretty much know it all.

You scored % Well done.

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Colin Cutler

Colin is a Boldmethod co-founder, pilot and graphic artist. He's been a flight instructor at the University of North Dakota, an airline pilot on the CRJ-200, and has directed development of numerous commercial and military training systems. You can reach him at colin@boldmethod.com.

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