Human beings have been trying to take to the skies since the very beginning of civilization. From stories of the mythic Icarus to Leonardo Da Vinci's real attempts at flying machines, besting gravity and flying high has long kept brilliant minds engaged and curious. Modern technology finally caught up with passion in the 1800s, and once machines could successfully manage even the most basic of flying skills, inventors, engineers and architects began improving those original designs with lightning speed. The Wright Brothers flew, and then myriad types of flying devices followed, all leading up to the modern days of aviation.
When it comes to flight, contemporary people live in a renaissance those early inventors could never have imagined. We have helicopters and jets and enormous commercial airplanes that can travel three thousand miles in just a few hours. We have transcontinental flights and private airplanes, all of it thanks to the progressive, brilliant minds of aeronautical pioneers.
So how does it all work? If you think you know your way around an airplane, this is the quiz that will help you find out. Test your knowledge of airplane parts and pieces to see if you have what it takes to achieve flying altitude. This is your captain speaking; test yourself today!
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What do you call the command center of the airplane where the pilot and co-pilot sit?
Your pilot and co-pilot are located in the cockpit of the plane for the duration of the flight. This is where the flying mechanisms are located and where your captain will communicate with crew and passengers from via overhead speakers.
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Which part is used to help with takeoff and landing because it helps make extra lift at lower speeds?
Along with the aircraft's flaps, slats are using during takeoff and landing processes to help create extra lift, even at lower speeds. This is because they help produce the extra circulation needed for lift.
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Can you identify this part used to connect an aircraft to the item it is carrying?
Pylons serve as adaptors of sorts on both commercial and military aircraft. They help to reduce the amount of drag that extra items, such as military weapons, might cause when attached to the plane.
Which is the airplane part that helps creates airflow?
Ailerons are actually parts of the wings and used to help create lift on the wings and move or create airflow. The empennage is the tail section at the back of the plane, and the stabilizers are mounted to it.
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The split flap is used to descend quickly ...
There are four main types of flaps, including the split flap, and they are used to improve the aircraft's lifting ability. When you use a split flap, you can descend quickly without increasing speed/forward momentum.
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Which of these parts is found on the wing of the plane?
Airfoils appear in many different types of machines, including planes. While they may also show up on propellers, they are cross-sections on an aircraft's wings designed to help create downforce.
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The wings of the plane are attached to this part. What is it?
The fuselage serves as the main body of the aircraft. It is where the cockpit, passenger seating and cargo storage can be found. Wings can be attached high, middle or low, but always on the fuselage.
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This type of landing gear is found on most single-engine land airplanes — what is it?
There are lots of different types of plane landing gear, and most of them are based on where you're likely to be landing. If it's a land plane, then you don't need to worry about skis or pontoons, which are for snow or water landings.
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Which of these parts is created by welding tubes into a frame?
A truss structure is an older structure design and not used as often as it was, as new designs are more aerodynamic. It did inspire many newer designs, however, and is created with a simple tube-welding method.
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Which of these parts or systems is controlled by hydraulics?
Hydraulics are used to control many systems in the airplane, including the elevator and the slats. On smaller aircraft, it may even be used to control braking systems. The fuel system, altimeter and artificial horizon do not use hydraulics.
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The ailerons are used to ...?
There are specific tools and systems used to complete each of these tasks, but the ailerons (which are located on the wing) help to roll the wings from side to side, which aids in balance control.
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Which of these parts is attached to the elevator?
The powerplant is where you'll find your aircraft's engine or engines as well as the electrical system. Depending on the type of aircraft, you may also find a propeller. You will not find trim tabs in the powerplant but rather attached to the elevator.
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This system helps the aircraft fly at high altitudes. What is it?
While the pressurization and oxygen systems ensure there is enough oxygen in the cabin to fly at high altitudes without causing harm to passengers, the cabin temperature is maintained by the heating and air conditioning system.
This is the heaviest part of the plane and needs to be counter-balanced. It's the ...?
Airplanes are most often nose-heavy, and that means it is important to compensate with downward force on the tail to ensure they remain balanced while in the air. This is what the horizontal stabilizer is for.
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An aircraft has six main parts: fuselage, wings, landing gear, rudder, engine and this?
An aircraft needs six main parts to fly, navigate and land properly. They are the fuselage, wings, stabilizer, rudder, engine (or more than one engine) and the landing gear. Depending on the aircraft, these parts will be slightly different, but you need all six. The other listed parts are from cars.
Which of these part is also known as a "gyro horizon" or "artificial horizon"?
The attitude indicator, or artificial horizon or gyro horizon, is used to indicate the aircraft's orientation to the Earth's horizon. It is mostly used to help when meteorological conditions shift.
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When one of these is raised, the other is lowered, what is it?
There are two ailerons on an aircraft and they are located near the rear of the wing where they help to steer or roll the aircraft. They work opposite each other, so when the one is raised up, the other must be lowered down.
What is the purpose of an aircraft's elevator?
Like the name might indicate, elevators on planes are used for going up and down, just like elevators in buildings. The elevator can be found at the tail of the plane and directs the nose to go up or down.
Which part does not help to absorb the impact of landing?
The aircraft's struts are part of the landing gear and consist of shock-absorbing springs and hydraulic oil and gasses. Together, they help to make the landing as smooth and comfortable as possible.
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These are typically filled with nitrogen instead of oxygen. What are they?
It may seem a little odd, but most airplane wheels are filled with nitrogen rather than the oxygen you'll find in car tires. There's a good reason for this: Nitrogen pressure doesn't change much with differences in temperature or altitude, unlike air pressure.
The winglet helps the plane to do everything but ...?
Winglets can be found on the end of the wings, if the aircraft has them, and they serve many useful purposes. They help the plane to fly more quickly and reduce fuel use, which means longer trips without refueling.
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On an aircraft, what are longer antennas used for?
Aircraft have different types of antennas that serve different roles. The long antennas help with radio communication and navigation whereas the shorter antennas are used for high-frequency information and correspondence.
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This part of the plane is closest to the front. What is it?
The flight deck is another term for the cockpit or the area of the plane from which the pilots control the flight. Overhead announcements often use the phrase "flight deck" to indicate where the information is coming from.
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In which part of the aircraft will passengers and cargo be found?
The word "fuselage" is derived from a French word that means "spindle-shaped" and is the part of the airplane that connects all the other disparate sections. Here you'll find the main cabin where passengers fly and carry belongings.
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Yaw, or the process of steering the aircraft's nose left and right, is created by which part?
Yaw occurs when you steer the nose of the aircraft left and right using the rudder, which can be found on the aircraft's tail. This process helps to counteract friction, so the tail follows the follows directly and doesn't slide.
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What aircraft part helps to improve lifting at lower speeds?
The slats can be found on the wings of the plane, where they help to guide the curve of the wing (or the camber) so there is more lift available, even when flying speeds are lower.
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An average-sized plane will have three of these. What are they?
Most planes have at least three wheels to aid in the landing process and to make it as smooth and comfortable as possible. Larger planes have more wheels to help support weight and absorb impact.
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What information does the altimeter provide?
The altimeter is the pilot's tool for tracking vertical height above the mean sea level. It is used to help find the right pressure setting and works like a basic barometer, correcting for pressure when ascending or descending.
True airspeed is the actual speed of the aircraft when corrected for temperature and density. Where is the information displayed?
There usually isn't much difference between indicated airspeed, which is shown on the airspeed indicator in knots and true airspeed, which is corrected for the air pressure and temperature.
Because airplanes move close to the speed of sound, it's important to have which of these parts?
The typical airplane can get very close to the speed of sound, which is why it's important to have thick laminate windshields. When jets go faster than the speed of sound, they create shock waves.
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Which of the following is not a gyroscopic instrument?
While aircraft have changed a lot over the years, there are six main instruments that a pilot will have in their cockpit. These are split into two categories, static (or pitot-static) and gyroscopic, based on the systems to which they are connected.
What airplane part "works like the feathers on an arrow"?
Empennage is actually based on the French word "empenner," which literally translates into "to feather an arrow," and thus the empennage (including the stabilizers, rudder and elevator) works to guide the aircraft, like an arrow's feathers.
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What is the common name for airfoils?
The aircraft's wings are a type of airfoil that can connect to the aircraft at the top, middle or lower section of the fuselage, depending on what kind of plane it is. There are many designs and styles.
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When flying a biplane, you are flying a plane with two of these ...?
The bi (the prefix meaning 'two') in "biplane" is in reference to the plane's double set of wings, stacked atop one another. Biplanes harken back to the early days of aviation and planes with one set of wings are called monoplanes.
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Which of these parts helps to create circulation?
The slats are located on the wings and act almost as a new, smaller wing. They don't actually produce the lift themselves, but their goal is to help create or generate the required circulation that does.
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Which of these parts heats air at a constant pressure?
High-pressure air goes into the combustion chamber or burner. It then sends the air through the nozzle guide vanes and into the turbines. They help with emissions, fuel efficiency and more.
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When would you use an APU?
An APU (or auxiliary power unit) is a small engine used to help start larger jet engines, which require more power than a starter battery is capable of generating. The battery can start the APU, however, which then starts the larger engine.
You affect the aircraft's lift and drag when you deploy which of these parts at a specific angle?
The aircraft's flaps will be found on the wing and can be deflected at an angle up to 45 degrees. When they are deployed, they impact how much lift or drag is impacts the aircraft's movements.
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Can you name these flat metal plates attached the ailerons?
Spades are usually located on the lower surface of the aileron, ahead of the hinge, by a lever arm. They help to produce an aerodynamic force, which is why they are often found on acrobatic aircrafts
How does the pilot control the ailerons?
When the pilot wants to control the aircraft's ailerons, they will move the joystick along the lateral axis, as the ailerons are used to control the aircraft's movement along the X-axis, or its roll.
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