Freshman English A
Into the Wild Blue Yonder
Most people will never get the chance to fly an airplane. They will never get to experience the thrill of soloing for the first time or the terror of dodging crows at 100 mph. Most people will be familiar with the sensation of your stomach settling somewhere around your knees or your throat while on a roller coaster, well, flying an airplane makes that feel like walking down a flight of stairs. First off, I have to begin by describing to you just what an airplane looks like, in and out. Well, on the outside most small general aviation aircraft have a thin, cloth skin stretched over an aluminum skeleton for strength. The aircraft has four surfaces that control how the pilot can manipulate the plane in flight. On the outside trailing edge of the wings are the ailerons, they control how much the airplane rolls when the pilot turns the yoke (similar to a steering wheel in a vehicle) either right or left. On the inside of the wings, close to the body of the plane, are the flaps. They are used to produce extra lifting force at slower speeds, they are controlled by a handle in between the pilot and co-pilot seats. At the rear of the airplane on a flat surface parallel to the wings is the elevator, the pilot can move the yoke in or out to move the elevator either up or down, thus either lifting the tail for the plane to dive, or lowering the tail for the plane to climb. Above the elevator is a vertical control surface called the rudder, which the pilot controls with foot pedals to turn the plane left or right. Now a plane can be either high- or low-wing. Most of the aircraft at Henderson State University are high-wing, which means the wings are at the top of the body of the aircraft and not at the bottom. Our airplanes have what is known as tricycle gear, which means there are two wheels beneath the body of the plane where the wings are, and one beneath the nose of the airplane. Most...
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