Aviation Vocabulary List
Everyone loves to travel, and millions of people every year rely on airlines to take them to travel destinationSincearound the world. Since the birth of flight in 1903, air travel has become an important means of transportation for people and products. Since the birth of the aviation industry more than one-hundred years ago, the invention of the first aircraft has brought about a revolution in the way people travel. The airline business is now a major industry, so it is important for you as a student of English to have an understanding of the words used in the airline industry.
The following vocabulary list will help you talk about flying and airplanes. To hear the pronunciation, use this link.
You may also be interested in this word search puzzle where you have to find all the words that are related to aviation.
1) WINGS: flat surface projecting from aircraft's side: either of the large flat surfaces sticking out from the sides of an aircraft's body that provide the aircraft's main source of lift. Although most modern aircraft have only one pair of wings, it was not unusual for earlier aircraft to have two pairs set one above the other.
2) BIPLANE: an airplane with two sets of wings, one above the other. This type of plane was built and flown mainly in the early part of the 20th century.
3) PROPELLER: a revolving shaft with spiral blades that causes an aircraft to move by the backward thrust of air.
4) COWLING: a streamlined removable metal covering for an aircraft engine, fuselage, or nacelle.
5) STRUTS: long rigid planks, boards, or other structural members used as a support.
6) TAIL FLAP: a narrow movable surface attached to the rear edge of an aircraft wing that is used to create lift or drag.
7) RUDDER: an airfoil, usually on the tail of an airplane, that pivots vertically and controls left-to-right movement.
8) AIRFLOW: a flow of air, especially around a moving vehicle.
9) AIRFOIL: a part of an aircraft's or other vehicles surface, for example, an aileron, wing, or propeller, that acts on the air to provide lift or control.
10) AIRFRAME: the whole body of an aircraft, apart from its engines.
11) AIRFIELD: an area where aircraft can take off and land.
12) AIRPORT: an area where civil aircraft may take off and land, especially one equipped with surfaced runways and facilities for handling passengers and cargo.
13) LANDING: the act of touching, or alighting on the ground, for example, an arrival on the ground after having been in the air.
14) TAKEOFF: the process of leaving the ground and beginning to fly.
15) FLYING: travel by aircraft, or the piloting of aircraft.
16) PILOT: somebody who is qualified to fly an aircraft or spacecraft.
17) DOGFIGHT: an aerial combat involving two or more fighter planes.
18) STUNT: something dangerous that is done as a challenge or to entertain people.
19) TURBULENCE: an instability in the atmosphere that disrupts the flow of the wind, causing gusty, unpredictable air currents.
20) ALTIMETER: an instrument that shows height above sea level, especially one mounted in an aircraft and incorporating an aneroid barometer that senses differences in pressure caused by changes in altitude.
21) NOSE DIVE: to fall vertically or almost vertically with the front end of the airplane pointing downward.
22) AERODYNAMICS: the study of moving gases, especially the study of the forces experienced by objects moving through air.
23) LANDING GEAR: the wheels or floats and related mechanisms that are used by an aircraft or spacecraft when taking off and landing.
24) AIRPLANE : a vehicle with wings and a jet engine or propellers, that is heavier than air, and is able to fly.
25) AILERON: a hinged flap on the trailing edge of an aircraft wing, used to control banking or rolling movements.
26) CABIN: the part of a passenger airplane where the passengers sit, or the part of a cargo airplane where the cargo is carried.
27) ATMOSPHERIC PRESSURE : the downward pressure exerted by the weight of the overlying atmosphere. It has a mean value of one atmosphere at sea level but decreases as elevation increases.
28) COCKPIT: the compartment in an aircraft or spacecraft where the pilot and other crew members sit.
29) STABILIZERS: an airfoil or combination of airfoils, for example, in the tail assembly of an airplane, that keeps an aircraft or missile aligned with the direction of flight. A vertical stabilizer controls yawing, or side-to-side motion, while a horizontal stabilizer controls pitching, or up-and-down motion.
30) TRIM TAB: a flight control surface that can be adjusted in flight by the pilot, for trimming out control forces.
31) NAVIGATION: the plotting and following of a course from one place to another and of determining the position of a moving ship, aircraft, or other vehicle.
32) PEDALS: the levers operated by the foot that powers the rudder and brakes of an aircraft.
33) FUSELAGE: an airplane's body, containing the cockpit, passenger seating, and cargo hold but excluding the wings.
34) AIRFOILS: a part of an aircraft's or other vehicle's surface, for example, an aileron, wing, or propeller, that acts on the air to provide lift or control.
35) SPOILERS: a narrow hinged airfoil attached lengthwise to the upper surface of an aircraft wing. It is raised to increase drag and reduce lift during banking and descent.
36) INSTRUMENTS: a device that measures or controls something, such as a speedometer or altimeter.
37) CONTROLS: devices in the cockpit that are used by the pilot to fly an airplane. Also known as flight controls.
38) THRUST: the reactive force of expelled gases, for example, those generated by a rocket ship or jet engine.
39) ALTITUDE: the height of something above a particular specified level, especially above sea level or the Earth's surface.
40) RETRACTABLE: a type of landing gear that retracts or folds into the fuselage or wings after take-off.
41) STICK: A control in the cockpit which controls the elevators (forward/back axis) and the ailerons (left/right axis).
42) AIRSPEED: The speed of an aircraft relative to its surrounding air mass.
43) TAXIWAY: A road leading from the airplane parking area to the runway; always marked with yellow lines.
44) TOWER: A terminal facility that uses air/ground communications, visual signaling, and other devices to provide ATC services to aircraft operating in the vicinity of an airport or on the movement area.
45) TRAFFIC PATTERN: The traffic flow that is prescribed for aircraft landing at, taxiing on, or taking off from, an airfield.