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Fun Helicopter and Airplane Facts for Dothan, AL

Become a commercial helicopter pilot: Enroll in a college and earn a degree. Air ambulance companies wont employ you as a pilot unless you have at least two years, and a four-year degree is preferable. Choose a major such as math, physics, aeronautical engineering or English.

FAA - A History of Aircraft Structures Factoid

There are five major stresses to which all aircraft are subjected: Tension. Tension is the stress that resists a force that tends to pull something apart. [Figure 1-14A] The engine pulls the aircraft forward, but air resistance tries to hold it back. The result is tension, which stretches the aircraft. The tensile strength of a material is measured in pounds per square inch (psi) and is calculated by dividing the load (in pounds) required to pull the material apart by its cross-sectional area (in square inches).

Helicopter Facts for Dothan, AL

In order to fly, an object must have “lift”. Lift is what pushes something upwards. Lift is made by wings (rotors). Wings have a curved shape on top and are flatter on the bottom. This specific shape makes air flow over the top of the wing faster than under the bottom of the wing. The faster air on top of the wing makes suction on the top of the wing and the wing moves up. Airplanes get lift from their wings. A helicopter's rotor blades are spinning wings. A helicopter moves air over its rotor by spinning the blades. The rotor makes the lift that carries the helicopter up. One problem associated with helicopter rotor blades occurs because airflow along the length of each blade differs widely. This means that lift and drag fluctuate for each blade throughout the rotational cycle, thereby exerting an unsteadying influence upon the helicopter. The autogiro had a rotor that functioned something like a windmill. Once set in motion by taxiing on the ground, the rotor could generate supplemental lift; however, the autogiro was powered primarily by a conventional airplane engine.