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Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge
Aircraft Structure

Major Components

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Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge



Table of Contents

Chapter 1, Introduction To Flying
Chapter 2, Aircraft Structure
Chapter 3, Principles of Flight
Chapter 4, Aerodynamics of Flight
Chapter 5, Flight Controls
Chapter 6, Aircraft Systems
Chapter 7, Flight Instruments
Chapter 8, Flight Manuals and Other Documents
Chapter 9, Weight and Balance
Chapter 10, Aircraft Performance
Chapter 11, Weather Theory
Chapter 12, Aviation Weather Services
Chapter 13, Airport Operation
Chapter 14, Airspace
Chapter 15, Navigation
Chapter 16, Aeromedical Factors
Chapter 17, Aeronautical Decision Making




design is called a stabilator, and is moved using the control
wheel, just as the elevator is moved. For example, when a
pilot pulls back on the control wheel, the stabilator pivots so
the trailing edge moves up. This increases the aerodynamic
tail load and causes the nose of the airplane to move up.
Stabilators have an antiservo tab extending across their
trailing edge. [Figure 2-11]

Stabilator components
Figure 2-11. Stabilator components.

The antiservo tab moves in the same direction as the trailing
edge of the stabilator and helps make the stabilator less
sensitive. The antiservo tab also functions as a trim tab to
relieve control pressures and helps maintain the stabilator in
the desired position.

Landing Gear

The landing gear is the principal support of the airplane when
parked, taxiing, taking off, or landing. The most common type
of landing gear consists of wheels, but airplanes can also be
equipped with floats for water operations, or skis for landing
on snow. [Figure 2-12]

The landing gear consists of three wheels—two main wheels
and a third wheel positioned either at the front or rear of the
airplane. Landing gear with a rear mounted wheel is called
conventional landing gear.

Airplanes with conventional landing gear are sometimes
referred to as tailwheel airplanes. When the third wheel is
located on the nose, it is called a nosewheel, and the design
is referred to as a tricycle gear. A steerable nosewheel or
tailwheel permits the airplane to be controlled throughout all
operations while on the ground. Most aircraft are steered by
moving the rudder pedals, whether nosewheel or tailwheel.
Additionally, some aircraft are steered by differential

Types of landing gear
Figure 2-12. Types of landing gear: floats (top), skis (middle), and
wheels (bottom).

The Powerplant

The powerplant usually includes both the engine and the
propeller. The primary function of the engine is to provide
the power to turn the propeller. It also generates electrical
power, provides a vacuum source for some flight instruments,
and in most single-engine airplanes, provides a source of
heat for the pilot and passengers. [Figure 2-13] The engine
is covered by a cowling, or a nacelle, which are both types
of covered housings. The purpose of the cowling or nacelle