Header Bar Graphic
Shuttle Image and IconAerospace HeaderBoy Image
Spacer TabHomepage ButtonWhat is NASA Quest ButtonSpacerCalendar of Events ButtonWhat is an Event ButtonHow do I Participate ButtonSpacerBios and Journals ButtonSpacerPics, Flicks and Facts ButtonArchived Events ButtonQ and A ButtonNews ButtonSpacerEducators and Parents ButtonSpacer
Highlight Graphic
Sitemap ButtonSearch ButtonContact Button

Vocabulary Glossary for A New Regime

(* denotes aeronautical vocabulary)

ability being able
activated to make active or get started
adjustments to make a change or to correct
aerodynamic* having the characteristics that enable flight
aeronautical* having to do with the science of flight
aeronautical design* a drawing or plan for a flying machine
affectionately a warm, loving feeling
aircraft* any machine made for flying
airflow* the motion of air molecules as they flow around an object
altitude* the height above the Earth's surface
anxiously feeling uneasy or worried
B-29 Boeing Superfortress airplane used as a bomber in World War II. It has four large propeller engines and was capable of flying at high altitudes for great distances.
barrier something that blocks the way
buffet to strike repeatedly
calculations to find out answers by reasoning
chambers an enclosed space in a machine
climbed to rise to a higher altitude
cockpit* a compartment in front of an airplane where the flight crew performs their job of flying the aircraft
confidence a strong belief or trust in something
considering keeping in mind or taking into account
control to have the power to guide or operate
cruise* to fly smoothly at an efficient speed
data facts and figures taken during tests which are used to improve an aircraft design
dawn the first light of morning that appears when the sun rises
design to intend for a certain use
dive* to make a sudden, steep drop during flight
drag* the force that resists the motion of an aircraft through the air
elevator* Control surface located on the horizontal part of the tail that is used to control the airplane's pitch
encounter to come up against
engineer a person who is trained in the science or work of applying scientific knowledge for practical purposes
engines a machine that uses energy of some kind to give power to or propel something
equipment all the special tools needed for a specific purpose
era a long period of time
explorer a person who explores a little-known region or an unknown territory
flight test* a method of testing an aircraft by placing special data gathering instruments on it and monitoring its flight to collect information about how well the aircraft flies
Glamorous Glennis the nickname (named after his wife) of the X-1 aircraft that Captain Charles Yeager flew during the first supersonic flight
hammered to hit hard with repeated blows
historic a past event famous in history
horizontal stabilizer* the horizontal part of the tail that helps to keep the airplane stable during flight
hue a certain shade of a color
humankind all people
ignited to set fire to or to make burn
imaginary not real
immediately at once, right away
impossible not capable of being done or happening
improve to make better
indifferent showing no interest in
invest to spend money on something hoping to get more money in return
jet engine a propulsion system that works by creating a high velocity jet of air to propel the engine forward
leveled off after ascending or descending to fly a flat and even course
loping to move along easily
Mach number* a usually high speed ( at or faster than the speed of sound)
meter an instrument that measure how much of something passes through it
midair a point in the air not immediately next to the ground
monarch a king or queen
mothership a large aircraft that has a smaller aircraft attached to it
Mustang World War II fighter monoplane with one propeller and a top speed pphotos
NACA National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, a US government agency started in 1917 to guide research in aeronautics
obstacle anything that gets in the way or blocks the progress of something
observation the act of watching closely
obstruction anything that blocks or stops something officially highly recognized
off-the-scale reading the amount measured by a meter that is greater than what the meter can measure
officially to recognize by one in authority
operation in action or in use
overcome to get the better of, to defeat, to surmount
pilot* a person who controls the flight of an aircraft
pressurized* to maintain nearly normal atmospheric pressure inside an aircraft during high altitude flights
propel to push or drive forward
pressure waves* a sound wave caused by an aircraft disturbing the air molecules as it flies through them
plummet to drop sharply and quickly
persuade to get someone to do or believe in something
radioed to send a message by radio
regime* an aircraft speed category
research careful study in order to find out important facts or principles about something
researcher someone who performs the careful studies that find out important facts or principles about something
righted to put back in a proper or upright position
rocket* a long, narrow, jet-propelled device
runway the paved strip at an airport used by airplanes for takeoff
schedule the time at which something is supposed to happen
shock wave* the sound wave that forms in front of an aircraft while it is traveling at the supersonic speed
slightly just a little bit
sonic boom* a sound resembling a loud explosion caused by a shock wave (formed at the nose of an aircraft flying at supersonic speed) reaches the ground
sound barrier a sudden great increase in aerodynamic drag that is caused when an aircraft's speed approaches the speed of sound
speed of sound* the rate at which sound waves travel
Spitfire One of the best fighters of World War II this monoplane with one propeller was armed with machine guns and cannons. photos
similar almost the same
stabilizer* a control surface on an aircraft that enables stable flight
stall* a breakdown of the airflow around a wing which suddenly reduces lift
stress* the strain or pressure caused by aerodynamic forces on an aircraft
structure the way in which something is built
subsonic moving at a speed slower than the speed of sound
supersonic* moving faster than the speed of sound
supplies materials that are needed to make or do something
tachometer* a device for measuring the speed of rotation
tail section* the rear part of an airplane
test pilot* a specially trained pilot who flies experimental aircraft
theory an explanation for why or how something happens
tracking van a ground-based vehicle that follows an aircraft during flight tests
transonic* speeds slightly below the speed of sound during which the airflow around an aircraft becomes turbulent (speeds between .9 and 1.4 times the speed of sound)v
undisturbed not upset; not moved
violently acting with great force that causes damage
vast very great or very large
wind tunnel* a tube, cylinder or tunnel in which the model of an aircraft or a part of an aircraft is placed for testing
withstand to stand strongly against
wrestle to struggle with
X-1* an experimental aircraft built in the late 1940s used for supersonic flight tests


Footer Bar Graphic
SpacerSpace IconAerospace IconAstrobiology IconWomen of NASA IconSpacer
Footer Info