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Glossary



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Aerodynamics: The branch of physical science concerned wit the reactions caused by relative motion between a solid body and the surrounding air.

Airframe: The structural components of an airplane, such as fuselage, empennage, wings, landing gear, and engine mounts, but excluding such items as: engines, accessories, electronics, and other parts that may be replaced from time to time.

Airworthiness: The quality of an aircraft denoting its fitness and safety for operation in the air under normal flying conditions.

Astronautics: The art and science of designing, building, and operating manned or unmanned space objects.

Aerospace Industry: The industry engaged in research, development, and manufacture of aerospace systems including: manned and unmanned aircraft; missiles; spacecraft; space launch vehicles; propulsion, guidance, and control units for all of the foregoing. The industry also covers a variety of airborne and ground-based equipment essential to the test, operation, and maintenance of flight vehicles.

Aerospace Industries Association of America, Inc. (AIA): Headquartered in Arlington, Va., AIA represents the nation's leading manufacturers and suppliers of civil, military, and business aircraft, helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles, space systems, aircraft engines, missiles, materiel, and related components, equipment, services, and information technology.

Air Carriers: The commercial system of air transportation, consisting of domestic and international scheduled and charter service.

Aircraft: All airborne vehicles supported either by buoyancy or by dynamic action.

Aircraft Agreement (Agreement on Trade in Civil Aircraft): Negotiated in the Tokyo Round of the Multilateral Trade Negotiations and implemented Jan. 1, 1980, the agreement provides for elimination of tariff and non-tariff trade barriers in the civil aircraft sector.

Aircraft Industry: A sector of the Aerospace Industry, it is the industry primarily engaged in the manufacture of aircraft, aircraft engines, and parts including propellers and auxiliary equipment.

Avionics: Avionics of an aircraft involve the development, production and use of electronic equipment for the control of the aircraft.


Constellation Program: NASA's future space exploration program set forth by President George W. Bush in 2004. The key elements of the vision including initiatives to safely return the Space Shuttle to flight, complete the International Space Station and retire the Space Shuttle by 2010, begin robotic missions to the moon by 2008 and return people there by 2020, continue robotic exploration of Mars and the Solar System, and develop a Crew Exploration Vehicle and other technologies required to send people beyond low Earth orbit.

Deemed Export: Both the State and Commerce Departments deem that an export has taken place if a foreign national has access to U.S. controlled products or technology, even if the access takes place in the United States. U.S. companies must guarantee that products and data are controlled so that only foreign nationals for which the companies have specific export licenses have access to such products or technology.

FAA: The Federal Aviation Administration (formerly the Federal Aviation Agency), an agency of the Department of Transportation, was chartered by the Federal Aviation Act of 1958. Its mission is to provide the safest, most efficient aerospace system in the world.

Flight Control: Flight control of aircraft involves the communication of support staff on the ground with the pilots of the aircraft using electronic relay methods.

Flyaway Value: Includes the cost of the airframe, engines, electronics, communications, armament, and other installed equipment.

Foreign Military Sales (FMS): Export sales to foreign governments arranged through the Department of Defense, whereby DoD recovers full purchase price and administrative costs; often mistakenly used to include foreign military aid and foreign commercial sales as well.

General Aviation: All civil flying except that of air carriers.


Helicopter: A rotary-wing aircraft which depends principally for its support and motion in the air upon the lift generated by one or more power-driven rotors, rotating on substantially vertical axes.

Heliport: An area, either at ground level or elevated on a structure, that is used for the landing and take-off of helicopters and includes some or all of the various facilities useful to helicopter operations such as: helicopter parking, hangar, waiting room, fueling, and maintenance equipment.

Helistop: A minimum facility heliport, but without such auxiliary facilities as: waiting room, hangar parking, etc.

ICBM: InterContinental Ballistic Missile, with a range of more than 5,000 miles, designed to deliver one or more nuclear warheads.

Knot: The standard unit of aviation speed measurement is classified as one nautical mile per hour (never one knot per hour). One knot equals 1.1515 mph; one nautical mile equals 6,080 feet.

International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR): The regulations used by companies to understand licensing and reporting requirements to conduct export and international cooperative activities related to defense articles and services. The ITAR contains the U.S. Munitions List, which itemizes the defense articles and services that are controlled.

Licensed Production: Occurs when companies transferring manufacturing know-how, patents, or trademarks to another in return for a fee or royalty payment.


Missile Defense Agency (MDA): As an agency of the Department of Defense, MDA has a mission to develop, test and prepare for deployment a missile defense system. Missile defense systems being developed and tested by MDA are primarily based on hit-to-kill technology. Hit-to-kill technology collides with and destroys its target using only kinetic energy, like hitting a bullet with a bullet.

Missile: Although sometimes applied to space launch vehicles, a missile is actually an automated weapon of warfare. Missiles are weapons with an integral system of guidance, unlike unguided rockets.

NASA: Founded by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1958, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's mission is to pioneer the future in space exploration, scientific discovery, and aeronautics research.

Passenger-Mile: One passenger moved one mile.

Propellant: The fuel and associated substances for combustion, used in generating the thrust for a rocket due to the expansion of combustion products through the exhaust nozzle. There are liquid and solid propellants.

Ramjet: A type of missile or aircraft with no rotating parts, driving its velocity from the intake of air at the forward end, combustion of fuel, and ejection of combustion products at the rear end.

Rocket: A vehicle or device self-propelled by one or more rocket engines, especially such a vehicle designed to travel through space.


Satellite: A body that revolves around a larger body, such as the Moon revolving around the Earth, or a man-made object revolving about any body such as the Sun, Earth, or Moon.

Space Vehicle: An artificial body operating in outer space (beyond the Earths atmosphere).

STOL: Short take-off and landing aircraft.

Thrust: The driving force exerted by an engine, particularly an aircraft or missile engine, in propelling the vehicle to which it is attached.

Turbine, Turbo: A mechanical device or engine that spins in reaction to a fluid flow that passes through or over it. Frequently used in turboprop or turbojet.

Utility Aircraft: An aircraft designed for general purpose flying.