EFFECT OF THE ATMOSPHERE ON FLIGHT
In this lesson you will learn the effect of the atmosphere on flight.
TERMINAL LEARNING OBJECTIVE:
Know the effect of atmosphere on flight.
You will be given the information provided in this text, a list of reference manuals,
and charts provided in the text.
As a result of this instruction you will know and be able to describe how and why an
aircraft flies and the effect atmosphere and flight control have on an aircraft.
REFERENCES: Listed in appendix I.
The atmosphere is the envelope of air that surrounds the earth. Over one-half of the air, by weight, is
within the lower 18,000 feet of the atmosphere; the remainder is spread out over a vertical distance in
excess of 1,000 miles. No definite outer atmospheric boundary exists: the air particles become fewer
with increasing altitude until they gradually overcome the earth's gravitational force and escape into
space. The atmosphere rotates with the earth as a gaseous outer cover. Within the atmosphere, other air
movement occurs. Differences in the temperature of the earth's surface affect the density of the
atmosphere and cause a continuous internal air movement called circulation. The force of this
circulation varies between breezes and winds. The latter can have forces that range from mild to gales,
hurricanes, and typhoons.