Aviation Glossary

The glossary of terms, acronyms, and definitions used in the aviation industry.

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  • Quartersawed wood. Wood sawed from a tree in such a way that the annual rings cross the plank at an angle greater than 45°.
  • Quick-disconnect fitting. A hydraulic line fitting that seals the line when the fitting is disconnected. Quick-disconnect fittings are used on the lines connected to the engine-driven hydraulic pump. They allow the pump to be disconnected and an auxiliary hydraulic power system connected to perform checks requiring hydraulic power while the aircraft is in the hangar.
  • Quill shaft. A type of shaft used to couple parts of an engine that are subject to torsional loads. A quill shaft is a long, hardened steel shaft with splines on each end. One end splines into the drive shaft and the other end splines into the device being driven. Torsional vibrations are absorbed by the quill shaft twisting.

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  • Yaw. Rotation of an aircraft about its vertical axis.
  • Yaw damper. An automatic flight control system that counteracts the rolling and yawing produced by Dutch roll. See Dutch roll. A yaw damper senses yaw with a rate gyro and moves the rudder an amount proportional to the rate of yaw, but in the opposite direction.
  • Yield strength. The amount of stress needed to permanently deform a material.

Letter - Z
  • Zener diode. A special type of solid-state diode designed to have a specific breakdown voltage and to operate with current flowing through it in its reverse direction.
  • Zeppelin. The name of large, rigid, lighter-than-air ships built by the Zeppelin Company in Germany prior to and during World War I.
  • Zero-center ammeter. An ammeter in a light aircraft electrical system located between the battery and the main bus. This ammeter shows the current flowing into or out of the battery.
  • Zero-lash valve lifter. A hydraulic valve lifter that maintains zero clearance in the valve actuating mechanism.