Flying-Related Documents

John S. Denker

There is also a secure version of this page.
  1. See How It Flies -- A new spin on the perceptions, procedures, and principles of flight. That's a pilot-oriented book about how to fly airplanes. The entire book is online: 200,000 words in 22 chapters, with 250 color illustrations.

  2. A more technically-oriented explanation of how wings produce lift. This emphasizes the value of using vortices to describe the flow patterns in the air.

  3. Some hints and suggestions for passengers in light aircraft.

  4. Instructions for how to make my favorite type of flyable paper airplane.

  5. A ruling from the office of the FAA Chief Counsel explaining that the FAA permits stalls, steep turns, and some ``unusual attitudes'' within Federal Airways. This is important because (a) it would not have been obvious from a plain reading of the regulations, and (b) in many places in the US, including places where a great many pilots live and train, practically all of the airspace lies within Federal Airways.

    I wish they would change the wording of the regulation to make this clear, but until then, everybody will have to rely on this FAA ruling.

  6. A discussion of the accuracy of fuel gauges in light aircraft.

  7. terpub -- a tool for downloading free US terminal procedure publications including instrument approach plates. This is a perl program that should run on almost any platform including Linux and Windows. Some documentation is available.

  8. An introduction to Geospatial Information Systems including QGIS and GRASS. That is, some hints on how to make useful and beautiful maps on your computer.

  9. A critique of the article by David Anderson and Scott Eberhardt, "How Airplanes Fly". The article makes a number of valid points, but then makes a number of significant errors. It replaces old misconceptions with new ones.

  10. XML code to implement an interval timer (aka approach timer) [aka stopwatch] for a wide range of simulated aircraft in connection with the FlightGear flight simulator, fgfs. Having an interval timer is more-or-less indispensible for performing certain types of instrument approaches.

  11. XML code specifying the configuration for the Saitek X52 USB Throttle and Yoke (aka joystick) for use with the FlightGear flight simulator (fsgs).

  12. A whole bunch of other patches and contributions to the FlightGear flight simulator (fgfs)..

  13. Old flight planning spreadsheets. (Note that for most purposes, services such as DUATS do a better job.)

  14. A simple model of how an Automatic Direction Finder (ADF) works, including attitude-induced errors (mainly bank error).