This article is one in a series of articles about flight instruction in the United States. Here we examine one of the tools used in most flight instruction curricula, the online aviation dictionary. The beneficiary of such an indispensable tool is the student pilot. But also flight instructors, and even aerospace engineers can realize benefits from this type of dictionary.
The web developer or webmaster, who has been assigned the task of creating an online aviation dictionary, should also find the following information useful. Here we characterize those elements which produce a highly effective dictionary, and we provide a list of good online aviation dictionaries along with a discussion about those dictionaries. So what are the components of a highly effective aviation dictionary?
First and foremost, it should be comprehensive, but not so comprehensive that the student pilot, and flight instructor, must look through many aerospace terms in order to find those terms which are fundamental to flight training. But also, it should be comprehensive enough for the aerospace engineering student, so that at least basic aerospace engineering terms can be found. Therefore, it should have a balance between typical terms found in a flight instruction program, and typical terms used by the aerospace engineer student.
Many believe that a dictionary for aviation should have a search component incorporated. This really depends on it’s degree of comprehensiveness. While a search component may be useful to some, many visitors prefer to see terms laid out on a page the same way they are found in a book. So the decision as to whether the dictionary should have a search component really comes down to how many terms are in the aviation dictionary. One which has a very large number of terms probably should have a search component.
It should also be noted that both a dictionary for aviation and an aerospace dictionary should have many common terms. For example, those terms used to describe the force of lift produced by a wing will be found in both of these. But mathematical terms, laws of physics, and theorems used to describe lift may only be found in an aerospace dictionary, or more specifically an aerospace encyclopedia. Another words, a detailed mathematical explanation of the force of lift is not needed in an aviation dictionary.
Also, a dictionary for aviation is not an aviation encyclopedia. An encyclopedia provides a much longer description. Aviation terms can be found in Wikipedia, and a long description is given for these terms. For example the term wing lift in Wikipedia consists of an entire page of information, from a discussion of 부천오피 Newton’s Laws to the Kutta-Joukowski theorem. On the other hand, an aviation dictionary should describe wing lift in one or two sentences.
A few other points should made in terms of creating a good online dictionary for aviation. It should consist of images, at least for the most commonly used terms. Also, it can be part of a large aviation site, or exist on it’s own as a site. And, if it does not have a search engine, it should be easily navigated so that terms can be found quickly.