1. Flying a Business

A Lesson from Flying

Airplanes stay in the air as a function of (among other things) airspeed. Airspeed is the speed at which air moves over the wings. On a day without much wind, airspeed and ground speed are likely to be close. So, in the cockpit, the airspeed indicator might display 120 knots, or about 138mph, and someone on the ground might measure about the same speed with a police radar gun.

Wind changes the airspeed and also the ground speed. The speed and direction of the wind determines whether you add or subtract the airspeed and ground speed to understand the aircraft’s actual speed (and direction). Wind pushes on an airplane like wind pushes a sail on a sailboat.

Wind pushing against the back of the plane is called ...

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