Aircraft designs today have come a long way from where they started with the first flight in 1903. The beginning of man-made flight was characterized by many accidents and tragedies, but safety quickly became a top priority for early aerospace engineers. In the process of creating a sturdy, airworthy design, wing-twisting was discovered. Many early wing designs were ill-equipped to withstand the bending forces resulting from aerodynamic lift that keeps the aircraft aloft, and aircraft wings snapping off during changes in direction was a recurring issue. To better understand the physics behind this major obstacle of early flight, we will explore the discovery of divergence and how aircraft engineers eventually overcame the issue of wing-twisting.


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Known as the “six-pack” because of the three-on-three placement, most aircraft have 6 main flight instruments that help pilots fly. There are two categories of flight instruments, the static or pitot-static, and the gyroscopic. Pitot-static instruments include the airspeed indicator, altimeter, and vertical speed indicator. Gyroscopic instruments include the attitude indicator, heading indicator, and turn coordinator.


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