Test Pilot

February 18, 2014

1. The familiar green David Clark headsets evolved from

a. a bra.
b. an Easter bonnet.
c. a pair of ear muffs.
d. panty hose.

2. True or false? In the Northern Hemisphere, Coriolis force causes fluids to circulate clockwise about high pressure and counterclockwise about low pressure. Coriolis force, therefore, causes the water in a flushed toilet bowl in the United States to drain counterclockwise.

3. From reader Gerald Barrett: What airplane has or had the largest tires ever produced for an aircraft?

4. The first woman chief executive officer of a scheduled airline was

a. Jacqueline Cochran.
b. Leona Helmsley.
c. Maureen O’Hara.
d. Lana Turner.

5. From reader Samantha Schiff: The process of ice becoming water vapor without first passing through the liquid stage is called _______, and the reverse process of water vapor becoming ice without first becoming water is called _______.

6. An airplane has a gross takeoff weight of 2,000 pounds. A 200-pound passenger is moved 40 inches aft (from the front seat to the rear seat). How far aft does this cause the center of gravity to shift? (This problem can be solved without pencil and paper.)

7. True or false? World War II bombardiers had to take an oath to guard the Norden bombsight with their lives, but this and other efforts to maintain the bombsight’s secrecy were a waste of time.

8. A square inch on a world aeronautical chart (WAC) represents _____ times as many square miles as a square inch on a terminal area chart (TAC).

1. (a) David Clark developed a new way to weave cloth while working for a bra manufacturer. This led him to found his own company, develop anti-G suits for fighter pilots, and design headsets.

2. False. A toilet bowl is too small to be affected by Coriolis force. The flushed fluid rotates in either direction with equal probability and is determined by other factors. Coriolis effect can be observed by draining a very large swimming pool that has stood still for many hours.

3. The original version of the Convair B–36 Peacemaker had single-wheel main landing gear. Each tire was nine feet two inches tall, was three feet wide, weighed 1,320 pounds, and contained enough rubber for 60 automobile tires.

4. (c) The famous Hollywood actress was also an aviation pioneer and headed the Caribbean-based airline, Antilles Air Boats.

5. Sublimation, deposition. An example of sublimation is when structural ice evaporates from a wing during flight. An example of deposition is when water vapor from the atmosphere forms frost on a parked aircraft.

6. Four inches. The CG shift is found by multiplying the weight moved by the distance moved and dividing the result by the gross weight of the airplane. (200 times 40 divided by 2,000 = 4).

7. True. Herman W. Lang, an inspector and Nazi spy at the Norden factory during the 1930s, provided details of the bombsight to the Luftwaffe. Ironically, the Germans considered their own bombsight, the Lotfe 7, to be superior and paid the Norden device no further interest.

8. Because each side of a square on a WAC chart represents four times as many miles as one side of an identical square on a TAC chart, the square on the WAC chart contains 16 times the number of square miles.