The aviation industry speaks with its own jargon and acronym-filled language, one that can take years to master. To help with that challenge, Aviation Supplies and Academics has released the fourth edition of its Dictionary of Aeronautical Terms. To paraphrase the editor of the book, no other aspect of modern technology encompasses as many disciplines as aviation: physics, chemistry, aerodynamics, thermodynamics, structural and fluid mechanics, electronics, acoustics, engine technology, meteorology and navigation. Add complex and sometimes arcane federal regulations to the mix and the niche for such a dictionary becomes evident.
The tome contains definitions for more than 10,000 aviation terms, from AAM (air-to-air missile) to Zyglo inspection. While few may encounter Lissajous figures during the course of their daily activities, it’s reassuring to know the definition is there if you need it, and those who read the book from cover to cover will learn that a delta connection is a type of wiring harness for three-phase alternating-current generators, rather than a regional airline. While the dictionary is not lavishly illustrated, the few drawings are clear and concise. One useful feature is the appendix containing an exhaustive list of acronyms and abbreviations, including many of military origin. At 750 pages, the soft-cover book might not be portable enough for cramped cockpits, but it certainly deserves a home on a shelf in every corporate flight department. The Dictionary of Aeronautical Terms retails for $19.95.