terms to add to your aviation vocabulary

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MPH

The unit of measurement used by airplanes to record the flight speed (miles per hour). The cruise speed – which is uniform under normal conditions – of the Airbus A320, the model that comprises most of the LATAM fleet, is 515 mph, approximately 828 km/h (a mile corresponds to 1.6 km/h).

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APU (Auxiliary Power Unit)

It’s usually located at the rear of the plane (the tail) and it provides power to the aircraft when the engines are not working. Normally, it’s used on the ground or as a backup in flight.

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Taxiing

It’s the movement of an aircraft on the ground at an extremely low speed, under its own power (without the help of a pushback tug). This term is used, for instance, when the airplane moves from the position to board passengers to the takeoff point.

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Stabilizers

They are like small wings that are positioned at the rear of the plane (tail). Usually there’s a vertical stabilizer, that moves the aircraft to the right or left; and a horizontal stabilizer, which prevents the up-and-down motion of the aircraft nose. Their objective is to assure a smooth and comfortable flight.