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Characteristics of the Flight Atmosphere - Level 2

Figure 2-0  Atmospheric regions of temprature

At the end of this block of study, you should be able to:

Describe the composition of the atmosphere.
Describe why air has weight and how this is related to
     atmospheric pressure.
Describe how changes in air temperature affect
     atmospheric pressure and density.
Define relative humidity.
Convert temperatures between the Fahrenheit and
     the Celsius scales.

      The atmosphere is composed of a mixture of gases. Nitrogen is by far the largest component of air, accounting for 78 percent; the next largest component is oxygen which consists of 21 percent. The remainder consists of small portions of other gases. All gases, regardless of where they are found, have certain characteristics such as weight, density, temperature, pressure, and mass. To understand how an airplane flies within the atmosphere, you must first understand some of the features of the atmosphere.

Sections in this Chapter:

Section 2.1 - WEIGHT
Section 2.2 - DENSITY
Section 2.3 - PRESSURE
Section 2.4 - HUMIDITY
Section 2.5 - TEMPERATURE

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Updated: March 12, 2004