Aeronautical Terms beginning with R

Ramp Weight

The total weight of the aircraft while on the ramp. It differs from takeoff weight by the weight of the fuel that will be consumed in taxiing to the point of takeoff.

Rate Of Turn

The rate in degrees/second of a turn.

Reciprocating Engine

An engine that converts the heat energy from burning fuel into the reciprocating movement of the pistons. This movement is converted into a rotary motion by the connecting rods and crankshaft.

Reduction Gear

The gear arrangement in an aircraft engine that allows the engine to turn at a faster speed than the propeller.

Region Of Reverse Command

Flight regime in which flight at a higher airspeed requires a lower power setting and a lower airspeed requires a higher power setting in order to maintain altitude.

Registration Certificate

A State and Federal certificate that documents aircraft ownership.

Relative Wind

The direction of the airflow with respect to the wing. If a wing moves forward horizontally, the relative wind moves backward horizontally. Relative wind is parallel to and opposite the flightpath of the airplane.

Reverse Thrust

A condition where jet thrust is directed forward during landing to increase the rate of deceleration.

Reversing Propeller

A propeller system with a pitch change mechanism that includes full reversing capability. When the pilot moves the throttle controls to reverse, the blade angle changes to a pitch angle and produces a reverse thrust, which slows the airplane down during a landing.


The motion of the aircraft about the longitudinal axis. It is controlled by the ailerons.

Roundout (Flare)

A pitch-up during landing approach to reduce rate of descent and forward speed prior to touchdown.


The movable primary control surface mounted on the trailing edge of the vertical fin of an airplane. Movement of the rudder rotates the airplane about its vertical axis.


A pair of control surfaces on the tail of an aircraft arranged in the form of a V. These surfaces, when moved together by the control wheel, serve as elevators, and when moved differentially by the rudder pedals, serve as a rudder.

Runway Centerline Lights

Runway centerline lights are installed on some precision approach runways to facilitate landing under adverse visibility conditions. They are located along the runway centerline and are spaced at 50-foot intervals. When viewed from the landing threshold, the runway centerline lights are white until the last 3,000 feet of the runway. The white lights begin to alternate with red for the next 2,000 feet, and for the last 1,000 feet of the runway, all centerline lights are red.

Runway Centerline Markings

The runway centerline identifies the center of the runway and provides alignment guidance during takeoff and landings. The centerline consists of a line of uniformly spaced stripes and gaps.

Runway Edge Lights

Runway edge lights are used to outline the edges of runways during periods of darkness or restricted visibility conditions. These light systems are classified according to the intensity or brightness they are capable of producing: they are the High Intensity Runway Lights (HIRL), Medium Intensity Runway Lights (MIRL), and the Low Intensity Runway Lights (LIRL). The HIRL and MIRL systems have variable intensity controls, whereas the LIRLs normally have one intensity setting.

Runway End Identifier Lights (REIL)

One component of the runway lighting system. These lights are installed at many airfields to provide rapid and positive identification of the approach end of a particular runway.

Runway Incursion

Any occurrence at an airport involving an aircraft, vehicle, person, or object on the ground that creates a collision hazard or results in loss of separation with an aircraft taking off, intending to takeoff, landing, or intending to land.

Runway Threshold Markings

Runway threshold markings come in two configurations. They either consist of eight longitudinal stripes of uniform dimensions disposed symmetrically about the runway centerline, or the number of stripes is related to the runway width. A threshold marking helps identify the beginning of the runway that is available for landing. In some instances, the landing threshold may be displaced.

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