Aeronautical Terms beginning with V


The flight director displays on the attitude indicator that provide control guidance to the pilot.

V-G Diagram

A chart that relates velocity to load factor. It is valid only for a specific weight, configuration, and altitude and shows the maximum amount of positive or negative lift the airplane is capable of generating at a given speed. Also shows the safe load factor limits and the load factor that the aircraft can sustain at various speeds.


Designated speeds for a specific flight condition.


A design which utilizes two slanted tail surfaces to perform the same functions as the surfaces of a conventional elevator and rudder configuration. The fixed surfaces act as both horizontal and vertical stabilizers.

Vapor Lock

A condition in which air enters the fuel system and it may be difficult, or impossible, to restart the engine. Vapor lock may occur as a result of running a fuel tank completely dry, allowing air to enter the fuel system. On fuel-injected engines, the fuel may become so hot it vaporizes in the fuel line, not allowing fuel to reach the cylinders.


A force vector is a graphic representation of a force and shows both the magnitude and direction of the force.


The speed or rate of movement in a certain direction.

Vertical Axis

An imaginary line passing vertically through the center of gravity of an aircraft. The vertical axis is called the z-axis or the yaw axis.

Vertical Card Compass

A magnetic compass that consists of an azimuth on a vertical card, resembling a heading indicator with a fixed miniature airplane to accurately present the heading of the aircraft. The design uses eddy current damping to minimize lead and lag during turns.

Vertical Speed Indicator (VSI)

An instrument that uses static pressure to display a rate of climb or descent in feet per minute. The VSI can also sometimes be called a vertical velocity indicator (VVI).

Vertical Stability

Stability about an aircraft’s vertical axis. Also called yawing or directional stability.

VFR Terminal Area Charts (1:250,000)

Depict Class B airspace which provides for the control or segregation of all the aircraft within the Class B airspace. The chart depicts topographic information and aeronautical information which includes visual and radio aids to navigation, airports, controlled airspace, restricted areas, obstructions, and related data.

Visual Approach Slope Indicator (VASI)

The most common visual glidepath system in use. The VASI provides obstruction clearance within 10° of the extended runway centerline, and to 4 nautical miles (NM) from the runway threshold.

Visual Flight Rules (VFR)

Code of Federal Regulations that govern the procedures for conducting flight under visual conditions.

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