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  • Current events for October 26, 2018
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    Events in space history for 10/26:
    • French flyer Fernand Blanchard died in the crash of his Bleriot biplane, which resulted from a failure of the plane's controls (Paris, 1910).
    • Early pioneers of aviation studied how birds fly to understand how to control a plane. Sometimes mechanisms failed causing loss of life.

        (Excerpt from "How an Airplane Flies," National Aeronautics and Space Administration Education Briefs for the Elementary School Classroom, ED-104/10-91.)

        Now, aside from being propelled by thrust and kept up by lift, an airplane, once in flight, can move in three directions, called axes. Each plane has a longitudinal axis (length), a lateral axis (width), and a vertical axis (height). To control the way it moves in these three directions, it has other parts called ailerons, elevators, and rudders.

        In the front or nose of the plane is the cockpit, or the pilot compartment where all of the controls to operate the plane are located. There is an instrument panel and radio equipment, with the rudder pedals on the floor.

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