The Atmosphere

in Physics

Aviation is so dependent upon that category of fluids called gases and the effect of forces and pressures acting upon gases, that a discussion of the subject of the atmosphere is important to the persons maintaining and repairing aircraft.

Data available about the atmosphere may determine whether a flight will succeed, or whether it will even become airborne. The various components of the air around the earth, the changes in temperatures and pressures at different levels above the earth, the properties of weather encountered by aircraft in flight, and many other detailed data are considered in the preparation of flight plans.


Pascan and Torricelli have been credited with developing the barometer, an instrument for measuring atmospheric pressure. The results of their experiments are still used today with very little improvement in design or knowledge. They determined that air has weight which changes as altitude is changed with respect to sea level. Today scientists are also interested in how the atmosphere affects the performance of the aircraft and its equipment.