Glossary - Letter K

If you wish to find a term by name, please click the relevant letter below to be taken to a list.


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K |symbol| kelvin


katabatic |adjective| referring to a cold flow of air traveling down hillsides or mountainsides / Due to katabatic effects, cold air flows downwards and accumulates over low ground. /


katabatic wind |noun| a wind which occurs when the air in contact with the slope of a hill is cooled to a temperature lower than that in the free atmosphere, causing it to sink.


kelvin |noun| the base SI unit of measurement of thermodynamic temperature. Symbol: K (NOTE: Temperatures are shown in kelvin without a degree sign: 20K. Note also that 0°C is equal to 273.15K.)


kerosene, kerosine |noun| a thin fuel oil made from petroleum / Kerosene will only burn efficiently at, or close to, a ratio of 15:1. /


Kevlar |noun| a trademark for a light and very strong composite material / Kevlar and carbon fiber account for a large percentage of a modern jet airliner’s structure. /


key |noun| a piece of metal used to open a lock

key in |verb| to enter data into a computer system using a keyboard / Key in the coordinates of our alternate. /

kg |symbol| kilogram


kHz |symbol| kilohertz


kick-back |noun| the tendency of the engine to suddenly reverse the rotation of the propeller momentarily when being started / On most modern engines the spark is retarded to top-dead-center, to ensure easier starting and prevent kick-back. /


kilo |noun| same as kilogram / This piece of luggage weighs 15 kilos. /


kilo- |prefix| one thousand


kilogram |noun| a measure of weight equal to one thousand grams / This piece of luggage weighs 15 kg. / Abbreviation: kg (NOTE: It is written kg after figures.)


kilohertz |noun| a unit of frequency measurement equal to one thousand Hertz. Abbreviation: kHz


kilometer |noun| a measure of length equal to one thousand meters (NOTE: It is written km with figures: 150 km.)


kilowatt |noun| a unit of measurement of electricity equal to 1000 watts. Abbreviation: kW


kilowatt-hour |noun| a unit of 1000 watts of electricity used for one hour. Abbreviation: kW-hr


kinetic |adjective| referring to motion or something produced by motion - kinetic heating > the heating of aircraft skin by friction with the air as it moves through it


kinetic energy |noun| energy of motion


kit |noun| a set of items used for a specific purpose / A physician’s kit containing surgical equipment would be available to a qualified doctor assisting crew with major medical problems. /


knob |noun|  1. a rounded handle  2. a rounded control switch or dial / When the control knob is moved from the central position, the ailerons are moved. /  3. a round button such as on a receiver / Turn the knob to increase the volume. /


knot |noun| a unit of speed equal to one nautical mile per hour, approximately 1.85 kilometers or 1.15 statute miles per hour. Abbreviation: kt (NOTE: Wind speeds in aviation are usually given in knots. American light aircraft manufactured prior to 1976 had airspeed indicators marked in statute miles per hour. Knot means ‘nautical miles per hour’. It is therefore incorrect to say ‘knots per hour’.)


knowledge |noun| familiarity, awareness or understanding gained through experience or study / A knowledge of the factors which affect surface temperatures will contribute a great deal to the understanding of meteorology. /

known traffic |noun| traffic whose flight details and intentions are known by the controller through direct communication

kt |abbreviation| knot

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