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acceleration (ak-sel-er-a´shun)

1. The act of accelerating. 2. The rate of increase in velocity per unit of time; commonly expressed in g units; also expressed in centimeters or feet per second squared. 3. The rate of increasing deviation from a rectilinear course. See radial a. [see accelerator]
angular a. the rate of change of angular velocity; e.g., when a centrifuge rotor is speeding up, or when there is a simultaneous change in velocity and direction, as in an aircraft in a tight spin.
linear a. the rate of change of velocity without a change in direction; e.g., when the speed of an aircraft increases while flying a straight pathway.
radial a. the centripetal a. of a particle or vehicle moving along a curved path at a constant velocity; e.g., turning a curve in an automobile, pulling out of a dive, or performing a loop maneuver in an aircraft. In aviation, a. varies directly with the square of the air speed and inversely with the radius of the turn (a = V2 / r, where V is air speed and r is radius of turn).


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