One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Of or relating to the longitudinal stability of an aircraft or missile flying a nominally horizontal course in a vertical plane; specifically designating a slow fore-and-aft or pitching oscillation in which the flight path assumes the form of a series of shallow waves and the aircraft undergoes synchronous increases and decreases of speed.
A phugoid oscillation.
Early 20th century; earliest use found in Frederick Lanchester (1868–1946), car and aircraft designer and engineer. From ancient Greek ϕυγή flight + -oid, with the Greek word erroneously being taken as representing the sense of flight.
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