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Aviation Words — Yoke

By Ian Brown, Editor

November 2019 - You probably thought this was an unusual word when you first came across it, perhaps in your first flight as a beginning pilot. The oldest use of the word seems to be the wooden bar to connect a pair of oxen used sometime before the 12th century. So maybe the "yoke" was adopted at the moment that two control devices were connected together for two pilots.

Apparently, "control wheel" was used fairly early on, but perhaps that was abandoned when a physical wheel went out of favour. Control sticks are generally "yoked" together, but they are never called yokes.

As a verb, "to yoke" is to connect two things together, so perhaps another conceptual use of the word might be that the pitch and roll axes are yoked together.


Ubiquitous Cessna 152 yoke.

Following on last month's folly, I chose this month's aviation word because it's the penultimate word of the alphabetical list! See if you can guess next month's word.

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