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Philip Galkin
Philip Galkin


An airplane (American English), or aeroplane (Commonwealth English), informally plane, is a fixed-wing aircraft that is propelled forward by thrust from a jet engine, propeller, or rocket engine. Airplanes come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and wing configurations. The broad spectrum of uses for airplanes includes recreation, transportation of goods and people, military, and research. Worldwide, commercial aviation transports more than four billion passengers annually on airliners[1] and transports more than 200 billion tonne-kilometers[2] of cargo annually, which is less than 1% of the world's cargo movement.[3] Most airplanes are flown by a pilot on board the aircraft, but some are designed to be remotely or computer-controlled such as drones.


The Wright brothers invented and flew the first airplane in 1903, recognized as "the first sustained and controlled heavier-than-air powered flight".[4] They built on the works of George Cayley dating from 1799, when he set forth the concept of the modern airplane (and later built and flew models and successful passenger-carrying gliders)[5] and the work of German pioneer of human aviation Otto Lilienthal, who, between 1867 and 1896, also studied heavier-than-air flight. Lilienthal's flight attempts in 1891 are seen as the beginning of human flight.[6]Following its limited use in World War I, aircraft technology continued to develop. Airplanes had a presence in all the major battles of World War II. The first jet aircraft was the German Heinkel He 178 in 1939. The first jet airliner, the de Havilland Comet, was introduced in 1952. The Boeing 707, the first widely successful commercial jet, was in commercial service for more than 50 years, from 1958 to at least 2013.

In the United States and Canada, the term "airplane" is used for powered fixed-wing aircraft. In the United Kingdom and Ireland and most of the Commonwealth, the term "aeroplane" (/ˈɛərəpleɪn/[11]) is usually applied to these aircraft.

In 1799, George Cayley set forth the concept of the modern airplane as a fixed-wing flying machine with separate systems for lift, propulsion, and control.[17][18] Cayley was building and flying models of fixed-wing aircraft as early as 1803, and he built a successful passenger-carrying glider in 1853.[5] In 1856, Frenchman Jean-Marie Le Bris made the first powered flight, by having his glider "L'Albatros artificiel" pulled by a horse on a beach.[19] Then the Russian Alexander F. Mozhaisky also made some innovative designs. In 1883, the American John J. Montgomery made a controlled flight in a glider.[20] Other aviators who made similar flights at that time were Otto Lilienthal, Percy Pilcher, and Octave Chanute.

Between 1867 and 1896, the German pioneer of human aviation Otto Lilienthal developed heavier-than-air flight. He was the first person to make well-documented, repeated, successful gliding flights. Lilienthal's work led to him developing the concept of the modern wing,[23][24] his flight attempts in 1891 are seen as the beginning of human flight,[25] the "Lilienthal Normalsegelapparat" is considered to be the first airplane in series production and his work heavily inspired the Wright brothers.[26]

In 1906, the Brazilian Alberto Santos-Dumont made what was claimed to be the first airplane flight unassisted by catapult[30] and set the first world record recognized by the Aéro-Club de France by flying 220 meters (720 ft) in less than 22 seconds.[31] This flight was also certified by the FAI.[32][33]

World War I served as a testbed for the use of the airplane as a weapon. Airplanes demonstrated their potential as mobile observation platforms, then proved themselves to be machines of war capable of causing casualties to the enemy. The earliest known aerial victory with a synchronized machine gun-armed fighter aircraft occurred in 1915, by German Luftstreitkräfte Leutnant Kurt Wintgens. Fighter aces appeared; the greatest (by number of Aerial Combat victories) was Manfred von Richthofen.

Most airplanes are constructed by companies with the objective of producing them in quantity for customers. The design and planning process, including safety tests, can last up to four years for small turboprops or longer for larger planes.

In the case of international sales, a license from the public agency of aviation or transport of the country where the aircraft is to be used is also necessary. For example, airplanes made by the European company, Airbus, need to be certified by the FAA to be flown in the United States, and airplanes made by U.S.-based Boeing need to be approved by the EASA to be flown in the European Union.[50]

Early airplane engines had little power, and lightness was very important. Also, early airfoil sections were very thin, and could not have a strong frame installed within. So, until the 1930s, most wings were too lightweight to have enough strength, and external bracing struts and wires were added. When the available engine power increased during the 1920s and 30s, wings could be made heavy and strong enough that bracing was not needed any more. This type of unbraced wing is called a cantilever wing.

Like all activities involving combustion, fossil-fuel-powered aircraft release soot and other pollutants into the atmosphere. Greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2) are also produced. In addition, there are environmental impacts specific to airplanes: for instance,

Airplane ear (ear barotrauma) is the stress on your eardrum that occurs when the air pressure in your middle ear and the air pressure in the environment are out of balance. You might get airplane ear when on an airplane that's climbing after takeoff or descending for landing.

When an airplane climbs or descends, the air pressure changes rapidly. The eustachian tube often can't react fast enough, which causes the symptoms of airplane ear. Swallowing or yawning opens the eustachian tube and allows the middle ear to get more air, equalizing the air pressure.

If you're prone to severe airplane ear and must fly often or if you're having hyperbaric oxygen therapy to heal wounds, your doctor might surgically place tubes in your eardrums to aid fluid drainage, ventilate your middle ear, and equalize the pressure between your outer ear and middle ear.

CNBC visited Latitude Aero, a refurbishment company in Greensboro, North Carolina, to see what goes into giving airplane seats a second life. The company specializes in commercial aircraft seating. A small company compared to seat manufacturers like Collins Aerospace and Zodiac Aerospace, Latitude has nonetheless enjoyed some healthy growth recently.Watch the video to learn more.

The United States of America has been authorized to seize an Airbus A319-100 (the Airbus) owned and controlled by sanctioned Russian oligarch Andrei Skoch, pursuant to a seizure warrant from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, which found that the airplane is subject to seizure and forfeiture based on probable cause of violation of the federal anti-money laundering laws.

There will be materials and instructions to make several different designs of paper airplanes (everything from the jumbo glider to a paper airplane TIE fighter) and then participants can compete for distance and accuracy or even fly their plane in our make-shift wind tunnel.

1907, air-plane, from air (n.1) + plane (n.1); though the earliest uses are British, the word predominated in American English, where it largely superseded earlier aeroplane (1873 in this sense and still common in British English). Aircraft as "airplane" also is from 1907. Lord Byron, speculating on future travel, used air-vessel (1822); and in 1865 aeromotive (based on locomotive) was used, also air-boat (1870).

This page shows the parts of an airplane and their functions. Airplanes are transportation devices which are designed to move people and cargo from one place to another. Airplanes come in many different shapes and sizes depending on the mission of the aircraft. The airplane shown on this slide is a turbine-powered airliner which has been chosen as a representative aircraft.

For any airplane to fly, one must lift the weight of the airplane itself, the fuel, the passengers, and the cargo. The wings generate most of the lift to hold the plane in the air. To generate lift, the airplane must be pushed through the air. The air resists the motion in the form of aerodynamic drag. Modern airliners use winglets on the tips of the wings to reduce drag. The turbine engines, which are located beneath the wings, provide the thrust to overcome drag and push the airplane forward through the air. Smaller, low-speed airplanes use propellers for the propulsion system instead of turbine engines.

At the rear of the wings and stabilizers are small moving sections that are attached to the fixed sections by hinges. In the figure, these moving sections are colored brown. Changing the rear portion of a wing will change the amount of force that the wing produces. The ability to change forces gives us a means of controlling and maneuvering the airplane. The hinged part of the vertical stabilizer is called the rudder; it is used to deflect the tail to the left and right as viewed from the front of the fuselage. The hinged part of the horizontal stabilizer is called the elevator; it is used to deflect the tail up and down. The outboard hinged part of the wing is called the aileron; it is used to roll the wings from side to side. Most airliners can also be rolled from side to side by using the spoilers. Spoilers are small plates that are used to disrupt the flow over the wing and to change the amount of force by decreasing the lift when the spoiler is deployed.

The wings have additional hinged, rear sections near the body that are called flaps. Flaps are deployed downward on takeoff and landing to increase the amount of force produced by the wing. On some aircraft, the front part of the wing will also deflect. Slats are used at takeoff and landing to produce additional force. The spoilers are also used during landing to slow the plane down and to counteract the flaps when the aircraft is on the ground. The next time you fly on an airplane, notice how the wing shape changes during takeoff and landing. 041b061a72


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