What is Airplane: Definition and 354 Discussions

An airplane or aeroplane (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 and transports more than 200 billion tonne-kilometers of cargo annually, which is less than 1% of the world's cargo movement. 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". 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). Between 1867 and 1896, the German pioneer of human aviation Otto Lilienthal also studied heavier-than-air flight. 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.

View More On Wikipedia.org
  1. Username34

    I Airplane crash probability fallacy

    https://anxieties.com/self-help-resources/fear-of-flying/how-safe-is-flying/ "In fact, based on this incredible safety record, if you did fly every day of your life, probability indicates that it would take you nineteen thousand years before you would succumb to a fatal accident." The...
  2. H

    Why Are Most Long-Distance Flights Scheduled Overnight?

    Why are the great majority of airplane flights overnight, even ones that could be done during the day? I facetiously hypothesized that sunlight damaged the planes so they are sheltered during daylight hours. But then I came up with a reasonable theory.
  3. C

    I Question about time dilation symmetry

    Hello everyone, Suppose there is an airplane that is taking off from an airport but before it takes off it synchronizes it's clock to zero with the clock at the airport. In the rest frame of the plane the airport is moving, so you could argue ##T_{plane} = \gamma*T_{airport}## In the rest...
  4. J

    Velocity and the human experience

    TL;DR Summary: Velocity and the human experience As I was walking into work this morning I looked up and noticed an airplane flying overhead. Airplanes travel at speeds of up to 550 miles per hour while in flight. This question is really less about physics and more about our everyday...
  5. Argonaut

    Maximizing Range/Time in Air of an Airplane: Solving with Calculus

    Is my solution correct? (I only have answers to odd-numbered exercises.) Is it a good solution or have I overcomplicated things? (a) The forward force provided by the engine balances the air resistance force, so ##F_{engine}=F_{air} = \alpha v^2 + \beta /v{^2}##. Let ##W_{engine}## be the...
  6. Z

    Angular velocity of an airplane

    Speed = 900km/hour tan(α)=900t/10000 α=arctan(900t/10000) Derivative is 900/(10000+81 t^2)
  7. H

    Why is Airplane Fare A-B-C-D Often Cheaper than B-C?

    Suppose there is a series of flights from A to B to C to D. Often the fare to do this is less than the fare from B to C. Can anyone explain why this pricing is common?
  8. chwala

    How to make a small model airplane take off (not working yet)

    Homework Statement:: I would like to know how to probably vary the motor capacity or battery in that case to ensure that the plane takes off. In the attached link- the plane did not take off. Relevant Equations:: Physics Kindly find the link of a video on the same- downloaded from Youtube.
  9. gregh

    Find the wingspan and sweep angle of a V-tail

    Hello guys this is my fisrt post on this forum ; I can't find anywhere how to calculate the aspect ratio and sweep angle of a V-tail. in my project I have a fixed wing uav with a normal tail that has Har = 3.1 and a Var = 1.7. following this site: "...
  10. Leo Liu

    The mechanism of bendable headrest of seats on airplane

    When I flew on a plane not long ago I started wondering about how flexible headrest works. This kind of headrest is reliable and still holds up well after several years of constant bending. I speculate it employs the same design as gooseneck lamp, but after some Google digging I cannot seem to...
  11. S

    VTOL RC Airplane Tricopter COG, Liftoff Weight Calculations

    Hello, I am interested in making an RC plane as illustrated. Some questions: 1. Given that the build material of the plane will be 3d printed out of PLA and I want the wingspan to be between 1.2m - 1.35m ideally. How can I calculate the minimum wingspan/wing shape/wing area to carry a payload...
  12. chwala

    Find the velocity of the airplane if there was no wind

    Find the question and its solution below; Ok i realized that we could also use cosine rule here, in my approach i considered the sketch below; ##V_b= 18,125- (2×50×125×cos 135)## ##V_b=164.2## To find direction, i used sine rule; ##\frac {125}{sin α}##=##\frac {164.2}{sin 135}## ##α=32.56##...
  13. A

    Unbalanced force to find altitude of airplane

    Since the airplane is flying at a constant speed, then the lift force equals the weight of the airplane. This means that the lift force prior to acceleration is the mass * gravity constant = 29400 N. When the airplane increases horizontal speed, the lift force increases to 30 kN. This means...
  14. rudransh verma

    Diving airplane as a projectile

    The first part is simple. ##10 secs = 0.0027 hrs##. $$0.7=290\cos30t$$ For the second part $$s=-290\sin30t-\frac129.8(0.0027)^2$$ But I am getting wrong result.
  15. B

    I A Question About Shock Waves From an Airplane

    The elementary treatments I've seen show the shock wave spreading out in spheres centered on the plane and growing in radius at the speed of sound. So, clearly, the shock wave is sound, but what sound? What is it the sound of? In order for the plane to give off sound, it has to be making a...
  16. agnimusayoti

    Analyzing the Time Needed for an Airplane Roundtrip in Windy Conditions

    Because of the wind, airplane was shifted to the east. Assume airplane is shifted D units long from B. When airplane turnaround, the wind shifted airplane to the east again as far D and to the south as far as L to the A'. Therefore, $$2D = (v - v') t_{AA'}$$ But, $$D = v'(t_{a}/2)$$ Thus...
  17. Wes Turner

    How to calculate airplane noise as a function of distance?

    I live close to the (landing) flight path to a major airport. The city has been working with the airport and the FAA to deal with complaints about the noise the jets make as they come in for a landing. I recently attended a meeting where various solutions were discussed, such as changing the...
  18. T

    Am I overthinking this? (Noise cancelling headphones for airplane noise)

    Can I just shift the wave over by 2Pi to get the opposite wave?
  19. anorlunda

    New Electric Airplane for Package Delivery

    My wife said that she saw a very strange aircraft yesterday being chased by a helicopter that appeared to be dangerously close. It was actually a crew making a promo film for a new electric airplane. We discussed electric airplanes last year in another thread. But that topic was very open...
  20. tania123

    The mathematics behind airplane lift

    Hello everyone, so for my math IA, I will be exploring the principals of flight. Does any of you know a book that explains the drag/lift and other principals of flight in a detailed mathematical way ? ( It would be also preferable for it to mention the flight characteristics of an Airbus A-320...
  21. momoneedsphysicshelp

    Nonconservative Forces Problem with a Model Airplane

    I am sure that the answer will be negative, but I'm not 100% sure on how to solve the problem. My initial answer was -350 J. Please help. Thanks!
  22. A

    Maximum distance the airplane can cover

    Summary:: Maximum distance plane can cover A General Aviation plane of 3,994 kg flies at its best lift/drag ratio with constant speed at an altitude of 3,817 m. The engine provides a thrust of 1,493 N to overcome drag. Suddenly the engine fails. What is the maximum distance the plane can...
  23. R

    Relative Motion Comparing my motion vs an airplane

    I'm having trouble understanding the plane one This is what I understand so far v I'm sitting at a chair right now and if I compare my relative motion to the ground my relative velocity would be 0m/s but if I compare my motion to the solar system I would be moving very fast. I just can't grasp...
  24. jaychay

    MHB Calculus airplane related rates problem ( cosine rule)

    A student has test his airplane and he is far from the airplane for 5 meter.He start to test his airplane by letting his airplane to move 60 degree from the horizontal plane with constant velocity for 120 meter per minute.Find the rate of distance between the student and the plane when the plane...
  25. S

    Some airplane pilot jargon: "Rotate", "Heavy"

    Having watched slew of documentaries about (civilian) air crashes, I wonder about some oft-heard jargon. A airline flight is often referred to with the adjective "heavy". For example, "AA 191 Heavy". What does "heavy" indicate? During takeoff, the monitoring pilot says "V-1" to indicate...
  26. J

    MHB Engineering Mechanics: airplane landing

    The landing speed of an airplane is 360 kph. When it touches down, it puts on its brakes and reverses its engines. The retardation in its speed is 0.2 times the square root of its speed. Determine the time elapsed in seconds from the point of touchdown until the plane comes to a complete stop.
  27. Amik

    Conservation of momentum — Water dropped from a firefighting airplane

    I could not unserstand part d.Does problem ask about plane's speed immediately after it starts to drop water or after the water is dropped completely?
  28. deZordine

    Airplane flight and the rotation of the Earth

    If a plane departs from the North Pole (where the Earth's rotation speed around its axis is 0 Km / h) on the median line to Romania, around the 45th parallel (where the Earth's rotation speed around its axis is 1178, 80 km / h) would the plane reach its destination only by flying to *South* (...
  29. A

    What is the Impact of Ground Velocity on Airplane Passengers?

    Answer is ground velocity but I thought it should be air velocity as that will influence the turbulence and direction no?
  30. S

    Airplane Landing Questions -- How can the pilot see the ground?

    The most nervous moments for me is during airplane landing when I'm concerned if the plane would just stall or hit the concrete so hard. So let me take this opportunity to understand it. How many commercial airliners use manual and automatic landing technology (in terms of percentage)? For...
  31. S

    Which wingtip will be positive when airplane flies?

    Homework Statement When an aircraft flies from east to west its wings are electrical conductor cutting across the Earth magnetic flux. a. In northern hemisphere, which wingtip will become positively charged? b. Why will this wingtip be negative when in southern hemisphere? Homework Equations...
  32. santimirandarp

    Relevant equations for an airplane landing

    The problem I'm pasting the problem below mainly for the plot of y vs x. A possible way to think of it I suppose the important thing here is to find y(t) with the condition that -amax<ay<amax, and vy(L/vp)=0 My attempt I've modeled acceleration as a(t)=-kt and got an equation for y(t) as...
  33. K

    B Is airspeed irrelevant in determining airplane travel time?

    I've seen across the internet the explanations of why (ignorind wind) the time an airplane takes to travel from one place to another on Earth is the same regardless of its direction of flight. The explanations usually rely on using reference frames. But I thought of one that I think is more...
  34. Z

    I Does an airplane have to nose down in order to follow a curve?

    I've been in discussions on another board with a physicist and he contends that a pilot in a plane will need to put a 1 degree downward direction input to the controls to account for the 1 degree of curvature rate at 500mph. as small as those control inputs are required, he says that the...
  35. J

    Airplane question -- How to compensate for losing engine power on one wing....

    If the right wing right engine suddenly fails.which of the two rudders and how must be moved so that airplane maintains its attitude and flies straight (assuming the plane is on air not landing)
  36. isukatphysics69

    Find the radius of the circle for this airplane

    Homework Statement Homework Equations f=ma v^2/r The Attempt at a Solution Σfx = FNcos(θ) = (v^2/r)*m Σfy = FNsin(θ) - mg = 0 FN = mg/sin(θ) (mg/sin(θ))*cos(θ) = (v^2/r)*m gcos(θ)*r = v^2*sin(θ) r = v^2sin(θ)/gcos(θ) v = 150m/s θ = 38 r = 1793m i have...
  37. doglover9754

    Airplane wings -- How do they work and why do they change shape?

    I just went on a Japan trip. In the airplane, besides throwing up my ball and phone, I was doing a little bit of studying. While the plane was in takeoff, in the middle of flying, and landing, I noticed how the wing positions changed. I already know how takeoff works. It works when the plane...
  38. doglover9754

    Throwing a ball in an airplane

    If you have seen my past thread about where a ball would end up in a car moving forward then this is kind of an extension of it. What I was wondering in that thread is where would a ball end up, being thrown straight up in a car driving forward (no windows/AC)? I thought it would land in back...
  39. F

    Pitching Moment of an Airplane

    Hello Everyone, From what I read, an airplane's wing always has a forward-pitching moment which is a torque that tends to rotate the plane nose down. Is this moment nonzero for any angle of attack (zero, positive, negative)? A torque needs a force and a distance (lever arm). I think the force...
  40. F

    Airplane lift, take off and loading capacity

    Hello Forum, I understand that an airplane can fly when its overall weight ##W_{plane}## (force pointing down) is perfectly balanced by an upward directed force called lift ##F_{lift}##. If the lift is larger than the weight, the plane will rise in height. When the airplane is empty and...
  41. Lugonja

    I Is it possible for airplane radars to scan minefields?

    Is it possible for airplane radars to scan minefields? If we were to take an airplane radar out of the plane and brought it back to land in a vicinity of a minefield, would it scan the mines that are in the minefield? Would it be able to scan because mines are not on the surface, but buried...
  42. yavorh

    Mass moment of inertia of an airplane about its main gear

    Homework Statement Okay, so this isn't so much a problem as a design issue while following an example given in a book. (Relevant material is here: http://www.aero.us.es/adesign/Slides/Extra/Stability/Design_Control_Surface/Chapter%2012.%20Desig%20of%20Control%20Surfaces%20(Elevator).pdf ) Now...
  43. S

    Confusion about Bernoulli's Equation & Airplane Wing

    Hi, I'm a little confused about the theory behind this problem related to fluids/Bernoulli's equation: "An airplane wing is designed so that the speed of the air across the top of the wing is 251 m/s when the speed of the air below the wing is 225 m/s. The density of the air is 1.29 kg/m3...
  44. A

    Mechanical gyroscopes -- still used in airplanes?

    I was a bit unsure where to post this, but this one seemed fitting enough. I was wondering about the state of gyros in airplanes, like which type is being used today. Are they all optik/fiber-based or are there mechanical gyroscopes at work. (By mechanical i mean the standard spinning wheel, not...
  45. HRubss

    Radius of largest possible loop of an Airplane.

    Homework Statement A 2250 kg airplane makes a loop the loop (vertical circle) at a speed of 320 km/hour. Find (a) the radius of the largest circular loop possible and (b) The force on the plane at the bottom of this loop. Homework Equations F = m*a Centripetal Force = m * (v2)/r "Critical...
  46. T

    How much sound in an airplane crash?

    I'm engaged in a discussion with a friend about how loud is the sound of an airplane crashing into the ground. I'm considering that the sound wave produced is roughly spheric. I need to know how much (percent) of the kinetic energy the airplane has before hitting the ground is converted into...
  47. aatari

    Frames of Reference Question - Airplane Problem

    Hi, Could someone please have a look at my solution and let me know if I did it correctly. Thank you! 1. Homework Statement A pilot is flying from City A to City B which is 300 km [NW]. If the plane will encounter a constant wind of 80 km/h from the north and the schedule insists that he...
  48. Dusan Stan

    Minute physics video: Why Are Airplane Engines So Big?

    The video shows some optimisations on the turbofan engine and reaches the conclusion it needs to be about 4m. The premise is that accelerating more air a little is more efficient than accelerating less air to a higher acceleration and speed, fact mentioned in all aerodynamics books, and that...