Within a short span of 66 years, air flight has advanced from simple one man balloons to sleek, stealth fighter jets capable of supersonic flight.
An airplane is an engine driven machine that can fly through the air supported by the flow of air around its wings. Airplanes provide the world's fastest practical means of transporting passengers and freight. They also are a critical part of our nation's defenses.
Manufacturers build airplanes according to the principles of AERODYNAMICS ,the study of the forces acting on an object as it moves through the air.
An airplane has wings that extend from either side of the plane's body. The wings are FIXED, meaning that they do not move, and are curved on top. As the plane moves forward, the air flowing around the curved wings creates an area of lower air pressure, resulting in a lifting force. An airplane's engines give it the power to move fast enough through the air to produce the lift needed for flight.
The activity of designing, building and flying aircraft is called AERONAUTICS.
To learn more about planes and flight, click the clouds below.
parts of a plane
how planes fly
early history of flight
World War I planes
Lindbergh, Earhart, and Post
World War II planes
miscellaneous links (click on a plane)
Military Planes Air Force One Ejector Seats
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Papery Planes Micro-Pilots Flight Game Fly Wright Flyer
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