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1 definition found
 for fixed-wing aircraft
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  aeroplane \aer"*o*plane`\ aeroplane \a"["e]r*o*plane`\, n.
     [a["e]ro- + plane.] (A["e]ronautics)
     1. A light rigid plane used in a["e]rial navigation to oppose
        sudden upward or downward movement in the air, as in
        gliding machines; specif., such a plane slightly inclined
        and driven forward as a lifting device in some flying
        machines. Also called airfoil.
        [Webster 1913 Suppl.]
  
     2. Hence: A heavier-than-air flying machine using such a
        device to provide lift; an airplane. In a modern
        aeroplane, the airfoils are called the wings, and most
        of the lift is derived from these surfaces. In contrast to
        helicopters, the wings are fixed to the passenger
        compartment (airframe) and do not move relative to the
        frame; thus such a machine is called a fixed-wing
        aircraft. These machines are called monoplanes, biplanes,
        triplanes, or quadruplanes, according to the number of
        main supporting planes (wings) used in their construction.
        After 1940 few planes with more than one airfoil were
        constructed, and these are used by hobbyists or for
        special purposes. Being heavier than air they depend for
        their levitation on motion imparted by the thrust from
        either propellers driven by an engine, or, in a jet plane,
        by the reaction from a high-velocity stream of gases
        expelled rearward from a jet engine. They start from the
        ground by a run on small wheels or runners, and are guided
        by a steering apparatus consisting of horizontal and
        vertical movable planes, which usually form part of the
        wings or tail. There are many varieties of form and
        construction, which in some cases are known by the names
        of their inventors. In U.S., an aeroplane is usually
        called an airplane or plane.
        [Webster 1913 Suppl. +PJC]

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