Marek Szufa in his replica of a Curtiss JN-4. 2011

Aviation – the design, development, production, operation, and use of aircraft, especially heavier-than-air aircraft. Aviation is derived from avis, the Latin word for bird.

The airplane, 1903 – Transformed travel, warfare, and our view of the world

Aircraft – a machine that is able to fly by gaining support from the air

Airplane (also known as an aeroplane in British English or simply a plane) is a powered fixed-wing aircraft that is propelled forward by thrust from a jet engine or propeller. 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.

Aerodynamics, Aeronautical engineering, Aerospace engineering, Airframe & Powerplant (A&P) certification

Flight (video 5:12) – What if human flight wasn’t just the stuff of epic comic book stories? Is it scientifically possible to fly?

In addition to general transportation of people and cargo, aviation includes delivering essential services, missionary work and disaster recovery. Aircraft used include DC-3, Twin Otter, Life Flight helicopter, flying doctors, Africa, water bombers

For entertainment, airplanes appear in movies, transport production and camera crews, and perform aerobatics in airshows.

Related – skydiving, parachute design and manufacturing

  • Rutan Model 202 Boomerang – asymmetrical for an entirely different reason. This 1996 aircraft was built to still be controllable in the event of an engine failure for either of its twin engines.

Take flight
Video: Forces on an Airplane (8:32)
We know a lot about airplane design. Design your own airplane and learn more about flight and aerodynamics. Follow the steps in the [/Engineering%20Design%20Process Engineering Design Process].

  • Ask – Balance drag, lift and fuel efficiency. These are the forces that are fundamental to aviation and flight. What can be changed? What stays the same?
  • Imagine – The forces must be balanced, but getting them to balance takes skill and practice. What does each adjustment do? How big can the changes be?
  • Plan – Doing the math can help. Trial and error with models has proved to be a good way to work out the most serious errors before building the “real thing”. How do the adjustments combine?
  • Create – Careful construction and appropriate adjustments can be made during the “build”. Is the plane in balance? Did you get the combination of lift, drag and engine efficiency just right?
  • Improve – There is always room for improvement. Engineers love to make things “better”. Can the fuel efficiency be better?

Engineering ideas

  • Airplanes, Aerodynamics, Airplane instruments, [/Engines Engines], Systems, Airplane performance, Navigation, Flight

Do it
Here are some challenges for you to work on…

  • Design your own airplane – and learn more about flight and aerodynamics
  • Incorporate Flight facts into a presentation. Find other facts to add. Add pictures and video to make it interesting.

News, updates

Learn more…