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Proposal for categories for Aircraft[edit]


  • Technology
    • Propulsion
      • Piston-driven
      • Jet
    • (Pointer to Physics/Aerodynamics)
  • History
  • Planes
    • Producer1 (eg. Messerschmitt)
      • TypeA (eg. Me-109)
        • SubtypeAlpha (eg. Bf-109Getceteraadinfinitum)
        • SubtypeBeta
      • TypeB
    • Producer1
      • TypeA
      • TypeB

(Why are there question marks after the types and subtypes?)

I think that's a Wikipedia link id'er, that assumes anything with lower-case followed by upper case is a link. Given the intended change to names with spaces, this "feature" needs to be disabled. --Belltower

I'm surprised that lighter-than-airs are considered 'Aircraft'; they should be forked off early, nearly everything about them is different.

Embrace and Extend. --Yooden

(There are question marks becasue the words have two capital letters and therefore become subject to the autolinking rule which is a remnant from earlier wiki implementations).

Aircraft is a more general term than airplane.

In my mind what Yooden presents is really an airplane classification; lighter-than-air craft are aircraft and so deserve a place here. I would divide aircraft (by means of lift generation) into:

  • lighter than air
  • aerodynamic aircraft
    • helicopter
    • airplane
      • glider
      • powered airplane
  • rockets

and probably not say much more than that here, everything else should go in a place of its own.

(The Space Shuttle is interesting as it takes off using a rocket, but lands by gliding. Also, is a parachute an aircraft? What about a parascender?)--drj

IMO, an aircraft has to have a wing, and therefore the parascenter, using the parachute as a wing qualifies, where a balloon or standard parachute would not.--mike dill


IMHO this is the place to do the categorizitaion(sp!); there's not much above aircraft. So we have:


  • History
    • Early Years
    • WWI
    • WWII
    • After WWII
  • Lighter-than-Air
    • Technology
    • Dirigibles
      • Technology
      • Zeppelins
      • Non-Rigids
    • Balloons
  • Fixed-Wings Aircrafts
    • Technology
    • Propulsion
      • Piston-driven
      • Turbine
      • Jet
      • Rockets
    • (Pointer to Physics/Aerodynamics)
  • Rotary-Wings Aircrafts
    • Technology
      • (Pointer to Physics/Aerodynamics)
    • Propulsion
      • Turbine
  • Misc. Aircrafts (all Pointers?)
    • Ballistic Missiles
    • Parachute/Paraglider
    • Ekranoplanes
    • Hovercrafts
  • Individual Crafts
    • Producer1 (eg. Messerschmitt)
      • TypeA (eg. Me-109)
        • SubtypeAlpha (eg. Bf-109Getceteraadinfinitum)


An aircraft is a craft of the air. Balloons and paragliders certainly qualify as aircraft, as do blimps and dirigibles, even though they don't have wings.

If it has fixed wings and an engine, it is an airplane. With fixed wings and no engine, it is a glider (most, but not all are also called sailplanes) or kite.

If it has a rotary wing, it is either a helicopter or an autogyro. If the rotor is also the source of thrust, it is a helicopter. If the rotor is unpowered and another form of thrust is provided (typically a propeller or gravity or towing mechanism), it is an autogyro or kite.

While we're at it, let's not forget the ultralight aircraft, and the amateur built (homebuilt) aircraft, which are certified in the experimental category.

Is there a need for categories talking about the different kinds of airspace? For IFR vs. VFR flying?

Is there a need to discuss different categories of pilot licenses?

How about types of charts used for navigation?

Perhaps something about aviation organizations, such as the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association and the Experimental Aircraft Association.


Suggestion: a glossary page, probably List of Aerospace terms, linked to from "Aircraft", "Aerospace engineering" and others. To contain short definitions of appropriate terms (e.g. aerostat, glider, VTOL, sesquiplane), linked to pages with longer articles as required. Rcingham

Aeroplane page[edit]

What the hell happened with the Aeroplane page!? An aeroplane is a specific type of aircraft, it should have its own page and it should be at aeroplane and not airplane. Even the Wright brothers used the word Aeroplane. Airplane is a stupidism. Mintguy

Looking into this it appears the the word airplane only started to used in the US after WWI. (Webster says it first appeared in 1907). Aeroplane (or flying machine) appears in all the documents relating to the early pioneers of flight. Airplane was coined by people who either mis-heard, or simply couldn't spell aeroplane. Mintguy
"Aeroplane" is still the accepted terminology for those of us who speak English, as opposed to American! Gene Poole
It doesn't matter how the spelling came about - right now in the US airplane is the correct spelling. It is not a stupidism! IMO there isn't enough difference between an aeorplane and an aircraft to warrent a separate article until this article gets too long. Then the aeroplane-specific information can be summarized here and the detail moved to its own article.
an aircraft that has a fixed wing and is powered by
        propellers or jets; "the flight was delayed due to
        trouble with the airplane" [syn: airplane, plane]
Aircraft \Air"craft`\, n. sing. & pl.
  Any device, as a balloon, a["e]roplane, etc., for floating
  in, or flying through, the air.

-- mav

A note from a user who can get pretty fanatical about correct English (see my edit history), and who, generally speaking, avoids Americanisims like the plague. There was an article at aeroplane which kept getting renamed to airplane and back again. "Airplane" is indeed a horrible ugly word which ought not be part of the language. Unfortunately, it is a part of the language, and American English has every bit as much right to be used here as any other dialect. The rule of thumb I use is to, wherever possible, avoid using either term in favour of the uncontroversial term "aircraft". Where that is not possible (because "aircraft" has a broader meaning than aeroplane/airplane and can sometimes be confusing), then it is best to use the correct international term "aeroplane", unless the aircraft in question is American, in which case I grind my teeth together, pray forgiveness, and write out the word "airplane". Sometimes it makes more sense to look at other contextual clues to correct usage: for example, in writing about the use of the (American) DC-3 in the New Zealand airline industry, one should say "aeroplane", or if describing the (British) B-57 Canberra bomber in US service, "airplane" is preffered. If in doubt, use the term that you think the aircrew would have used themselves. (Errr ... Would have used in polite company, I mean. No need for "clapped out old slug"!) There seems to be a rough, informal consensus here among the aircraft enthausiasts that this is a good way to work. Tannin 06:50 Jan 23, 2003 (UTC)

Proposal for lighter-than-air types[edit]

I believe that the classification for the lighter-than-air types repeats the common mistake of treating the term 'dirigible' as limited to rigid airships. In fact, it is synonymous with 'airship' -- all types. (Actually, the word comes from the French term for steerable which is the functional distinction between airships and balloons.)

I propose to rework the classification of lighter-than-air to be

  • Lighter-than-Air
    • airships (aka dirigible)
      • rigid
        • Zeppelin (manufacturer of note)
      • non-rigids (aka blimp)
      • semi-rigid
      • hybrid
    • Balloons
      • gas balloon
      • hot air balloon

and to make other minor changes to the text to reflect this classification. These changes are already reflected in the glossary and in the related articles.

Blimpguy 01:15 Jan 25, 2003 (UTC)

Aerodyne and Aerostat[edit]

The article doesn't explain the terms aerodyne and aerostat (sp?); I guess maybe the difference is analogous to the difference between dynamic and static stability in control theory? -- the dynamic version only achieves lift dynamically, but the latter version has lift statically, or intrinsically? Pagan 09:50, 30 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Link suggestions[edit]

An automated Wikipedia link suggester has some possible wiki link suggestions for the Aircraft article, and they have been placed on this page for your convenience.
Tip: Some people find it helpful if these suggestions are shown on this talk page, rather than on another page. To do this, just add {{User:LinkBot/suggestions/Aircraft}} to this page. — LinkBot 10:29, 17 Dec 2004 (UTC)


As I have read it, fighters were first for shooting down reconicance aircraft, no bombers. David R. Ingham 06:03, 2 November 2005 (UTC)

Flight altitude records[edit]

Create a list for aircraft flight altitude records.

Page broken in Mozilla Firefox 1.5.05?[edit]

In Mozilla Firefox 1.5.05, some of the text of the "Types of aircraft->By design" section gets hidden by the figure "A size comparison of some of the largest aircraft in the world". It renders fine under IE6. Not sure if the issue is with the page source or with Firefox. - Amit Rao

Works fine for me under Firefox 1.5.05 (Windoze XP) - right text margin varies to fit correctly with the differently-sized figures. Not sure where the problem might be. Ecozeppelin 15:11, 31 July 2006 (UTC)

"Fixed wing aircraft" vs "airplanes"[edit]

I've reverted the edit by OrangUtanUK changing all occurrences of "fixed wing aircraft" to "airplanes". With respect, there appears already to be a consensus against the use of either "airplane" or "aeroplane" where a reasonable alternative exists (see comment by Tannin above), and I note that Fixed wing aircraft already include swing-wing aircraft, so the grounds for the change are not really well-founded. Ecozeppelin 11:52, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

Unfortunately, it may be a consensus in Wikipedia but it's still wrong in Fact. May I also point out that I didn't change all the occurrences of FWA to "airplanes". And finally, Swing-WIngs may be mentioned in the article, but that doesn't make them fixed wings: it makes the article wrongly titled. -- OrangUtanUK 12:43, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

Forward-swept wings[edit]

I would recomend an article about forward-swept wings and how it help/hiders the aircraft. Master_of_Tofu 7:37, October 23 2006 PST

See Forward-swept wing. Better late than never! Dolphin51 (talk) 02:32, 24 February 2009 (UTC)

model airplanes, frisbees, birds and balls... aircraft, vehicles, objects?[edit]

Articles like airspeed, flight dynamics say that their subjects apply to aircraft or vehicles which are described as a means of transportation, whis is desribed as moving people or cargo. Airspeed and flight dynamics are concepts which apply to model airplanes, frisbees, birds and balls but these things do not fit in the chain of definitions as it now stands. I don't know what definitions should be changed, that of aircraft, craft, vehicle or transportation or maybe airspeed, and flight dynamics? Diletante 19:28, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

aircraft classification[edit]

I'm not an aircraft officianado, but would like to contribute if only to get my answer which eludes are aircraft engine performance rated?

This question brought me to the realization that I also can't find a standard aircraft classification listing!

In part The Cape Town Treaty helps...but not much. In part logic is useful also. Below is my list for General (Civil) Aviation classification. Why are not all aircraft engines rated in kN?!

General Aviation (GA) aircraft


  pre-1914  pioneers of aviation
  1914-1934 1st generation
  1935-1945 2nd generation
  1946-1966 3rd generation
  1967-1987 4th generation
  1988-2008 5th generation		

Types of aircraft

Powered parachute

Manned free balloon

Powered inflated airship


Powered fixed-wing

       payload	take-off weight kgs	maximum operating altitude ft
               7 people or 2,750kgs
               8 people or 2752kgs
                       at least 550 rated take-off horsepower
                       at least 551 rated take-off horsepower
                       at least 1750 pounds of thrust
                       at least 1751 pounds thrust
               Engine performance testbed
               Regional commuter
               Commercial commuter and cargo
               Industrial commuter

Helicopter or gyrocopter

               5 people or 450kgs
               6 people or 451kgs
               at least 550 rated take-off shaft horsepower
               at least 551 rated take-off shaft horsepower
               Engine performance
               Regional commuter
               Commercial commuter and cargo
               Industrial commuter

Where does a tiltrotor fit?!

I'm still working on the military classifications --Mrg3105 03:06, 28 July 2007 (UTC)

Aerocraft performance[edit]

It seems to me this is inadequate in most entries. Firstly the entries are not standardized...a template/form needs to be added for all existing and future entries. Secondly consider the following:

The pilot is most naturally, far more concerned with what he can do with his own aircraft in the air, and his conviction that the Spitfire, for example is better than the Mustang is largely based on his own experiences. Moreover, his yardstick will be very different from a Mustang pilot, for example, who measures his aircrafts capabilities by its ability to carry out long range escort work, whereas a Spitfire pilot is more impressed by rate of climb and turning ability. To build a fighter to meet every requirement is out of the question so, at best, every fighter is a compromise with emphasis on one particular quality. Speed may be sacrificed for range, and manoeuvrability for war load, depending on Service requirements and the role for which the particular design is expected to be suited. Generalization, therefore, is going to be difficult, but by making a comparison on “clean” aircraft at their individual rated altitudes considerable food for thought will materialize.

Comparative Performance of Fighter Aircraft By Sqdn. Ldr. T.S. Wade, D.F.C, A.F.C, R.A.F.V.R.

So it seems performance is far from addressed adequately in the Wikipedia entries! If performance is understood better, this will help to define aircraft type for the entries, and differentiate fighters from interceptors as one example. --Mrg3105 10:41, 28 July 2007 (UTC)

Categories and classification[edit]

I think there is a clearer way to organise this page. Abandon the Categories and classification heading, and just go straight to top-level headings such as:

  • Types of aircraft
    • Aerodynes
      • Aeroplanes (Fixed-wing aircraft)
      • Rotorcraft
      • etc
    • Aerostats
      • Balloons
      • etc
  • History
    • Early years
    • First World War
    • etc
  • Propulsion
    • Unpowered
    • Piston engined
    • etc
  • Use
    • Civil
    • Military
    • etc

Each entry would have a brief explanation and a link to its main page.

Any problems? -- Steelpillow 20:25, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

Well, I did it. Still rough round the edges - I found a lot of duplication, which I have just chucked together so we can all see it and edit it down as time goes by. Hope y'all like it so far. -- Steelpillow 21:22, 11 August 2007 (UTC)
Forgot to say, I have avoided using the word "type" as in type of aircraft. The reason is, that people use the word loosely for any of these classifications. Ask three Reginald S. Potters what type of aircraft they are looking at and they will all say something different, e.g. "It's a sporting glider," "It's a straight-wing monoplane", "It's a Nimbus 2000XP. They've just been bought up by a Russian oil company, you know". Not sure if I'm right to be so shy? -- Steelpillow 09:40, 12 August 2007 (UTC)

Future developments[edit]

This section is very poor quality. For example winglets are a well-established feature seen on many modern aircraft, while blended-body designs date back at least to the nineteen-fifties and include such notables as the Lockheed Blackbirds. IMHO this section should go completely, and be replaced by a "See Also" entry to the Future aircraft developments page. Any objections? -- Steelpillow 21:01, 12 August 2007 (UTC)

OK I did that. Gave Future aircraft developments a bit of a makeover too. -- Steelpillow 19:20, 14 August 2007 (UTC)

Are rockets aircraft?[edit]

I just reverted someone's edits on the grounds that a typical rocket is not an aircraft because it has no lifting surface. A faint voice is asking, am I right? -- Steelpillow 14:47, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

It seems to me that an aircraft is something that can sustain non ballistic trajectories through the atmosphere, and that seems to be more or less the way the regulatory authorities are dealing with it too in the US; the AST branch of the FAA essentially regulate commercial rocket vehicles with a T/W > 1 up to 100km, but not beyond.WolfKeeper 15:13, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
There are essentially three kinds of trajectory to consider: controlled and aided by air (aircraft), controlled but unaided by air (e.g. spacecraft) and ballistic (uncontrolled). What is convenient for the FAA to administer is not necessarily drawn along technical boundaries, and if the FAA want to regulate a small sector of rocketry in addition to aviation, that is fine by me. But I would say that those rockets are not aircraft unless they need air to fly. Do the FAA disagree with me?
Rockets have lifting surfaces within the engine, as with other VTOL jet powered vehicles such as the flying bedstead.WolfKeeper 15:13, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
The thrust-bearing surfaces inside a rocket engine react against the exhaust gases. This is why rockets can fly in space, where there is no air to sustain an "aircraft" and we instead call them spacecraft. In a jet, the exhaust gases are mixed with air and the turbines react against this mixture - a jet requires air to work. So whereas the Apollo Lunar Module is rocket powered and is a spacecraft, the flying bedstead needs air to react against and so is an aircraft.
Pure rocket vehicles are not aerodynes but they are aircraft.WolfKeeper 15:19, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
Some are spacecraft. I would suggest that rocketry is a separate discipline from both aviation and space, though it crosses into both areas. A rocket need not be either an aircraft or a spacecraft (though I guess the Space Shuttle is both!). Correct me if I'm wrong. -- Steelpillow 18:51, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
air·craft ... any machine supported for flight in the air by buoyancy or by the dynamic action of air on its surfaces, esp. powered airplanes, gliders, and helicopters.
I guess that rules out simple rockets. -- Steelpillow 22:08, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

I think that rocket-powered aircraft can be aircraft, though maybe not always. That's because some planes are rocket-powered, such as the Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet.WilliamBrain (talk) 19:00, 29 June 2011 (UTC)


What about ornitopter? Why it is not covered?-- (talk) 23:45, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

If you mean Ornithopter, it is covered here as the second item. - BillCJ (talk) 01:25, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

Lifting body[edit]

It seems evident that a lifting body is simply a very low-aspect ratio flying wing, not some "opposite" thing. The lifting body flies just because it is a wing with net positive glide ratio...something a wing is meant to do. Joefaust (talk) 21:29, 12 March 2008 (UTC)

Wing configuration - proposed new page and other changes[edit]

I have had an idea for a page explaining all the many kinds of fixed-wing configuration in more detail. Also, a similar explanation for rotorcraft although I do not think this is worth a whole page. I have started on the general idea here - what does anybody think? -- Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 17:25, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

The Wing configuration article has now been created. I have cut down the equivalent section of this article, to reduce duplication. Maybe I have cut too much? Also, the NASA image and the bullet list can clash on a big screen. If anybody can improve things, that would be good. -- Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 21:31, 20 June 2008 (UTC)

Energy efficiency[edit]

The cost of fuel for flying is now a major issue. What are the basic facts about energy efficiency, for modern heavier-than-air vs. lighter-than air flying, of goods and/or passengers? - (talk) 13:20, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

Some of the issues are discussed in the Airship article. The real issue is size: the current largest airship is longer than a 747 jumbo jet, but carries only a handful of passengers at well under 100 knots. Compared to the equivalent small passenger plane it is hugely unwieldly and expensive on the ground, cannot fly in bad weather, and is terribly slow. I have no idea of its working life, but I suspect that it is very short compared to a modern airplane - which does not give it very long to recover the energy cost of manufacture. IMHO airships may find a niche, and perhaps even create a few for themselves, but no way can they meet the needs of mainstream aviation: people have been trying since the 1970's (if not the 60's), but conventional airplanes keep getting harder to beat. HTH. -- Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 16:27, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

Environmental effects[edit]

What is this rather minimalist section doing here? It says little and does not link to a more informative article. If it is worth keeping, I think it should go elsewhere, say on Aviation. I vote to just delete it. -- Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 19:52, 3 August 2008 (UTC)

Merger of Skin (aircraft) into Aircraft[edit]

I propose to merge Skin (aircraft) into here. Does not seem to be much more than a dictionary term, at the moment. -- Crowsnest (talk) 15:37, 8 March 2009 (UTC)

There is no other section of this article which talks about the construction of aircraft and their materials(wood, fabric, steel, aluminum, composite, and skin, bulkheads, longerons, stringers, et cetera). In my opinion, merging Skin (aircraft) in to this article would create an orphaned section. It's probably better to just delete the skin article, or move the skin article to something like "Aircraft construction" and start adding content as needed. Shreditor (talk) 23:30, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
OK. I removed the merge tags, and added it to the Category:Aircraft components and to the WikProject Aviation. -- Crowsnest (talk) 08:16, 9 March 2009 (UTC)


Sheesh, the article lead now says more about what is not an aircraft than what is. That's not what leads are for. Anybody mind if I take an axe to it? -- Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 19:13, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

I agree with you. Chop away. Shreditor (talk) 01:40, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

Section headings[edit]

I don't like the new section hierarchy - the classification headings have been pushed too far down. If others are agreeable, I will revert to the previous system. I'm not sure about adding back the repetitions of "aircraft", does anybody have opinions on that as well? -- Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 17:25, 8 April 2010 (UTC)

Can you give a rational reason why repetitive and distracting duplication is a better way to present the pre-existing hierarchal content, other than you don't like it being pushed "too far down" - which I don't really understand. (Hohum @) 19:22, 8 April 2010 (UTC)
Note that I raised two different issues. The lower heading level styles all look pretty much the same, so it is hard to see how each heading relates to the others, also level 2 headings have a horizontal line which I find helps to visually divide into logical pieces what is otherwise a very long and visually unordered topic (and IMHO it is really thee topics): all this underlies what I mean by "pushed too far down" the hierarchy of sub-sub-... headings. The second issue is the many repeats of "aircraft", and I have no firm preference here but am asking if others do - you, as the one who deleted them, obviously do. Hope you understand better now. -- Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 21:06, 8 April 2010 (UTC)
Well, perhaps the whole categorization section should be in its own article, since it overwhelms and distracts this one. Or perhaps move it to a later place in the article. History sections tend to go first in general articles like this one.
I reorganised the headings because previously they made navigating the table of contents awkward. Pointless repetition of "Categorization by" and "aircraft" padded the headings in the TOC, almost hiding the relevant key words.
From my point of view, both issues are about removing pointless and distracting repetition.
Personally, I find the new TOC arrangement far easier to use, but I do see your point about the presentation of the headings within the article body. (Hohum @) 22:19, 8 April 2010 (UTC)
I think those three classification sections need to be there, they provide and explain a fairly comprehensive set of links, but I agree they could be trimmed down a little. How about if we move the History section up, and restore the three level 2 section headings without the word "Classification" in them, i.e. as "Methods of lift", "Propulsion" and "Types of use" - might then be worth adding a small para "Methods of classification" either in the lead, or as a section near the top? -- Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 09:14, 10 April 2010 (UTC)
Give it a go, see how it looks. (Hohum @) 14:07, 10 April 2010 (UTC)
Done -- Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 16:29, 10 April 2010 (UTC)

767's are huge!In 1956 all the 7's were maden. planes are rides not toys. 16:55 march 13 2010 I went on a plane at the airport to kayo koko. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:39, 28 August 2010 (UTC)

All-wing aircraft[edit]

Although mentioned on other articles, there's no appearance of all-wing aircrafts in this article. And I miss an own article on that type of aircraft. Is there a reason? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:20, 5 April 2011 (UTC)

These craft are generally called flying wings. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 19:27, 29 June 2011 (UTC)

Over-enthusiastic cutting?[edit]

While I approve of much recent trimming-down, I wonder whether a few things need to be restored or renamed:

Ornitopters, while not notable in terms of aviation activity, are notable as a design concept and have captured the fascination of many people down the ages, not least Leonardo da Vinci. I think this page needs a hook to the ornithopter article.

Seaplanes and floatplanes don't have "undercarriage or landing gear" - or do they? Is there a name for all thing used to alight upon? If not, these craft shouldn't stay under a land-based heading.

Categorising by make and model is so commonplace that an encyclopedic article claimng to set out ways to categorise aircraft must surely mention it.

— Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 19:37, 12 July 2011 (UTC)

I'm trying to minimise the info on unusual aircraft configurations to focus on normal aircraft, but a brief reference to ornithopters (in the lift section?) would be fine. The article (prior to my edit) defines "undercarriage" to include floats etc - as does Undercarriage so I don't see a problem (unless an RS says our definition of u/c is wrong). I didn't understand "Within any general category, aircraft are usually listed according to manufacturer and production type." (what's a "production type" ?) - if you think it needs a mention can you come up with something a bit clearer ? DexDor (talk) 20:25, 12 July 2011 (UTC)
I've put a bit about ornithopters (back) in and reworded the undercarriage-seaplane bit. DexDor (talk) 21:05, 13 July 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. I had to move the ornithopter bit - the purpose of the flapping motion is to provide thrust not lift. Also I think it's worth distinguishing between seaplanes and floatplanes but I don't have time right now. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 21:38, 13 July 2011 (UTC)

Fixed wing aircraft[edit]

I reverted a recent edit by User:GliderMaven because Wikipedia generally treats "fixed wing aircraft" as synonymous with "aeorplane" and "airplane". Glider Maven suggested in an edit comment that these last two are just sub-types. This begs the question, is there any other sub-type that is not an aeroplane? I can;t think of any, so I reverted the associated edit. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 20:50, 1 February 2012 (UTC)

As explained at Fixed-wing aircraft aeroplanes/airplanes are a subset of FW aircraft - other types include gliders. A "Main" tag would be fine (i.e. as per GliderMaven's change), but the reference to aeroplanes/airplanes could be left in as that's the term that many readers would be familiar with. DexDor (talk) 21:53, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
Yes exactly as Dexdor says, and if you search for aeroplane/airplane it takes you to fixed wing aircraft anyway, not to aircraft. I'm not opposed to them being mentioned in that particular paragraph, but there wasn't any immediately obvious way to do that, and what it previously stated was incorrect.GliderMaven (talk) 22:02, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
Thanks to both of you for the explanations. Seems I didn't read far enough. My apologies for the disruption. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk)

Aviation merge to aircraft[edit]

This article is or should be about summarizing ALL aspects of aircraft, including things like design, production and so on, but that includes all parts of aviation, which we as a community have identified there as:

"Aviation is the design, development, production, operation, and use of aircraft, especially heavier-than-air aircraft."

Which differs only in emphasis from this article. But since the encyclopedic scope of this article, aircraft, is really the whole of aviation, we should merge aviation into aircraft. The aviation article isn't very big and already duplicates aircraft anyway, so there's not much to merge, we could almost just add a redirect and bold up aviation and add the definition here.

(I know aviation and aircraft aren't usually thought to be precisely the same thing, in that they're different words, but they differ only in sense, they're synonymous in the round, basically aviation is all about aircraft, but this article is all about aircraft too, and there seems to be no bright line to separate them.) GliderMaven (talk) 16:36, 2 June 2012 (UTC)

No. Aviation also includes things such as flying the aircraft, designing them, studying flight. An aircraft is but a mere portion of aviation as a whole. (talk→ BWilkins ←track) 16:55, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
Careful here, you'd think so, but aspects of flying aircraft can also be subarticled in aircraft. There's really nothing encyclopedic about aircraft that cannot go into the aircraft article, as such, it is the same topic. GliderMaven (talk) 17:12, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
Clearly not the same subject, aircraft which is really hardware is part of aviation a lots of things to do with aviation have nothing to do directly with aircraft and to make them sub-parts is wrong. MilborneOne (talk) 18:16, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
I would respectfully disagree and suggest to you that all aspects of aircraft are on topic here, not simply hardware, but aircraft as they relate to propellant, regulations, aerodynamics, flight performance, personel, flight crew, testing; absolutely everything should be suitably summarised here.GliderMaven (talk) 20:42, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
The thing is, when you've done that here you've covered aviation, and when you've done that at aviation, you've covered aircraft. There's a difference, at most, only of emphasis, and there's not a lot of difference in that either.GliderMaven (talk) 20:42, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
I'd say that the two are distinct. Aircraft is a good portal for topics focused on the craft themselves: such things as their aerodynamic and mechanical design, propulsion and the individual types. Aviation is a better portal to topics focused on related things such as famous aviators and designers, airports, manufacturers, air-delivery weapons systems, historical wars and disasters, and so on. Sure there must be some overlap, but editorial over-enthusiasm means that both tend to grow and accrete each other's subject matter over time, and need periodic pruning back to their core subject. We should be pruning, not merging. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 20:46, 2 June 2012 (UTC) [update] And there's too much to fit in one article, which is why they get so overblown when they address topics beloning in the other. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 20:49, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
Actually because you're supposed to ignore all the wikitext markup when judging size, this article is currently running to only 18kB of text, which is not very big at all (50k of text is the point where you start to think about splitting-), and the aviation article is about the same, and has maybe 80% overlap.
I mean the idea that the aircraft article should only cover the physical item; that's not the way things are done in encyclopedias. The article on Wikipedia isn't just about how the project is built, it's about everything. The SR-71 article for example includes politics, accidents, records, test pilots, how it was designed etc. etc. and that's perfectly normal.GliderMaven (talk) 21:42, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
This is an overview article about aircraft a lot of concepts related to aviation are just not notable enough, important enough or relevant for an overview article on aircraft. I think we can close this discussion as you clearly dont have a consensus for the idea, but if you feel that strongly then make a formal proposal to merge the overview article on Aviation into this article. MilborneOne (talk) 22:34, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
In all my 7 yrs on Wikipedia, I have never seen such a massive WP:FAIL of a proposal from the start (talk→ BWilkins ←track) 23:00, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
I didn't actually think you'd agree, although I was hoping. But I don't think it matters, in the long run I'm pretty sure they'll merge, just because, in encyclopedic terms, they really are the same topic. It may take a few years or more though.
It's not inconceivable that that won't happen and that there will be some uneasy split where nobody is ever quite sure what should go where, or they'll just quietly become content dupes. But the more complete they each get, the more obvious it becomes, and the more likely a merger becomes. GliderMaven (talk) 02:48, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
I'm baffled. You can read the arguments above that explain the simple difference between aviation and aircraft yet still say "they are the same topic"? Um, what? (talk→ BWilkins ←track) 16:24, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
Yes, that's right. This is really an article about aviation (considered generally, including aerostats.) By not realizing that early on, Wikipedia has unwittingly split the topic across two pages, and you've ended up with a very arbitrary split.GliderMaven (talk) 01:11, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
Aviation is defined as "the design, development, production, operation, and use of aircraft", but a really good article on aircraft of necessity covers those things anyway.GliderMaven (talk) 01:11, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
No - anyone who starts putting too many aviation things into an article on aircraft will be operating contrary to consensus :-) per the definition you provided (talk→ BWilkins ←track) 09:07, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
Sometimes the obvious eludes us for a while, as I think it has in this discussion. We have long found it necessary to run separate wikiprokects: Wikipedia:WikiProject Aviation and Wikipedia:WikiProject Aircraft. This would seem an astonishing thing to do if Aircraft and Aviation were really the same topic. Are we really so mad? — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 09:12, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
Wikiproject Aircraft is actually just one part of Wikiproject Aviation because as has been explained aircraft are only one part of aviation. MilborneOne (talk) 09:58, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
Yep. Hence my final sentence below. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk)
And just by way of illustration, here are some aviation topics that I would suggest are not relevant to an Aircraft article: Aviators, Manufacturers, Airports, Regulatory authorities, Air races, Air battles. There must be more. Of course, in a sense everything to do with aircraft comes under the banner of aviation, but then that's what internal linking is for. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 09:26, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for the list, I'll make sure to at least mention and add links to them from this article. Pilots/aviators are already linked though. You also forgot air traffic control (which is about the only major thing in aviation that isn't mentioned in the aircraft article at present.)GliderMaven (talk) 03:14, 6 June 2012 (UTC)
The two articles can only differ in terms of emphasis, since they are the same encyclopedic topic. And there's a shed-load of stuff missing from aviation; all this would be a lot more obvious if that article was at all fleshed out.GliderMaven (talk) 03:14, 6 June 2012 (UTC)
I think I'll go off and propose a merge of Military and War :-P (talk→ BWilkins ←track) 10:49, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
Nope. War is a subset of military activities. But the set of all the things that are and surround aircraft is aviation. But all the things that are and surround aircraft is what a well-written encyclopedia on aircraft covers.GliderMaven (talk) 03:14, 6 June 2012 (UTC)
You clearly have not got a consensus for adding stuff that should be in aviation and if you now add it will be disruptive editing which will be reverted and may get you blocked, thanks. MilborneOne (talk) 09:11, 6 June 2012 (UTC)
I find your threat offensive, "thanks".GliderMaven (talk) 13:17, 14 July 2012 (UTC)
I see no threat here. If you edit disruptively, you may get blocked. Clearly you are the only editor (so far) who wants to merge aircraft and aviation. Nczempin (talk) 13:27, 14 July 2012 (UTC)
Agreed. I read it as a friendly warning to be read, marked and inwardly digested. It's just the way Wikipedia works. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 13:51, 14 July 2012 (UTC)

Blurb about rockets and missiles[edit]

Since steelpillow wants me to discuss changes first, I will

"Although rockets and missiles also travel through the atmosphere, most are not considered aircraft because they do not have wings and rely on rocket thrust as the primary means of lift."

I agree rockets and missiles are not considered aircraft but it's not because they don't have wings, or rely on rocket propulsion. Not all aircraft have wings. Not all missiles use rocket propulsion. And there are aircraft that use rockets for propulsion. Rocket-powered aircraft ScienceApe (talk) 16:56, 7 October 2012 (UTC)

Hi. Note the 'and' in the current version. Yes some aircraft have no wings, yes some aircraft are rocket powered, but you show me an 'aircraft' that does not have wings AND relies on rocket thrust as the primary means of lift. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 17:13, 7 October 2012 (UTC)
I don't need to. Not all missiles are rocket powered, are they aircraft? Where's the citation that states that a vehicle that has no wings and is rocket powered is not an aircraft? Uncited statements like the one I removed can be removed at any time unless you produce a citation. ScienceApe (talk) 17:51, 7 October 2012 (UTC)
Rockets and missiles are not aircraft because as the intro says An aircraft is a vehicle that is able to fly by gaining support from the air... and rockets and missiles dont rely on a lifting mechanism but just thrust. MilborneOne (talk) 18:25, 7 October 2012 (UTC)
This is original research. Show me the verifiable citation that backs up your criteria of what an aircraft is. ScienceApe (talk) 20:41, 7 October 2012 (UTC)

At least we all agree that rockets and missiles are not considered aircraft. Perhaps one way forward is for ScienceApe to give their explanation of why they are not. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 19:36, 7 October 2012 (UTC)

Rockets and missiles (even cruise missiles) are not 'reusable' aircraft. The General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper is an aircraft while the Tomahawk (missile) is a missile. Hcobb (talk) 20:01, 7 October 2012 (UTC)
Stop asking me to do your work for you. You want to keep an uncited blurb that tries to explain why missiles and rockets are not aircraft. You find the citations that back up what you're trying to assert. ScienceApe (talk) 20:39, 7 October 2012 (UTC)
You say that I "want to keep an uncited blurb that tries to explain why missiles and rockets are not aircraft". Before that you wrote, "I agree rockets and missiles are not considered aircraft". I'm sorry, I fail to see any contradiction between these views. You may well have a better explanation of our common view than I do, you may perhaps have references in mind that I have not seen. So please, don't ask me to read your mind - enlighten us. Let's make that paragraph better together, not just delete it when it begins so well. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 19:19, 8 October 2012 (UTC)
I will repeat myself. If you want to keep that blurb, go and find a reputable 3rd party source to back it up. You can not assert baseless claims without citing it. If you want to keep it there, burden of proof is on you, not me, to keep it. ScienceApe (talk) 01:09, 9 October 2012 (UTC)

Oh dear. ScienceApe, deleting the paragraph [second time], just after I posted the above, is not helpful to you. You might also like to read "You do not need to cite that the sky is blue". While this is not definitive, it helps set the need for citations in perspective. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 20:25, 8 October 2012 (UTC)

If you keep on reverting this, you'll be violating the 3RR. Unsourced material can be removed at any time. If you want to challenge wikipedia policy, be my guest. Oh and, cheers. ScienceApe (talk) 01:02, 9 October 2012 (UTC)
A phrase like "most are not considered" is a classical WP:weasel phrase. If you can show meaningful places where the definition goes that way, cite them and phrase the statement appropriately. Otherwise it's WP:OR. -- Nczempin (talk) 06:50, 9 October 2012 (UTC)

OK, so let's get some things clear:

  • We are not disputing the first half of the paragraph, only the second half. Yet you keep deleting the bit you agree on as well, without explanation.
  • We are expected to explain things in our own words, not merely quote slavishly. You do not need to cite that the sky is blue, and this is nothing to do with Original Research either, it is about finding a form of words to expand on what it means for rockets and missiles not to be aircraft.
  • I have asked for a reasonable discussion about the second half, even a better form of words. I mean, if my form is unacceptable, surely you guys can come up with a better one. But all you guys have produced so far is rants.
  • Meanwhile, do please check out WP:CITE. You will see that the done thing is to add a citation tag, not to wholesale delete stuff you know is right along with the stuff you think is wrong. So that is what I have just done. Please remain civil and avoid silly threats about 3RR and stuff, thank you.

— Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 18:09, 9 October 2012 (UTC)

I'm not sure which part of my contribution is the "rant". -- Nczempin (talk) 18:45, 9 October 2012 (UTC)
Stop reverting steelpillow, one more and you're in violation. You are constantly trying to reinsert uncited original research. I do NOT think that blurb is appropriate for the article, don't put words in my mouth. Constantly pointing out You do not need to cite that the sky is blue changes NOTHING. Uncited material can be removed at any time. You want to keep it, then find verifiable 3rd party citations to back it up. You're the one being uncivil by engaging in edit warring. ScienceApe (talk) 18:57, 9 October 2012 (UTC)

Leave it out. There's no source for it. Besides, the article loses little by not having that tidbit. Dawnseeker2000 19:01, 9 October 2012 (UTC)

So, where's this "uncited material can be removed at any time without regard to context" policy? My apologies, but I read WP:CITE and I couldn't find it. What I did find was this: Dealing with unsourced material. Have I missed something there? Meanwhile, as I already quoted, ScienceApe wrote above, "I agree rockets and missiles are not considered aircraft". Which is what the first part says, yet there it goes, deleted again by the very guy wo said that.There's nothing new in what I write here, just you guys aren't listening.
Oh yeah, that link in the latest edit comment by Dawnseeker2000. I read, "Whether and how quickly removal should happen depends on the material and the overall state of the article; consider adding a citation needed tag as an interim step. It may be that the article contains so few citations that it is impractical to add specific citation needed tags, in which case consider tagging a section with {{unreferencedsection}}, or the article with {{refimprove}} or {{unreferenced}}. Editors might object if you remove material without giving them time to provide references. It has always been good practice to try to find and cite supporting sources yourself." Note that I added my own citation tag, yet you guys ignored it and deleted again. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 19:31, 9 October 2012 (UTC)

Those couple of statements don't really improve the article at all. Not unless, of course, there was some additional sentences that could expand on the idea, but then maybe that kind of content would be better on the rocket or missile article(s). The article isn't missing much now that its out, and please, don't take offense here by it having been removed. I think that it was looked at and questioned is good, and it got some eyes looking at it and, ultimately, it should have a source behind it. If some aeronautical engineer discusses this very concept in a book or magazine article, by all means, lets summarize what's said. For now, we're just trimming unnecessary, unclear, and uncited material. That's it. Dawnseeker2000 19:39, 9 October 2012 (UTC)

The issue here seems to be "is a rocket an aircraft or not". Being a Canadian I usually first check the Canadian stance on such things as Canada generally follows ICAO definitions in most things. The Aeronautics Act is where the definition of aircraft is found (yes it is legislative, at least here) and it says “aircraft” means ... any machine capable of deriving support in the atmosphere from reactions of the air, and includes a rocket". I guess that muddies the waters somewhat. - Ahunt (talk) 20:03, 9 October 2012 (UTC)
Thank you Dawnseeker2000 for your constructive reply. Here's an old version that expanded on the idea [1]. That sort of thing was getting out of hand and all kinds of cruft kept creeping back in each time the whole thing got deleted. Leaving just the contested paragraph seemed to help editors (and readers) understand the scope of the article better, and the problems died away until now. So I disagree that the paragraph adds nothing - history has shown otherwise. For a discussion of the difficulty in defining a "Missile", see Gunston, Bill, "The illustrated encyclopedia of the world's rockets and missiles", Salamander Leisure Books 1979. I expect I can dig out some more references in due course but my time is finite. Sure, I don't take offence if consensus today is that it needs removal, but I do reserve the right to kick vigorously against the failure to discuss in a civilised manner first - see my comments on the etiquette, that has singularly not been followed, above.
Ahunt, you seem to have unearthed one of the root causes of our problem. One has to ask, does the Act imply a rocket-powered atmosphere craft or any rocket?
— Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 20:10, 9 October 2012 (UTC)
My reading of the Canadian "any machine capable of deriving support in the atmosphere from reactions of the air" is that there is requirement for lift to be derived from buoyancy or wings to make it an aircraft. GraemeLeggett (talk) 21:27, 9 October 2012 (UTC)

How about aerostats? They too have no wings, yet are considered aircraft. See, I agree that rockets and missiles are not aircraft (in the weapons meaning of these, as there are also crewed/payloaded rockets destined to the space, but those are spacecraft), but the reasoning of this is not quite correct, IMO. Especially the "wings" part; you may have written "wings AND rocket thrust", but the common stranger doesn't pay attention to this and is left with the impression that 1. wings OR 2. rocket thrust is the reasoning rockets/missles are not aircraft. Hope I laid it down clear. (talk) 13:46, 10 October 2012 (UTC)

Whether or not it has wings or rocket thrust has absolutely nothing to do with it being an aircraft. ScienceApe (talk) 03:17, 11 October 2012 (UTC)
Then why wings and rocket thrust are put as a reasoning behind some flying machines not being aircraft? Quote: "most are not considered aircraft BECAUSE they do not have wings and rely on rocket thrust as the primary means of lift." (talk) 07:40, 11 October 2012 (UTC)
That's a good question. It shouldn't be there. I tried to remove it but steelpillow kept reverting and reinserting that completely uncited, unsupported, and nonsensical blurb. ScienceApe (talk) 20:45, 11 October 2012 (UTC)

Why don't we use the definition of what an aircraft is that is used by the FAA?? I know it's US only, but it would be a start (can add others, a more general organization, or simply accept the working hypothesis that the other definitions are not likely to deviate significantly). We shouldn't really try to find our own definition here. -- Nczempin (talk) 20:10, 11 October 2012 (UTC)

[2]: Aircraft means a device that is used or intended to be used for flight in the air. Unfortunately they don't define flight. -- Nczempin (talk) 20:16, 11 October 2012 (UTC)
The article already has a reasonably acceptable definition (improving it is always good though, don't let me stop you). The issue here is about why some things are not aircraft. I edited the paragraph in question, taking the more direct approach that most rockets and missiles do not meet the definition of aircraft given above. Is there anything in there that still needs a citation tag or further discussion? — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 20:17, 11 October 2012 (UTC)
Logically speaking, you cannot define what is an aicraft and what is not an aircraft any differently. -- Nczempin (talk) 20:21, 11 October 2012 (UTC)
Indeed, it seems absurd to try and explain why certain things are not aircraft. You might as well waste time explaining why paper airplanes are not aircraft either. Just explain what an aircraft is, and leave it at that. ScienceApe (talk) 20:42, 11 October 2012 (UTC)

Incidentally, is a Me 163 not an aircraft? -- Nczempin (talk) 20:21, 11 October 2012 (UTC)

It is an aircraft, which is why the uncited blurb is nonsensical. steelpillow's vacuous logic indicates that it has to have both rocket propulsion AND not have wings. Criteria that he completely made up and is unsupported. ScienceApe (talk) 20:47, 11 October 2012 (UTC)
In Australia, aircraft is defined as any machine or craft that can derive support in the atmosphere from the reactions of the air, other than the reactions of the air against the earth’s surface. This is specified in the Civil Aviation Act 1988. It includes aeroplanes, gliders, free balloons, helicopters and gyroplanes but does not include hovercraft. I understand this definition is identical to the one used by ICAO.
I’m not in favour of our article on Aircraft being diverted to comment on what is NOT an aircraft; at least not in the lede section. I don’t have any great objection to a section later in the article explaining why rockets and javelins and parachutes and spacecraft don’t qualify as aircraft. The lede is not the place for this detail.
An aircraft is primarily a kind of vehicle. We can engage in debate about the details of what kind of vehicle qualifies as an aircraft, but I think we all agree that an aircraft is some kind of vehicle. Now, a rocket is not primarily a vehicle – it is an engine; a device capable of generating thrust. A vehicle that consists of a rocket engine and little else, is commonly called a rocket but that shouldn’t distract us from the idea that a rocket is primarily a type of engine. There doesn’t need to be a statement that this type of engine is not an aircraft, just as there doesn’t need to be a statement that a reciprocating engine is not an aircraft.
Similarly, a missile is not primarily a kind of vehicle. It is a vehicle with a particular role or purpose – namely to inflict injury or damage on some person or property. A missile can be an aircraft intended to inflict injury or damage – such as a cruise missile. Alternatively, a missile can be a vehicle that is intended to inflict injury or damage but is clearly not an aircraft – such as a ballistic missile.
I think the statement about what is NOT an aircraft should be removed from the lede. It may be reasonable to replace it with an explanation, further down the article, about why some vehicles like rockets and javelins and parachutes and spacecraft don’t qualify as aircraft even though they are commonly treated as aircraft. Dolphin (t) 08:20, 12 October 2012 (UTC)
I feel like describing what aircraft is not is fruitless. We have unmanned drones that are considered aircraft, but what if they are equipped with a self destruct mechanism as well? There are always going to be exceptions to every category. Categories exist only because the human brain likes to organize ideas in that way. But the categories don't actually exist in reality. State what an aircraft is, take it with a grain of salt. That's good enough. Anyway removing the unsourced blurb is the issue at hand at the moment, so since we're in agreement, I'll remove it now. ScienceApe (talk) 04:32, 13 October 2012 (UTC)

Alternative form of words still needed[edit]

OK, I get the point about not "not aircraft". But as I said above, the history of this page shows that some sort of comment is helpful. Elsewhere, Bbb23 (talk) recently commented, The lead doesn't even come close to what a proper lead should be. It's too short, it has information that is not in the body, and obviously it doesn't highlight much of the body. If we were to follow ScienceApe's logic through and delete all uncited material, we would delete most of the article - which should all be irre;levant anyway, because as Bbb23 also says, "A good article would have ... no references in the lead because everything in the lead is referenced in the body." All this supports my view that something needs to be said and that citing it int he lead is not important, so I don't think that summary deletion of part of the lead is helpful - better to recast it in a more sensible light and ensure that the body of the article has the necessary citations. Rocket powered aircraft are mentioned in the main text, so I am having another go.

BTW, I'd suggest that continual summary deletion during this discussion is unhelpful, could we please leave it up there so we can see what we are talking about? — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 10:51, 13 October 2012 (UTC)

I removed your blurb steelpillow. You can't randomly insert uncited material without discussing it here first. We already have consensus to remove the previous blurb. We were discussing matters for a few days now dude. You're the only one who was against it. Now you want to insert a new lead, that's fine. But discuss it here before you insert anything. All of the unsourced material in the article SHOULD be deleted unless it's properly cited, but you're not going to start throwing around random crap into the lead just because you're having a hissy fit. As for the random blurb you inserted, it's a completely random fact. It doesn't fit in with the rest of the lead. We don't need it in the lead, and rocket powered aircraft is already mentioned in the body. ScienceApe (talk) 15:00, 13 October 2012 (UTC)
Well, I might accept an argument that explains convincingly why Bbb23 (talk is wrong in what I quoted above. Just reverting without answering those points is not tenable. For example yeah, rocket powered aircraft are mentioned in the body - as Bbb23 explained, that is precisely what allows it to be summarised in the lead, and uncited at that. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 18:35, 13 October 2012 (UTC)
The lead should be summarize the content of the article, but that blurb you inserted before does not accomplish that, nor does it help accomplish that. It's just some disconnected random fact. If you want to rewrite the entire lead, go ahead, but post it here so we can review it before you publish it. ScienceApe (talk) 18:44, 13 October 2012 (UTC)
Not every fact that is in the main article needs to be even mentioned in the lead. It's only the other way round; there should be nothing in the lead that isn't also in the main article. -- Nczempin (talk) 21:40, 13 October 2012 (UTC)

Anyway, I have decided to take a Wikibreak. Have fun all. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 15:33, 14 October 2012 (UTC)

Machine or device?[edit]

I changed the word vehicle in the definition of aircraft to machine. My edit was changed to "device" with the comment "Not all aircraft are powered - part of the definition of a machine." The linked machine article does indeed say "A machine is a powered tool". This definition has been challenged on the article's talk page and may need correcting has now been corrected. 16:46, 21 December 2012 (UTC)

The source cited in this article uses the word machine, as does the ICAO definition of an aircraft. The FAA uses the word device. I think I slightly prefer the ICAO definition. Burninthruthesky (talk) 13:49, 21 December 2012 (UTC)

I think also in view of WP:COMMONALITY that the ICAO definition may be more appropriate for the article. Burninthruthesky (talk) 14:24, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
I personally think the ICAO are wrong to describe a simple kite or glider with no control mechanism or other moving part as a "machine". But hey, verifiability not truth, so I agree that their definition is the one we should use. "Machine" it should be. I have reverted my previous edit. Thanks for engaging on this one. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 18:30, 21 December 2012 (UTC)

Construction, design and flight characteristic[edit]

Much of the content of these two sections is specific to Fixed-wing aircraft or even airplanes. Would it be better to add more about lighter-than-air craft and rotorcraft, or cut the stuff about fixed-wing configurations, or do a bit of both? — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 20:53, 9 March 2013 (UTC)

I worked through most of the article. The issue is mostly now confined to the section on Construction and Design. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 15:45, 10 March 2013 (UTC)

Construction and design - proposed deletion of section[edit]

This section is entirely about fixed-wing types. A quick run-down of its subsections:

  1. Airframe: An airship has a hull, a balloon a gasbag, a paraglider nothing. There is no overall name.
    1. Fuselage: Comments as for airframe.
    2. Wing: Neither aerostats nor powered lift types necessarily have wings.
    3. Stabilizing and control surfaces: Hang-gliders and balloons tend to have neither.
    4. Undercarriage: Aerostats, hang-gliders, paragliders and some seaplanes and ultra-lights have none.
  2. Engines: There might be something to say here about propulsion, but it is hardly "construction and design".
  3. Avionics: Hot-air balloons, hang-gliders and paragliders tend to have none..

So really, most of this section belongs at say aerodyne or just in its own topic pages. I propose to find new homes for the few fragments worth keeping and delete the rest. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 20:14, 12 March 2013 (UTC)

I'd retain the section but look for common points across all types of aircraft and give links to articles on the topics. The sections probably need renaming and expansion rather than removal. "Structure" to cover airframe , "stabilization and control" rather than stabilizing and control surfaces.
To illustrate the points above a table within the article might be worth considering. GraemeLeggett (talk) 20:53, 12 March 2013 (UTC)
Well, I'm not sure how that would work. For example the subsection on Engines is redundant, as there is already one on Propulsion. Stabilisation and control are probably better treated in the section elsewhere on flight dynamics. Avionics is just a pointer and all that's left is the section on Structure, reworked around the different kinds of structural system. I just don't see those last two filling out a sensible section on construction and design. Maybe I should make those edits and we can see what I mean? — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 20:52, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
Give it a go - if you don't like the result you can go on and delete, or (roll)back as required. GraemeLeggett (talk) 21:56, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
OK, I did. What do you think? Still a bit rough in the flight dynamics section. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 21:22, 14 March 2013 (UTC)

In Propulsion there is power and propelling device[edit]

"Gliders are heavier-than-air aircraft that do not employ propulsion once airborne."

A propulsion system includes power and propelling (thrust) device (according to WP Propulsion).
A glider is not powered (itself) : but, as everything in movement, is propelled by something : glider propulsion is done by both gravity and the wing ; the power is the gravity, the lift of the wing has a small forward component : the thrust. The wing is the propelling device. Plxdesi2 (talk) 17:42, 19 April 2013 (UTC)


Air Asia — Preceding unsigned comment added by Corey2144 (talkcontribs) 23:40, 12 August 2013 (UTC)


The usage of Flying-machine (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views) and flying machine is under discussion, see talk:flying-machine. "flying machine" is currently used for a real world aeronautical topic. "Flying-machine" is a science fiction topic. -- (talk) 07:24, 30 November 2013 (UTC)

Copyright problem removed[edit]

Prior content in this article duplicated one or more previously published sources. The material was copied from: here. Copied or closely paraphrased material has been rewritten or removed and must not be restored, unless it is duly released under a compatible license. (For more information, please see "using copyrighted works from others" if you are not the copyright holder of this material, or "donating copyrighted materials" if you are.) For legal reasons, we cannot accept copyrighted text or images borrowed from other web sites or published material; such additions will be deleted. Contributors may use copyrighted publications as a source of information, but not as a source of sentences or phrases. Accordingly, the material may be rewritten, but only if it does not infringe on the copyright of the original or plagiarize from that source. Please see our guideline on non-free text for how to properly implement limited quotations of copyrighted text. Wikipedia takes copyright violations very seriously, and persistent violators will be blocked from editing. While we appreciate contributions, we must require all contributors to understand and comply with these policies. Thank you. Diannaa (talk) 01:55, 6 March 2014 (UTC)

Population of aircraft in the world?[edit]

Is there a statistic on the number of aircraft that currently exist in the world? The article on cars has a number of world automobile population, so was wondering if the same could be mentioned for aircraft. (talk) 18:46, 10 June 2016 (UTC)

Yes. You can find both the current and 30-year project for number of aircraft in annual reports by Boeing and Airbus: [1], and [2] Coastwise (talk) 20:41, 10 June 2016 (UTC)
That report doesn't take into account the military aircraft numbers in the world and is an incomplete picture of world aircraft population. The US alone has over 12000-13000 military aircraft. (talk) 18:22, 23 June 2016 (UTC)

SR-71 currently flying?[edit]

@Zxtxtxz:: SR-71 "currently flying"? Seems to need a ref. This is probably not a RS, but 'best answer' here indicates my understanding.

That "source" references Wikipedia, so disregard. Here's a couple of better sources for "last flight" info:

More info below. Also not a RS, but together, these sources seem to give strong indication plane is not "currently flying":

Authoritative source:

DonFB (talk) 14:35, 22 November 2016 (UTC)

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External links modified[edit]

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