Talk:Fixed-wing aircraft

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Proposal to resurrect the aeroplane or airplane[edit]


Just noticed the Fixed wing aircraft vs. Aeroplane/Airplane controversy, and the several proposals to move this article to one of these. I'm not going to get into the British vs. American English debate, but rather to propose that we split off some of the present content to one of them.

I'd say that the current focus is not quite right: the treatment of powered types is too dominant, with insufficient attention paid to unpowered types. For example most of the propulsion section would be better split off from the general discussion, while other areas focus on the "typical" fixed wing aircraft as a euphemism for the typical powered type - the controls and instruments described are certainly not typical of hang gliders or kites. Rather, quite a few of them do apply to the typical powered rotorcraft - as does much of the section on structure (rotorcraft have a fuselage while, flying wings, hang gliders and kites do not). And I can see other areas with an uncomfortable amount of focus on the typical powered type. The inclusion of all this biased material noticeably distorts the focus of the article.

Also it is clear, from the recurring efforts over recent years by a significant number of contributors to move this article, that the status quo is not satisfactory and something needs to be done.

So I'd suggest we resurrect one of the Aeroplane/Airplane articles as the more appropriate home for the relevant details. There have been at least two attempts over recent years to move this article - and plenty of folks have disagreed. Many of those "no" votes have been based on the need for an article with the present title, but that argument does not prohibit a second one with a different focus.

There would inevitably be some duplication of subject matter between articles, but that is fine as long as each article holds up as well constructed in its own right.

Further improvement can also be made by moving other bits to existing articles, for example much of the discussion on structure rightly belongs in the Airframe article, and in any case Aircraft structures should redirect there rather than here. Biut I don't think that kind of thing needs the heavy proposal/voting treatment, so here I am focusing on the principle of how best to present material focusing on the popular terms "Aeroplane" and "Airplane".

I am not "up" enough in wikiquette to know exactly how to make such a proposal, so I apologise if have done it the wrong way or in the wrong place. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 11:37, 4 February 2012 (UTC)

I don't necessarily agree that "the treatment of powered types is too dominant"; they affect peoples lives more (transport, warfare etc), they're more varied (IMO) and there's more to say about them. Anyway, it's not worth trying to match number of words on each topic to "importance". Lots of the detail in this article could be cut out - if the Types section was cut down (the detail should all be on the main pages) this article would be a more manageable size (e.g. a shorter ToC). However people object - they want "their" facts in this article - not just in the linked article. If we can't drastically reduce the size of this article (and ideally Aircraft as well) then we shouldn't create a new article at Aeroplane/Airplane; it'd end up duplicating a lot of the same stuff and adding to the maintenance workload without helping readers that much. Bear in mind also that we have articles about types of planes - Jet aircraft, Airliner, Fighter aircraft etc. DexDor (talk) 22:23, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
I agree with DexDor that a standalone Aero/airplane article should ideally be accompanied with a drastically reduced Fixed-wing aircraft article. For an example of what they might look like, see this draft of an Aero/airplane article, and this draft of a reduced Fixed-wing aircraft article, patterned after the current Rotary-wing aircraft article. I tried introducing them, but was reverted. I'd love it if folks would look at them and see if I was on the right track.— Preceding unsigned comment added by Dohn joe (talkcontribs)
I was one of the reverters. I do not think that the article should "resurrect" the airplane or the aeroplane. I think it all works just fine as it is. Binksternet (talk) 16:00, 6 February 2012 (UTC)

OK, over the last month this article has been reorganised and tidied up to create a more logical structure. As a result the material dedicated to aeroplanes now takes up about 80% of it, with the core subject matter split between top and bottom of an excessively long article. I think this amply illustrates the need to split off an aeroplane article (as opposed to the move already voted down twice). So I should now like to push this proposal forward.

I vote for a split. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 11:56, 3 March 2012 (UTC)

I'd say the article still needs more of an overhaul. Wing configuration, instruments and flight controls are still very large sections which seem to be trying to duplicate existing articles on those subjects. (More overview, less detail is required). I think trying to spin off aeroplane is premature. GraemeLeggett (talk) 13:29, 3 March 2012 (UTC)
From reading the official Canadian flight regulations at Transport Canada here: [1] it would appear that "aeroplane" is still the official Canadian term, like in the UK, for a fixed-wing aircraft. It even says "aeroplane" on a Canadian pilot's licence [2].
... and Australia officially uses "aeroplane" too: [3] and [4]
... and so does South Africa [5] and [6]
... as does the ICAO [7] and [8]— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:48, 23 June 2012 (UTC)
But here on Wikipedia, we don't use an official name just because it's official - we prefer to use its WP:COMMONNAME. And in Canada, "airplane" is the more common usage. At the Canadian Encyclopedia, searching for "airplane" gets you 109 results; "aeroplane" only has 9 results. Dohn joe (talk) 16:36, 23 June 2012 (UTC)
I fixed the article to show Aeroplane as the main word, and Airplane as a slang word for Aeroplane that's been used since the movie Airplane in 1980. Some fool reverted it though, thinking it was vandalism. Try googling just the word Airplane. Five or six of the first 10 results are about the movie. Another couple are for Jefferson Airplane. The only others in the first ten that talk about it being a flying machine are references to wikipedia (this article or related ones). — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:09, 2 July 2012 (UTC)
That's because you're in Germany, skippy. If you do a location-agnostic Google search, you'll find more "airplane" results than you can shake a stick at. Powers T 14:55, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

Aeroplane/Airplane need a separate article with the current article being overhauled to have equal focus on all types of fixed wing aircraft, the new article should be called 'Aeroplane/Airplane' to keep both sides of the Atlantic happy! I would prefer aeroplane (youv'e got aero engine, aerospace engineering, aerodrome and aeronatical engineering) but as long as both terms are equally represented it is fine (Fdsdh1 (talk) 14:18, 6 July 2012 (UTC))

I can honestly not see why aeroplane/airplane was renamed to this in the first place. They are two related but distinct concepts for starters. The only way I can describe this situation is that by desperately trying to not offend half the world's population, we ended up confusing everybody. A split is definitely in order. A great article on aero/airplane was deleted (okay, the article was technically redirected but the content was essentially deleted), and I for one think it should be brought back.--Coin945 (talk) 20:52, 17 November 2012 (UTC)

Agreed. Another way to look at it is to note the three main classes of fixed-wing aircraft: aeroplanes, gliders and kites. Two of these have their own articles and nobody is suggesting they get merged back in here. So why should the third class suffer that indignity? There's no logic to it. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 21:24, 17 November 2012 (UTC)
Agreed. There should be a separate article for aeroplanes/airplanes. I find this article to be a failure of wikipedia policy. ScienceApe (talk) 22:18, 16 March 2013 (UTC)

New airplane article[edit]

Discussion moved to Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Aircraft#Airplane

Meaning of the name[edit]

why is it called air+plane? what is a plane? why are there no landplanes or seaplanes (a boat, not a sea+plane)? or a spaceplane? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:37, 16 October 2012 (UTC)

a "plane" is a more or less flat surface, in this case used to provide lift, i.e. a wing plane. A monoplane has one wing plane, a biplane has two wing planes, and so on. A given wing plane is often divided into two (left and right) wings, like a bird's wings. An aero+plane or air+plane contrasts with say an aero+stat, which is a balloon filled with a lighter-than-air gas. HTH. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 18:57, 27 November 2012 (UTC)
Hey look what I found! Hydroplane (boat). Powers T 19:50, 27 November 2012 (UTC)
Not as simple as that - the "plane" part of "aeroplane" is actually from the Greek word for "wander" - as in "planet". So that "aeroplane" literally means "air-wanderer". We do use "landplane" to mean an "aeroplane that takes off from land", as opposed to a "seaplane", which means an "aeroplane that lands and takes off from the water". "Monoplane", "biplane" etc. on the other hand do seem to derive from "plane" in the sense of "level". As somebody pointed out many years ago, a "level" aeroplane wing would have next to no lift, as most of this comes from the curved top surface. The only logical human languages are ones like Esperanto, that have been made up from scratch - all "real" langauge is muddleheaded, even English. (And especially American, of course - which enshrines all the illogicalities of English and adds its own on top). -Soundofmusicals (talk) 20:05, 27 November 2012 (UTC)
Dictionaries seem to differ on whether the "plane" bit of "aeroplane" comes from the flat plane or wandering planets. The lighter-than-air "aerostat" derives its lift from static buoyancy, and the word was coined a century before "aeroplane". Aerostats can also wander the skies. The flat plane surface was a feature of many early wing designs and model aeroplanes made by Cayley and others. All this suggests that the term "aeroplane" was coined to contrast with "aerostat" in order to emphasise the presence of the 'flat' wing. To me, the wandering bit sounds more like the minds of those who dreamed that idea up.
Also, the curvature of the top surface is more about reducing drag. A flat plane may be made to deflect air downwards very effectively, simply by tilting the leading edge upwards to give a positive angle of attack to the airflow. To a rough approximation, the lift generated depends on the angle of the trailing section to the airflow (this sets the overall downward acceleration against which the lifting force is the reaction). If the wing is curved to reduce the angle of the leading section, the lift is affected only a little but the drag is much reduced. The idea that "plane" implies "level" is a red herring. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 20:45, 27 November 2012 (UTC)
Well, there's also the issue that "airplane" refers to the vehicle, not to the wing. The wing's shape is an airfoil, not a plane. Powers T 03:02, 28 November 2012 (UTC)
Except, "foil" basically means leaf-thin and the term as coined a century after "aeroplane" - two centuries after "aerostat". Think of a foil as a curved plane. Wings did not grow appreciable thickness, with separate upper and lower skins, until even later. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 22:17, 28 November 2012 (UTC)

Hey folks - doesn't anyone actually read the articles? It's all explained at Airplane#Etymology_and_usage... Dohn joe (talk) 03:06, 28 November 2012 (UTC)

FWIW, the 'plane' part of 'aeroplane/airplane' correctly refers to the horizontal wings and tail surfaces, hence 'mainplane', tailplane' and/or 'foreplane'. Like most specialised areas of human endeavour the aeronautical field needed its own precise terminology in the beginning, hence 'mainplane' (wing), 'tailplane', etc. This may be seen in issues of Flight[9]. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:31, 27 January 2013 (UTC)


some of the links are wrong

French: fixed-wing aircraft is aéronef à voilure fixe not avion

Portuguese: fixed-wing aircraft is aeronave de asas fixas not avião

Spanish: fixed-wing aircraft is aeronave de alas fijas not avión — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:30, 21 December 2012 (UTC)

I'm assuming that "avion" etc. are the equivilents of the English words airplane and aeroplane? That is the subject of this article, so those interwikis are correct. - BilCat (talk) 21:04, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
Not quite right. The subject of this article is "fixed-wing aircraft", of which air/aeroplane is a subset. English Wikipedia does not have a separate article on the air/aeroplane. I think that's what the IP was referring to. Dohn joe (talk) 21:13, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
Actually, this really is the article on air-/aeroplane. It's called "fixed-wing aircraft" because it was too contentious to name it either airplane or aeroplane. We would still probably have an article at this title, but perhaps not. So again,the interwikis are correct. - BilCat (talk) 23:05, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
Interestingly, only a fraction of it is nowadays dedicated to aeroplanes, the rest is about gliders, kites and aspects common to all three. That's a big change from when its name was changed because it barely mentioned anything other than airplanes. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 11:00, 22 December 2012 (UTC)
The IP is claiming that the interwiki links are "wrong" - the links are not, as those articles do not exist on the other sites. So the interwiki links here are correctly pointed to avion, avião, and avión. If those articles did exist there, then that would be where our interwikis should point. And they would point to "air-/aeroplane" if we had a separate article on it, which of course we don't. The IP seems to be assuming that the interwikis are merely translations, but they aren't always - it depends on the content of the article also. - BilCat (talk) 21:18, 22 December 2012 (UTC)

more about structural solutions please![edit]

I would be very grateful for more insights (descriptions, sections, 3D-graphics) into modern structural solutions for fuselages, wings and steering elements, including joining techniques!!! how are forces delt with und how is the main transversal bending force of wings conducted through the fuselage? a major problem of any aircraft-design! so please dedicate not just a little space to this topic! people want to learn how to construct airplanes and inspire themselves (not just the model-builders)! thanx a lot in advance! --HilmarHansWerner (talk) 19:24, 5 February 2013 (UTC)

Added information about Traian Vuia and Jacob Ellehammer[edit]

The two early aviation pioneers, were excluded by somebody for no reason. Together with Santos-Dumont, the two performed short flights in the interval March - September 1906. Santos made a 4-7 meters flight on September 13, 1906 which was described in detail by French scientific journal L'Aerophile as a great achievement and epochal event. I see no reason to hide the other two inventors. It would be unfair. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:50, 8 March 2013 (UTC)

Those experiments were not flights, they were hops. They are not significant in the bigger picture. This is not the article about early aviation. Binksternet (talk) 03:18, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
This is your personal opinion. What you do is vandalism. I know your personal agenda is to delete references about the two because you feel they somehow compete with Wright Brothers. Put them back please. They built planes able to take off only by on board means, after running on wheels on a flat surface, like the planes we have today. Santos-Dumont borrowed the method from them and used it only after he saw that Vuia could leave the ground. Taking off after running on wheels on the ground is essential for modern planes and people who first successfully used this method should have a place in the history of airplanes. Years ago they had. Since you took control of Wikipedia, aviation section, they have started to disappear little by little, being systematically removed by you. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:59, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
This is not how we do things here - discuss the subject matter, not your views of other editors. --Soundofmusicals (talk) 04:33, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
Already discussed here: (see last discussion titles) Arguments and primary references already brought. I can not start again and again the same discussion, running on a few pages, with the same person that seems to be the guardian of anything related to aviation on Wikipedia.
This site ( ) much quoted on Wikipedia, lists Vuia, Ellehammer and Santos-Dumont on position 3,4,5. If places 1,2 and 5 are on Wikipedia there is no reason that 3,4 be excluded. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:59, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
I reverted again. That engangement style and Amurrican "z" are hauntingly familiar. Never mind, I moved the misplaced material to the History of aviation in the hope it can stick there. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 21:41, 8 March 2013 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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