Talk:Fixed-wing aircraft/Archive 2

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Archive 1 Archive 2 Archive 3

A Few Comments Regarding Terminology

I would like at the beginning of my post to summarize my position regarding the spelling issue. I do not care at all. I do, however, very much want the issue not to harm the technical accuracy of Wikipedia. In my opinion, it has improved such in one way, and harmed it in two others. I here outline each.

We have been reminded multiple times how this page came to have its name: as a compromise between airplane and aeroplane. Many people, both for and against the title “fixed wing aircraft”, hold that this is an unfortunate, either unavoidable or avoidable, circumstance. This is not my view. “fixed wing aircraft” is the most accurate term, and while it is very obscure among non pilots, it is in common usage among pilots. In this way the spelling conflict has serendipitously improved the accuracy of Wikipedia, much to my delight.

However, a different compromise, the use of the word “aircraft” to refer to fixed wing aircraft in the fixed wing aircraft article, instead of the more commonly used and suitably short word “airplane” or “aeroplane”, is an atrocity. While I support compromise, I do not support inaccuracy as a result of compromise. “Aircraft” is a term referring to any vehicle, that moves through the air by interaction with the air, either aerodynamically or aerostatically. This includes ____planes, fixed wing gliders, helicopters, autogyros, gyrodynes, tiltrotors, rotary wing gliders, tiltwings, ornithopters, hot air and gas balloons, and airships. The Wikipedia page on aircraft or any dictionary will confirm this definition. Using such a term to refer only to fixed wing aircraft is a travesty.

Finally, because of the inability to choose a spelling of the word aeroplane or airplane, there exists no such article. The existence of “fixed wing aircraft” while applaudable, does not replace an article on ____planes. As any dictionary will testify, a plane has to be powered, while fixed wing aircraft includes both powered and unpowered vehicles. At least a stub ought to exist to make this clear. In the absence of such a page, many other pages refer to “airplane” or “aeroplane” to mean what the word really means, powered fixed wing aircraft, and then links it to “fixed wing aircraft”. The page could be called “aeroplane”, “airplane”, “plane (aviation)” “powered fixed wing aircraft”, or even “airplane or aeroplane”, but it really ought to exist.

To summarize:

1. An “aircraft” is a vehicle which is able to move through the air by interaction with the air (buoyancy or aerodynamic lift).

2. A “fixed wing aircraft” is a heavier-than-air aircraft where movement of the wings in relation to the aircraft is not used to generate lift.

3. A ____plane is a powered fixed wing aircraft.

4. In my opinion, the page fixed wing aircraft should retain its name.

5. In my opinion, the references in the fixed wing aircraft page to “aircraft” to mean ____plane should be change to either "aeroplane" or "airplane".

6. In my opinion, a page about ____planes should be created, under any name.

I am sad to see that this conflict has so affected Wikipedia, and it needs to stop. Perhaps there should just be a coin toss. I don't know, but this issue needs some form of resolution. (talk) 01:34, 12 April 2008 (UTC)

Thank you for your interesting points. I will reply to them:
1. You are correct.
2. You are correct.
3. You are correct.
4. You are absolutely correct.
5. I disagree. The international compromise we have now does not only apply to the title of the article: it also applies to its content. Any attempt to change "aircraft" into "aeroplane" will invite changes from Americans, and any attempt to change "aircraft" into "airplane" will invite changes from other English speakers. Therefore to carry through your suggestion would be to create a less stable article, inviting an edit war. In fact, edit wars would be a lot easier, because it's much easier for people to change words in an article than it is for them to move it to a different title.
6. If you want to create an article about ____planes, then its title could only possibly be "Powered fixed-wing aircraft" - as per your own definition in point #3. Any deviation would invite edit warring, for exactly the same reasons as we're all familiar with. And it would also invite derision and humour from those people who say that the current title is convoluted and unnecessary.
I understand the point you are trying to make. However, I don't think it's a big problem. The use of the word "aircraft" through the article is correct. Even though it is not quite as precise as you'd like it to be, in that it does not specify in each and every instance which type of aircraft is being referred to, it is a small point - and it's always possible to pick it up from the context of the sentence. So - yes, I know it's not perfect. But it remains the best we can possibly do, in an international encyclopædia. EuroSong talk 07:29, 13 April 2008 (UTC)

Point taken about the word "aircraft"; the usage is not technically incorrect as planes are a type of aircraft. But I still think that it's important that the distinction between fixed-wing aircraft and plane not be lost. Wikipedia is in general very good about keeping its pages on aircraft configurations properly defined, even when it means making mention of obscure aircraft like autogyros and ornithopters on big, important pages. Anyway, I changed the mention of planes in "plane" and "airplane (disambiguation)" to speak of "powered" fixed-wing aircraft. Now The sentence, "Fixed-wing aircraft are called airplanes in the U.S. and Canada, and aeroplanes in Commonwealth countries and Ireland (excluding Canada).", in this article should be rewritten. How about, "Fixed wing aircraft are more commonly referred to as "airplanes" in the US and Canada, and "aeroplanes" in Commonwealth countries and Ireland, although this term refers only to powered aircraft, excluding gliders". Good? Something else? And then I'll write that "powered fixed-wing aircraft" page, and direct links currently linking to here to there, where appropriate.

It would be nice though if someone else would start the page and even just leave it blank, as I'm unregistered and can't start pages. (talk) 01:07, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

I'm changing

"Fixed-wing aircraft are called airplanes in the U.S. and Canada, and aeroplanes in Commonwealth countries and Ireland (excluding Canada). These terms are derived from Greek αέρας (aéras-) ("air") and -plane.[1] The current British word is the older of the two terms, dating back to the mid-late 19th century.[2]"

to "The most commonly used term is "aeroplane" (in Ireland and Commonwealth countries excluding Canada), or "airplane" (In the US and Canada), which refers to any fixed wing aircraft powered by propellers or jet engines. The word derives from the Greek αέρας (aéras-) ("air") and -plane.[3] The spelling "aeroplane" is the older of the two, dating back to the mid-late 19th century.[4]"

I feel the change improves accuracy and sentence fluency, and makes it sound like less of a British versus American war right in the opening paragraph. I made this change once before, and it was reverted without explanation by BillCJ. Please do not revert the change again without first discussing. (talk) 22:48, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

Section break

I have edited the intro somewhat to try and get the terminology clear and correct as per the definitions above. I don't want to get into the whole naming debate here, but please do not introduce factual errors in an effort to be "neutral." I've seen it on this article and other aviation articles. LRT24 (talk) 06:52, 18 April 2011 (UTC)

Why not just Plane (aviation)?

Why don't we just name this article Plane (aviation) or Plane (aircraft)? Would that not be a much better compromise than fixed-winged aircraft? Plane is a common term people on both sides of the Atlantic use, and we use parentheses to clarify what article titles refer to all the time. We should do the same in this case. JohnWycliff (talk) 14:09, 28 July 2010 (UTC)

John, the subject has been debated to death! Look above and see the debate at Talk:Fixed-wing aircraft#Requested move.
The word aircraft is fully acceptable at Wikipedia. At WP:COMMONALITY you will see that the first example given relates to the preference for the combination fixed-wing aircraft over the national varieties aeroplane and airplane.
Any editor who uses the word airplane and wants to make it blue as a Wikilink can do so, just by adding the usual pair of square brackets. (The Wikilink will take the reader to this article.) Dolphin (t) 22:28, 28 July 2010 (UTC)
Be warned, if you do so you can expect it to be changed to "fixed-wing aircraft" in a hurry.LRT24 (talk) 03:37, 18 April 2011 (UTC)

I realize this is a sensitive issue, but I think if you read John's suggestion again, you will see is not to move this article to "airplane", but to move it to "plane (aviation)". Perhaps this possible solution has already been discussed (I admit I haven't read the entire history of the matter), but it sounds like a solution preferable to "fixed wing aircraft" in every way:

  1. As far as I'm aware, "plane" is a common abbreviation in all variants of English, and therefore complies with WP:COMMONNAME.
  2. The current title of "fixed wing aircraft" gives the impression that there exist people in the world that actually use this term.
  3. Any concerns about disambiguation are baseless as both "airplane" and "aeroplane" can be redirected to "Plane (aviation)" directly.

--RSLxii 20:35, 15 April 2011 (UTC)

In my opinion, the two good titles are Aeroplane and Airplane. Unfortunately, the attitude "if we can't have it, no one can" has prevailed, leaving us with Fixed-wing aircraft.
If there's one idea that I dislike more, it's switching to a title requiring parenthetical disambiguation (despite the existence of three alternatives that don't, two of which are commonly used in everyday language).
At least Fixed-wing aircraft can be defended as a scientifically meaningful term (despite the fact that this deviates from our usual naming conventions). The proposed titles, conversely, are bastardized versions of the two sensible titles that we're too obstinate to use. I prefer the status quo. —David Levy 05:06, 18 April 2011 (UTC)
I won't belabor the point any more after this, I promise. But I'm curious why you have a distaste for parenthetical disambiguations. There are plenty of articles on popular subjects that require this kind of treatment, and they seem to cause no controversy or confusion: Mouse (computing), Delta (letter), Pool (cue sports), Turkey (bird), Georgia (country). --RSLxii 19:16, 18 April 2011 (UTC)


Not entirely sure if this is relevant but in australia, which is a commonwealth country, airplane is more used than aeroplane, parhaps aeroplane is more european? In french its aéroport... Changed introduction paragraph. 07:56, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

No offence, but that's rubbish. In France, aéroport means airport, not aeroplane. Bonzostar (talk) 20:35, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
And as an Australian, the only time I ever heard "airplane" was on US TV shows. Aeroplane is certainly the more common usage in Australia. (talk) 18:52, 8 June 2011 (UTC)


People, you are crazy. This article is about airplanes. Name it airplane!!! yours truely, four wheeled internal combustion transport utility. 22:19, 3 February 2011 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

I suggest that mature Wikipedians ignore this blatant troll. EuroSong talk 09:45, 5 February 2011 (UTC)

Requested move 2011

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

No consensus to move. Vegaswikian (talk) 18:28, 28 July 2011 (UTC)

Fixed-wing aircraftAirplane – There has never been any question that airplane is the most commonly used term in reliable sources for this topic, so I presume that as a given. Choosing a less commonly used term in order to avoiding having to choose between national varieties is unprecedented, so far as I know. It's not a good reason to ignore our rules. The proposed name meets the Principal Naming Criteria we use to decide titles better than either the current title, or Aeroplane:

  • Recognizability – article titles are expected to be a recognizable name or description of the topic.
  • Naturalness – titles are expected to use names and terms that readers are most likely to look for in order to find the article (and to which editors will most naturally link from other articles). As part of this, a good title should convey what the subject is actually called in English.
  • Precision – titles are expected to use names and terms that are precise, but only as precise as is necessary to identify the topic of the article unambiguously. For technical reasons, no two Wikipedia articles can have the same title. For information on how ambiguity is avoided in titles, see the Precision and disambiguation section below and the disambiguation guideline.
  • Conciseness – titles are expected to be shorter rather than longer.
  • Consistency – titles are expected to follow the same pattern as those of similar articles. Many of these patterns are documented in the naming guidelines listed in the Specific-topic naming conventions box above, and ideally indicate titles that are in accordance with the principal criteria above.
The three are equally precise, but Airplane is more recognizable than the other two, more natural than the current title (and even arguably more natural than Aeroplane given that more readers would expect to find this article at Airplane), and more concise than the current title. It's also arguably more consistent with similar articles like Automobile, Train and Ship.

There is no policy-based justification for the current title, or for any title, other than Airplane. If we ignore our naming rules for peculiar reasons that don't apply to any other articles, why have rules at all? Born2cycle (talk) 20:05, 22 July 2011 (UTC)

  • Oppose Perhaps we should change policy, but not on the basis of misstatements of what policy is:
    No policy-based reason? B2C really should have looked further in the policy he quotes; he would have found a less common but non-nation-specific term is selected so as to avoid having to choose between national varieties: for example, Fixed-wing aircraft was selected to avoid the choice between "Aeroplane" and "Airplane". We don't, as the policy says, do this often; nor do we choose Americanisms just because the United States is more populous than the anglophone nations of the Commonwealth. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 21:23, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
    • I'm aware of that odd statement which reflects what we do only to the extent of this one article. If that statement were removed, as far as I know, no other article title would be affected. There is no basis for your second statement, "nor do we choose Americanisms just because the United States is more populous", in naming policy. --Born2cycle (talk) 22:00, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
      • To clarify - we don't avoid the title that is the best fit to the naming criteria simply because it is a national variety. "National variety" is not a factor in our policy for deciding titles, nor is it in how we actually decided titles for other articles. Why should it be even a consideration in this case? --Born2cycle (talk) 22:37, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
        • Because many editors oppose the imposition of an Americanism where it can be avoided relatively simply, as the rest of this discussion shows. The same opposition to provincially Commonwealth English is equally well warranted.
        • Similarly, of course, WT:AT does consider national variety; otherwise the unconditional quest for consistency would have leveled United States Department of Defense and Department of Defence (Australia) long ago.
        • In short, Born2cycle disagrees with policy and practice, which is fine; that he misstates what they are is less laudable, although customary. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 19:36, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
          • Nothing I said misstated policy. And I do not disagree with policy and practices. I disagree with isolated unnecessary exceptions to policy and practices that do nothing to improve the encyclopedia, and arguably make it confusing. That's a big difference. --Born2cycle (talk) 20:46, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment - Oh dear, not again! Can an admin snowball close this as "No consensus" and save us the trouble of another contentious discussion that ends in "No consensus" anyway? - BilCat (talk) 21:31, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
    • This discussion is actually turning out to be better than I had thought it would be. Please forgive the momentary rant. - BilCat (talk) 18:22, 23 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose again. Keep the compromise between UK and USA versions. Binksternet (talk) 22:18, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
    • Not a policy-based argument. --Born2cycle (talk) 22:32, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment. I can see one of Born2cycle's concerns: why, when 99% of national variety naming disputes end up at one of the terms in common usage, should this article be located at a contrived, if neutral title? (As two examples, we have chosen Eggplant over Aubergine, when the neutral Solanum melongena is available; we have chosen Aluminium over Aluminum, when Atomic number 13 or something would also work.) Why haven't we picked one here? Dohn joe (talk) 00:00, 23 July 2011 (UTC)
Because we don't use "Atomic number 13" because few (if any) sources use the term "Atomic number 13" when referring to Aluminum/Aluminium... on the other hand, there are lots and lots of sources from both the US and the UK that use the term "fixed-wing aircraft" when referring to Airplanes/Areoplanes. The term is a close second choice in both variants Blueboar (talk) 01:28, 23 July 2011 (UTC)
How close can it be, when at Google Books, "airplane" + "aeroplane" = 3 million, and "fixed-wing aircraft" = 70 thousand? Dohn joe (talk) 01:56, 23 July 2011 (UTC)
I think you'll find that if you look only at sources that are about airplanes specifically (rather than mentioning them in passing) that the numbers become much more even. Powers T 19:03, 23 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Tony (talk) 00:02, 23 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Support moving. No preference as to whether it is moved to "airplane" or "aeroplane", but the current title is absolute rubbish. Not only does it make no attempt to use the most common name in English, it doesn't even try to use a common name in English. Wikipedia has no need to make up titles to try to appease people. And yes, the item in "Article titles" should be removed, as it exists solely to accommodate this one title that disagrees with pretty much every other title on Wikipedia (per Dohn joe) and is, as such, not descriptive of actual practice. Heimstern Läufer (talk) 00:30, 23 July 2011 (UTC)
Um... a quick google search or even a quick google books search will show that "fixed-wing aircraft" actually is very much a common name in English. And that we didn't make it up. Blueboar (talk) 01:32, 23 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Opposed - This title is an excellent example of a situation where we thought outside the box to resolve a dispute. We need more of that, not less. Blueboar (talk) 01:15, 23 July 2011 (UTC)
    • The "out of the box" thinking resolved nothing. When the dispute is about A or B, C is not a solution, it's a distraction that prevents us from coming to a real resolution (deciding on A or B). --Born2cycle (talk) 20:40, 23 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Support per WP:COMMONNAME. I'm American and I would still prefer aeroplane to fixed-wing aircraft. It seems like an unnecessary compromise. The first person who used either airplane or aeroplane went with the former so I think that is what we should go with, but I'm willing to defer to the first major contributor if somebody wants to determine who that was. –CWenger (^@) 02:29, 23 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Support - The policy on naming articles (WP:Title) also includes this instructive statement: "The choice of article titles should put the interests of readers before those of editors, and those of a general audience before those of specialists." Googling 'aeroplane' produces 17 million results. Googling 'airplane' produces 266 million results. The entries don't all refer to an aircraft type, but do give some idea of the comparative 'recognizability' of the words. DonFB (talk) 04:47, 23 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Strong support for a move to either airplane or aeroplane, or a merge of the entire article into aircraft per WP:UCN. As CWenger noted, I'd prefer airplane but would settle for aeroplane over the current title. This article's current title is similar to if we decided to move color to Property of light as seen by Earth's animals. I am not even sure why there is a distinction on Wikipedia between aircraft and airplane/aeroplane. — CIS (talk | stalk) 07:24, 23 July 2011 (UTC)
  • For "airplane" the usual British English word is "aeroplane". Anthony Appleyard (talk) 08:30, 23 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Question. Why can't everything just be merged into the Aircraft article so we avoid the ENGVAR issue entirely? Jenks24 (talk) 08:51, 23 July 2011 (UTC)
One reason is WP:SIZE. Aircraft is already a very long article that gives an overview of all types of craft that fly or float in the air (helicopters, zeppelins, hot air balloons, etc, as well as fixed-wing planes). It makes sense to summarize in that overview article, and point the reader to sub-articles where we can go into more detail on the various categories of aircraft. Blueboar (talk) 11:58, 23 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose The prospect of consensus regarding "airplane" vs. "aeroplane" is extremely unlikely. The current article title appropriately describes the aircraft type and I see no reason to me it now.--Labattblueboy (talk) 11:53, 23 July 2011 (UTC)
    • I'm sorry, but this seems like a self-fulfilling prophecy. The current compromise title was reached at a time when these discussion mostly consisted of people expressing their personal preferences. Times have changed. Consensus in RM discussions is now determined by strength of arguments, especially how well they are based in policy.

      This discussion should not be about what each of thinks the outcome of the discussion is likely to be based on the personal preferences of those who participate, but what each of us thinks policy indicates the title should be, and why. --Born2cycle (talk) 16:11, 23 July 2011 (UTC)

  • Oppose current name was agreed by consensus cant see any viable reason why that consensus should be overturned, note wp:consensus is a policy. MilborneOne (talk) 17:14, 23 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The current title is clearly better to avoid the WP:ENGVAR arguments between "airplane" and "aeroplane". The nominator's argument that "airplane" is more recognisable and natural seems to be entirely based on an American perspective. What proof is there that more readers would expect to find it there? I certainly wouldn't and neither would the many millions of other speakers of British and Commonwealth English (who far outnumber the speakers of American English). As to the nominator's argument that it "breaks our rules", I would point him to WP:IAR, WP:BURO and WP:UCS. We basically don't have rules as such. If "fixed-wing aircraft" was not actually used by a significant number of people then I would agree with a renaming (although the title would be problematic), but the fact is that it is a commonly-used term, if not quite as common as "aeroplane" or "airplane". -- Necrothesp (talk) 18:11, 23 July 2011 (UTC)
    • Actually, as far as native speakers of English, Americans/Canadians outnumber native speakers of British and other-Commonwealth English by a large amount. However, if you include non-native speakers, then yes, India would add quite alarge amount it. But also remember that American English is more frequent in the Philippines, S. Korea, and even Japan, all of which seem to use "airplane", at least in web docs. Ghits have been presented that show that "airplane" is use far more often on the web, and Web hits are a factor in RM discussions. - BilCat (talk) 18:22, 23 July 2011 (UTC)
      • Yes, but by policy, we should not favor American spellings simply because there are more Americans. Powers T 19:03, 23 July 2011 (UTC)
          • Policy favors no national variant, not does it not favor a national variant - it is simply what most readers would expect to find. - BilCat (talk) 19:57, 23 July 2011 (UTC)
          • "We should not favor American spellings simply because there are more Americans.". I don't think anyone disagrees with that. But that goes both ways, doesn't it? That is, we should not disfavor American spellings simply because they're American. Going back to February 25, 2002 Aeroplane redirected to Airplane [1]. There was no good reason to change that, except to disfavor the American spelling. --Born2cycle (talk) 15:23, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Qualified Support - As far as what readers would expect to find - and WP readers are still primarily from North America - I support "Airplane" as the better name. However, this has alwaysd been a highly contentious issue, and I agree with Milb on consensus being policy, and this being a consensus decision. I would like to see ENGVAR applied to articles with strong national ties, so that we can use "airplane" in US articles suich as F-16, and "aeroplane" in articlkes such on the Typhoon. - BilCat (talk) 18:22, 23 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose, common enough term, and an elegant solution. If it violates policy (which I'm not at all convinced it does), WP:IAR covers it nicely. Powers T 19:03, 23 July 2011 (UTC)
    • What specifically in policy - besides the one special exception written for this specific case - might support this title? What is the good reason that is applicable in this particular case to warrant invoking IAR? Since when is "common enough" a reason to go with a title when there is clearly more common title available? I mean, doesn't "common enough" usually only apply when disambiguation is required because the most common title has other uses? --Born2cycle (talk) 20:33, 23 July 2011 (UTC)
      • Sure, that's the most common case, but there's no reason it couldn't also apply as a way to avoid choosing between two national variants of a word. It's not like this is a particularly awkward or unusual descriptor. Powers T 02:11, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
        • I don't know of any evidence that supports the notion that the current title is not particularly awkward or unusual to refer to this article's topic. To the contrary, "airplane" gets about 21 times more ghits than "fixed-wing aircraft" on Scholar, 35 times more ghits on Books, and 50 times more on regular google.

          I also don't know of any other case like this, don't see the point of having this one exception (plenty of counter-examples like Yoghurt, Association football), and Cor anglais) and the frequent references in talk page discussions indicates it sets a confusing precedent. --Born2cycle (talk) 22:50, 24 July 2011 (UTC)

          • You've got the burden of proof backwards; it's impossible to prove a negative (vis, "that the current title is not particularly awkward or unusual"). If you feel it is awkward, you need to prove it. Search hits are evidence only toward popularity, which we've decided to bypass here in favor of a somewhat less-popular but more universal term. I'm sorry that this doesn't fit nicely into the little algorithm you devised, but that's your problem, not ours. Powers T 23:53, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
            • You made the assertion that the current title is not "particularly awkward or unusual descriptor", not me. "Awkward" is not mentioned at WP:TITLE, so it's irrelevant. What is relevant per WP:TITLE is whether the title is "natural", and that is defined in terms of three characteristics:
              1. "names and terms that readers are most likely to look for in order to find the article"
              2. "to which editors will most naturally link from other articles"
              3. "should convey what the subject is actually called in English".
            Are you suggesting that any of these three characteristics apply better to Fixed-wing aircraft than to Airplane? Evidence of airplane being (2) that "which editors will most naturally link from other articles" is the high number of links to Airplane (not to Fixed-wing aircraft, despite the article having been located there for years) in article space [2]. Less directly that supports (1) in favor Airplane as well, and the ghit ratios I mentioned above support (3) in favor of Airplane.

            As for whether the usage is "usual" or "unusual", ghits relative to other uses is the only way I can think of to substantiate the claim either way, which I did. Can you think of any others? --Born2cycle (talk) 05:23, 25 July 2011 (UTC)

            No, I'm not suggesting that; my whole point has been that in this case, it's good enough to justify given the intractability of choosing between the other two options. It's quite apparent that you disagree, but I'm not wrong just because you do. Powers T 11:58, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
            Would you please decide what your position is and stick to it, instead of moving the goalposts every time you post? Now it's "good enough" and "intractibility"? Really? Are you going to hold this position for more than one comment?

            Of course I disagree it's "good enough". Of course it's "wrong" (your word, but I'll go with it). I mean, the only way a title could reasonably be characterized as "wrong" is if it's not the title indicated by the primary naming criteria, and the current title is not indicated by that criteria at all. If titles can be "wrong", how can any title be more wrong than this one?

            What is so intractible to choose between the two options that are actually commonly used to refer to this topic? There are countless other topics in WP which have both American and British spellings and we choose one or the other, why not for this topic? Since when is "intractability" a reason to choose a clearly less common (and wrong) name for a title? Do you know of any other article in which the most common name, and the second most common name, are not used simply due to "intractability", and, so, a much less common (but "good enough") name is used instead? This is u n p r e c e d e n t e d, and to say otherwise is wrong. --Born2cycle (talk) 15:39, 25 July 2011 (UTC)

            Typographic dramatics do not make your point more persuasive. I don't see any goalpost-moving here; from my initial comment I said that the current term was "common enough". If I'm using slightly different terminology now, it's to a) avoid repeating myself (something I try to avoid, even if you don't) and b) attempt to make my argument clearer to you. You are treating the guidance at WP:CRITERIA as gospel, and it isn't. If it doesn't fit with the title we've decided is best for this article, then the policy must change, not the title; policy follows practice, not the other way around. More importantly, why does this upset you so? You seem to feel that having a clear and universal set of deterministic steps for choosing an article title is necessary somehow, but not only is it not necessary, it's also not possible. No set of rules can apply to every situation; that's exactly why WP:IAR was written. Powers T 21:22, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
            Bringing up intractibility (without basis, by the way) is moving the goal posts. Yes, you did say "common enough" before, which lead to the claim that it's not awkward or unusual, to which I pointed out what matters is "natural", and why the current title is not "natural", to which you responded by ignoring all that and simply asserting it's "good enough".

            "If it doesn't fit with the title we've decided is best for this article, then the policy must change". Well, the title that has supposedly been decided is best (never mind it doesn't have consensus support) doesn't fit with the guidance at WP:CRITERIA, so, by your own words, the policy must change. Well, if must change, go change it.

            To invoke WP:IAR you need to have a good reason. What is different about this situation from the plethora of other similar situations where there are also both UK and US spellings? What warrants special unique treatment in this case?

            For your more philosophical questions, I'm going to have to write an essay to answer, but I for now just say this. It is possible to have a set of rules, and I'll say a set of coherent and consistent rules, that applies to every situation within the rather simple and well-contained domain of deciding articles for titles. And if the rules actually don't apply to some situation, they can always be modified to handle those types of situations too, like you say. But that's not the case here. Here, the existing rules clearly apply and indicate a particular perfectly good title that meets all the criteria well, and yet you want to use a different title. That's not WP:IAR. That's WP:JDLI.

            And the reason it makes me upset is because we have a perfectly good set of rules that, if followed, we'd have much more consensus about these titles, and thus much fewer disagreements and debates. --Born2cycle (talk) 22:29, 25 July 2011 (UTC)

            You started the debate! If you want fewer disagreements and debates, then don't start one! This title appears to have been stable for some time. How you can say there's no consensus for it is beyond me. And that consensus has been verified by this discussion, in which the majority are clearly opposed to changing the title. Powers T 23:34, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
            Moving the goalposts again, and still not addressing all the previous points I made? I'm have too much difficulty assuming good faith now. --Born2cycle (talk) 23:40, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
            I'm not moving any goalposts. If you don't stop misrepresenting my position, we're done here. Powers T 13:02, 26 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose "airplane" does not exclude gyroplanes or the fanwing design (both with rotary wings) or ornithopters, while "fixed-wing aircraft" does. (talk) 08:53, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose – if a move is in order, it would have to be aeroplane, since the article is in British English. For the various reasons above, I'd prefer no move. The term aeroplane would be viewed as very odd by Americans, and the present titling and article works well all around. The precision of the current title makes it very clear what the scope of the article is. Dicklyon (talk) 22:03, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose The concept of fixed-wing aircraft includes gliders (also known as sailplanes). The concept of airplane (and aeroplane) as defined by ICAO requires that the aircraft be power-driven, and therefore gliders and sailplanes cannot be airplanes or aeroplanes. Dolphin (t) 12:10, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
    • That's true about the concept, but it's not true about the topic of this article, since, except for a short paragraph about unpowered aircraft, gliders are not covered in this article, they are covered generally at Unpowered aircraft and specifically at Glider (sailplane). --Born2cycle (talk) 15:46, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
My point is that fixed-wing aircraft and airplane (or aeroplane) are not synonymous. Dolphin (t) 22:31, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
I agree. My point is that is not a good reason to oppose this move as the article would be greatly improved if the WP:SCOPE was changed, along with the title, was to be only about aeroplanes. Just search for "power" in the text to see how often the awkward accommodation for gliders occurs. --22:50, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
This thread is about changing the title of the article, and to that I am opposed. If a proposal is made to change the scope so the article is confined to fixed-wing, power-driven aircraft I may be in favor. Dolphin (t) 23:01, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
Sorry, I thought that was obviously implied. --Born2cycle (talk) 23:41, 25 July 2011 (UTC)

Change of content

Comment/Clarification from nom Just to clarify, this RM proposal inherently affects the WP:SCOPE of this article as well as the title. Right now there is a rather awkward (IMHO) attempt to include non-powered fixed-wing aircraft in the scope of this article, and all that could be fixed (by removing it) along with the changing the title. All that is already covered more than adequately in Unpowered aircraft and Glider. --Born2cycle (talk) 23:44, 25 July 2011 (UTC)

Now this I can strongly oppose. There's one paragraph on unpowered aircraft, in perfect parallellism with the various types of engine; it links to Unpowered aircraft and Glider. There is no benefit here, except to justify the change of title. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 15:13, 26 July 2011 (UTC)
I'm frankly not too optimistic that the name change to airplane or aeroplane will succeed (I support the change), but the above comment actually strengthens my commitment to the name change. The only reason this article has its current name is to avoid the dispute over American and Commonwealth spellings of aero/airplane. Thus, this article with its umbrella title also includes a small section about unpowered gliders/sailplanes. If this article were true to its name, the glider/sailplane text should be as fully developed as the air/aeroplane text. But it's not. That's because this article is really about the aero/airplane, not the larger category of fixed-wing aircraft. In that sense, the current title is actually misleading. The title 'fixed-wing aircraft' should in fact be set apart as a either a brief article with links to aero/airplane (this article) and glider/sailplane articles, or simply as a disambiguation page. (It would appropriate, in my opinion, for the individual air/aeroplane and glider (sailplane) articles to mention that those types of aircraft belong to a category known as 'fixed-wing aircraft'.) DonFB (talk) 19:01, 26 July 2011 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Fixed winged craft?

Swing Wings are Aeroplanes too? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:49, 1 August 2011 (UTC)

Yes - the article now has a photo of a swing-wing aircraft. DexDor (talk) 22:30, 14 August 2011 (UTC)

Time for a new lead picture ?

I don't find the current lead picture of PZL-104 Wilga very attractive. Are there any objections to it being changed to a pic of Il-96 ([3]) ? (It ticks all the boxes - nice picture, wings prominent, shows that parts of wings move, not too branded, no other airliner pics in article at present). Alternatively there's a pic showing both a powered and an unpowered f/w aircraft ([4]). DexDor (talk) 22:30, 14 August 2011 (UTC)

I installed the picture of the PZL-104 Wilga primarily because it is a very high quality photograph. I agree that the Il-96 photograph is also high quality and would be an appropriate replacement. Go for it. Dolphin (t) 22:38, 14 August 2011 (UTC)

Tillers & Radio

I have been in a lot of aircraft and never seen a tiller - usually steering in the ground is done by the rudder pedals since the transition from using the rudder to an alternate control when speed dropped below where the rudder was aerodynamically effective would be dangerous - I am sure at some point someone must have used one but should it really be included? Can someone give an example or two of aircraft with them? Also wondering if a radio is considered an instrument - most aircraft from the 1940's onwards have radios fitted.NiD.29 (talk) 21:08, 19 October 2011 (UTC)

I think radio is considered an instrument. Although they were placed in aircraft in the 40's, it is a pretty essential piece of equipmentMillertime246 (talk) 21:14, 19 October 2011 (UTC)
A lot of airliners like the Boeing 737 have a "Nose Wheel Steering Wheel" which is just what it sound like a small wheel that operates the nose wheel, the Boeing 777 has a "Nose Wheel Steering Tiller" which is more like a handle. The A320 is also a handle thing refered to as a tiller [5]. Bombardier CRJ-200 = [6] MilborneOne (talk) 21:42, 19 October 2011 (UTC)
Just what I wanted to hear (though it still sounds unsafe). Thanks. :)

Mind the gap

shelved discussion

I don't mean to step on the toes of the current move request, but it seems to be going nowhere, and while people were still engaged, I thought I'd use the opportunity to raise a related issue and proposal. If people think it's untimely, I'd be happy to shelve it until the above debate is closed. Here it is:

It seems to me that the oft-recurring naming debate and its current compromise have led to a gap in Wikipedia's coverage. From what I (as a layman) can tell, the world of aviation can broadly be represented thusly:

Under the current scheme, we have articles devoted to every major category of aircraft except perhaps the most important - powered fixed-wing aircraft (aka aero/airplanes). This seems a shame and a major shortcoming to me, and it presents a real incentive to change the status quo. But how? I propose:

  1. keeping Fixed-wing aircraft as an umbrella article covering both gliders and the aero/airplane, after the fashion of Rotary-wing aircraft; and
  2. creating a new article specifically about the aero/airplane.
Of course, this leads back to the root of the problem - what to title the article. We can't call it Aero/airplane (can we?), so I'd ask for a straw poll on the following four options:

A: Powered fixed-wing aircraft

B: Airplane

C: Aeroplane

D: Plane (aircraft)

All four have pros and cons, and I haven't decided which I'd prefer. I realize that this disturbs the current compromise. But I see a significant flaw in Wikipedia's presentation of aviation information (namely, that "fixed-wing aircraft" and "aero/airplane" are not synonymous), and so I thought I'd throw this out there and see what you all thought. There could still be a satisfactory solution to a recurring problem. Please feel free to oppose or support the concept, and if you support it, which of the four suggested titles you prefer. Thanks! Dohn joe (talk) 17:29, 26 July 2011 (UTC)

I think you need to let the move conclude or be withdrawn by the nominator before making other suggestions. MilborneOne (talk) 18:20, 26 July 2011 (UTC)
I agree the gap problem exists (arguably created by the decision to name this article about airplanes the way it's currently named), but I suggest the best solution is to move Fixed-wing aircraft to Airplane as proposed above, and then, instead of redirecting Fixed-wing aircraft, to create the umbrella/general article. I believe this is a better solution since this article is more about airplanes specifically than fixed-wing in general. But it doesn't really matter which way we go, as while the bulk of the content here would probably go into the aeroplane article, the intro and history section are probably a better fit for the general unbrella article. --Born2cycle (talk) 18:54, 26 July 2011 (UTC)
The tree, as it actually exists, is: This article cuts across this with subdivisions based on the source of power, which would be better fixed, but that's an editing detail. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 00:16, 27 July 2011 (UTC)
Despite adding several types of aircraft, you've still missed the level of Powered fixed-wing aircraft, of which Propeller-driven aircraft, Jet aircraft, and Rocket-powered aircraft would be sublevels, no? For another visual depiction of the problem, take a look at Template:Seriesbox aircraft categories and note which item is not wikilinked. Dohn joe (talk) 04:11, 27 July 2011 (UTC)
I;br sldo missed the level of Pwered aircraft that don't have hets; the one clas is as logically possible, and as practically useless, as the other. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 15:12, 27 July 2011 (UTC)
Let me be clearer: we currently have no article solely about the aero/airplane. This article is about the category of aircraft that includes both planes and gliders. Gliders have their own article (as do hang gliders, autogyros, helicopters, etc.) If we have an article devoted to the Gyrodyne shouldn't we have one devoted to planes? (This question is for everyone, by the way, not just PMAnderson.) Dohn joe (talk) 17:13, 27 July 2011 (UTC)
Again, yes. The only reason this article is not that article is because of the contrived-compromise title it currently holds. In retrospect, I suppose one of the reasons it was supported by a consensus is that it represents a topic in and of itself - it's just a different (more general) topic than the topic that this article originally had and still tries to be in many respects. I really think the solution is to move this article to Airplane or Aeroplane, update the content to reflect the tighter scope, and split out a new Fixed-wing aircraft article. --Born2cycle (talk) 18:23, 27 July 2011 (UTC)
No. It would be redundant with this article. Rewriiting a subject with one small exception is as silly as writing Unsiamese cats. Almost everything said here would be repeated; the majority of it would be repeated again under glider, for it is still true: powered aircraft do glide - dead-stick. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 14:32, 28 July 2011 (UTC)

I decided to take MilborneOne's suggestion and shelve this discussion for now, as it hasn't seemed to attract the interest of anyone besides Born2cycle and PMAnderson (sorry, folks.) I might try again some other time, after the current froth has subsided. Dohn joe (talk) 16:32, 28 July 2011 (UTC)

That's fine; the only reason I've made more than one comment is to answer direct questions. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 18:00, 28 July 2011 (UTC)
There's a video on YouTube here; [7] showing American test pilot Tex Johnston rolling the Boeing 707 prototype and in his commentary for this he clearly uses the term aeroplane several times. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:18, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

Tandem Wings

Check out (the wiki page lacks an image) - the second wing is at the rear - a tandem wing is different from a canard in that they are nearly the same size and the elevators are on the rear wing, whereas a canard, most of the lifting is done by a conventional wing and pitch control is up front. A tandem wing can also have a canard.NiD.29 (talk) 19:33, 21 October 2011 (UTC)

Infobox image

I've been trying to find a nice montage that would show off the various kinds of fixed-wing aircraft - planes, gliders, hang gliders, kites, etc. In the meantime, I replaced the current image of an airliner with this one of a kite in flight. It's a beautiful image, and a good showcase of one kind of fixed-wing aircraft. If anyone can find (or create) a montage, that would be ideal. Otherwise, what do people think about a semi-regular rotation of planes, gliders, hang gliders, and kites for the infobox? Dohn joe (talk) 23:27, 9 January 2012 (UTC)

Poor choice I'd say as this page is a stand in for airplane and aeroplane, and a kite is neither. Seems like pointless change for the sake of an argument, especially since there was no problems with the old photo. NiD.29 (talk) 23:43, 9 January 2012 (UTC)

But a kite is a fixed-wing aircraft - which is what this article is about. What's wrong with showing people that? There are plenty of good illustrative images of planes in the article text. What's wrong with rotating the lead image to show the different kinds of fixed-wing aircraft? That seems the most educational thing to do. Dohn joe (talk) 00:01, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
Show a picture of a kite by all means - but not in the info box or otherwise illustrating the lead. A kite may well be technically a "Fixed wing aircraft" - but its hardly a typical example of what the article's about, is it? I realise that we're actually continuing the old aeroplane/airplane controversy, and I recognise that there is a good deal that might be said from your point of view - but doing it like this is NOT at all constructive. Good little Wiki editors DON'T take out their frustrations on the "users". --Soundofmusicals (talk) 00:31, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
I'm not trying to take out frustrations. I'm just trying to make sense of the article we have. It discusses unpowered aircraft throughout, does it not? I'm not naive, and understand that this is the "stand-in" article for planes. But if we accept the article as it's written, it includes kites and gliders. As a reader, I've been confused by the scope and layout of the article. Like I said, a montage would most neatly address that confusion. Failing that, a rotation of images would genuinely help, imo. Dohn joe (talk) 00:54, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
I agree with Soundofmusicals' sentiments. This is not the first debate about the leading image in this article. As a result of this debate I rotated the leading image a couple of times. I am in favor of a periodical change of image to make use of some of the fabulous images at our disposal. However, I think the image in the infobox should be a conventional fixed-wing, powered aircraft or a glider. Some users (but not me) might object to a glider on the grounds that it isn't what most people think of when they think of a fixed-wing aircraft. Dolphin (t) 01:39, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
Since the very great majority of fixed wing aircraft are powered (things like kites and gliders are the exception) we don't need "powered" to be hammered all through the article - especially for remarks that apply to kites and gliders anyway (there have been biplane gliders, and the whole idea of a biplane stems from Hargreave's box kite - just to pick one example). Thanks for the little mention of kites though - and we probably need an equivalent bit for gliders. --Soundofmusicals (talk) 06:06, 10 January 2012 (UTC)

Clarification of article scope or requested move

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

(Non-admin closure)The result of the move request was:No consensus. Closed by Dipankan In the woods? 14:51, 24 January 2012 (UTC)

Fixed-wing aircraftPowered fixed-wing aircraft – This article perplexes me, and I really think it's about time we made it make sense. See below for rationale and several options. Dohn joe (talk) 18:59, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

Right now, it's trying to do two things. First, as we all know, it's a stand-in for the nonexistent aero/airplane article, because we haven't been able to choose between those words. Second, it's actually about "fixed-wing aircraft" - which includes more than just aero/airplanes. This arrangement makes for a confusing, messy article, and misleads the readership. Other articles (not many, though) have compromise titles. I cannot think of another article on WP, though, where the compromise title is not actually a synonym of the subject of the article. Certainly not an article as prominent as this one.

As long as its title is "Fixed-wing aircraft", this article has to discuss things like gliders and kites - because they are certainly fixed-wing aircraft, and leaving them out would make the article incomplete. I've tried to introduce some bits and pieces about non-plane aircraft over the past couple of weeks for that very reason. And I've met resistance, because kites and gliders "is not what this article's really about". Which is what perplexes me. If we want an article that's really about planes, we should have one.

Which means finding a title that actually matches the subject of the article. I see four options:

1. Powered fixed-wing aircraft. While still not perfect, it eliminates kites and gliders, and maintains the spirit of the current compromise.

2a. Plane (aviation) or 2b. Plane (aircraft). Also somewhat of a compromise, but perhaps(?) too casual of a title.

3a. Aeroplane or 3b. Airplane. Just pick one, like 99% of the rest of WP has done.

4. Shut up, Dohn joe. While the current arrangement doesn't make sense, we're tired of debating it. The universe is full of inconsistencies - learn to accept it. Try again never.

So, there's my spiel. Fixed-wing aircraft would still remain, as a much smaller article pointing to the others. Feel free to discuss, !vote, or ignore. Dohn joe (talk) 18:59, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

I support a rename (1/3a/3b - or even 3a/3b in alternate years) (with appropriate edits to the content to fit the new title), but I wouldn't leave an article at "Fixed-wing aircraft" as it probably wouldn't stay "much smaller" and it would add to the muddle of overlapping articles (a redirect to the relevant section of Aircraft would be better). Option 1 might lead to battles with the WP:COMMONNAME police. There are parts of this article (e.g. the "Design and construction" section) that apply equally to r/w aircraft so a review of all these overlapping articles might be called for. @DJ - have you looked at the previous discussions about this? DexDor (talk) 20:35, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
I have looked at at least some of the prior discussions. They seemed to focus mainly on the terminology. I'm more interested in matching the scope of the article with the title. A few editors have mentioned that in the past, but it's always seemed a side point. I'm hoping that will be the main point here. Dohn joe (talk) 23:17, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Current naming is suitable. Binksternet (talk) 23:05, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
    So it's okay with you that "fixed-wing aircraft" is not a synonym for "aero/airplane"? Just trying to get a sense of how people feel here. Dohn joe (talk) 23:17, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
    Huh? It is a synonym. A fixed wing is a plane. In the early days of aviation, plane, aeroplane and airplane meant both the wing alone and the total assembly of wing, fuselage and other parts: the aircraft. The current title is perfectly apt. Binksternet (talk) 17:42, 20 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Support 3b. The current title, Fixed-wing aircraft, is an exception for no good reason, and creates article scope problems as noted in the nomination. We should go with either Aeroplane or Airplane, whichever was used first. The best evidence I can find is this, a version of Aeroplane from February 25, 2002... which is a redirect to Airplane, suggesting that the article was at Airplane at that time. Unfortunately Airplane itself goes back to only 2005 for some reason. The earliest version of Fixed-wing aircraft is dated March 30, 2002 [8]. So it's impossible to tell for sure, but the best evidence, the AeroplaneAirplane redirect, suggests Airplane was first, so I support 3b. --Born2cycle (talk) 23:37, 17 January 2012 (UTC) --Born2cycle (talk) 06:14, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
    • Not sure about that. I was having a look at nostalgia wiki and airplane was created on 19 September 2001 as redirect to aircraft [9] and then changed into an article about the movie on 5 November [10]. When areoplane was created on 25 February I think it's more likely that the airplane article it redirected to was either a redirect itself or about the movie, which is why it was changed to redirect to aircraft on 27 May [11]. Personally, I think neither airplane nor aeroplane have been the title of an article -- I think it started at aircraft and was then split into the more specific fixed-wing aircraft. Jenks24 (talk) 04:41, 18 January 2012 (UTC)
      • Good findings; you've persuaded me about that. I've stricken my !vote above and created a new one below accordingly. --Born2cycle (talk) 06:14, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Support 3a or 3b. Not sure about the argument from article name histories is the way to go, but I suspect Aeroplane predates Airplane in actual use. I would go with either though as I don't like the oddball compromise that has resulted in "fixed wing aircraft". My feeling is that we should stick with industry standard naming to avoid unnecessary confusion in regards to definitions. There is no reason that aeroplane cannot be redirected to airplane (or vice versa) - the first line of the header can remove any remaining confusion - after all - that is why that option exists.NiD.29 (talk) 00:26, 18 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Support 3a or 3b. Don't really care either way, but an argument for aeroplane would be that the first version of fixed-wing aircraft [12] was written by an IP from England [13], so is in British English. Jenks24 (talk) 04:41, 18 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment. The current title "Fixed-wing aircraft" is one of the examples cited on MOS:COMMONALITY as a "universally used term". This was the compromise made several years ago instead of using either "aeroplane" (British English) or "airplane" (American English). The most recent move discussion on this issue resulted in no consensus to move Zzyzx11 (talk) 04:55, 18 January 2012 (UTC)
    I also tend to disagree in choosing the British English "aeroplane", because under MOS:RETAIN, it only applies when no English variety has been established and discussion cannot resolve the issue. However, discussion and previous consensus HAD resolved the issue by changing it to the neutral "fixed-wing aircraft". Zzyzx11 (talk) 05:16, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
    Consensus changes and Dohn Joe makes a good argument about how the current title causes problems related to scope. Once once decides the title should be "airplane" or "aeroplane" - I suggest RETAIN is the most objective and fair way to decide which of the two to use. I suppose we could go with alphabetical too, but that seems even more arbitrary (in this case it's moot since both methods indicate the same result). --Born2cycle (talk) 06:14, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Support 3a/aeroplane. The current title, Fixed-wing aircraft, is an exception/compromise for no good reason, and creates article scope problems as noted in the nomination. It also creates a bad precedent - I've seen this title referenced many times as an example of how we sometimes go with a descriptive title even when the topic has a common name, particularly when it has more than one and we have trouble deciding which one to use, as if this is a typical thing we do, yet I don't know of any other examples. So, we should go with either Aeroplane or Airplane, and I really don't care which one, though since I'm from the U.S. my personal preference is the latter, but of course that's irrelevant here.

    The initial version of this file was created by (talk · contribs), a UK IP, so that favors the British English spelling, aeroplane per WP:RETAIN, the only objective/non-JDLI way to decide this, I think. --Born2cycle (talk) 06:14, 19 January 2012 (UTC)

  • Oppose Strong Oppose Current scope of the article is fine, I'm opposed to removing gliders etc. since they work the same way as aeroplanes, they're only pulled through the air very slightly differently. And even if the name changes, the article scope mustn't.Planetscared (talk) 06:19, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
Well, having an article on powered fixed-wing aircraft (Aeroplane) makes sense, as we have an article on unpowered fixed-wing aircraft (Glider). I think the only reason we don't have one is because we've never been able to decide wither to call it Aeroplane or Airplane; a failure to decide on which of two titles to use is not a good reason to not have an article. But after moving this article to Aeroplane we could still create a new Fixed-wing aircraft that:
  1. Is a summary article for sub-articles Aeroplane and Glider, and
  2. Covers the details of the history and physics that are common to both Aeroplane and Glider.
--Born2cycle (talk) 07:21, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
That would be horrible. We already have that article. THIS is that article.Planetscared (talk) 20:06, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Support 3a/aeroplane. I've really nothing against "airplane" (it would certainly be better than the current title) - but "aeroplane" (or "aerodrome") seems to be what the American pioneers called it, at a time when "flying machine" or simply "machine" would have been more common in the British Isles. "Airplane" is is a subsequent "simplification" - and more or less exclusively American. I am prepared to accept that it is not considered illiterate in the U.S. - but spelling what after all is a Greek-derived word as if it was an English one does grate a little for this "aged person". A glider IS a kind of aeroplane really (strtching things a little), and so is a kite (although that is a lot more of a stretch) - don't think we really need change the article that much. --Soundofmusicals (talk) 08:14, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
    • My dictionary defines airplane as A powered flying vehicle with fixed wings and a weight greater than that of the air it displaces. --Born2cycle (talk) 08:36, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose - "fixed-wing aircraft" (as opposed to rotary wing, or airship) does the job adequately and is a useful compromise avoiding arguments as to whether using airplane or aeroplane is correct in an article. I guess this falls under option 4 above. GraemeLeggett (talk) 09:07, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose - current nomenclature works fine. - Ahunt (talk) 11:02, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Support 3a/3b. There seems to be a long-standing agreement that either of these titles would be perfectly acceptable but none of our naming criteria can pick out one of them as inherently better than the other. The current title is inherently worse than either, per the "common name" criterion. Picking an objectively worse title just as a compromise to avoid the choice between two equally good ones is a peculiar kind of solution that only Wikipedia's method of non-decision-making could produce. Since the choice between the two good ones is indeterminable, simply throw a wiki-dice to decide between the two. Fut.Perf. 13:50, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
    The thing is, the scope of the article is more important than the name, even if we changed the name, we should probably keep the current scope, but if we change the name then the name wouldn't match the scope anymore.Planetscared (talk) 20:06, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
    I agree that the scope of an article is more important than the name - and that they should match. And we can keep this article with its current title. But shouldn't we also have an article whose scope is "aero/airplane"? Dohn joe (talk) 20:15, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
    No, I genuinely don't think we have enough material to split this article in that way. You would end up with one or both as very short articles that don't really say very much. The whole point of encyclopedias is to summarize material, and combining similar topics together and comparing and contrasting them in one article is the best way to do that, and that is why this article exists. That's the exact opposite of what you are trying to do, and you are trying to do this for what seem to me to be reasons related mainly to somewhat silly naming issues.Planetscared (talk) 01:20, 20 January 2012 (UTC)
    This article only has 34k of readable prose, and I think it could be smaller without losing any content. Maybe if the article was 50k or more splitting would make sense, but right now, I just don't see the point.Planetscared (talk) 01:20, 20 January 2012 (UTC)
    Part of the problem is that we already have a separate article on some types of fixed-wing aircraft, but we don't have a separate article on the most important type, the airplane. Powers T 01:45, 20 January 2012 (UTC)
    Not an entirely separate article, but it's covered here, and nearly all of this article is about aeroplane/airplanes, and in my opinion the topics are probably not going to be separable because there's too much overlap with gliders.Planetscared (talk) 03:05, 20 January 2012 (UTC)
    Yet glider aircraft is separable? Why would one be separable and the other not? Powers T 13:06, 20 January 2012 (UTC)
    It's (also) because they're synonyms. Keeping synonyms together is highly desirable. Glider is only a near synonym.Planetscared (talk) 00:22, 21 January 2012 (UTC)
    But the whole point of this discussion is that "fixed-wing aircraft" and "aero/airplane" are not synonyms, any more than "fixed-wing aircraft" and "glider" are. Planes and gliders (and kites, and hang gliders...) are subsets of fixed-wing aircraft. Dohn joe (talk) 05:57, 21 January 2012 (UTC)
    You are actually incorrect, they are considered synonyms. There's a difference between a synonym and things that are identical.Planetscared (talk) 07:22, 21 January 2012 (UTC)
    Evidence for your assertion, please. And even if it's true, why is synonymity so important? If they're not actually identical (regardless of whether the terms are synonyms), why aren't the two concepts separable? Powers T 15:41, 21 January 2012 (UTC)
    As above: "The whole point of encyclopedias is to summarize material, and combining similar topics together and comparing and contrasting them in one article is the best way to do that, and that is why this article exists."Planetscared (talk) 19:59, 21 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose - "Fixed-wing aircraft" is a standard, commonly-used term to describe the subject here. "Airplane" is a very...for want a better term, "amateurish" phrase, and "Aeroplane" tosses ENGVAR into the mess. The current name is just fine and there is nothing at all wrong with it. - The Bushranger One ping only 02:00, 20 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose- Name accurately describes the content. Moriori (talk) 03:01, 20 January 2012 (UTC)
    That's only half of the question. The other half is: don't we need a separate article just about planes, the way we do about gliders, kites, helicopters, etc. Dohn joe (talk) 17:28, 20 January 2012 (UTC)
The proposal says "that Fixed-wing aircraft be renamed and moved". The proposal doesn't specify "that Fixed-wing aircraft be renamed and moved and then a much smaller article named Fixed-wing aircraft be created with a lot less content." Moriori (talk) 20:50, 21 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose move request article is fine with current title. MilborneOne (talk) 20:58, 21 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment/question. Did I do this wrong? I was trying to have a comprehensive discussion that would address both the scope of the article(s) we want and the terminology we use. I thought I'd made that clear in the opening paragraph, but the last couple of comments (and a couple earlier ones) have only addressed half of the question. Maybe WP:RM was the wrong venue? Should we start again with an WP:RFC perhaps? Somewhere else? Or do people think there's still a chance here for a full discussion? Dohn joe (talk) 23:48, 21 January 2012 (UTC)
    • An RFC would be good; I just don't understand why people are ok with an article on gliders, an article on all fixed-wing aircraft, and no article on non-glider fixed-wing aircraft. Powers T 03:25, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Extraordinarily Strong Support for Change
Since there seems to be considerable confusion regarding the definition of "airplane", "aircraft" and "fixed wing aircraft" I am appending the definitions from the Cambridge Aerospace Dictionary by Bill Gunston (author of a very large number of books on aviation, and knighted for services to aviation journalism, so an unusually knowledgeable individual regarding aviation matters and an impeccably reliable reference), and from the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). I am sure Australian, Canadian, New Zealand and other countries have similar legal definitions.

aeroplane  (US = airplane) BS.185 1940:  "A flying machine with plane(s) fixed in flight". Modern definition might be 'mechanically propelled aerodyne sustained by wings which, in any one flight regime, remain fixed'. Explicitly excludes gliders and rotorplanes, but could include MPAs, VTOLs and convertiplanes that behave as * (such) in translational flight.

aircraft  device designed to sustain itself in atmosphere above earth's surface, to which it may be attached by tether that offers no support. Two fundamental classes are aerodynes and aerostats. Aircraft need have no means of locomotion (balloons are borne along by gross motion of the atmosphere, while kites are tethered and lifted by motion of atmosphere past them), or any control system, nor means for aerodynamic or aerostatic lift (eg. jet VYOL aircraft need be no more than jet engine arranged to direct efflux downwards). Free-falling spacecraft qualifies as aircraft if, after re-entry, its shape endows it with sufficient L/D ratio to glide extended distance, irrespective of whether or not it can control its trajectory.

FAA Legal Definitions (from: as linked to from FAA site @ No definition for fixed wing aircraft is given.

Airplane means an engine-driven fixed-wing aircraft heavier than air, that is supported in flight by the dynamic reaction of the air against its wings.

Aircraft means a device that is used or intended to be used for flight in the air.

It is significant that neither source gives a definition for "Fixed wing aircraft", and that aeroplane is a subset of aircraft. Restricting our definition to only those aircraft with fixed wings fails to define airplane or aeroplane. People searching wikipedia are not searching for "fixed wing aircraft" but either airplane, aeroplane or aircraft and is unreasonable not to provide a real definition instead of a compromised mish-mash simply because Americans decided at some point to change the spelling of the word.
Personally I don't care whether the page is airplane or aeroplane but fixed wing aircraft is a disaster, and this discussion WILL recur indefinitely until the page is renamed. Furthermore, I suspect that if all of the names that have voiced an opinion in support for changing the name of this page in all of the discussions that have occured, that they would outnumber the voices of those maintaining the status quo by a large margin, and that many of those people have given up to the permenant loss of the project.
Since the main problem is which variant to use I propose the following solution:
  • All references to American (air/aero)planes use airplane.
  • All references to British (air/aero)planes use aeroplane.
  • References to Canadian, Australian and New Zealand (air/aero)planes follow local practice.
  • All references to other (air/aero)planes prior to 1940 use aeroplane.
  • All references to other (air/aero)planes after 1940 use airplane.
There then needs to be only two articles - (air/aero)plane and aircraft.
The final question then arises - should airplane be redirected to aeroplane or vice versa.
The following arguments come to mind: (others will apply)
  • Aeroplane is the older of the two terms, and has been in documented use in all English speaking countries.
  • Google results - for airplane : About 146 million results vs. aeroplane : About 21.5 million results.
Surprisingly lopsided. (YMMV depending on your search engine bubble)
NiD.29 (talk) 09:40, 22 January 2012 (UTC)

Article reconfiguration

Well, I decided to be WP:BOLD and implement what I saw as the best interests of the encyclopedia and its readers, and what was largely supported by the germane comments to my poorly-framed question just above. In a nutshell, I moved much of the material on this page to Aeroplane, and rewrote this article as a summary article after the fashion of its cousin Rotary-wing aircraft.

This benefits the readers because now we actually have an article about planes, just as we do about helicopters, gliders, and kites. We also have a concise summary article about fixed-wing craft, the same way we do about rotary-wing craft.

As for the title, I picked "Aeroplane" because from what I can tell, that was the original title of the article oh so many years ago. I think we're all mature enough to handle an article at a title we're unfamiliar with. Please see Color, Aluminium, and Maize. I think even those who would prefer "Airplane" agree that "Aeroplane" is better - and more accurate - than "fixed-wing aircraft". Because that's really the issue - while all planes are fixed-wing aircraft, not all fixed-wing aircraft are planes. The whole purpose of an encyclopedia is to provide accurate, non-misleading information. Now we do. I obviously expect this to be controversial. But I also firmly believe that this is the will of the community, and that we now have a better encyclopedia. Dohn joe (talk) 01:10, 2 February 2012 (UTC)

There was no consensus for this clearly controversial step, and you acknowledged the controversy, yet you pressed ahead. Sheesh. Binksternet (talk) 01:25, 2 February 2012 (UTC)

Evidence of community feeling

The title has been discussed many times over the years. Much less often has the scope-title match been addressed. When it has, though, most editors have seen the problem. Here are a few examples from previous discussions:

June 2006: Talk:Fixed-wing_aircraft/Archive_1#Talk:_Fixed-Wing_Aircraft

  • "Unfortunately, aircraft is not the international form of the word, it's a generic term that also includes gliders, hot air balloons, helicopters, autogyros, gyrodynes, the Space Shuttle, and Harry Potter's broomstick. I strongly believe we must be exact in our terminology. This isn't about spelling. :o) OrangUtanUK 15:43, 8 June 2006 (UTC)"

July 2011: Talk:Fixed-wing_aircraft/Archive_2#Requested_move_2011

  • "The concept of fixed-wing aircraft includes gliders (also known as sailplanes). The concept of airplane (and aeroplane) as defined by ICAO requires that the aircraft be power-driven, and therefore gliders and sailplanes cannot be airplanes or aeroplanes. Dolphin (t) 12:10, 25 July 2011 (UTC)"
  • "My point is that fixed-wing aircraft and airplane (or aeroplane) are not synonymous. Dolphin (t) 22:31, 25 July 2011 (UTC)"

Jan 2012: Talk:Fixed-wing_aircraft#Clarification_of_article_scope.2Frequested_move

  • "Airplane means an engine-driven fixed-wing aircraft heavier than air, that is supported in flight by the dynamic reaction of the air against its wings.

    Aircraft means a device that is used or intended to be used for flight in the air.

    It is significant that neither source gives a definition for "Fixed wing aircraft", and that aeroplane is a subset of aircraft. Restricting our definition to only those aircraft with fixed wings fails to define airplane or aeroplane....Personally I don't care whether the page is airplane or aeroplane but fixed wing aircraft is a disaster, and this discussion WILL recur indefinitely until the page is renamed... NiD.29 (talk) 09:40, 22 January 2012 (UTC)"

Comments such as those over the past six years were the basis of my thought process. Dohn joe (talk) 01:29, 2 February 2012 (UTC)

If there was a thought process, where was the thought, "Let this one go, there is no consensus"? Binksternet (talk) 01:42, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
I see no evidence that this split is consensus, and the material you've moved into aeroplane applies to ALL fixed wing aircraft. I am reverting this.GliderMaven (talk) 05:09, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
GliderMaven - I appreciate that your revert was in good faith, but please take another look at the reasons. You say that "the material you've moved into aeroplane applies to ALL fixed wing aircraft" - but that's not true - and that's the entire point of the split. Kites are fixed wing aircraft, and they do not have controls and instrumentation. Hang gliders are fixed wing aircraft, and they are not powered by jet engines. The reason for the split is All planes are fixed wing aircraft, but not all fixed wing aircraft are planes.
As for consensus, please look again at the comments. Four editors - Graeme Leggett, Binksternet, Planetscared, and TheBushranger - opposed on the incorrect assumption that fixed-wing aircraft and planes are synonyms. Three editors - Ahunt, Moriori, and MilborneOne - only responded to half of the question, which was that "Fixed-wing aircraft" was an appropriate name for the scope of the article as written, which was true, but did not address the question about a split. Six editors supported the move. Not one editor who actually addressed the full issue was opposed. The RM discussion (not an RFC) was closed by a non-admin without any sort of analysis. I thought long and hard about this one. Having been reverted twice, I won't make any further moves until we have more discussion. I apologize if I went about this wrong. Dohn joe (talk) 16:33, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
No planes are fixed wing aircraft, I might point out. ;) "Fixed-wing aircraft" and "airplane" (to use the amateur-sounding vernacular) are synonymous in common useage. The question is what is most helpful to Wikipedia's average reader? And that is the status quo. - The Bushranger One ping only 18:03, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
But isn't one purpose of an encyclopedia to present accurate information when common usage is wrong? In common usage, Holland is synonymous with the Netherlands. But they're not the same, so we have separate articles about them, and explain the difference. Shouldn't we do the same here? Dohn joe (talk) 18:13, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
I would argue that "fixed-wing aircraft" isn't in "common usage" at all. The average reader would quite rightly wonder why the technical term was being used and likely surmise that some some sort of larger category was the intended meaning. If we mean airplane, we should say airplane. Powers T 18:24, 3 February 2012 (UTC)

What counts as an aeroplane/airplane?

This article is still unclear about what is or is not classed as an aeroplane/airplane, especially in the way that the sections are ordered ( I may have just made it worse :( ). Does this class include all powered fixed-wing craft without exception, or are some excluded?

Here are some marginal cases:

Strictly, all these are powered fixed-wing types, but most are given their own sections.

I'd suggest the sub-classification of types be restructured under:

  • aeroplane/airplane
  • glider
  • kite

I doubt that a ground effect vehicle is truly an aircraft because it only hovers, it does not fly. But if it is deemed so, then it is a type of aeroplanes/airplane. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 11:39, 19 August 2012 (UTC)

I agree there are some problems with the present headings. Sub-section 3.1 is called Aeroplane/airplane and sub-section 3.2 is called Seaplane, thereby implying that a seaplane is not an aeroplane/airplane. Seaplanes are a sub-set of aeroplanes/airplanes so they shouldn't be given their own sub-section 3.2 - if seaplanes warrant their own coverage (and I doubt it achieves anything) it should be within sub-section 3.1.
From memory, the ICAO definition of aeroplane (and therefore a definition of airplane in countries that use that terminology) is a heavier-than-air, power-driven, fixed-wing aircraft. As a result, within ICAO's framework gliders, hang-gliders, kites etc are not aeroplanes/airplanes. Similarly, helicopters and gyroplanes are not aeroplanes/airplanes because they don't have a fixed wing. Airships and powered balloons are also not aeroplanes/airplanes because they don't have a wing of any sort, but they are aircraft because they rely on the reaction of the atmosphere to sustain flight. Dolphin (t) 12:48, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
That sounds about right. Which still leaves "powered glider" and "ground effect vehicle". Are they aeroplanes? Some powered gliders have stowable power plants which flip out and start up to provide thrust when required, what about them? And is a ground-effect vehicle even a type of aircraft at all? — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 17:55, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
I am sure that powered-gliders (even with stowable engines) are still classified as powered-aeroplanes. Dont think GEVs are counted as aircraft as they are licensed as ships, certainly hovercraft are not. MilborneOne (talk) 18:07, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
GEVs don't hover and aren't hovercraft, but WIGs (another name for the same thing) function as aircraft do, but may lack sufficient lift to escape ground effect - but since altitude and ground effect are not in any definition, WIGs cannot be excluded even if licensing dumps them in with ships. Fully agree with Dolphin and MilborneOne on the remainder - so long as it has a self contained power source and relies on aerodynamic lift from fixed planes, it meets the definition, regardless of the means of alighting on the earth's surface, the design of the wing, how it is controlled, how high it can fly or how much of the flight is under power. Excluding WIGs may require excluding the 1903 Wright flyer as it seemingly never escaped ground effect either.NiD.29 (talk) 18:57, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
While GEVs have wings which provide lift, they are not designed to fly freely and controllably in the third dimension. By contrast true aircraft which fly only with the help of ground-effect, such as the Gossamer Condor, are restricted in altitude only by the limited power available. One might note that while an aircraft wing primarily creates lower-than-ambient pressure on the upper surface, a GEV or hovercraft primarily creates higher-than-ambient pressure on the lower surface.
But I think the key argument is this: in order to classify a craft as an aeroplane, we must first classify it as a type of aircraft: if it is not an aircraft in the first place, then it cannot possibly be considered as an aeroplane. I have never seen GEVs classified as aircraft by any reputable authority. Has anybody else? — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 18:02, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
This Australian study [14] p51 says that an agreement between ICAO and IMO that WIGs come under the juristriction of the International Maritime Organisation although they may be an exception for craft with a sustained use out of ground effect (OGE) to be considered as aircraft. MilborneOne (talk) 18:26, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
Not just "may", but "will". So a seaborne WIG is an aircraft if it is capable of flying higher when it wants to (Say, re-engining the Gossamer Albatross with Bradley Wiggins Face-wink.svg ), otherwise it is a ship. To me, that fits in well with the distinction between a boat and a flying boat. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 20:04, 21 August 2012 (UTC)

Powered paragliders, parachutes and hang gliders

There are still a couple of anomalies I am not sure about, to do with powered parachutes, powered paragliders and powered hang gliders.

First, are these all definitely "aeroplanes/airplanes/planes", aka powered fixed-wing aircraft?

And secondly, what is the difference between a powered parachute and a powered paraglider? That is, if I walked up to one, how could I tell which it was?

— Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 18:39, 26 August 2012 (UTC)

Santos Dumont

The Wright's first takeoffs were all made without assistance - they used skids and rails because they were flying over soft sands (for safety reasons) and a wheeled undercarriage would have tended to sink, or at least drag, in the sand. The catapult launcher came later, the idea was apparently to enable takeoff in a short space (what catapult assisted takeoffs have been used for ever since). Why the Wrights took so long to fit wheels to their "flyers" is a bit of a puzzle - but what exactly has that got to do with anything? Not as if the idea of a wheeled undercarriage was invented by Santos Dumont anyway - a number of completely unsuccessful flying machines used wheels in their attempts to reach flying speed.

Proper lateral control was not achieved (in fact its importance was not understood, so that it was not even attempted) in France until after the triumphant visit of Orville Wright to France in 1908 - the Santos Dumont "flight" was not "controlled", as it relied on dihedral for lateral stability and was completely lacking in any form of lateral control; the surfaces between the wings (which Santos Dumont tried once and then removed) were actually spoilers - intended to help the machine turn by producing extra resistance on one wing. Without any experience of gliding flight Santos Dumont did not realise an aeroplane (like a bird) needs to bank if it is to turn properly.

All the above has been established historical fact since 1908, at least - revisionist crap over a century later really needs to be treated with the contempt it deserves.

Santos Dumont was a most attractive personality (for what it's worth, the Wrights were not, really) - and (like anyone who flew, or tried to fly, in the early 1900s) a very brave man. His achievements (especially in controllable lighter-than-air flight) are quite notable enough without any silly exaggeration. --Soundofmusicals (talk) 12:18, 24 August 2012 (UTC)

You were right the first time: it was Wilbur who flew publicly in France in 1908. A month later, Orville flew demonstrations for the U.S. Army in suburban Washington, D.C. DonFB (talk) 02:30, 25 August 2012 (UTC)
Actually I looked it up just to make sure, and somehow convinced myself I HAD got it the wrong way round. Goes to show (not sure what, but it does!) --Soundofmusicals (talk) 12:38, 25 August 2012 (UTC)