Airplanes have changed in their size, engine systems, control systems, construction, and range and payload capabilities since the first powered aircraft took to the air in the early 20th century. Modern passenger airplanes are larger, faster, more powerful and also more fuel-efficient as compared to early aircraft.Know More
Early airplanes often used wood and fabric for construction and featured two, or sometimes even three, wings. Between the two world wars, airplanes evolved into monoplanes and aluminum became the material of choice. While aluminum is still used for the majority of airplane construction, modern aircraft use a significant amount of composite materials. For example, the Airbus A350 XWB uses composites for 50 percent of its construction.
Early commercial planes, such as the DC-3, carried less than 50 passengers and had a range of less than 2,000 miles. However, newer passenger jets can carry many more. The double-deck Airbus A380 can be configured to carry over 800 passengers, and the Boeing 777-200LR can fly more than 9,000 miles.
Airplanes use control surface, such asailerons, rudders and elevators, to control their roll, yaw and pitch in flight. Pilot controls were first transmitted to the surfaces by cable. Later, hydraulic systems came into play. Airbus introduced fly-by-wire systems in the 1980s, an industry standard in the early 21st century.
Engines used in aircraft have changed from reciprocating piston engines to more efficient jet engines. While the former powered aircraft by turning propellers, the latter may propel aircraft forward in a number of ways, including the use of propellers.
In general, "aircraft-grade aluminum" can refer to any number of aluminum alloys commonly used in the construction of aircraft. It has also become popular as a marketing term for other types of products made from aluminum.Full Answer >
Types of air transportation include commercial airplanes, helicopters, seaplanes, blimps and hot air balloons. Two of these, blimps and hot hair balloons, are reserved for recreational purposes, and are not used to transport people one destination to another.Full Answer >
The problem with the MD-80 aircraft that provoked massive flight cancellations by American Airlines in March and April of 1980 concerned the wiring in the hydraulic systems. Because of a $10.2 million fine levied earlier in the month on Southwest Airlines by the Federal Aviation Administration for allowing aircraft to fly without proper inspections, American Airlines grounded its entire MD-80 fleet until the company completed inspections of the hydraulic wiring.Full Answer >
The flight range of a Cessna 172 aircraft is between 575 and 815 nautical miles, depending on the specific model and whether or not optional fuel is included in the journey. The maximum range of a Cessna 172 plane travelling with standard fuel and 45-minute reserves is 575 nautical miles.Full Answer >