An airplane or aeroplane (informally plane) is a powered, fixed-wing aircraft that is propelled forward by thrust from a jet engine or propeller. Airplanes come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and wing configurations. The broad spectrum of uses for airplanes includes recreation, transportation of goods and people, military, and research. Commercial aviation is a massive industry involving the flying of tens of thousands of passengers daily on airliners. Most airplanes are flown by a pilot on board the aircraft, but some are designed to be remotely or computer-controlled.
- If I gave you the parts list for the Boeing 777 and it had 100,000 parts, I don’t think you could screw it together and you certainly wouldn’t understand why it flew.
- Eric Lander, cited in Awake! magazine, 2000, 9/22.
- A second, is a relatively long amount of time. If you’re flying a plane by instruments and you’re off by one second, you’re going to miss the runway by nearly one-fifth of a mile [320 m].
- Dr. Dennis McCarthy, astronomer at the U.S. Naval Observatory. Cited in Awake! magazine, 1988, 5/22.
- The aeroplane had come of age in an orgy of destruction. Over the battlefields of France lay the tortured wreckage of many an aerial combat; London and other cities, towns and villages had been bombed; ships had been attacked from the sky. War . . . was changed completely by the arrival of the flying men in their incredible machines.
- Aidan Chambers in his book Flyers and Flying sums up the significance of the airplane in World War I.
- The bird’s heart is the most powerful motor in the world, ... In terms of weight, the speed it can build up and the length of flight it can sustain, a bird can out-perform a modern plane. This tiny heart contains mysteries that scientists in many fields would pay dearly to understand.
- Yuri Keiskiaik, biologist, comments in the magazine Soviet Life. Cited in Awake! magazine, 1978, 6/22.
- Believing the first cell originated by chance is like believing a tornado ripping through a junkyard full of airplane parts could produce a Boeing 747.
- The pace of change and the growing lethality of weapons have gone on accelerating ever since. Think of the flimsy, single-engined, unarmed planes which took to the skies in 1914 at the start of the First World War and compare them to the faster and more powerful ones that had emerged by 1918, capable of firing machine guns and dropping heavy bombs on the enemy. By the end of the Second World War aircraft were flying higher, faster, further and carrying much greater loads, and the jet engine was starting to replace propellers. When the American bombs fell on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945, the new and terrifying nuclear age was inaugurated. Today new weapons, from fighter planes to aircraft carriers, are often obsolete by the time they are in service. The world’s arsenals are immense: it is estimated that there are over a billion small arms alone in the world and, at the other extreme, nuclear weapons capable of destroying humanity several times over. And serious disarmament measures remain more distant than ever. Yet so many of us, our leaders included, still talk of war as a reasonable and manageable tool.
- Margaret MacMillan, War: How Conflict Shapes Us (2020)