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Aircraft facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
2006 Ojiya balloon festival 011
A balloon is a kind of no-power aircraft

An aircraft is a flying machine. There are many different kinds of aircraft.

Some aircraft keep in the sky by moving air over their wings. Examples are aeroplanes, helicopters, and gliders. Some aircraft keep in the sky by floating. Examples are balloons and airships.

Most aircraft use engine power. Examples are aeroplanes, helicopter, and airships. Gliders and balloons use no power. A few aircraft use muscle power.

Big aeroplanes for transporting people are called airliners. Airliners are the quickest way to travel. Airliners can fly over mountains and bad weather. Airliners have complex technology to make them fly quickly, safely and for less money.

A few fighter aircraft can fly at 3,200 km/h (2,000 mph).

The human activity that surrounds aircraft is called aviation. The science of aviation, including designing and building aircraft, is called aeronautics. Crewed aircraft are flown by an onboard pilot, but unmanned aerial vehicles may be remotely controlled or self-controlled by onboard computers.

History

Flying model craft and stories of manned flight go back many centuries; however, the first manned ascent — and safe descent — in modern times took place by larger hot-air balloons developed in the 18th century. Each of the two World Wars led to great technical advances. Consequently, the history of aircraft can be divided into five eras:

  • Pioneers of flight, from the earliest experiments to 1914.
  • First World War, 1914 to 1918.
  • Aviation between the World Wars, 1918 to 1939.
  • Second World War, 1939 to 1945.
  • Postwar era, also called the Jet Age, 1945 to the present day.

Aircraft are produced in several different types optimized for various uses; military aircraft, which includes not just combat types but many types of supporting aircraft, and civil aircraft, which include all non-military types, experimental and model.

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Aircraft Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.