Functionality of Fixed Wing Aircraft

The definition of a fixed-wing aircraft is an airplane or aeroplane that is capable of flight using wings and lift force caused by aircraft speed and wing shape. The concept comes from a kite, where the wings allow it to glide through the air.

Fixed-wing aircraft propeller are propelled forward using thrust from an engine or propellers. Considering planes can come is any size, shape, and functions, the fixed-wing set-up is also commonly seen in seaplanes, power gliders, and ground effect vehicles.

Seaplanes, or amphibian aircraft, are aircrafts that are capable to take off and land on the water. They are divided into floatplanes and flying boats. Floatplanes look the same as land-based planned but have floats where the wheels usually are. These allow the aircraft to float on water easier than if it had proper wheel landing gear.

Power gliders include motor gliders, powered hang gliders, powered parachutes, and powered harness paragliders. Motor gliders contain an auxiliary power plant to increase flight performance. Hang glider and paraglider also have attached power plants to help increase performance. Powered parachutes have power plants that are hung beneath the undercarriage and seat.

Ground effect vehicles (GEV) are able to maintain level flight near the surface of the earth. This is possible through aerodynamic interactions between the wings and the earth’s surface. When these aircraft fly higher than ground effect area, they become classified as powered fixed-wing aircraft.

There are a few different wing configurations that a fixed-wing aircraft can have. A monoplane only has one wing while a biplane has two wings stacked one on top of the other. A tandem wing has two wings placed behind one another. A delta wing forms a triangle shape which allows for increased stability under high aerodynamic forces.Even though fixed-wing aircraft are most common to the general public's eyes, the science behind flight is still astounding.


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July 15, 2021

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