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List of aviation, aerospace and aeronautical terms

A glossary of terms used in relation to aircraft, in alphabetical order.

No manufacturers or model names, please.

aerodyne
A heavier-than-air craft, deriving its lift from motion.
aeronaut
Pilot or crew of lighter-than-air craft.
aeroplane
A powered aircraft that derives its lift from the movement of air over fixed lifting surfaces. (Also airplane)
aerostat
A lighter-than-air craft, such as a balloon or airship. Its lift is caused by buoyancy relative to surrounding air.
aircraft
A vehicle that can travel through the air.
airplane
A powered aircraft that derives its lift from the movement of air over fixed lifting surfaces. (Also aeroplane)
airship
A lighter-than-air craft that can be steered and propelled through the air. (Also dirigible)
autogyro
A rotor-craft with unpowered blades - it requires a separate engine to provide forward motion before lift is developed.
aviator
Pilot or crew of an aircraft.
aviatrix
Female aviator. (Obsolete, potentially offensive in modern use.)
balloon
An unpowered lighter-than-air craft.
biplane
An aeroplane with two similar-sized wings (or pairs of wings), exactly or approximately in vertical alignment.
chord
The dimension of a wing parallel to the direction of motion.(Compare with span and thickness.)
dirigible
A lighter-than-air craft that can be steered and propelled through the air. From the French word dirigeable meaning steerable. (Also airship)
glider
An unpowered fixed-wing heavier-than-air craft. (Also sailplane)
helicopter
A rotor craft with one or more sets of powered blades.
monoplane
An aeroplane with one wing (or pairs of wings).
pitch
A measure of the degree to which an aircraft's nose tilts up or down. Also a measure of the angle of attack of a propeller.
Roll
Rotation about an axis aligned with the direction in which the aircraft is flying.
rotorcraft
An aircraft that derives its lift from rotating lifting surfaces (usually called blades)
sailplane
An unpowered fixed-wing heavier-than-air craft. (Also glider)
sesquiplane
An aeroplane with two wings (or pairs of wings), where one (often the lower) is significantly smaller than the other in span and/or chord.
span
The dimension of a wing parallel to the direction of motion. (Compare with chord and thickness.)
thickness[?]
The vertical dimension of a wing. (Compare with span and chord.)
triplane[?]
An aeroplane with three similar-sized wings (or pairs of wings), exactly or approximately in vertical alignment.
wing
A lifting surface of an airplane/aeroplane or sailplane.



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