Fixed-wing aircraft

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A fixed-wing aircraft, typically called an aeroplane, airplane or simply plane, is an aircraft capable of flight using forward motion that generates lift as the wing moves through the air. Planes include jet engine and propeller driven vehicles propelled forward by thrust, as well as unpowered aircraft (such as gliders), which use thermals, or warm-air pockets to inherit lift. Fixed-wing aircraft are distinct from ornithopters in which lift is generated by flapping wings and rotary-wing aircraft in which wings rotate about a fixed mast.

Most fixed-wing aircraft are flown by a pilot on board the aircraft, but some are designed to be remotely or computer controlled.

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Etymology

First attested in English in late 19th century, the word aeroplane derives from the French "aéroplane", which comes from the Greek "ἀήρ" (aēr), "air"[1] + "πλάνος" (planos), "wandering".[2][3] An ancient Greek term coined from these two words is "ἀερόπλανος" (aeroplanos), "wandering in air".[4]

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