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Proposal for categories for Aircraft:


(Why are there question marks after the types and subtypes?)

I think that's a Wikipedia link id'er, that assumes anything with lower-case followed by upper case is a link. Given the intended change to names with spaces, this "feature" needs to be disabled. --Belltower

I'm surprised that lighter-than-airs are considered 'Aircraft'; they should be forked off early, nearly everything about them is different.

Embrace and Extend. --Yooden

(There are question marks becasue the words have two capital letters and therefore become subject to the autolinking rule which is a remnant from earlier wiki implementations).

Aircraft is a more general term than airplane.

In my mind what Yooden presents is really an airplane classification; lighter-than-air craft are aircraft and so deserve a place here. I would divide aircraft (by means of lift generation) into:

  • lighter than air
  • aerodynamic aircraft
    • helicopter
    • airplane
      • glider
      • powered airplane
  • rockets

and probably not say much more than that here, everything else should go in a place of its own.

(The Space Shuttle is interesting as it takes off using a rocket, but lands by gliding. Also, is a parachute an aircraft? What about a parascender?)--drj

IMO, an aircraft has to have a wing, and therefore the parascenter, using the parachute as a wing qualifies, where a balloon or standard parachute would not.--mike dill

IMHO this is the place to do the categorizitaion(sp!); there's not much above aircraft. So we have:


  • History
    • Early Years
    • WWI
    • WWII
    • After WWII
  • Lighter-than-Air
    • Technology
    • Dirigibles
      • Technology
      • Zeppelins
      • Non-Rigids
    • Balloons
  • Fixed-Wings Aircrafts
    • Technology
    • Propulsion
      • Piston-driven
      • Turbine
      • Jet
      • Rockets
    • (Pointer to Physics/Aerodynamics)
  • Rotary-Wings Aircrafts
  • Misc. Aircrafts (all Pointers?)
    • Ballistic Missiles
    • Parachute/Paraglider
    • Ekranoplanes
    • Hovercrafts
  • Individual Crafts
    • Producer1 (eg. Messerschmitt)

An aircraft is a craft of the air. Balloons and paragliders certainly qualify as aircraft, as do blimps and dirigibles, even though they don't have wings.

If it has fixed wings and an engine, it is an airplane. With fixed wings and no engine, it is a glider (most, but not all are also called sailplanes).

If it has a rotary wing, it is either a helicopter or an autogyro. If the rotor is also the source of thrust, it is a helicopter. If the rotor is unpowered and another form of thrust is provided (typically a propeller), it is an autogyro.

While we're at it, let's not forget the ultralight aircraft, and the amateur built (homebuilt) aircraft, which are certified in the experimental category.

Is there a need for categories talking about the different kinds of airspace? For IFR vs. VFR flying?

Is there a need to discuss different categories of pilot licenses?

How about types of charts used for navigation?

Perhaps something about aviation organizations, such as the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association and the Experimental Aircraft Association.