powered fixed-wing aircraft

An airplane, also known as an aeroplane or just plane, is a fixed-wing aircraft that moves forward by thrust from a jet engine, propeller, or rocket engine. Airplanes come in many sizes, shapes, and wing sizes. Airplanes could be used for recreation, transportation of goods and people, military, and research.

An airplane leaving an airport

Commercial aviation transports more than four billion passengers annually on airliners and transports more than 200 billion kilometres of cargo every year, which is less than 1% of the world's cargo movement. Most airplanes are flown by a pilot on board the aircraft, but some are airplanes made to be remotely or computer-controlled such as drones.


Airplane food has been the subject of many jokes, because people say it tastes bad.[1] While travelling on an airplane at a high altitude, it can cause dryness and because of the low pressure it can reduce the sensitivity of a person's taste buds to sweet and salty foods by around 30%.[1]


The three shapes of a wing during airplane flight.

The wings of a fixed-wing aircraft are static planes extending either side of the aircraft. When the aircraft travels forwards, air flows over the wings, which are shaped to create lift. This shape is called an airfoil and is shaped like a bird's wing.


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Why does food taste different on planes?". BBC News. Retrieved March 8, 2023.