Classification and Types of Aircraft


An aircraft is a machine or vehicle built to fly in the air. The commercial flights we fly today are the best example of an aircraft. All aircraft typically comprise propellers and wings or pieces of machinery that allow them to fly in the air, which can vary in size, shape, and purpose.

Aircraft are generally classified into two different categories – Aerostats and Aerodynes.

Aerostats are lighter objects that fly in the air, much lighter than the commercial airplanes we see today. They use the help of buoyancy to float in the air like a bird and are made of gasses like hydrogen and helium to lift from the ground. Hot air balloons and sky lanterns are the best examples of aerostats.

On the other hand, aerodynes are much heavier than air and generally more significant in size. Using the fixed-wing or rotorcraft mechanism, they push air downwards to help them lift from the ground.


Types of aircrafts

Depending on their classification, aircraft can be segregated into different types, as mentioned below:


Amphibious are multi-functional aircraft that can take off and land both on water and land. Seaplanes, airplanes, and flying boats fall under this category. Most modern amphibious planes have engines and propellers above the wings, which help their movement.


These fall under the classification of a rotorcraft mechanism as they have horizontal rotors that assist them in lifting and provide thrust to the aircraft. Unlike the typical aircraft, these have the advantage of taking off and landing in multiple congested locations and do not need a dedicated runway for the same. Hence, they are used for military, tourism, rescue, and search purposes.


They fall under the fixed-winged category, the first kind of aircraft discovered. Due to their design, they provide high efficiency and excellent rigidity. They have reciprocating engines and can only accompany two passengers. These aircraft were used during World Wars and are still used in military and government operations in some countries.


They are another type of fixed-winged aircraft which lifts itself from a reaction against the surfaces. They mainly do not require engines for take-off and use wheeled undercarriage for the same purpose. Although these aircraft were used in militaries and wars in earlier times, now they’re the primary source of leisure and entertainment.


Tricycle gear aircraft

They have fixed landing gears made in the tricycle fashion comprising a nose, wheel, and two other main wheels. Due to their lightweight, they have provided better ground visibility, which helps take-off and landings.


These aircraft use powered motors to help lift from the ground and propel. Due to their transverse lift design, they help in the vehicle’s easy movement and aid in better lift and landing abilities. Although their speed and range are better than helicopters’, the rotor mechanism remains similar.

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