Aircraft Guide for Kids
In the past, people would watch birds and wished that they could fly. Over the years,
people learned how to travel by sea and travel faster by land; however, until the
first aircraft was built, flying always seemed a distant dream. Now not only is
air travel possible, but there are so many different ways to travel through the
air. Here are a few examples of different types of aircrafts.
Helicopters are a type of aircraft that use spinning blades in order to fly instead
of wings. These spinning blades create lift which then allows the helicopter to
move about freely. This gives helicopters an advantage over other types of aircraft
because helicopters can move up and down, sidewise, and even hover in the same spot.
In addition they do not need a runway. Helicopters are used in the military, by
media stations, rescue missions, and as ambulances. Over the years, many people
helped come up with the idea of the helicopter and tried to build models; however,
most of these ended up failing or only being able to fly for short distances. Then
in 1936, a helicopter called the Fa-61 and developed by Heinrich Focke and Gert
Achgelis was one of the first helicopters to be completely successful by demonstrating
controlled flight. It was used during World War 2, and over the years after the
war, the helicopter's design was tuned and tweaked until it became the machine that
is used today.
Blimps are a unique aircraft that uses an inflatable balloon filled with typically
helium to fly. The terms blimp, dirigible, and zeppelin are often used interchangeably
in everyday talk, but they actually are talking about different things. Dirigibles
describe all of these kinds of machines, while zeppelins are a specific airship
created by a German company with a metal skeleton to help keep the ships shape.
Blimps on the other hand, have no internal skeleton like this. Blimp designs were
inspired by hot air balloons in the past, and inventors began to work on improving
that design. Ferdinand von Zeppelin developed the first zeppelin, and these kinds
of aircrafts were used in the military at first. After they were found to be easy
targets for planes, blimps started being used for just advertisement mostly, the
most famous blimp being the Goodyear Blimp.
Airliners are the typical aircrafts that people think about when talking about planes.
They are planes with two wings on the side, an engine of some kind to help propel
the aircraft, and usually a tail to help with steering. They are used in the military
and in transportation, but their most often thought of use is travelling. Everyday
people travel to faraway places on airliners because they can cover a great distance
at great speeds. These airliners also have capacity to carry a greater weight than
most aircraft, whether it is used to hold people or objects. The first airliner
in the world was the Benoist XIV in 1913, but only flew for a few months. After
that, changes were made to make these aircraft more durable, yet still light, and
safer especially after several accidents involving airliners.
While airliners were mostly intended for people, cargo aircraft were intended to
carry other things such as animals, materials, mail, and many other types cargo.
These kinds or aircraft were important in both the military and in every day shipping
and cargo transportation. These kinds of aircraft usually focus on providing more
weight capacity than trying to fly faster. Since the invention of the airliner,
cargo aircraft have also been simultaneously used and improved in the same manner.
The word turboprop refers to both a type of engine used in certain aircraft
and the planes that use this engine. What makes a turboprop different than other
types of engines is that it primarily uses a propeller to help move the plane in
flight. This is great for planes that want to fly short distances at lower altitudes
because the thicker atmosphere creates more traction for the propeller. These are
the kinds of planes that are used by businesses and flights that require fewer passengers,
as they are more fuel efficient using this type of design. Frank Whittle in 1930
patented the design of the turboprop, but the first actual engine was made in 1938
by György Jendrassik. The design of course has been changed over the years to make
these kinds of planes more efficient, but the basic concept has not.
Once again, this refers to both a type of engine as well as the plane that
uses them. Piston engines are actually used in automobiles and steam engines as
well as in planes. The piston is connected to a rod which is then connected to a
crankshaft. This crankshaft rotates and pushes the piston back and forth within
a cylinder to turn the propeller. This was the type of engine that the Wright Brothers
used in their first plane, and for a long time was the only type of engine to power
most aircraft until the jet engine was introduced. Now, twin piston aircrafts are
used for personal use because of fuel efficiency, and because they generally can
only hold about six passengers at most.
Jet engines are the kind of engines that people see today used on most planes. Unlike
turboprop engines, the rely more on jet fuel to propel themselves in the air. While
this makes them less fuel efficient and therefore more expensive, they can travel
greater distances, climb higher altitudes, and carry more weight. Initially jet
engines were first seen being used in World War 2, but they were refined because
of the Cold War. While the development of the jet engine was primarily funded by
militaries across the world, their uses began to be applied to commercial flights
The development of rockets began as early as 200's when they were used in China
during religious festivals to scare away evil spirits. Since then, the concept of
the rocket has been used in the engines of aircraft, including the turboprop and
the jet engines. Basically a rocket uses some kind of burnable material and oxygen
to create hot gases that propel the rocket or other object forward. While a rocket
engine must rely on an internal supply of oxygen, a jet engine simply uses the oxygen
from the outside air. While this makes jet engines more efficient in typical atmospheric
conditions, rockets are better used when the atmosphere is thin or in space. Rocket-type
engines are therefore used on space shuttles and other high flying aircraft.
While humans have inherently been attracted to flying and have designed and schemed
over people across the world, the credit in enhancing air travel often goes to the
military. These enhancements that benefit the military eventually become used for
everyday people and businesses. Military aircrafts include things such as fighter
planes, stealth planes, transport/carrier planes, helicopters, rockets, and cargo
aircraft. Being military aircraft, they also must take into consideration the strength
and durability of such aircraft, as well as trying to carry the most advanced technology