Oxford defines an aircraft as any vehicle that can fly and carry goods or passengers. Under such vehicles one can quickly find different kinds of categories, for example: manned-aircraft or unmanned-aircraft (drones). Today, however, we will be looking at a different kind of categorisation!
A fixed-wing aircraft is a flying machine, such as an air plane, which is capable of flight using wings that generate lift caused by the aircraft’s forward airspeed and the shape of the wings. The wings of a fixed-wing aircraft are not necessarily rigid: kites, hang gliders and variable-sweep wing aircraft are all examples of fixed-wing aircraft.
Rotary-Wing Aircraft (a.k.a Rotorcraft)
A rotary-wing aircraft is a heavier-than-air flying machine that uses lift generated by wings, called rotary wings or rotor blades, that revolve around a mast. Several rotor blades mounted on a single mast are referred to as a rotor. Rotorcraft generally include those aircraft where one or more rotors are required to provide lift throughout the entire flight, such as helicopters, autogyros and gyrodynes.
An ornithopter is an aircraft that flies by flapping its wings. Designers seek to imitate the flapping-wing flight of birds, bats, and insects. Though machines may differ in form, they are usually built on the same scale as these flying creatures. The machines are of two general types: those with engines and those powered by the muscles of the pilot.
Do you know any more types that we missed? Let us know!