A short lesson in aircraft recognition

21 Jul

How you can tell a plane by its silhouette

A monoplane is an airplane which derives its lifting power from one main supporting surface. It is distinguished from other planes by this feature.
A low-wing monoplane is not unlike a high-wing type monoplane with the exception that its main supporting surface is placed below the fuselage.
You will have little difficulty in identifying a biplane by its two sets of wings, one set placed above the other.
A triplane boast three sets of wings, one set placed above the other. The triplane, however, has lost favor with the modern designers.
A sesquiplane is a cross between a monoplane and a biplane. It is a wing and a half design with a main and a supplimentary supporting surface.
An autogiro is a new type of plane which can ascend or descend almost vertically, in addition to horizontal flight. It is a newcomer to aviation.
An ornithopter is a machine with flapping wings like a bird. Although countless attempts have been made, no ornithopter design has flown.
A glider is usually a monoplane without a form of motive power. A glider soars like a bird and depends upon upward currents for sustained flight.
Some airplanes are powered with two motors which are mounted on each side of the fuselage. These may be pushers or tractors. This is a tractor type.
The majority of tri-motored airplanes are tractor types. The airplane isllustrated is the new Stanolind 3rd – a mondern three-motored monoplane.
A pontoon seaplane is an airplane whose landing gear is fitted with pontoons. Frequently the pontoons are interchangeable with wheels or snow skis.
A flying boat is a seaplane with a fuselage like a boat hull. The passengers sit in the hull as they do in a boat. For use over water only.
An amphibian is a new type of airplane, capable of landing on or taking off from either land or water. The landing wheels are retractable.
To be a termed a tractor, an airplane must be pulled through the air by its propellor. In a tractor type, the propellor is placed in front of the wings.
A pusher type airplane is pushed through the air by the propeller. In a pusher type, the propeller is always mounted in the rear of the wings.
In some multi-motored airplanes, the designers favor the pusher-tractor principle. One motor pushes and the other pulls.

From the October 1930 issue of Popular Mechanics magazine


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