A short lesson in aircraft recognition

21 Jul

How you can tell a plane by its silhouette

MONOPLANE
A monoplane is an airplane which derives its lifting power from one main supporting surface. It is distinguished from other planes by this feature.
LOW-WING MONOPLANE
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.
BIPLANE
You will have little difficulty in identifying a biplane by its two sets of wings, one set placed above the other.
TRIPLANE
A triplane boast three sets of wings, one set placed above the other. The triplane, however, has lost favor with the modern designers.
SESQUIPLANE
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.
AUTOGYRO
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.
ORNITHOPTER
An ornithopter is a machine with flapping wings like a bird. Although countless attempts have been made, no ornithopter design has flown.
GLIDER
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.
BI-MOTOR
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.
TRI-MOTOR
The majority of tri-motored airplanes are tractor types. The airplane isllustrated is the new Stanolind 3rd – a mondern three-motored monoplane.
PONTOON PLANE
A pontoon seaplane is an airplane whose landing gear is fitted with pontoons. Frequently the pontoons are interchangeable with wheels or snow skis.
FLYING BOAT
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.
AMPHIBIAN
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.
TRACTOR
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.
PUSHER
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.
PUSHER-TRACTOR
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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