Airplane, also called aeroplane or plane, any of a class of fixed-wing aircraft that is heavier than air, propelled by a propeller or a high-velocity jet, and supported by the dynamic reaction of the air against its wings. For an account of the development of the airplane and the advent of civil aviation see history of flight.
The essential components of an airplane are a wing system to sustain it in flight, tail surfaces to stabilize the wings, movable surfaces to control the attitude of the plane in flight, and a power plant to provide the necessary to push the vehicle through the air. Provision must be made to support the plane when it is at rest on the ground and during takeoff and landing. Most planes feature an enclosed body (fuselage) to house the crew, passengers, and cargo; the cockpit is the area from which the pilot operates the controls and instruments to fly the plane