Airplanes are defined as a fixed-wing aircraft that is powered by jets or a propeller. It is capable of flying in a forward motion and achieves lift using wind and its wings. They differ from helicopters as helicopters do not generate lift with the use of fixed wings and also from dirigibles which stay in the air by using gas. There are several different types of airplanes that are still commonly used today. There are two basic category in which airplanes belong: Jets and Propeller Planes
Jets are the most common types of airplanes and most people today are most familiar with these types of aircrafts. A jet engine propels Jets. They are also among the fastest airplanes today. Jet engines shoot air and other chemicals from a turbine which in turn causes thrust and boost which moves the plane forwards. Jet engines are most commonly used in commercial jets.
A jet consists of a long tube which is referred to as the fuselage and two large and fixed wings on either side. Underneath each wing are several jet engines. There can be as little as 1 jet engine underneath each wing or as much as 8. 8 jet engines are most commonly used on military and cargo aircrafts. There are several different types of jets airplanes:
747: A 747 is a jumbo jet which are usually used for long, over ocean flights. Flights to Japan and China are commonly done on 747s. The 747 can hold more than 100 people and is most commonly known for its two story build. One story is reserved for coach seats and the other for first class.
The Concorde: The Concorde is a plane that was used for shuttle flights to Paris and London from Washington or New York. This types of airplanes are currently retired. It was considered a supersonic jet because it could travel faster than the speed of sound. It was most noted for being able to get to its destination very quickly as it could reach speeds of up to 1,450 miles per hour. After a crash in 2003 the plane was retired.
Propeller planes do not use jet engines but instead use a rotating propeller which is much like the rotor of a helicopter, but it is positioned at the front of the aircraft and pushes it forwards. They are not as fast as jets but they are still used because of their small size and the ability to land and take off with less runaway space. They are most commonly used to transport a small amount of passengers. There are several different types of propeller planes:
Biplane: A Biplane has two wings, one above the fuselage and another below. They were most common when aviation began and are now used for aviation shows and historical purposes.
Seaplane: Seaplanes can land and take off on water. As a result they are invaluable planes able to land in places that do not have a landing strip but have a large calm body of water.
These are just some of the most common types of airplanes today. There are many more types out there such as, floatplanes, stealth bombers and fighter jets. The technology behind aircrafts is constantly being reviewed and updated so there is a great chance more and different types of airplanes will be in existence in the future.