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The Airbus A300-600 Super TransporterThe Airbus A300-600 Super Transporter All flying machines are types of aircraft. Balloons and airships stay airborne because they are filled with lighter-than-air gas. Aeroplanes and helicopters are heavier-than-air machines. They need wings or rotors to support them in the air by creating an upward force called lift. Engines provide a forward force called thrust.


A cutaway illustration of an airlinerA cutaway illustration of an airlinerAeroplanes vary in size from small single-seaters to huge machines able to transport hundreds of passengers or heavy cargo. They all have a long tube called a fuselage with a set of wings attached. Control surfaces on the wings and tail can be moved to change the plane’s direction. A tailfin and tailplane at the rear of the craft keep it flying level.

F-15 jet fighterF-15 jet fighter

Military jets

Computers are so widely used by modern aircraft that, for most of a flight, all a pilot has to do is keep an eye on the monitor screens to check that all systems are working properly.

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