Stay Inspired

EAA is your guide to getting the most out of the world of flight and giving your passion room to grow.

Word of the Month — Aircraft

By Ian Brown, Editor

April 2021 – Yes, we all know the word "aircraft," but let's talk about its significance. Other similar words are aeroplane, plane, airplane. In French it's avion, and in Spanish it's avión or aeronave.

Commonly we'll hear "plane" around the airport: "Just washing my plane" or whatever. There is a certain amount of cultural difference, but I guess the most important difference is that an aircraft can include a hot air balloon or helicopter, whereas an airplane or an aeroplane is a heavier–than-air, fixed wing device type of aircraft.

Sitting between our British heritage and our U.S. neighbours, we can feel relaxed whether we talking about an airplane or an aeroplane. The latter is something you won't hear very often south of our shared border.

So now you know subtleties in the meaning of "aircraft." I hope that's plain!

To provide a better user experience, EAA uses cookies. To review EAA's data privacy policy or adjust your privacy settings please visit: Data and Privacy Policy.