Airplanes are fixed wing aircraft that are powered by jet engines, propeller fans or rocket engines. The engines provide the thrust that lift up the planes into the sky and propel them forward. For centuries man has been experimenting with gliders and balloons filled with gases such as hydrogen and helium which could lift a person into the air and move the individual from one location to the other. Hot air balloons and gliders were commonly used in Europe in the 18th century and recorded some success. However the first powered flight of an aircraft took place in 1903 when the Wright brothers Orville and Wilbur made four brief flights with their powered aircraft. Since then the design and construction of airplanes have been significantly different and greatly more advanced compared to their predecessor. Larger and more powerful engines are being used to lift planes with even larger tonnage into the sky. The engines used for airplanes operate using the same principle like gas turbines. The engine sucks in air through the front with a fan. Once the air enters inside,a compressor raises the pressure of the air. The compressor is made up of fans with many blades and attached to a shaft. The compressed air is then sprayed with fuel and an electric spark ignites the air- fuel mixture. The burning gases expand and blast out through the nozzle at the back of the engine. As the gas shoots outs in a jet, the engine and aircraft are thrust forward. The aircraft is now one of our most important modes of transportation moving humans and cargo from one country to another within a greatly reduced period of time. Advances in aircraft design will see more fuel efficient planes,solar powered and battery powered planes.

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