The airplane has become the world's number one mode of transportation. The airplane has also been the biggest mechanical warfare weapon since the gun. There are three types of airplanes; jets, props, and hybrid turboprops. With all these types of airplanes how does one know what the best plane is, the following paper will address the common factors that need to be examined from both civilian and military perspectives to understand which is better, jets, props, or turboprops. First there will be a brief introduction to airplanes, followed by the civilian aspects of aviation.
While an airplane is gliding, without power, there are three factors acting upon the airplane; lift, drag, and weight. These three factors the components that allow an airplane to fly in the air. However if a pilot wants to fly for longer than twenty minutes, the aircraft needs to have thrust. Thrust comes from the engine and propels an airplane through the sky. There are three major ways in which to control thrust, the first is the throttle, "The less performance you ask out of the engine, the less you will get"(Theory. Page 1.) The second way to control thrust is by flaps and spoilers. Flaps create lift while adding drag and causing the plane to slowdown. Mostly all types of planes use flaps. Spoilers are mostly used on jet aircraft. They are used to create drag so the jets can make rapid descents. Spoilers also provide greater weight on the wheels of an airplane, which improves braking. The third and final way pilots control thrust is by flight controls. In an airplane there are three sets of controls; the ailerons which control the roll of an airplane, the elevator that controls the pitch up and down, and the rudder that controls yaw left and right (like a car). While in straight and level flight you can use the flight controls to deal with thrust. You can pitch up which slows down the aircraft and pitch down to increase speed.