Classification of aerospace vehicles 681

There are many types of aerospace vehicles. They include :-

Aerostatic balloon – used as an aerospace vehicle for the most opulent and creme de la creme. This was first engineered by french and is also known as hot air balloon.


Airship (zeppelin) – This is a power driven aerospace vehicle that is kept buoyant by a quantity of gas i.e helium. Hydrogen was formerly used instead. The gas should be lighter than air.

glider – This are aerospace vehicle with no engine. Only a selected few have been engineered to have engines i.e motor glider. They take of by :-

  1. aero-tow – in this case a powered aircraft tows the glider into the air using a long rope. later after the glider is in the air  the pilot in the glider uses quick-release mechanism to release the tow rope.
  2. winch launching – An engine on ground surface powers a winch which is connected to a cable launch. The cable is then attached to the bottom of the glider. On this instance the winch is activated and the glider is pulled along the ground at high speed toward the winch and takes off. later the glider attains a great altitude on which it releases the  winch line before continuing flight.
  • gliders has a glide ratio of 60:1 compared to a 15:1 glide ratio of the boeing 747

Types of rising air used by gliders

  1. Thermal rise – This are the warm & rising air made by the heating of the Earth surface i.e air near the ground expands and rises as the surface of the earth is heated creating lift.
  2. Ridge Lift – This is created by winds blowing against mountains, hills, ridges e.t.c. This happens along the windward side of the mountain, a lift is created where air is redirected upward by the terrain.
  3. Wave Lift is similar to ridge lift in a way. lift is created when wind meets a mountain on the leeward side of the peaks by winds passing over top of the mountain.
  • a glider lands similar to a normal airplane although glider pilots are trained to be sure of landing zone first since they cant fly back to perform a missed approach.

  • other types of gliders are the motor glider & hang glider as shown below

regional aircraft – it is also known as feederliner and is designed to fly upto 100 passengers.  

short haul/ medium haul – for short haul this are aircraft that fly under 3 hours of flight. medium haul are airplanes that fly for 3-6 hours of flight.  This use a plane like boeing 747.

long/utra-long haul – long haul its a flight that goes for 6 – 12 hours while utra-long its a flight that goes over 12 hours. they use a plane like airbus A380. 

fighter jets –  are used mostly by military for combat purposes. 

antonnov 225 – this are large aircraft mostly used by the military with six gas turbine engines.

McDonnell Douglas MD-17 – this is a large plane mostly mostly used a military aircraft.  helicopter –  this is a turbo -shaft propelled engine with rotor blades on top. The helicopter can take off vertically, hover, fly forwards, backwards, and laterally, as well as to land vertically.

Autogyro – Has unpowered rotor driven by aerodynamic forces in a state of autorotation to generate lift, and an engine-powered propeller to provide thrust and fly forward. It resembles a helicopter rotor in appearance. autogyro rotor must have air flowing up and through the rotor disk in order to generate rotation. 


Gyrodyne – The rotor of a gyrodyne is normally driven by its engine for takeoff and landing. It hovers like a helicopter with anti-torque & propulsion for forward flight provided by one or more propellers mounted on short or stub wings.

Combined – is an aircraft that can be either helicopter or autogyro. Power of the engine can be applied to the rotor helicopter mode or to the propeller autogyro mode. In helicopter mode, the propeller assumes the function of anti-torque rotor.

Convertible – can be either helicopter or airplane. The propoller-rotor i.e proprotor changes its attitude ninety degres with respect to the fuselage so that the proprotor can act as a rotor helicopter or as a propeller with fixed wings airplane

cargo plane – plane used mostly designed for carrying cargo 

supersonic – this are aerospace vehicles that fly at very high speeds i.e at supersonic speeds like Concorde and jets. 

sub sonic – has a speed less than the speed of sound and is used mostly in jets

hyper sonic – has speeds more than speed of sound and is used mostly in space crafts.

space shuttle – used to go to space.

Airbus beluga – largest airplane on earth better known as super transporter capable of voluminous cargo hold. n can also carry another plane.  


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