Aircraft, Main Components of An Airplane

Airplanes are a unique invention that revolutionized transportation, not only allowing us to transverse across great distances faster, but also enjoy views that only birds could take it. Thanks to innovation and advances in the field since the first aircraft took flight in 1903, both the safety and effectiveness of airplanes have drastically improved. In this brief read, we are going to look at the basic components and parts of an airplane and how they work in tandem to make air travel possible.

1. The Engine

The engine is the powerplant of an airplane. This is the component that works to create thrust to lift the plane to the sky. Also, the engine is tasked with generating electric and hydraulic power, which the craft uses to run.

2. Wings

These are the most identifiable components of an aircraft. Airplane wings function just like those of a bird to lift it into the air and also control the airflow. The tilt of the wings is a vital part of the airplane’s overall structure as they enable the pilot to increase or reduce the descent rate of the craft when flying. It is a big deal when a wing sustains damage, and it is one of the primary reasons aircrafts are kept in hangers when not in use.

3. Ailerons

These are hinged surfaces of the wings that help manage lateral balance. Ailerons work to move the airplane right or left by allowing it to roll in the desired direction. They work asymmetrically, meaning when the left aileron goes up, the right one goes down. When the left aileron goes down, the right one goes up.

4. Propellers

Most airplanes have at least one propeller. These thrust the aircraft forward at a certain pitch, depending on the propeller blades’ angle. In smaller planes, you will see big propeller blades at the front, while in commercial airplanes, they are usually integrated into the wings.

5. Flaps

Found at the back of the wing, these components help boost the lift of the aircraft into the air. Flaps are installed to trail the edge of the wings. They extend out and increase the wings airfoil camber so that it can lift at low speeds, which is crucial for landing successfully.

6. Pylons

These are found between the wings and engine. Their primary role is to steady airflow behind the wings. Without these, the drag on the wings reduces the plane’s speed and overall performance.

7. Slats

These are the front most part of the wings. Slats are adjustable, allowing the pilot to adjust them to the required level during lift-off.

8. Vertical Stabilizer

Found on the tail of the aircraft, you will see a shark-like fin. This is known as the vertical stabilizer. As the name suggests, it helps prevent lateral movement, which can easily result in slippage, thus making the craft uncontrollable.

9. Horizontal Stabilizer

You will also see a horizontal wing-like structure on the plane’s tail. The primary role of this component is to help maintain the plane’s equilibrium when flying up and down.

10. Spoilers

These are found on the wing’s top surface and can be extended upwards in order to minimize airflow. The concept of spoilers is to intentionally minimize the aircraft’s lift so that it can land correctly.

11. Fuselage

The fuselage is the centermost component of the plane. It is responsible for the structural integrity of passengers and cargo. Airplanes nowadays can hold about 250,000 pounds of cargo and up to 800 passengers.


And there you have it, the primary components of an aircraft and their role. They all work in tandem to ensure airplane lifts off, flys and lands safely.

Chris is the owner of the Greenwood Group, a Hubzone approved business, which specializes in leasing aircraft to local, state and federal government for a variety of purposes.