Construction and Design
Early aircraft often employed doped aircraft fabric covering to give a smooth aeroshell stretched over a wooden frame. Later aircraft employed trusses, and monocoque techniques, where the skin of the aircraft carries much of the flight loads. Modern aircraft typically are a semi-monocoque, where the skin is reinforced with longerons and stringers.
Aircraft are designed according to many factors such as customer and manufacturer demand, safety protocols and physical and economic constraints. For many types of aircraft the design process is regulated by national airworthiness authorities.
The key parts of an aircraft are generally divided into three categories:
- The airframe comprises the mechanical structure and associated equipment.
- The propulsion system (if it is powered) comprises the engine or engines and associated equipment.
- The avionics comprise the electrical flight control and communication systems.
Read more about this topic: Aircraft