Power aircraft can be equipped with various types of piston engines , jet engines, or electric motors , very rarely rocket engines . Jet engines can drive a propeller ( turboprop ) or propel the aircraft with the recoil of their exhaust gas jet.
Differentiation according to the number of engines
Legally aviation and in airplane licenses to different engine aircraft according to the number of engines in single-engine ( single engine ) or multi-engine (multi-engine) engine aircraft. Among pilots these aircraft are colloquially referred to as "one-mots", "two-mots", "three-mots" etc., in the English-speaking world as "singles", "twins" etc.
Usually, the larger the number of engines, the larger the aircraft, because the engine power is usually increased to be able to carry more weight. One result of this development was the 52 tonne Dornier Do X with 12 engines. But there are also exceptions such as the twin-engine Cri-Cri with a maximum take-off weight of just 170 kg. Also some fighters of the Second World War were multi-engine powered aircraft, which, however, usually did not have better flight performance than single-engine aircraft. The best-known examples are the P-38 Lightning and the Messerschmitt Bf 110 .
The first controlled, manned, motor-powered flight with an aircraft based on the principle of "heavier than air" was awarded to Samuel Pierpont Langley according to contemporary views . Today, the first flight - according to some controversial opinion - is assumed to be that of the Wright brothers on December 17, 1903 with their Wright Flyer in Kitty Hawk in the US state of North Carolina . The German inventor Gustav Weißkopf could have succeeded in his first powered flights as early as 1901. Accordingly, the US state of Connecticut attributed the first aircraft powered flight to Weißkopf in 2013 and enshrined this in law. The Brazilian Alberto Santos Dumont completed the first public and undisputed powered flight on November 12, 1906 (Bird of Prey) in Paris.
Cessna 172 (single engine)
Douglas DC-3 (twin engine)
Junkers Ju 52 (Dreimot)
Super Constellation (Viermot)
- Telegram from Orville Wright in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, to His Father Announcing Four Successful Flights, 1903 December 17 . December 17, 1903. Retrieved July 21, 2013.
- Pioneers in the Sky - Terra X video available until July 24, 2026.
- Bayerischer Rundfunk, June 13, 2013.
- First powered flight: Connecticut recognizes Germans as flight pioneers. In: Die Welt Online. June 8, 2013, accessed April 27, 2017 .
- Paul Hoffman: Wings of madness: Alberto Santos-Dumont and the invention of flight . Harper Perennial, London 2004, ISBN 1-84115-369-9 .