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any machine supported for flight in the air by buoyancy or by the dynamic action of air on its surfaces, especially powered airplanes, gliders, and helicopters.
Contemporary Examples

She was escorted to an aircraft gun and told it was protecting the city from American airstrikes.
Jane Fonda’s New Biography: 14 Juicy Bits Lizzie Crocker August 22, 2011

Surely Congress would say, “No aircraft should crash because of battery fires.”
Are Gun Accidents ‘Very Rare’? David Frum February 19, 2013

The result is a massive backlog of aircraft that must be repaired.
Navy Grounds Top Guns Dave Majumdar October 16, 2014

We landed at Bagram Air Field, just months after the war began, in a C-17 aircraft.
Meet the Secret Powerbrokers of D.C.: Five Top Women in Communications Abigail Pesta January 17, 2012

His demeanor, in fact, strangely mimics that of his aircraft: robotic.
Bad to the Drone: Amateur Flyer Appears at Harlem Wreckage Abby Haglage March 12, 2014

Historical Examples

The Germans threatened to rescue him, so high walls were built all round so that aircraft could not get near.
My Diary in Serbia: April 1, 1915-Nov. 1, 1915 Monica M. Stanley

It swept toward the dome and dissociated into a myriad specks which were aircraft.
Invasion William Fitzgerald Jenkins

The radio receiver was one of those extraordinarily light and portable ones that are made for aircraft.
Astounding Stories of Super-Science, June, 1930 Various

In these encounters the British lost three aircraft of various types.
The Story of the Great War, Volume VI (of VIII) Various

In the course of the first day the enemy’s aircraft dropped bombs on our route.
A Soldier’s Sketches Under Fire Harold Harvey

noun (pl) -craft
any machine capable of flying by means of buoyancy or aerodynamic forces, such as a glider, helicopter, or aeroplane

1851, originally in reference to airships and balloons, from air (n.1) + craft (n.); a term from boating, as were many early aviation words. Of airplanes from 1907 and since 1930s exclusively of them. Aircraft carrier is attested from 1919 (H.M.S. Hermes, launched September 1919, was the first ship to be built from the hull up as an aircraft carrier).


Read Also:

  • Aircraft carrier

    a warship equipped with a large open deck for the taking off and landing of warplanes and with facilities to carry, service, and arm them. Contemporary Examples Those arguing for a no-fly zone don’t need a U.S. aircraft carrier. Let Libya’s Neighbors Fix It Leslie H. Gelb March 15, 2011 And maybe that video of […]

  • Aircraft observer

    U.S. Army. (def 4).

  • Aircraftsman

    a person holding the rank of noncommissioned officer in the RAF.

  • Aircraftswoman

    a woman holding a noncommissioned rank in the RAF.

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