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An aircraft is a vehicle that is able to fly by gaining support from the air. It counters the force of gravity by using either static lift or by using the dynamic lift of an airfoil, or in a few cases the downward thrust from jet engines. Common examples of aircraft include airplanes, helicopters, airships (including blimps), gliders, paramotors and hot air balloons.

The human activity that surrounds aircraft is called aviation. The science of aviation, including designing and building aircraft, is called aeronautics. Crewed aircraft are flown by an onboard pilot, but unmanned aerial vehicles may be remotely controlled or self-controlled by onboard computers. Aircraft may be classified by different criteria, such as lift type, aircraft propulsion, usage and others.

Aircraft Media

113,830 media by topicpage 1 of 1139
A close up view of a US Air Force B-2 Spirit Bomber from 509th Bomb Wing, Whiteman AFB, MO being refueled by the boom and refueling arm of a KC-10 Extender aircraft. The image was taken from the Boom Operators position

A close up view of a US Air Force B-2 Spirit Bomber from 509th Bomb Wi...

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Base: Whiteman Air Force Base State: Missouri (MO) Country: United States Of America (USA) Scene Camera Operator: TSGT Chuck Reger Release Status: Rel... more

Netherlands Institute of Military History Photo

Netherlands Institute of Military History Photo

More images from the collection of the Netherlands Institute of Military History are to be found at:..Voor meer beelden uit de collectie van het Nederlands Instituut voor Militaire Historie kijk op:..nimh-beeld... more

R101 and cows

R101 and cows

Description: British R101 airship at mooring tower. The vessel was 237 metres long...Date: c.1929..Our Catalogue Reference: AIR 5/919 ( http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/catalogue/displaycataloguedetails.asp?C... more

Photograph of the Rear Control Car of a Dirigible, ca. 1933

Photograph of the Rear Control Car of a Dirigible, ca. 1933

Original Caption: Photograph of the Rear Control Car of a Dirigible, ca. 1933..U.S. National Archives’ HMS Record Entry ID: NWL-16051..Creator: U.S. Congress. Joint Committee to Investigate Dirigible Disasters... more

Puerto Rico Defenses

Puerto Rico Defenses

Title: Puerto Rico Defenses . .Creator: Robert Yarnall Richie ..Date: 1939..Place: Puerto Rico..Physical Description: 1 transparency: film, color; 10 x 13 cm. ..File: ag1982_0234_2063_K_39_sm_opt.jpg ... more

Puerto Rico, Grumman

Puerto Rico, Grumman

Title: Puerto Rico, Grumman ..Alternative Title: [Grumman G-21 Goose, Puerto Rico] ..Creator: Robert Yarnall Richie ..Date: 1939..Place: Isla Grande, Puerto Rico..Physical Description: 1 transparency: fil... more

Anti-aircraft, Puerto Rico, pre-war

Anti-aircraft, Puerto Rico, pre-war

Title: Anti-aircraft, Puerto Rico, pre-war . .Creator: Robert Yarnall Richie ..Date: 1939..Place: San Juan, Puerto Rico..Physical Description: 1 transparency: film, color; 10 x 13 cm. ..File: ag1982_0... more

Puerto Rico 1939, Junior Birdsmen

Puerto Rico 1939, Junior Birdsmen

Title: Puerto Rico 1939, Junior Birdsmen ..Alternative Title: [Junior Birdsmen in front of Grumman G-21 Goose]. .Creator: Robert Yarnall Richie ..Date: 1939..Place: Isla Grande, Puerto Rico..Physical Desc... more

[Airmen and women with Grumman G-21 Goose, Puerto Rico]

[Airmen and women with Grumman G-21 Goose, Puerto Rico]

Title: [Airmen and women with Grumman G-21 Goose, Puerto Rico] . .Creator: Robert Yarnall Richie ..Date: 1939..Place: Isla Grande, Puerto Rico..Physical Description: 1 transparency: film, color; 13 x 10 c... more

Puerto Rico 1939, Gov. Leahy

Puerto Rico 1939, Gov. Leahy

Title: Puerto Rico 1939, Gov. Leahy ..Alternative Title: [Governor William D. Leahy, Puerto Rico]. .Creator: Robert Yarnall Richie ..Date: 1939..Place: Isla Grande, Puerto Rico..Physical Description: 1 tr... more

[Two Models next to Lockheed 10B Electra, Delta Air Lines]

[Two Models next to Lockheed 10B Electra, Delta Air Lines]

Title: [Two Models next to Lockheed 10B Electra, Delta Air Lines]..Creator: Robert Yarnall Richie ..Date: March 1940..Place: Dallas, Texas ..Part Of: Robert Yarnall Richie Photograph Collection..Description: T... more

Passengers on a Pan Am Boeing 307

Passengers on a Pan Am Boeing 307

Local call number: Rc15258..Title: [Passengers on a Pan Am Boeing 307] ..Publication info: Between 1940 and 1947..Physical descrip: 1 photoprint: b&w; 10 x 8 in...Series Title: (Reference collection)..General N... more

[Two Men with Lockheed 10B Electra]

[Two Men with Lockheed 10B Electra]

Title: [Two Men with Lockheed 10B Electra] ..Creator: Robert Yarnall Richie ..Date: March 1940..Place: Houston, Texas ..Part Of: Robert Yarnall Richie Photograph Collection..Description: Two men looking at a ... more

[Boeing B-17F Flying Fortress, Mt. Rainier]

[Boeing B-17F Flying Fortress, Mt. Rainier]

Title: [Boeing Flying Fortress, Mt. Rainier]...Creator: Richie, Robert Yarnall, 1908-1984..Date: April 1943..Place: Mount Rainier, Washington..Part Of: Robert Yarnall Richie photograph collection..Physical Desc... more

[Waist Gunner in Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, World War II]

[Waist Gunner in Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, World War II]

Title: [Waist Gunner in Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, World War II]..Creator: Richie, Robert Yarnall, 1908-1984..Date: April or May 1943..Place: Mitchel Field Air Force Base, Long Island, New York..Part Of: Robe... more

[Tail Gunner in Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, World War II]

[Tail Gunner in Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, World War II]

Title: [Tail Gunner in Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, World War II]..Creator: Richie, Robert Yarnall, 1908-1984..Date: April or May 1943..Place: Mitchel Field Air Force Base, Long Island, New York..Part Of: Rober... more

San Diego Air and Space Museum Photos

San Diego Air and Space Museum Photos

Title: Stewardess walking in uniform.Catalog #: WOF_00106.Item Location: Women of Flight Box 3.Collection: Women of Flight Special Collection.Tags: Women of Flight Photo, Stuardesses walking in uniform.Reposito... more

X-1-3 Being Mated To EB-50A Superfortress

X-1-3 Being Mated To EB-50A Superfortress

(November 9, 1951) The third X-1 (46-064), known as "Queenie," is mated to the EB-50A (46- 006) at Edwards AFB, California. Following a captive flight on November 9, 1951, both aircraft were destroyed by fire d... more

B-58 Bottom View

B-58 Bottom View

NARA RG 342-B Records of USAF..KE 14858, 2 Aug 62

Puerto Rico 1939, Gov. Leahy

Puerto Rico 1939, Gov. Leahy

Title: Puerto Rico 1939, Gov. Leahy..Alternative Title: [Governor William D. Leahy, Puerto Rico]. .Creator: Robert Yarnall Richie ..Date: 1939..Place: Isla Grande, Puerto Rico..Physical Description: 1 tra... more

[Models with Oldsmobile Automobile, Lockheed 10B Electra, Delta Air Lines]

[Models with Oldsmobile Automobile, Lockheed 10B Electra, Delta Air Li...

Title: [Models with Oldsmobile Automobile, Lockheed 10B Electra, Delta Air Lines] ..Creator: Robert Yarnall Richie ..Date: March 1940..Place: Dallas, Texas ..Part Of: Robert Yarnall Richie Photograph Coll... more

Student pilot Jean McRae of Homosassa: Tallahassee, Florida

Student pilot Jean McRae of Homosassa: Tallahassee, Florida

Local call number: n042081..Title: [Student pilot Jean McRae of Homosassa: Tallahassee, Florida] ..Physical descrip: 1 photonegative: b&w; 4 x 5 in. ..Date captured: Spring 1940. ..Repository: State Library and... more

[Braniff Airline Pilots Watching a Lockheed 12A Electra Junior]

[Braniff Airline Pilots Watching a Lockheed 12A Electra Junior]

Title: [Braniff Airline Pilots Watching a Lockheed 12A Electra Junior]..Creator: Robert Yarnall Richie ..Date: March 1940..Place: Houston, Texas ..Part Of: Robert Yarnall Richie Photograph Collection..Descripti... more

[Lockheed 12A Electra Junior in Flight over Dallas]

[Lockheed 12A Electra Junior in Flight over Dallas]

Title: [Lockheed 12A Electra Junior in Flight over Dallas]..Creator: Robert Yarnall Richie ..Date: March 1940..Place: Dallas, Texas ..Part Of: Robert Yarnall Richie Photograph Collection..Description: A Lockhee... more

Culver Cadet and Army Plane

Culver Cadet and Army Plane

Title: Culver Cadet and Army Plane..Creator: Richie, Robert Yarnall, 1908-1984..Date: September 1941..Part Of: Robert Yarnall Richie photograph collection..Description: Culver Cadet LCA and two monoplanes at ai... more

Dawn Patrol (B-25s)

Dawn Patrol (B-25s)

Title: Dawn Patrol (B-25s)..Creator: Richie, Robert Yarnall, 1908-1984..Date: September 18, 1941..Place: Lake Charles, Louisiana..Part Of: Robert Yarnall Richie photograph collection..Physical Description: 1 tr... more

[U.S. Flight Navigator, Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, World War II]

[U.S. Flight Navigator, Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, World War II]

Title: [U.S. Flight Navigator, Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, World War II]..Creator: Richie, Robert Yarnall, 1908-1984..Date: April or May 1943..Place: Mitchel Field Air Force Base, Long Island, New York..Part O... more

Boeing Flying Fortress

Boeing Flying Fortress

Title: Boeing Flying Fortress..Creator: Richie, Robert Yarnall, 1908-1984..Date: April 1943..Place: Mount Rainier, Washington..Part Of: Robert Yarnall Richie photograph collection..Description: Boeing B-17F Fly... more

[Lockheed Model 18 Lodestar, Banking in Flight, James S. Abercrombie Company]

[Lockheed Model 18 Lodestar, Banking in Flight, James S. Abercrombie C...

Title: [Lockheed Model 18 Lodestar, Banking in Flight, James S. Abercrombie Company]..Creator: Robert Yarnall Richie ..Date: ca. 1947-1948..Place: Houston, Texas..Part Of: Robert Yarnall Richie Photograph Colle... more

[Lockheed Model 18 Lodestar, James S. Abercrombie Company]

[Lockheed Model 18 Lodestar, James S. Abercrombie Company]

Title: [Lockheed Model 18 Lodestar, James S. Abercrombie Company]..Creator: Robert Yarnall Richie ..Date: ca. 1947-1948..Place: Houston, Texas..Part Of: Robert Yarnall Richie Photograph Collection..Physical Des... more

[Superior Oil Co. aircraft, Beech Bonanza]

[Superior Oil Co. aircraft, Beech Bonanza]

Title: [Superior Oil Co. aircraft, Beech Bonanza] ..Creator: Robert Yarnall Richie ..Date: July - August 1949..Place: Lake Creek Field, Montgomery County, Texas or Midland, Texas ?..Part Of: Robert Yarnall... more

Near Logan Airport - Airplane Coming in for a Landing Over Neptune Road Homes

Near Logan Airport - Airplane Coming in for a Landing Over Neptune Roa...

Original Caption: Near Logan Airport - Airplane Coming in for a Landing Over Neptune Road Homes 05/1973..U.S. National Archives’ Local Identifier: 412-DA-5961..Photographer: Manheim, Michael Philip, 1940-..Su... more

X-15 #2 just after launch

X-15 #2 just after launch

Description: The X-15 #2 (56-6671) launches away from the B-52 mothership with its rocket engine ignited. The white patches near the middle of the ship are frost from the liquid oxygen used in the propulsion sy... more

Lifting Bodies on Lakebed

Lifting Bodies on Lakebed

(November 30, 1968) The wingless lifting body aircraft sitting on Rogers Dry Lake at what is now NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, California. From left to right are the X-24A, M2-F3 and the HL-10.... more

Skalmodell av Emanuel Swedenborgs flygapparat "machine att flyga i wädret" från år 1716. För första gången antydes här de viktigaste principerna för flygmaskinen med fast, bärande vingar.

Skalmodell av Emanuel Swedenborgs flygapparat "machine att flyga i wäd...

Early aircraft design: Scale model of Emanuel Swedenborg's "machine to fly in the weather" - an airplane from 1716. For the first time, the most important principles of the airplane with fixed, carrying wings w... more

Le pilote

Le pilote

Print shows two men standing in basket of balloon, "Le Pilote". Title from item. Tissandier collection.

[Ariel, the first carriage of the Aerial Transit Company] / W. Walton lith. ; Day & Haghe lithrs. to the Queen.

[Ariel, the first carriage of the Aerial Transit Company] / W. Walton ...

Print showing a winged boat, or "carriage," flying over the Nile river, with pyramids in the background. Inscription lower right: Restrike. Title devised by Library staff. Bella C. Landauer collection. Exhibite... more

Pennington & Cos. aerial steam ship or composite ballon lith. of P.S. Duval, Philada

Pennington & Cos. aerial steam ship or composite ballon lith. of P.S. ...

Print shows an aerial steamship labeled "New Era" that has a chimney at top and a house-like building on the bottom. Includes a portrait of John H. Pennington with facsimile signature and a description of "Stea... more

Mr. Pennington's steam balloon, signs of the times : The Oregon

Mr. Pennington's steam balloon, signs of the times : The Oregon

Print shows an early design for a dirigible-shaped "aerostat" that is powered by steam which drives side-paddles; includes a smokestack at top center and flags at both ends. Title from item. Includes five lines... more

Taking views from an aeroplane
Le Sortie de l'opéra en l'an 2000 / A. Robida.

Le Sortie de l'opéra en l'an 2000 / A. Robida.

Print shows a futuristic view of air travel over Paris as people leave the Opera. Many types of aircraft are depicted including buses and limousenes, police patrol the skies, and women are seen driving their ow... more

[Airplane over a town at night]

[Airplane over a town at night]

Title devised by cataloger. (DLC/PP-1939:0060). Forms part of: Cabinet of American illustration (Library of Congress). Published in: Jungle Haven.

The McKinley flying machine (with respectful apologies to Prof. Langley)

The McKinley flying machine (with respectful apologies to Prof. Langle...

No accession number. Published in: Washington post. This catalog record contains preliminary or unverified data from a project done in BRS software, ca. 1985. mm / 860224.

Allmänna Konst- och Industriutställningen 1897."Ballongen klar för flygning. Andre fr. vänster Oscar Halldin och andre fr. höger danske luftseglaren Johansen".

Allmänna Konst- och Industriutställningen 1897."Ballongen klar för fly...

Allmänna Konst- och Industriutställningen 1897."Ballongen klar för flygning. Andre fr. vänster Oscar Halldin och andre fr. höger danske luftseglaren Johansen".

Fire Suppression: Aerial Slurry Drops - New Mexico

Fire Suppression: Aerial Slurry Drops - New Mexico

Photographs Relating to National Forests, Resource Management Practices, Personnel, and Cultural and Economic History

Fire Suppression: Aerial Slurry Drops - Oregon

Fire Suppression: Aerial Slurry Drops - Oregon

Photographs Relating to National Forests, Resource Management Practices, Personnel, and Cultural and Economic History

Alaska Aerial Surveys - Alaska

Alaska Aerial Surveys - Alaska

Photographs Relating to National Forests, Resource Management Practices, Personnel, and Cultural and Economic History

Alaska Aerial Surveys - Alaska

Alaska Aerial Surveys - Alaska

Photographs Relating to National Forests, Resource Management Practices, Personnel, and Cultural and Economic History

Alaska Aerial Surveys - Alaska

Alaska Aerial Surveys - Alaska

Photographs Relating to National Forests, Resource Management Practices, Personnel, and Cultural and Economic History

Alaska Aerial Surveys - Alaska

Alaska Aerial Surveys - Alaska

Photographs Relating to National Forests, Resource Management Practices, Personnel, and Cultural and Economic History

Baron Caters in his biplane

Baron Caters in his biplane

Forms part of: George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress). Title from unverified data provided by the Bain News Service on the negatives or caption cards. General information about the George Grantha... more

Deseronto Archive Photos

Deseronto Archive Photos

Aircraft C636, crashed upside down between two trees with three men standing in front of it. The aircraft bears the skull-and-crossbones insignia of 90 C.T.S., based at Camp Rathbun, one of the Royal Flying Cor... more

Aircraft and Airports - Oregon

Aircraft and Airports - Oregon

Photographs Relating to National Forests, Resource Management Practices, Personnel, and Cultural and Economic History

Helicopters - New Mexico

Helicopters - New Mexico

Photographs Relating to National Forests, Resource Management Practices, Personnel, and Cultural and Economic History

Alaska Aerial Surveys - Alaska

Alaska Aerial Surveys - Alaska

Photographs Relating to National Forests, Resource Management Practices, Personnel, and Cultural and Economic History

Helicopters - District of Columbia

Helicopters - District of Columbia

Photographs Relating to National Forests, Resource Management Practices, Personnel, and Cultural and Economic History

Helicopters - District of Columbia

Helicopters - District of Columbia

Photographs Relating to National Forests, Resource Management Practices, Personnel, and Cultural and Economic History

Helicopters - Washington

Helicopters - Washington

Photographs Relating to National Forests, Resource Management Practices, Personnel, and Cultural and Economic History

Fire Suppression: Aerial Slurry Drops - Washington

Fire Suppression: Aerial Slurry Drops - Washington

Photographs Relating to National Forests, Resource Management Practices, Personnel, and Cultural and Economic History

Fire Suppression: Aerial Slurry Drops - Arkansas

Fire Suppression: Aerial Slurry Drops - Arkansas

Photographs Relating to National Forests, Resource Management Practices, Personnel, and Cultural and Economic History

Fire Suppression: Aerial Slurry Drops - Washington

Fire Suppression: Aerial Slurry Drops - Washington

Photographs Relating to National Forests, Resource Management Practices, Personnel, and Cultural and Economic History

Aircraft and Airports - Minnesota

Aircraft and Airports - Minnesota

Photographs Relating to National Forests, Resource Management Practices, Personnel, and Cultural and Economic History

Alaska Aerial Surveys - Alaska

Alaska Aerial Surveys - Alaska

Photographs Relating to National Forests, Resource Management Practices, Personnel, and Cultural and Economic History

Fire Suppression: Aerial Slurry Drops - Minnesota

Fire Suppression: Aerial Slurry Drops - Minnesota

Photographs Relating to National Forests, Resource Management Practices, Personnel, and Cultural and Economic History

Deseronto Archive Photos

Deseronto Archive Photos

Aircraft nose-down in the Bay of Quinte, with Foresters' island in the distance. Three men are in a boat in front of the aircraft.

NC-4
Aircraft and Airports - Minnesota

Aircraft and Airports - Minnesota

Photographs Relating to National Forests, Resource Management Practices, Personnel, and Cultural and Economic History

Fire Suppression: Aerial Slurry Drops - Idaho

Fire Suppression: Aerial Slurry Drops - Idaho

Photographs Relating to National Forests, Resource Management Practices, Personnel, and Cultural and Economic History

NC-4
Aircraft and Airports - Oregon

Aircraft and Airports - Oregon

Photographs Relating to National Forests, Resource Management Practices, Personnel, and Cultural and Economic History

Aircraft and Airports - Idaho

Aircraft and Airports - Idaho

Photographs Relating to National Forests, Resource Management Practices, Personnel, and Cultural and Economic History

Aircraft and Airports - Oregon

Aircraft and Airports - Oregon

Photographs Relating to National Forests, Resource Management Practices, Personnel, and Cultural and Economic History

Alaska Aerial Surveys - Alaska

Alaska Aerial Surveys - Alaska

Photographs Relating to National Forests, Resource Management Practices, Personnel, and Cultural and Economic History

Fire Suppression: Aerial Slurry Drops - Oregon

Fire Suppression: Aerial Slurry Drops - Oregon

Photographs Relating to National Forests, Resource Management Practices, Personnel, and Cultural and Economic History

Aircraft and Airports - Idaho

Aircraft and Airports - Idaho

Photographs Relating to National Forests, Resource Management Practices, Personnel, and Cultural and Economic History

Fire Suppression: Aerial Slurry Drops - New Hampshire

Fire Suppression: Aerial Slurry Drops - New Hampshire

Photographs Relating to National Forests, Resource Management Practices, Personnel, and Cultural and Economic History

Deseronto Archive Photos

Deseronto Archive Photos

Photograph of John Robert (Bob) Almey (1895-1989) in his flying uniform, standing in front of a Curtiss JN-4 aircraft at Camp Mohawk in 1918. Almey joined the Royal Air Force in 1918 and was in the last cohort ... more

Helicopters - District of Columbia

Helicopters - District of Columbia

Photographs Relating to National Forests, Resource Management Practices, Personnel, and Cultural and Economic History

Alaska Aerial Surveys - Alaska

Alaska Aerial Surveys - Alaska

Photographs Relating to National Forests, Resource Management Practices, Personnel, and Cultural and Economic History

Fire Suppression: Aerial Slurry Drops - Oregon

Fire Suppression: Aerial Slurry Drops - Oregon

Photographs Relating to National Forests, Resource Management Practices, Personnel, and Cultural and Economic History

Aircraft and Airports - Minnesota

Aircraft and Airports - Minnesota

Photographs Relating to National Forests, Resource Management Practices, Personnel, and Cultural and Economic History

4th July
Louis Bleriot, 1872-1936

Louis Bleriot, 1872-1936

Head, in his monoplane, with another person. Title and other information transcribed from caption card and item. George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress). Websters 1872-1936. Caption card tracings:... more

Alaska Aerial Surveys - Alaska

Alaska Aerial Surveys - Alaska

Photographs Relating to National Forests, Resource Management Practices, Personnel, and Cultural and Economic History