Standard Article

Aircraft Flight Regimes and Applications

Environmental Impact, Manufacturing and Operations

Operational Environment

  1. Denis Howe

Published Online: 15 DEC 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470686652.eae315

Encyclopedia of Aerospace Engineering

Encyclopedia of Aerospace Engineering

How to Cite

Howe, D. 2010. Aircraft Flight Regimes and Applications. Encyclopedia of Aerospace Engineering. .

Author Information

  1. Cranfield University, College of Aeronautics, Bedford, United Kingdom

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 DEC 2010


Having defined an aircraft, consideration is given to the nature of the primary forces that act on a platform in flight. The means of generating lift in the context of lighter-than-air craft and fixed and rotating wing platforms are discussed. The development of thrust and the associated propulsion and overall efficiencies are described as they are affected by the type of power plant employed. This enables the many classes of operational aircraft to be placed in flight regimes determined by the speed and altitude at which they fly. Comments are made on some unusual and outstanding designs. The interaction of take-off and landing with the local environment is considered.


  • atmosphere;
  • environment;
  • lift;
  • drag;
  • power plant thrust;
  • efficiency;
  • take-off;
  • landing;
  • platform applications;
  • Mach number;
  • altitude;
  • runway;
  • air traffic control