Choosing between a fixed-wing aircraft and a rotary wing aircraft

Posted on Friday, June 9, 2017 - 11:30

When you’re looking for information about piloting, you will come across details about fixed-wing aircraft and rotary-wing aircraft. In truth, these are two entirely different pieces of equipment, and it’s important to understand the elements that separate the two so that you select the right one for the type of piloting you intend to do.

So, how do you tell the difference?

The most significant distinction between the two is the following: in the case of the first one, the thrust from the propeller or a jet engine is what moves the aircraft. As for the latter, the wings revolve around a single mass known as the rotor, which maintains the aircraft in flight.

Moving on, the following statistics give us a good insight into the current status of the Australian market.

  • Based on statistics, air travel in Australia is increasing at a faster pace than the population.
  • General aviation is also increasing; a growth of 5.7 percent has been observed.
  • The number of private jets has doubled in the last decade, as noted by this source.

Now, let’s explain the way in which the two types of aircraft are different.

Establishing the difference

The question that you might have is “how do you decide which plane fits your specifications best?” First and foremost, an airplane represents a fixed-wing aircraft while a helicopter accounts for a rotary wing aircraft.

Other kinds of fixed-wing aircraft are paragliders and hang gliders. Nonetheless, bear in mind that these are unpowered.

Moving on to types of rotary-wing aircraft, we would include here autogyros or any aircraft that functions with blades, or rotors as opposed to a fixed wing.

Now that you are acquainted with the elements that distinguish the two types, making a decision can be, indeed, a tad challenging. Nonetheless, it could be argued that this is a decision that depends on personal preference, above all.

Even though the same forces come into play for helicopters and planes alike, the airflow is different.

  • In the case of an airplane, the air flow increases as the speed of the aircraft increases.
  • When it comes to helicopters, the air flow depends on the speed at which the rotor blades function and the speed of the aircraft.

We would also like to add that flying a helicopter involves more attention to details than flying an airplane.

One thing is for sure: we have different interests and tastes, which is why there is no general rule in this respect either. Still, if you prefer relaxing more during your flights, an airplane might suit your interests better. On the other hand, if your aim is to become a professional pilot, you should master both two types of aircraft.

The bottom-line is that, if you are enthusiastic about flying, you’ll take a lot of pleasure in operating both a rotary wing and fixed-wing aircraft – that’s a guarantee.

Tell us, do you have experience in flying? Which one of the two would you recommend and why? We would like to know your opinion.

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