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The aim of this chapter is to present the student some generalities focusing on the atmospheric flight of airplanes. First, a classification of aerospace vehicles is given. Then, focusing on airplanes (which will be herein also referred to as aircraft), the main parts of an aircraft will be described. Third, the focus is on characterizing the atmosphere, in which atmospheric flight takes place. Finally, in order to be able to describe the movement of an aircraft, different system references will be presented. For a more detailed description of an aircraft, please refer for instance to any of the following books in aircraft design: Torenbeek , Howe , Jenkinson et al. , and Raymer et al. .
Figure 2.1: Classification of air vehicles. Adapted from Franchini et al. .