Difference between Airplane and Aeroplane

Key Difference: Airplane and aeroplane are the same. Therefore, there is no difference between the two. However, Airplane is preferred in American and Canadian English, while aeroplane is preferred in British English.

Some people may think that there might be a slight difference between an aeroplane and airplane. However, in reality there is no difference between the two. They both denote a flying machine that is generally used as a vehicle. Airplane is preferred spelling and pronunciation in American and Canadian English, while aeroplane is preferred spelling and pronunciation in British English.

An airplane or aeroplane refers to a powered heavier-than-air aircraft with propulsion and fixed wings. It is used for various purposes like transportation of humans and goods, for amusement or entertainment, warfare, etc. Informally, an airplane or aeroplane is also referred to as a plane. Aeroplane is the older form of the word. In 1916, airplane received the status of standard American term by being adopted by the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics.

Dictionary.com defines airplane as –

  • A heavier-than-air aircraft kept aloft by the upward thrust exerted by the passing air on its fixed wings and driven by propellers, jet propulsion, etc.
  • Any similar heavier-than-air aircraft, as a glider or helicopter.

Oxford Dictionary defines aeroplane as –

  • A powered flying vehicle with fixed wings and a weight greater than that of the air it displaces.

Thus, we can conclude that airplane and aeroplane refer to the same thing. Therefore, there is no difference between the two.

Comparison between Airplane and Aeroplane:

 

Airplane

Aeroplane

Definition

An engine driven aircraft that is heavier than air. It uses the force of air on its fixed wings in order to fly.

An engine driven aircraft that is heavier than air. It uses the force of air on its fixed wings in order to fly.

Preferred term in

American and Canadian English

British English

Origin

1870–75,  for an earlier sense; alteration of aeroplane, with air replacing aero-

Late 19th century - from French aéroplane, from aéro- 'air' + Greek -planos 'wandering'

Pronunciation

air-pleyn

air-uh-pleyn

Usage in publication

Prestigious Wall Street Journal, as well as the Los Angeles Times, the Huffington Post, the Examiner, Yahoo, the Globe and Mail.

Financial Times, the Sydney Morning Herald and The Guardian.

Popularity (based on google search)

Comparatively less popular

Comparatively more popular

Plural

Airplanes

Aeroplanes

Image Courtesy: photographyheat.com

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