Parts of an Airplane for Kids

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Help teach your child by creating a model airplane.
Help teach your child by creating a model airplane. (Image: Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

Teaching the parts of an airplane to children may confuse them if they do not have a visual reference. Plan a time to sit with your child and construct a model airplane. Models can be handmade or purchased at a hobby store. Another option, suitable for younger children, is to draw a picture and help them identify the different parts.

Front Section

The front section of the airplane includes three main parts: spinner, propeller and engine. The spinner is part of the main shaft. It controls the propeller and creates smooth airflow over the engine. Located at the tip of the plane, the spinner resembles a rounded triangle in the center of the propeller. The propeller, powered by the engine, spins fast to create airflow. The engine, located right behind the propeller, is the powerhouse of the plane.

Body of Plane

The middle of the plane consists of two parts: the cockpit and fuselage. The cockpit serves as the command center for the plane. Included inside the cockpit are the instrument panel, navigational aids and the pilot. The fuselage is the actual body of the airplane but does not include the wing and tail sections. When building a model airplane the easiest part to make is the fuselage because it is the main structure of the plane.

Wings

The wings are separate from the fuselage and include two movable components: the flap and aileron. Both components move up and down to assist airflow in takeoff and turn the plane while flying. Besides standard flying, the wings play a crucial role when pilots perform flying tricks such as rolling and diving.

Back/ End Section

The end section of the plane contains the elevator, rudder and tail. The tail houses the elevator, plane stabilizer, fin and rudder; all components create a stable flight. The elevator is the horizontal part of the tail. It moves up and down to adjust the pitch of the plane. The rudder, the vertical part of the tail, moves left to right to stabilize the aircraft during takeoff and in turbulence.

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