An aircraft is a vehicle that is able to fly by gaining support from the air, or, in general, the atmosphere of a planet. It counters the force of gravity by using either static lift or by using the dynamic lift of an airfoil, or in a few cases the downward thrust from jet engines.

Although rockets and missiles also travel through the atmosphere, most are not considered aircraft because they do not have wings and rely on rocket thrust as the primary means of lift.

The human activity that surrounds aircraft is called aviation. Manned aircraft are flown by an onboard pilot. Unmanned aerial vehicles may be remotely controlled or self-controlled by onboard computers. Aircraft may be classified by different criteria, such as lift type, propulsion, usage, and others.


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