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An airplane or glider whose wing is rigidly attached to the structure, or is other-wise adjustable. The term is used to refer to monoplanes, biplanes, triplanes, and, in fact, all conventional aircraft that are neither balloons, airships, autogyros, helicopters or tilt-rotors. The term embraces a minority of aircraft that have folding wings, which are intended to fold when on the ground, such as those used in aircraft carriers. It also includes aircraft with variable geometry wings (i.e., those that can be swept back to varying degrees in flight). The term usually differentiates rotary-wing aircraft (helicopters and autogyros) from normal aircraft. It should not be confused with the hard wings used in air-refueling aircraft.
An Illustrated Dictionary of Aviation Copyright © 2005 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved