An airplane was a type of fixed-wing aircraft and is supported in air by dynamic action.

On Earth, the first successful "flying machine" was invented at the turn of the 20th century by brothers, Orville and Wilbur Wright. They made the first successful test-flight at Kill Devil Hill in North Carolina on December 17, 1903. (TLE novel: Serpents Among the Ruins)

Different airplane designs were contained in the computer files of the Starfleet vessel USS Verdun and the Tarn Imperial Fleet vessel Rashasa. This allowed both the Tarn and Human forces to build their own airplanes for use in continuing the Federation-Tarn War on Torgu-Va. The Human forces were using a version of the P-51 Mustang. The Tarn aircraft types included fighters, bombers and transports. (TNG novel: The Forgotten War)

Airplanes were still in use in the 23rd century. In the 2260s, Starfleet officers monitored Wallace Hawkins as he flew the G-50X rocket plane, an experimental stratospheric reconnaissance craft, from an airfield in Maribou Flats in North America. (TOS comic: "The Collector")

In the early 2280s, Admiral James T. Kirk intended to use an airplane to observe the defense situation on several areas of Belle Terre so that he could prepare for the Kauld invasion. (TOS - New Earth novel: The Flaming Arrow)

When the USS Enterprise-D followed the shuttlecraft Goddard through a gravity slingshot back in time around the Arhennius star, their emergence in their past was described similar to a plane emerging from the fury of a hurricane into the silence of the storm's eye. (Star Trek novel: Engines of Destiny)

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