Parts of an Airplane: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Jennifer Farrell

Jen has taught Science in accredited schools in North & South America for thirteen years and has a degree in Sociology (Epidemiology & Aids Research).

With so many different parts, large airplanes can weigh hundreds of tons! In this lesson, we investigate the many working parts of an airplane, which help it to lift off the ground and fly.

Parts of an Airplane

Whether you love to fly or are scared to death of soaring above the clouds, it's incredible to think that airplane flights began just over a hundred years ago. All aircraft have many of the same parts, regardless of their size or shape. So, let's jump aboard and take a look at the parts of an airplane!

All airplanes have many of the same parts.


The fuselage (pronounced: few-sah-lodge) is the body of the plane, and it's the largest part of an airplane. This long cylinder-shaped part holds all the pieces of the plane together.


The cockpit is located at the front of the fuselage. This is the area where the pilots sit to command and control the movements of the plane.


There is nothing more exhilarating than feeling the power of a jet's engines during take off. The engines give the airplane the thrust, or force to move forward. Here are two facts about airplane engines to blow your mind:

  1. An airplane engine costs between 12 and 35 million dollars.
  2. A plane's engine can be up to 10 feet from side to side.

Engines are located under the wings.


The wings are attached to the fuselage and look like giant fins on either side of the plane. The wings are responsible for getting the plane airborne. The entire plane helps with this process, but the wings are the key ingredient in providing lift. Lift is the upward motion of an airplane that happens when it has enough forward motion. Here's an important thing to remember about lift: if there's no motion, there's no lift!

Some of the most important parts of an airplane wing include the winglet, the spoiler and the flaps. Winglets are the folded up tips on the end of the wings; not only do they make the plane look cool, they also reduce the amount of drag during takeoff and landing. Drag slows an object down. For example, if you swim with all your clothes on, you'd feel the clothes pulling on you, slowing you down. The spoiler is a flat flap on the top of the wing. It extends out and upward, helping to reduce speed during landing. The flaps are at the rear part of the wing, close to the fuselage. This part of the plane increases lift during takeoff and gives drag during landing.

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