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[hev-ee-er-th uh n-air] /ˈhɛv i ər ðənˈɛər/
(of an aircraft) weighing more than the air that it displaces, hence having to obtain lift by aerodynamic means.
Origin of heavier-than-air
First recorded in 1900-05 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for heavier-than-air
Historical Examples
  • Wood is not employed in the construction of these heavier-than-air craft.

    Aeroplanes and Dirigibles of War Frederick A. Talbot
  • heavier-than-air machines have gradually popularized flying.

    Zeppelin Harry Vissering
  • It was, without shadow of doubt, the last word in the science and manufacture of a heavier-than-air machine.

    The Great Airship. F. S. Brereton
  • Not until the twentieth century did the advocates of the heavier-than-air machines show the value of their fundamental idea.

    Aircraft and Submarines Willis J. Abbot.
  • On his return to Paris he at once began experimenting with heavier-than-air machines.

    Aircraft and Submarines Willis J. Abbot.
  • But it would be unjust to claim for them entire priority in the field of the glider and the heavier-than-air machine.

    Aircraft and Submarines Willis J. Abbot.
  • Wright were experimenting with heavier-than-air machines, but general interest in the subject is quite recent.

  • "Well, my father had worked for years perfecting the plans of a heavier-than-air flying machine," Morris resumed.

    Ashton-Kirk, Investigator John T. McIntyre
  • One of his first trials with a heavier-than-air machine was made with a huge glider, which was fitted with floats.

    The Mastery of the Air William J. Claxton
  • And then we stalled—that is to say our speed dropped below the minimum necessary for heavier-than-air flight.

British Dictionary definitions for heavier-than-air


having a density greater than that of air
of or relating to an aircraft that does not depend on buoyancy for support but gains lift from aerodynamic forces
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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