An aircraft is a vehicle which is able to fly by being supported by the air, or in general, the atmosphere of a planet. An aircraft counters the force of gravity by using either static lift (as with balloons, blimps and dirigibles) or by using the dynamic lift of an airfoil (as with vehicles that plane the air with wings in a straight manner, such as airplanes and gliders, or vehicles that generate lift with wings in a rotary manner, such as helicopters or gyrocopters).
Although rockets and missiles also travel through the atmosphere, they are not considered aircraft because they use rocket thrust instead of aerodynamic loading as the primary means of lift. A cruise missile relies on a lifting wing throughout the majority of its flight regime.
The human activity which 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. Target drones are an example of UAVs.
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