The 5 Major Components of Aircraft and the Purposes They Serve

Designed to be lightweight and durable, the complex construction of aircraft allows passengers to travel vast distances in just a short amount of time. Coming in a variety of sizes, shapes, and types, all aircraft are composed of the same five basic components, those of which include the fuselage, wings, empennage, power plant, and landing gear. Without any of these given items, an aircraft would be incapable of flight and would remain grounded. In detail below, we will go over the five major components that make up an aircraft and how these parts allow the aircraft to achieve the flight capabilities that our modern society depends upon.


Also known as the body of the plane, the fuselage serves a variety of purposes. Typically long, hollow, and cylindrical in shape, the fuselage is the section of the aircraft that houses the pilots, passengers, and cargo. In the front section of the fuselage, you can find the cockpit along with the accompanying pilots, followed by the passenger and cargo. As the body of the aircraft, the fuselage also serves as the point of which most other major structures are attached.


It is imperative for an aircraft to have wings in order to achieve flight. Aircraft wings, which utilize airfoil construction for their design, provide the vehicle with a source of upward force known as “lift”. Often placed near the middle section of the aircraft and along the tail, it would be impossible for an aircraft to leave the ground without such structures.


Situated at the back of an aircraft, the empennage consists of two main components called the rudder and elevator. Helping to control the direction of flight, the rudder assists in steering the aircraft left or right while the elevator aids in shifting the aircraft upwards or downwards. All of these structures can be managed by the pilot with the use of cockpit controls.

Power Plant

The power plant of an aircraft may come in the form of a piston or gas turbine engine, and without such apparatuses, the aircraft would not have a source of power. Housing the engine and propeller assembly depending on the type, the power plant serves as the powerhouse of an aircraft, supplying energy and supporting various functions needed for flight.

Landing Gear

Located on the undercarriage of aircraft, landing gear is typically affixed to the fuselage and allows the vehicle to takeoff, land, and taxi on runways with ease. Comprising multiple smaller items, most modern landing gear configurations primarily include specially crafted, heat-resistant tires, as well as shock absorbers for safety and precaution. Some aircraft can also be seen with skis or floats as landing gear, extending their use beyond the sky to operate on ice, snow, or water.

While it is critical to know the five main components of an aircraft as a pilot or aviation engineer, there are also numerous other components and structures that aid in standard aircraft operations. Complete Sourcing Solutions is a trusted supplier of bearings, fasteners, and various other connector components and aircraft parts, providing qualifying certifications or manufacturing trace documentation for every purchase as applicable. Furthermore, we are the only independent distributor with a strict no-China sourcing pledge, meaning that all of our offered parts come from reliable sources. Due to our quality control and export compliance, we operate with AS9120B, ISO 9001:2015, and FAA AC 00-56B certification and accreditation. If you would like to request a quote for your comparisons, you can submit an RFQ form as provided on our website. Upon receipt, a dedicated account manager will quickly review and respond with a personalized solution to your needs in just 15 minutes or less, 24/7x365.


December 20, 2022

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