AskDefine | Define landing

Dictionary Definition



1 an intermediate platform in a staircase
2 structure providing a place where boats can land people or goods [syn: landing place]
3 the act of coming down to the earth (or other surface); "the plane made a smooth landing"; "his landing on his feet was catlike"
4 the act of coming to land after a voyage

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. corridor
  2. coming to earth, as of an airplane or any descending object
  3. an in-between platform or large bottom-most or top-most step of a staircase
  4. a place on a shoreline where a boat lands


  • French: palier
coming to earth, as of an airplane
  • Czech: přistání
  • Dutch: landing
  • Finnish: laskeutuminen
  • French: atterrissage
  • German: Landung
  • Kurdish:
  • Spanish: aterrizaje
an in-between platform
a place on a shoreline where a boat lands


  1. present participle of land



Derived from landen + -ing. Compare English landing and German Landung.



Derived terms

Extensive Definition

Landing is the last part of a flight, where a flying animal, aircraft, or spacecraft returns safely to the ground. When the flying object returns to water, the process is called alighting, although it is commonly called "landing" and "touchdown" as well. A normal aircraft flight would include several parts of flight including taxi, takeoff, climb, cruise, descent and landing. This article describes the last portion of flight as the plane, bird, or rocket touches the ground. Landing occurs after descent.
While inflight the four major fources acting on the object are; lift, thrust, gravity and drag. Flying is accomplished by generating enough lift to offset gravity to stay in the air. See the picture of the wing describing the four forces.
To land the airspeed and the rate of descent are reduced to where the object descends at a slow enough rate to allow for a gentle touch down.
Each different type of flying object generates lift in a different manner. Airplanes, birds and flying insects use a wing. A bird generates thrust and lift by flapping its wings, and aircraft generate thrust with some form of an engine. The air passing over the wing of an aircraft generates lift. A helicopter uses rotary wings to generate lift and changes the angle of the rotar to generate thrust. Rockets or Vertical Jet engines are also commonly used on speciality aircraft to generate Lift. Air balloons use a lighter than air gas to generate buoyancy or lift.
The term landing is also applied to people or objects descending to the ground using a parachute. These objects are considered to be in a controlled descent instead of actually flying. A parachute works by capturing air inducing enough drag that the object that is falling hits the ground at a relatively slow speed. There are many examples of parachutes in nature including the seeds of a dandilion. People who intentially land using a parachute are called parachutists.
Sometimes a safe landing is accomplished by using multiple forms of lift, thrust and dampening systems. The lunar lander used a rocket, a landing gear and the legs of the astronauts to land on the moon. Several Soviet Rockets including the Soyez have used parachutes and to dampen the fall to earth.
Aircraft usually land at an airport on a firm runway or helicopter landing pad, generally constructed of asphalt concrete, concrete, gravel or grass. Aircraft equipped with pontoons with are able to land on water. Aircraft also sometimes uses skis to land on snow or ice.
For aircraft landing is accomplished by slowing down and descending to the runway. This speed reduction is accomplished by reducing thrust and/or inducing a greater amount of drag using flaps, landing gear or speed brakes. As the plane approaches the ground the pilot will execute a flare to cause a very gentle landing.
A flare is performed by rotating the wings where the rate of descent will be reduced often by adopting a nose-up attitude. The attitude is held until the undercarriage touch the ground and the controls are either held until all wheels touch the ground or gently adjusted (in the case of tail-draggers) to ensure the nose-wheel or tail-wheel lightly touches the runway.
In a small plane, with little crosswind, it is considered a "perfect" landing when contact with the ground occurs as the forward speed is reduced to the point where there is no longer sufficient airspeed to remain aloft. The stall warning is often heard just before landing indicating that this speed and altitude have been reached. The effect causes a very light touch down for the pilot and passengers. In large transport category (airliner) aircraft pilots land the aircraft by "flying the airplane on to the runway." The airspeed and attitude of the plane are adjusted for landing. The airspeed is kept well above stall speed and a constant rate of descent. A flare is performed just before landing and the descent rate is significantly reduced causing a light touch down. Upon touchdown spoilers (Sometimes called "Lift Dumpers") are deployed to dramatically reduce the lift and transfer the aircraft's weight to its wheels, where mechanical braking, such as an autobrake system can take effect. Reverse thrust is used by many jet aircraft to help slow down just after touch-down, redirecting engine exhaust forward instead of back. Some propeller planes also have this feature, where the blades of the propeller are re-angled to push air forward instead of back.
Factors such as crosswind where the pilot will use a crab landing or a slip landing will cause pilots to land slightly faster and sometimes with different attitudes to ensure proper handling and safety of the plane. Other factors effecting a particular landing might include some or all of the following partial list; the plane size, wind, weight, runway length, obstacles, ground effects, weather, runway altitude, air temperature, air pressure, air traffic control, visibility, avionics, and the overall situation, et cetera.
For example landing a multi-engine turboprop military (C-130 Hercules) under fire in a grass field in a war zone, requires different skills and precautions than landing a single engine plane (Cessna 150) on a paved runway in uncontrolled airspace, which is different from landing an airliner (Airbus A380) at a major airport with the support of air traffic control.
Pilots follow a course of training to develop the experience to routinely land in each situation. Professional pilots have extensive training, experience and certification on the types of planes they are flying.
landing in German: Landung
landing in Spanish: Aterrizaje
landing in Persian: فرود
landing in French: Atterrissage
landing in Indonesian: Pendaratan
landing in Italian: Atterraggio
landing in Japanese: 着陸
landing in Dutch: landen (luchtvaart)
landing in Polish: Lądowanie
landing in Portuguese: Aterragem
landing in Swedish: Landning

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

aerodrome, air base, airdrome, airfield, airport, anchorage, anchorage ground, approach, arrival, back stairs, balcony, basin, berth, blind landing, breakwater, bulkhead, catafalque, coming in, companion, companionway, dais, debarkation, deplaning, disembarkation, disembarkment, dock, dockage, docking, dockyard, dropping anchor, dry dock, embankment, emplacement, escalier, estrade, field, fire escape, flight of steps, floor, gallery, going ashore, groin, harbor, harborage, haven, heliport, hustings, incline, island, jetty, jutty, landfall, landing field, landing pad, landing place, landing stage, launching pad, marina, mole, mooring, moorings, perron, pier, platform, podium, port, protected anchorage, pulpit, quay, ramp, road, roads, roadstead, rostrum, seaport, seawall, shipyard, slip, soapbox, spiral staircase, splashdown, stack up, stage, staircase, stairs, stairway, step terrace, stepping-stones, steps, stile, stump, terrace, touchdown, treads and risers, tribunal, tribune, tying up, wharf
Privacy Policy, About Us, Terms and Conditions, Contact Us
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Material from Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Dict
Valid HTML 4.01 Strict, Valid CSS Level 2.1