a heavier than environment plane just like aeroplane2
- an aircraft which has a fixed wing and it is run on propellers or jets
1907, from environment (n.1) + airplane (n.1); although the initial references tend to be Brit, the term caught on in United states English, in which it largely superseded early in the day aeroplane (1873 inside good sense but still common in Brit English). Aircraft "airplane" is from 1907. Lord Byron, speculatively, made use of air-vessel (1822).
The airplane trip to Arkansas seemed like an opportunity to catch up on reading, but his mind kept drifting away from the book.