Lesson 07 – Aircraft Without Motors

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Read About Aircraft Without Motors


Read the vocabulary terms to understand the reading better.

Hot-air balloons are large balloon that is filled with heated air to make it rise and float, and with a large basket underneath for people to ride in.

Kites are very lightweight frames covered in cloth or plastic and joined to a long string that are usually flown on windy days.

Gliders are aircraft with long wings that have no engine and float like a bird on rising warm air currents.

Engines are machines that use energy from liquid fuel or steam to produce movement.

Hang gliding is flying through the air while hanging from a harness in a large kitelike glider that is launched by running on the ground, then jumping off a high cliff or hill.

Aircraft Without Motors

Some aircraft do not need a motor.

Hot-Air Balloons

To take a ride in a hot-air balloon, you climb into the basket that hangs from the huge balloon. In the basket is a source of heat that warms the air in the balloon. This warm air makes the balloon rise. Hot-air balloons are used for recreation. They are also used to send weather recording devices high into the sky.


Kites are some of the oldest flying objects. Kites have been used as signals. They have also been used to take pictures from high in the sky, and to lift scientific instruments. Today, kites are mostly used for fun. Maybe you flew a kite at the park. Some people use very large kites to pull them across the water or snow.


Because they have no engines, gliders depend on wind and air currents to keep them in the sky. Many gliders need a plane to get them up in the air. They are only designed to descend. Gliders are mostly used for sports such as gliding and hang gliding. They are also used for flight research. Paper airplanes that you make are actually gliders.

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