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Aircraft vs. Airbus: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on December 20, 2023
Aircraft refers to any vehicle capable of flight, while Airbus is a specific company that manufactures commercial aircraft.

Key Differences

An aircraft is a broad term encompassing any vehicle capable of atmospheric flight, including airplanes, helicopters, gliders, and drones. Airbus, on the other hand, refers specifically to a European multinational aerospace corporation, known for producing commercial jetliners and military aircraft.
The term aircraft includes a wide variety of flying machines with different sizes, capabilities, and purposes, ranging from small private planes to large commercial jets. Airbus, in contrast, is a brand name and represents one of the largest aircraft manufacturers in the world, competing closely with Boeing.
Aircraft design and functionality vary widely; they can be powered or unpowered, manned or unmanned, and used for civilian, commercial, or military purposes. Airbus focuses on the design and manufacture of large commercial aircraft, most notably the Airbus A380, the world's largest passenger airliner.
Aircraft technology has evolved over more than a century, starting from the Wright brothers' first powered flight in 1903. Airbus, established in 1970, represents a key player in this evolution, particularly in advancing commercial aviation technology and safety.
The history of aircraft is a testament to human ingenuity in conquering the skies, featuring many types of flying machines. Airbus contributes to this legacy by continually innovating in areas such as aerodynamics, materials, and aviation systems.

Comparison Chart


Any vehicle capable of flight.
A European aerospace corporation.


Includes planes, jets, drones.
Primarily produces commercial airliners.


Varied: transport, recreation.
Mainly for commercial air travel.

Historical Origin

Originated in early 20th century.
Founded in 1970.

Representative Examples

Wright Flyer, Boeing 747.
Airbus A380, Airbus A320.

Aircraft and Airbus Definitions


A vehicle designed for air travel.
The aircraft soared above the clouds smoothly.


A company specializing in wide-body and narrow-body jet airliners.
Airbus competes globally with its range of advanced passenger jets.


Any flying machine used for transportation, surveillance, or recreation.
The pilot expertly maneuvered the aircraft through the turbulent skies.


A major European aerospace corporation known for manufacturing commercial aircraft.
The airline added the latest Airbus model to its fleet for international routes.


A flying apparatus used in military, commercial, or private settings.
The military aircraft was equipped with advanced navigation systems.


A synonym for high-capacity, long-range commercial aircraft.
The airline's long-haul flights predominantly use Airbus aircraft.


A machine capable of flight, including airplanes and helicopters.
The museum displayed various types of aircraft, from vintage biplanes to modern jets.


A brand name for a family of commercial airliners.
The Airbus A320 is popular among airlines for its fuel efficiency.


A vehicle used for air travel, either powered or unpowered.
Gliders, as unpowered aircraft, rely on thermal currents for flight.


A multinational corporation producing the world's largest passenger airliner.
Airbus made aviation history with the introduction of the A380.


A machine or device, such as an airplane, helicopter, glider, dirigible, or drone, capable of atmospheric flight.


A subsonic jet airliner, especially a wide-bodied one.


A vehicle capable of atmospheric flight due to interaction with the air, such as buoyancy or lift


A subsonic jet airliner operated over short distances


Any vehicle, such as an airplane, helicopter, balloon, etc., for floating in, or flying through, the air.


A vehicle that can fly


What does Airbus manufacture?

Airbus manufactures commercial aircraft and military planes.

What are common types of aircraft?

Common types include airplanes, helicopters, and gliders.

What is an aircraft?

An aircraft is any vehicle capable of atmospheric flight.

Can an aircraft be unmanned?

Yes, aircraft can be either manned or unmanned (drones).

Are all aircraft powered?

No, some aircraft, like gliders, are unpowered.

How have aircraft impacted society?

Aircraft have revolutionized travel, connecting global destinations rapidly.

Is Airbus a global company?

Yes, Airbus is a multinational corporation with global operations.

What is Airbus known for in the aviation industry?

Airbus is known for innovative commercial jets and aviation technology.

Does Airbus only produce commercial planes?

No, Airbus also produces military aircraft and space vehicles.

How does Airbus contribute to aerospace research?

Airbus invests in aerospace R&D, focusing on sustainability and efficiency.

What is the role of aircraft in transportation?

Aircraft play a crucial role in global passenger and cargo transportation.

What safety features are common in aircraft?

Aircraft safety features include advanced navigation and emergency systems.

What is a notable Airbus aircraft model?

The Airbus A380, the world's largest passenger airliner, is notable.

Do aircraft have military applications?

Yes, aircraft are extensively used for defense and surveillance.

Has Airbus developed any electric aircraft?

Airbus is exploring electric and hybrid propulsion technologies.

How do aircraft contribute to scientific research?

Aircraft are used for environmental monitoring and atmospheric research.

Is Airbus involved in space exploration?

Airbus contributes to space exploration through its Defence and Space division.

What innovations has Airbus brought to aviation?

Airbus has innovated in areas like fuel efficiency and safety systems.

Are all aircraft suitable for commercial use?

No, aircraft vary in design and purpose, not all are for commercial use.

Does Airbus have a flagship aircraft model?

The Airbus A380 and A350 are considered flagship models.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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