air·​frame | \ -ˌfrām How to pronounce airframe (audio) \

Definition of airframe

: the structure of an aircraft, rocket vehicle, or missile without the power plant also : aircraft

Examples of airframe in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Alternately, the Air Force could choose to modernize the F-22 airframe with newer F-35 electronics, as Lockheed Martin has proposed doing for Japan. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The Air Force’s Next Great Fighter Jet Could Cost $300 Million Apiece," 17 Dec. 2018 For one thing, other than the B-2 Spirit there are no large, stealthy airframes ready to convert into tankers. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The U.S. Air Force May Not Buy New Stealth Tanker After All, and the Light Attack Aircraft Could be Dead Too," 30 Jan. 2019 Furthermore, new airframe designs could, in many ways, be better suited to accommodate new weapons, C4ISR technologies, sensors, protection systems and avionics. Kris Osborn, Fox News, "Marines will fly Osprey until 2060, prepping the aircraft for future wars," 18 Sep. 2018 The drone also has autonomous flight modes and obstacle avoidance, thanks to a suite of sensors and cameras embedded around the airframe. Sean O'kane, The Verge, "DJI’s new drone features swappable search and rescue accessories," 29 Oct. 2018 The contours and structure of a new airframe itself could also bring new radar signature reducing properties as well as new mission and crew options. Kris Osborn, Fox News, "Marines will fly Osprey until 2060, prepping the aircraft for future wars," 18 Sep. 2018 The key enabler, says founder and CEO Blake Scholl, is building airframes out of carbon-fiber composite materials instead of aluminum, as the Boeing 787 and Airbus A350 have done. Scott Mccartney, WSJ, "The Future of Flying: Flights Could Be Getting Much Shorter," 19 June 2018 In 2016, the company teased an image of a tailless sixth-generation fighter in a promotional video (see above) but there may not be time and money to develop a new airframe. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Now Northrop Grumman Wants to Build Japan's New Fighter Jet," 9 July 2018 The Roc's airframe will be new, built of carbon fiber. Michael Belfiore, Popular Mechanics, "Say Hello to Stratolaunch, the World's Largest Plane," 17 Apr. 2012

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'airframe.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of airframe

1930, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

5 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for airframe

The first known use of airframe was in 1930

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with airframe Encyclopedia article about airframe

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to affect and impair by alcohol or a drug

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