Definition of volplane in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈvɒlpleɪn/


A controlled dive or downward flight at a steep angle, especially by an aeroplane with the engine shut off.
Example sentences
  • In 1891 the engineer Otto Lilienthal executed the first safe and repeatable volplanes in history.


[no object, with adverbial of direction]
(Of an aeroplane) make a steep controlled dive or downward flight: we watched the huge birds volplaning in
More example sentences
  • Then he shut off the motor and volplaned to earth, to the no small astonishment of the surgeon.
  • Higher and higher climbed the starlings, still maintaining tight formation, until the hawk, seeming to realize the futility of its effort, turned and volplaned to earth.
  • The sugar glider is one of a number of volplaning possums in Australia.


Early 20th century: from French vol plané, literally 'glided flight'.

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