Definition of volplane in English:


Line breaks: vol|plane
Pronunciation: /ˈvɒlpleɪn


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


[no object, with adverbial of direction] Back to top  
  • (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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