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Are there any aeronautical terms for left and right sides of a plane, essentially equivalent to their nautical counterpart terms of port and starboard for the respective left and right sides of a seaworthy vessel?

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Sorry, purefusion, I've just realised that because the definition of each word is in a reputable online resource (see my answer) that makes this question general reference. Please see the FAQ for more details: Where can I find answers to basic and simple questions? and Why are some questions closed? –  Matt Эллен Nov 8 '11 at 10:08
    
Thanks for clearing this up. I'd never heard anyone use the terms outside of nautical references, but I did look up the Wikipedia reference for port and starboard before posting this, and somehow I totally missed the word aircraft—it's right there! Either I'm blind, or I was simply distracted by all the images of cruise ships on the page! :) –  purefusion Nov 8 '11 at 12:10
    
No worries. Glad I could help. –  Matt Эллен Nov 8 '11 at 13:32
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closed as general reference by Matt Эллен, Hugo, simchona, kiamlaluno, waiwai933 Nov 15 '11 at 5:15

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

2 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Port and starboard are used in aeronautical contexts as well as plain old nautical ones.

See these definitions:

Starboard

noun — the right-hand side of or direction from a vessel or aircraft, facing forward.

Port2

noun — the left-hand side of a vessel or aircraft, facing forward.

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Ah, I guess I missed that. I don't recall having ever heard anyone use either term in reference to aircraft. Thanks for clearing this up! :) –  purefusion Nov 8 '11 at 12:02
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I know nothing of aviation beyond the experience of a passenger, but I would assume the terms port and starboard are used in the air as on the sea. I'm prepared to be corrected by any aviators present.

EDIT:

The OED confirms both Dictionary.com and my intuition. Definition A of the noun port is

The left side of a ship or aircraft, looking forward

Definition A of starboard is:

The right-hand side of a ship . . . Also used with reference to aircraft

My emphasis in both.

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Also confirmed here –  Unreason Nov 8 '11 at 10:46
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