Depending on where you’re coming from or going to in the world, the word can be spelled “airplane” and “aeroplane.”
But where do the two separate spellings come from?
Well, it boils down to American English and British English.
Author Lynne Murphy explains it this way: “British English has a general tendency to favo(u)r spellings and words that are reminiscent of French, whereas American English, when it has deviated from what British English does, often changes in the direction of seeming less French.”
The origin of aeroplane comes from the French word aéroplane and comes from “aéro” (air) and the Greek word “planos”, which means “wandering.
The first time the word “airplane” was used and it seems like Americans were already sold on the word. That year, the Scientific American reported, “Air-plane is a much better word than aeroplane. It is as good etymologically, and much better when it is spoken.”
In 1916, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics adopted “airplane” as their official term.
Murphy said, “Your spelling tells people where you’re from, and people are generally proud of where they’re from, so they continue to spell differently.”