In traditional airplane monitoring system (AMS), data sensed from strain, vibration, ultrasound of structures or temperature, and humidity in cabin environment are transmitted to central data repository via wires. However, drawbacks still exist in wired AMS such as expensive installation and maintenance, and complicated wired connections. In recent years, accumulating interest has been drawn to performing AMS via airborne wireless sensor network (AWSN) system with the advantages of flexibility, low cost, and easy deployment. In this review, we present an overview of AMS and AWSN and demonstrate the requirements of AWSN for AMS particularly. Furthermore, existing wireless hardware prototypes and network communication schemes of AWSN are investigated according to these requirements. This paper will improve the understanding of how the AWSN design under AMS acquires sensor data accurately and carries out network communication efficiently, providing insights into prognostics and health management (PHM) for AMS in future.