Little-known Facts About Airplanes

Planes have definitely changed a lot since it was invented. From cloth and wood contraptions to the elegant and sleep Boeing Dreamliners, the airplane’s technology, and design unquestionably have come a long way. It doesn’t stop there because engineers and scientists continue to make aerospace technology advancements as the years go by. From luxurious seats, internet connection while on board to hotel-like experience while flying, it’s hard to keep up with the incredible things that planes today are capable of doing and withstanding. Despite that, there are still things about airplanes and aeronautics  that some of us might not know about, which is why we will list down some of them in this article.

1. The tires of airplanes are designed not to pop on landing

The airplane’s tires are designed to withstand up to 38 tons, and they can go at 170 miles per hour more than 500 times before they need to be replaced. Aside from that, airplane tires can be inflated up to 200 psi, that is six times the pressure used in a car tire. If you’re wondering how they replace the airplane’s tires, ground crew mechanics jack up the plane just like how you would jack up a car.

2. The airplanes we know today are all built to withstand lightning strikes

Most of us probably wonder if what would happen when an aircraft is struck by lightning. The truth is, they are designed and prepared for such an event, and it happens pretty frequently. According to studies, lightning strikes each aircraft every year, or at least once every 1,000 hours of flight. But since 1963, lightning never brought down an airplane, and this is all thanks to careful engineering that lets the electric charge from the lightning run through the plane and out of it. And it typically does not cause any damage to the aircraft.

3. Some airplanes are designed to have private bedrooms for their flight crew

During long-haul flights, cabin crew will have to work for about 16 hours. That is why to help ease their fatigue, some airplanes such as the Boeing 777 and 778 Dreamliners are equipped with small bedrooms where the flight crew can sneak in a little shut-eye. The said bedrooms can be typically accessed using a hidden staircase which will lead you to a small, low-ceilinged room that has five to ten beds, a bathroom, and of course, some in-flight entertainment.

4. Airplanes do not need to use both engines to fly

Most of us are probably terrified of the idea that an airplane engine would give-out on mid-flight. But do not fear because, in reality, airplanes can smoothly run even if they just use one of their engines. According to some research, planes are tested and designed for such situations, especially those that fly a long-distance route over oceans and uninhabited locations such as the Arctic. But before an aircraft is used for such flights, it has to be accredited by the Federal Aviation Administration or FAA.

5. What are those tiny holes in the airplane window?

These holes are there to help regulate cabin pressure. Most airplane windows are made with three acrylic panels, so you won’t have to worry about that tiny hole in the window. If something happens to the airplane window’s exterior pane, the second pane will serve as a fail-safe option. The small hole in the interior window can contribute to regulating the air pressure inside the plane.

6. Why do some planes leave trails in the sky?

The white and cloud-like lines that some airplanes leave behind are the result of condensation. The engine of the plane release water vapor just like in a combustion process. That water vapor is pumped out of the airplane’s exhaust, and when it hits the cool air in the upper atmosphere, it creates that cloud-like white lines in the sky.

7. Why does the cabin crew dim the lights when the plane is landing?

The cabin crew is instructed to dim the interior lights, especially when the plane lands at night. This is because if there would be a case of band landing and the passengers will need to evacuate the plane, their eyes would already be adjusted to the darkness. Aside from this, when a plane lands during the daytime, the flight attendants raise their window shades to see if there’s an emergency outside. This will also let them assess which side of the plane is safe and better for an evacuation.