When the Wright brothers invented the first airplane back in 1903, they probably couldn’t imagine what an extremely profitable business the aircraft industry would become over a hundred years later. Their aircraft, the Wright Flyer, flew only about 120 feet, whereas today a typical Boeing 787 can fly more than ten thousand miles on a single tank of gas. And this is only one little step the world of aviation has taken since then. Nowadays, there are many companies with thousands of employees worldwide involved in the various aspects of designing, building, testing, selling, and maintaining aircraft, aircraft parts, and spacecraft (and this isn’t even the best part of the most intriguing facts about the aircraft industry).
To get an idea how important aircraft manufacturing is for the industrial sector, Russia alone employs around 355,300 people in the field, and the United Kingdom—home to one of the largest national aerospace industries in the world—employs more than 113,000 people directly and around 276,000 indirectly and has an annual turnover of more than £35 billion. Additionally, flying is considered the fastest and safest—despite so many people being afraid to fly—way to travel but this is common knowledge. However, the 25 Intriguing Facts About The Aircraft Industry that follow are far from common knowledge. So, fasten your seat belt and let’s fly into the exciting world of aviation.
If a cabin is pressurized and an airplane door opens in midflight at a high altitude, the sudden opening could cause items and people to get sucked out. However, pressurization in the cabin and a plug-type door (a door that is bigger than the opening) make it nearly impossible for even multiple people to open a door during a flight.
A Boeing 747 can carry about 60,000 gallons of jet fuel, which weighs about 400,000 pounds.
The contrails planes leave behind are made of water vapor. A thin, shorter-lasting tail indicates low-humidity air and fair weather. A thick, longer-lasting tail could signify the early indicators of a storm.
A study by Popular Mechanics determined that passengers who sit near the tail of the plane are forty percent more likely to survive a crash than those in the first few rows.
The Airbus A380, Boeing 787, ATR-600, and Bombardier C Series aircraft use less than three liters of jet fuel per one hundred passenger kilometers. This matches the efficiency of most modern compact cars.
The air on airplanes is filtered by the same technology that filters air in hospitals, so while the tray table may harbor germs, the air is clean.
If a plane needs to make an emergency landing, a pilot may decide to dump fuel from its wings. While it’s not very common, it is a safety procedure to keep the plane from experiencing an overweight landing. The fuel usually evaporates before it reaches the ground.
Aircraft radar cannot detect turbulence. Turbulence can occur in clear, cloudless weather as well as in bad weather.
The FAA requires that all airplanes be capable of being evacuated in ninety seconds. It takes only a minute and a half for a fire to spread and engulf a plane.
Autopilot is usually turned on during the majority portion of a flight. The computer can make more precise adjustments, which leads to better fuel efficiency, except during turbulence. Autopilot is not typically used during takeoff or landing, although it is available to use.
Most airline pilots are paid only for their time in the air, which doesn’t include time spent getting to and from the airport, performing pre-flight duties, or waiting for other planes delayed in front of them waiting to take off.
If these aviation facts caught your fancy, you might also enjoy these 25 Strange Facts About Planes And Flying You Might Not Be Aware Of.