99 facts you need to know about flying and airplanes
On the road

99 facts you need to know about flying and airplanes

When traveling by plane, you spend so much time on airports. No? We do. It’s the perfect opportunity to storm into the corner, find Wi-Fi connection  and ask a thousand and one question about these aluminum giants made from 4 million parts that fly without any problems. Nikola Tesla Airport in Belgrade is ideal for such an action, and not because of the fast internet, but because it is very small, so you can go out without any problems, walk to the graveyard of Aviation Museum and sit on the wing of Douglas C47. These old-timers can tell you a lot about airplanes and flying.

flying and airplanes

After all, as you cannot drive a car without knowing how to change motor oil, you cannot sit in a plane without knowing, for example, which bird is most often pinched in the turbine of an airplane. Goose! It’s a flock of geese…

01. If you have an accident on the plane there is a 95.7% chance you’ll still survive. Not that bad at all!

02. Chances to have an accident in the car are 1: 5.000. On the plane 1: 11.000.000. It’s a real dilemma whether you’ll win the lottery or experience a plane crash.

03Oxygen masks that fall out of the ceiling have a very small amount of oxygen. Their purpose is lost after only 15 minutes. Tests show that this is not a short period, because after 7 minutes you will know whether this mask makes sense or …

04. If you have been on 10 international flights so far, the statistics say that on four of those a pilot or a co-pilot was sleeping during the flight. Imagine, during one of those 10 flights they both slept!

05. The first airline in the world is KLM, founded in 1919, and the first business class was introduced by Qantas.

06. The toilet on the plane is never completely locked. There is a lesser known button that can open the door, even though you have locked yourself properly.

07If you fly over 3 hrs, the palate goes numb. The sense of taste can even weaken by a third. That is why airplane food is often characterized as insipid.

08. At any time above the planet fly between 50,000 and 80,000 planes. So there are more people in the air than in Serbia.

09. In most international flights you have the right to drink and eat as much as you like. Now, all you have to do is make the cabin crew to let you exercise that right.

10. In almost all international flights, you get small assemblies with all personal hygiene items. This information can ease your packaging.

11. Airplane blankets are not washed after every use! They are sent for fast ironing and repacking. Those who are obviously dirty are being removed. The same goes for headphones. They’re cleaned, you are not getting new ones.

12. The dirtiest place on the plane is a tray in front of you. And the floor, of course… The tray is not cleaned after each flight. Not to mention vacuuming or deep floor washing.

13. There is a Chief Purser on the plane. A person who coordinates the work of cabin crew.

14. For 99% of the flight, the plane does not need people at all. Now it’s easier for you to think that the pilot and the copilot are asleep.

1585% of plane crashes occurred either in the first 3 minutes, during take-off, or in the last 8 minutes, during landing.

flying and airplanes

16. Although Concord initially made a revolution and then collapsed due to the bad economy, a new supersonic aircraft is on the horizon. The American company is called BOOM.

17By procedures it is not allowed for a pilot and a co-pilot to eat the same meal. This reduces the risk of food poisoning.

18Only 6% of mankind was on the plane.

19. In the average Boeing 747 or Airbus 320 aircraft there are 250-300 kilometers of cables.

flying and airplanes

20. Airplanes fly at a speed of 800km / h or 0.8 miles per hour.

21. The take-off speed of the aircraft is 240-280 km / h and is called V2 (minimum safe flight speed).

22. The large wings of the airplane are useless unless you use the flaps on the tail horizontal stabilizers first. Only when you manage to lift the nose and direct air circulation to the lower part of the plane, the large wings begin to create enough thrust to lift the airplane into the air.

flying and airplanes

23Every 1.000hr of flight can be expected that at least one lightning will strike the plane. Fortunately, planes were built so that the thunder cannot harm them.

24There is no safest seat on the plane. FAA, Federal American Aviation says that the differences are minimal when it comes to mortality rates in the case of plane crash. In front it is 38%, in the middle 39%, and in the back 32%.

25. Airplanes like 777 or A380 have sleeping rooms for cabin crew that look like boxes. These rooms are especially important when there are two crews on the flight.

26. After the landing, people often applaud to the pilot, although in reality, recognition should be given to tires. Tires on the plane can withstand an incredible 38 tons. A380 has 22 at a pressure of 14 bar. One set of tires can withstand about 300 landings.

flying and airplanes

27. In the event of an accident, the first thing that automatically turns off in an airplane is power. The reason for it is the danger of a fire. That’s why the lights always go off when landing and taking off at night. Passenger’s eyes need to get used to the dark in case of unforeseen circumstances.

28. Newer planes are designed so that they can fly for a long period of time with only one engine. The FAA certified the Boeing 787 Dreamliner with the number 330. 330 refers to the total number of minutes that the 787 can stay in the air with a single functional engine.

29The plane is able to fly without the engine. It’s called glide ratio. 747 is able to “glide” for about 3 kilometers for every lost 300 meters of height.

30. The toilets still have ashtrays. Smoking is strictly forbidden…but…

31The condensation process is why we see white lines in the sky behind the planes.These lines are nothing more than the reaction of cold air in the upper atmosphere on the hot steam emitted by the engine in the process of combustion of fuel.

32Every window on the plane has a small hole at the bottom. This is a security trick for balancing pressure between the panels of the window.

flying and airplanes

33Not every airplane can accommodate an animal.If it goes in the luggage compartment, only the 747, A320 or bigger aircrafts have adequate transportation conditions.

34. All flights require the crew to communicate exclusively in English. This rule is not respected at all in domestic traffic, says our interlocutor pilot.

35. The black box is actually orange and is destructible. However, its resistance is much greater than the force that can happen during the crash.

36. The most expensive airplane at this moment is one of the A380-800 version and costs $ 450 million.

37. The paint on the aircraft such as the 747 or A320 weighs 180-200 kilograms.

38The latest planes have about 3 million lines of program code.

39. The windshield or the front glass on the 747 or A320 with its frame costs as much as 2 Fiat 500.

flying and airplanes

40. Concord was flown by more astronauts than pilot.

41. Mercury is strictly prohibited. It damages aluminum, and this material is highly used on planes.

42. Toilet in an airplane doesn’t have any water, it works according to the principle of vacuum. Therefore, “number 2” is literally sucked out at 200km / h.

43. Due to today’s technology, companies have saved a lot of money. For example, just by replacing flight instructions (books and folders) with iPads companies save over $ 1 million a year.

44The country with the most airplane crashes is America. The second is Russia, and the third is Brazil.

45. Most pilots are not paid monthly or fixed, but by the number of hours they spent on the plane.

46. Lufthansa transports most animals annually.

47Experts and surgeons say that it would be safer for people to sit in reverse direction, as well as having a belt over their chest, just like in a car. Comfort is obviously more important than safety, because those ideas did not come to life.

48. There is no possibility of turbulence being predicted out of the cloud. The radar does not detect changes in pressure and air density in the space.

49. Almost all the injuries that occur inside the aircraft are related to turbulence.

50. Scientists claim that climate change increases turbulence by 50%.

51. The test results show that, if the plane burns, you have 90 seconds to exit before the entire hull turns into an oven. They also say that in that period of time only those who sit in the first 5-6 rows next to the door can be evacuated.

52. A pilot can easily get us all into unconsciousness due to decompression. It is only necessary for him to make a sudden change in height and thus pressure in the cabin.

53. Of all the ways of travel and transport, only an elevator ride is safer than flying by plane. Statistically.

54The 747 or A320 can carry up to 160,000 liters of fuel. However, for economy reasons, airplanes almost never fly with full tanks. Refueling are performed after landing during a classical or technical stopover.

More about layovers and stopovers: 13 cities with best and free layover programs  

55. Airplane tanks are located in the wings and central part of the “belly” of the hull. They are large enough for a man to crawl through them.

flying and airplanes

56. The A380 is the only aircraft with a larger width (80m) than the length (72.7m).

57Noise heard after taking off is nothing more than pulling the wheels in the airplane hull and closing the door. After that, passengers can hear the noise associated with pulling the pre-wing and flap on the main wings of the aircraft. After this withdrawal, the plane is aerodynamically “clean”.

58. Each seat in the economy class costs about $ 10,000. That’s nothing compared to the first-class seats that cost around 250,000. This is certainly not an ordinary seat, as they have to withstand forces of up to 16G and, on the other hand, have to be as light as possible.

59. The strobe light on the edge of the wing flashes once on Airbus aircrafts and at twice on Boeing in the same interval.

60Delta Airlines has the largest fleet in the world, while Emirates has the largest fleet of luxury, wide A380 and 777 aircraft.

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61If you intend to get into a fight with someone on the plane, 74% are the chances that it will be due to the lowering of the seat.

62. Autopilot was originally developed to create cheaper flights by saving fuel.

63Airplanes use almost the same air purification technology as operating rooms. That being said, you have no reason to worry about the fact that part of the air in the cabin comes straight from the engine.

64. Airplane engine gases are much more dangerous than any other exhaust gases. It is estimated that 10,000 people die annually due to them.

65The plane is able to land by itself using Autoland. To do this, both the airport and the airplane must be equipped with the system.

66. Airplanes fly at altitude of 11,000 meters. More or less. The reason is the ideal air density to fly as efficiently and effectively as possible.

flying and airplanes

67. 777 or A380 burns about 10,000 liters of fuel in a cruise mode in an hour. At the airport during flight preparation and so-called taxiing on a runway, it is able to spend up to 2,000 liters.

68The only reason for insisting that plastic window curtains be lifted during take-off and landing is to provide crew with a complete insight into what is happening outside in the event of an accident.

69. In 80% of cases a plane crashes due to human error, the rest belongs to the mechanics, the weather and other factors.

70. The bird that was most often sucked into the engine and caused damage is goose. More precisely, the flock of geese.

71. In the US, the pilot captain has almost unlimited rights. He can arrest you, write you a ticket, or be an official signatory on the will.

72. So far, more than a million people have stolen the rescue belt from the airplane, the one under the seat, taking it as a souvenir.

73. Service life of the aircraft is measured in cycles of pressurization. 75,000 cycles is the upper limit of exploitation. In time, that’s about 20 years or 51,000 hours of flight.

flying and airplanes

74If someone tells you after a long flight that you lost some weight, he’s not lying to you. 3 hours of flying can drain 1.5 liters of water from a human body, provided you haven’t been drinking anything. Of course you will not lose 15 kilos if you fly for 30 hours.

75. It is impossible to open the door of the aircraft during the flight. They are bigger than their frame. Therefore, it is necessary to rise the door when you open them, lightly rotate and slip out of the “frame”. This design uses external pressure to make it impossible to open the doors during the flight.

76. The engine costs between $ 12 and $ 35 million. Maybe not a lot when you consider that its average power is equal to the sum of 28 engines in the cars of Formula 1. Currently the most powerful jet engine has an incredible 185,000 horsepower.

flying and airplanes

77If every passenger on the plane took a small hand luggage and a bag, as he is allowed, a quarter of the luggage would have no place to fit.

78The reason why the windows do not align with the seats on the plane is that each airline chooses by itself how many rows of seats it will have, and therefore legroom.

79. Slides in the event of an accident are inflated to serve both as slides and vessels if the plane falls into the water.

80. Every 5 years each aircraft goes to a technical inspection where it is completely disassembled, each part is reviewed and, if necessary, changed. This inspection is called D check, it costs about $ 7 million on average and requires about 100,000 hours of work. In addition to it there is A check, B check and C check that are done in shorter intervals and require less time and money.

81. The longest direct flight is between Doha and Auckland. Flight of 14,544 kilometers and 17 hours and 30 minutes.

82. Next to a big smile, a flight crew can provide you with first aid and probably some beating because everyone goes through some kind of combat training.

83Although they say they are pet friendly, not all the airlines care of your pet from the first to the last minute. The most stressful moment is loading and unloading due to unbearable noise, waiting on the runway and throwing around. Fully pet friendly airlines have special procedures for loading and unloading animals.

84. Tea and coffee are made with water from the plane. It’s not bottled water. Many controls have shown that this water is not really a drinking water.

85. From the ticket price you paid only 0.8 – 1.5% goes to the net profit the airline. The largest share, about 28%, goes to fuel.

86. If the flaps after landing are fully raised, this means that the pilot sends a signal to the control tower that something unplanned is happening on the plane. If you’re on the plane, then you already know that.

flying and airplanes

87. On every 7th flight in the world there is a coffin with a deceased person in a luggage compartment. The Chinese and Japanese are most often transported to their homeland.

88Takeoff and landing require the disposal of all electronic devices for security reasons. Nobody wants that in case of an accident small missiles like phones and tablets fly around on all sides. In addition to that, several pilots complained that the use of electronic devices (especially the iPads) directly affected the connections and at some point they could not hear the control tower.

89. Internet and online check-in were first introduced in 1999 by Alaska Airlines.

90. Airlines are ranked in the 7-star system. Even 80% of them rated with 6 or 7 stars.

91. The least safe airline companies in the world are Air Bagan, Lao Airlines, FastJet Tanzania, Iraqi Airways, Yeti Airlines, Nauru Airlines, Moldavian Airlines and 35 more. These companies received a score of 2 out of 7 for safety.

92. The safest airline in the world is Qantas.

93. Low cost companies that subsequently charge a seat reservation are accused of deliberately separating couples in order to sit far away from each other, if they haven’t purchased a reservation. In this accusation, the finger is most pointed on Ryanair.

94. Only 25% of first-class passengers actually paid for that ticket. The rest are employees, passengers transferred from economy class and passengers from frequent flyer programs.

95The air in the cabin has only 12% of humidity which makes it drier than the air in most deserts.

96. Travelers with luggage make up only 10% of the total weight of the aircraft. The most weight goes on the fuel.

97. 2013 was the safest year in the history of flying. That year one life was lost on every 11,501,886 passengers transported. 249 in total.

98. 4 out of 5 people suffer from some kind of fear of flying.

99If you haven’t done it yet, join the “High Mile Club” because sexologists claim that the orgasm is more intense than usual due to mild vibrations and minimal changes in pressure and air. They also claim that 17% of passengers had during the flight sexual intercourse in some form. Hmm …

We have a plane to catch! There’s plenty of relevant and irrelevant information about this extremely strange form of transport. It certainly helpful for passengers to understand why the crew tells them to do something and insist on it.

As for the flying, we agree with Louis C.K.„Everybody should scream happy when taking a part in this miracle. We are sitting in the chair! In the fucking sky! …Just one movie and one dump away from another part of the planet…“ 


Where did all this came from: T+LFlightCenterPMFAAAirlinersBusinessInsiderFactRetrieverFlightDeckFriend,HuffPostBAAtrainingBlogKLMRDIATALufthansaTechnikAirlineRankings and a couple of pilots and flight attendants.