At any given moment worldwide, there are about 9,728 planes in the sky.
Of course, this number might have changed a bit during the pandemic. But despite any changes that happen on the ground, there are certain facts about airplanes that remain the same.
Looking for some fun facts to “wow” your friends with? Keep reading to learn five amazing aviation facts we guarantee you haven’t heard before.
1. Planes Are Designed to Be Struck by Lightning
Do you feel nervous when your plane flies through a thunderstorm? Calm your fears by reminding yourself that all aircraft are purposely designed to take a lightning strike.
Experts estimate that every plane is struck by lightning about once a year, or every 1,000 hours of flying time. Engineers design the plane so that lightning travels through the plane and exits it without doing any damage.
2. Science Explains Why Airplane Food Tastes Bad
No one will argue the fact that airplane food isn’t the greatest, but there’s a scientific explanation for that.
A study from Cornell University found that the plane’s dry environment and recycled air alter our sense of taste and smell. Salty flavors get heightened, while sweet flavors are diminished. Another study from Germany concluded that it’s 30% harder to detect sweet and salty flavors in the air.
3. A Plane Can Still Fly With Only One Engine
It’s a terrifying notion to think of an aircraft losing an engine mid-flight.
However, you’ll be relieved to hear that all types of airplanes (commercial and cargo) can fly safely with just one engine. The Boeing Dreamliner, for example, can fly for 5.5 hours with only one operational engine.
And a Boeing 747, along with most other aircraft, can glide safely for many miles with no engines at all! The glide ratio for most aircraft is around two miles per every 1,000 feet of elevation, which is more than enough time to get everyone safely to the ground.
4. You Never Know What’s in the Cargo Hold
Planes transport more than just people and boxes of freight. Some unusual items that might be beneath your feet include:
- Zoo animals
- Luxury cars
- Deceased persons
- Live fish
- Artwork & museum collections
Of course, horses, tigers, and elephants don’t just walk through the cabin door. Airlines use a ULD (unit load device) to safely move oversized or live cargo on and off the aircraft.
5. Pilots Are Required to Eat Different Meals
Remember the scene in Airplane when all the pilots get food poisoning from eating the same airplane meal? As it turns out, there are regulations in place to prevent that exact scenario from happening.
By law, the pilot and co-pilot must consume two different meals. The pilot generally eats the first-class or business class offering, while the co-pilot chooses from the economy meal selection.
Amazing Facts About Airplanes (And More)
So, which of these facts about airplanes were new to you? Hopefully you now have a much greater appreciation for airplane transportation and all it entails!
Now that you know these fascinating airplane facts, what’s next? Keep browsing our site for more interesting articles like this one!