8 Little-Know Facts About Airplanes

airplane facts

At Winner Airport Parking, we always love learning new things about airplanes and the world of aviation. Here, we gathered up a few little-known facts that you may find interesting:

Moon Trips

If you were to combine all of the miles that each Boeing 747 has flown, the total number of miles would be over 35 billion. That’s equivalent to 75,000 round trips to the moon.

Lightning Strikes

It’s very common for lightning to strike an airplane while it’s in the air. When it hits the plane, it will attach to an extremity like the nose or wing tip. As the plane flies through the strike, it will travel through the fuselage and exit through another extremity, like the tail. Because of the aircraft’s insulation and design, the lightning will stay on the exterior of the plane during its brief strike.

Real-Time Flights

At any given moment, there are anywhere between 5,000 and 7,000 commercial airplanes in the sky over the United States. There’s even a website that shows you where planes are in real time. You can find it here.

The Science of Taste

Wondering why more people ordered tomato juice during a flight when they normally wouldn’t on the ground, German airline Lufthansa conducted a thorough study of taste. They found that air pressure change can alter the way we taste food and drinks. In a low-pressure plane cabin, our perception of salt, herbs, and sugar is weaker than it is on the ground. This makes tomato juice taste sweeter as opposed to earthy.

Blunder Trophies

Trophies called “Blunder” trophies used to be given out to pilots who made ridiculous mistakes in the 1920s and 1930s. These mistakes included taking off without enough fuel and taxiing into a parked airplane.

Still Missing

In 2003, an aircraft mechanic and his helper were working on a Boeing 727 plane in order to convert it to carry diesel. Without contacting the control tower, the two men hijacked the plane and set off toward the Atlantic. They and the plane were never seen again, making the incident the largest airplane to disappear without a trace.

Aluminum

Today, airplanes are made from aluminum. This is mainly because aluminum is not only lightweight (compared to metals like steel or iron), but it’s also relatively inexpensive. Before aluminum, planes were made from a light wood, but over time, the wood began to rot and cause problems.

Chicken Tests

Rolls-Royce tests its aircraft engines by shooting dead chickens into them at high speed to test whether they can hold up against the impact. The company uses a custom-built cannon that launches the chickens up to 186 miles per hour toward the engines.