The first successful flight of man, executed by the Wright brothers, marked the beginning of an evolutionary journey for aviation. The minimalistic design of the first aircrafts has transformed into complex machineries. Airliners of today are fascinating models of engineering and design. There is a lot that went into the initial development and construction of commercial aircrafts that are used as a means of transportation by for thousands of travelers every day. There are many interesting facts about airplanes today that most of us are unfamiliar with. Here are some of the things you might not know about airplanes.
Airplanes are resistant to lightning
A strong bolt of lightning can be catastrophic. Did you know that airplanes experience lightning as frequent as one lightning strike every 1,000 hours of flight? However, there haven’t been any airplane crashes due to lightning since 1963. This is because commercial airplanes today have a device called Lightning Discharge Wicks. These devices facilitate the lightning to pass through the plane and discharge out of it. These devices were integrated in all commercial airplanes after a lightning strike caused a Pan American World’s Boeing 707-121 to crash, on December 8, 1963.
Tires are designed to be burst resistant upon landing
Did you know that the tires on an airplane can bear a weight of 38 tons? They are well-capable of hitting the ground with a velocity as high as 170 miles an hour more than 500 times, before we even begin to consider replacing them. These indestructible wheels are easily replaceable too! Airplanes are jacked up just like normal cars for tire replacement.
The secret bedroom
Some airplanes even have a secret bedroom for the flight attendants! Sounds exciting right? Long flights are exhaustive for the constantly attentive flight crew that works up to 16 hours a day. To prevent fatigue and excessive exhaustions, the Boeing 777, 787 dream liners and similar airplanes have a small hidden bedroom where the attendants can get some rest. A hidden staircase leads up to the small low ceiling that has a bathroom, some entertainment, and around 6 to 10 beds!
Ever wondered why flight attendants dim cabin lights before landing?
Every flight that takes off the ground follows a strict set of protocol to ensure safety measures are implemented each time. One of these precautionary safety measures includes dimming the cabin lights when the airplane is about to land during night time. This is done so in case the rare event of ‘landing gone wrong’ occurs, the passenger’s eyes are already well adjusted to the darkness so that they can easily make their way to the escaping route. Waiting for your eyes to adjust according to the cabin brightness is not something that could be left to chance in case of emergency.
What the tiny hole in the airplane window is for
The airplane window is usually comprised of 3 layers of acrylic panels. The outer most layer keeps the external environment outside. The middle layer acts as a backup option incase the outer panel gives away. That tiny hole you see in the interior window acts as a tiny passage for air to pass through between the interior and middle panel so that cabin air pressure can be regulated. This way the middle panel remains intact much better.