15 Interesting Airplane Trivia Facts That Are Worth Knowing


Since airplanes were invented in the early 20th century, they’ve changed transportation and travel. Despite the impressive details behind these flying machines, we know little about them because we mostly board them as passengers. This interesting trivia about planes discusses aspects such as speed, parts, speeds, and handy travel hacks that’ll make you appreciate flights more.

Airplanes Can Reach 600 mph


If you’ve ever wondered how fast planes fly, this fact is for you. Commercial airplanes fly around 500 to 600 miles per hour (mph) when cruising at about 36,000 feet. Like cars, however, their exact speed depends on factors such as aircraft type, wind conditions, and flight route, but this range is typical for most jet airliners.

Airplanes Can Go Up in Flames Within Two Minutes


Before takeoff, flight attendants ensure they point out the emergency exits on the aircraft to passengers as a safety measure. They follow this procedure partly because they know how fast a fire can spread through a plane. Airplanes can go up in flames within 90 seconds because of highly flammable materials, including fuel, cabin interiors, and electrical components. 

People Pass Away on Airplanes


While no one wants to think about demise while flying, people can pass away on airplanes from medical emergencies, accidents, or natural causes. Usually, when this happens, the flight crew moves the deceased to a less visible area, such as a galley or an empty row of seats. They may also cover them with a blanket. Then, the crew notifies ground staff or local authorities upon landing, who will handle the situation according to the existing protocols.

New Life Can Start on a Plane


Babies are not typically born on airplanes because pregnant women aren’t supposed to fly after 36 weeks. However, in rare cases where labor starts while on a flight, the crew often assists with the delivery. While some attendants are trained to deliver babies, they may request help from willing doctors on board, if any. Then, the plane may land at the nearest airport if necessary for medical attention. 

Your Pilot May Be Fast Asleep 


Pilots have designated rest periods during long flights, especially on flights lasting 8 hours or more. On long-haul flights with two or more pilots, regulations require one pilot to take a rest break while the other manages the aircraft. Larger aircraft like the Boeing 777 often have crew rest compartments above or below the passenger cabin. This provision ensures that there is always a well-rested pilot at the controls.

The Boeing 747 Has Six Million Parts

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This airplane is considered the first large-body airplane ever built worldwide and has about six million parts. Some of the parts that make up the largest number in a Boeing 747 include fasteners (such as bolts and rivets), avionics systems, landing gear components, engines, and wings. Each category also has numerous parts that ensure the aircraft works fine.

Airplanes Have Engines That Weigh Almost 10,000 Pounds 


With that many parts in a Boeing 747, each with its weight, you wouldn’t be so surprised that its engines weighed almost 9,500 pounds. Airplane engines are heavy because of the complex components they contain, such as the compressor, combustion chamber, turbines, and other parts. A large commercial jet engine can cost up to $10 million, depending on the materials used.

Sitting By the Window Can Keep You From Getting Airsick

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In addition to wearing a mask, sitting by the window can reduce your contact with passengers, lowering your chances of breathing in germs around high-traffic areas. Researchers at Emory and Georgia Tech proved this fact in a study they conducted in 2018. Before sitting, use disinfectant wipes to clean the tray table, armrests, and other surfaces you may touch. You should avoid touching your face while drinking plenty of water to keep your body hydrated and prevent illness.

Airlines Try to Cut Costs on Fuel


Like automobiles, airplanes often use strategies like underfilling tanks to save money on fuel costs, which are one of their major operating expenses. Don’t judge, though! Most of us also look for ways to save gas on our vehicles. Besides, companies that fly without filling their tanks to the brim can save up to $5 million annually. 

Pilots Can’t Eat the Same Meal their Co-Pilot is Having


Due to the nature of their job, pilots must follow strict health regulations. In addition to dietary restrictions or requirements, co-pilots must eat different meals as a safety precaution. Before you wonder why, imagine what would happen when both pilots eat the same contaminated food. 

Airplane Still Have Ashtrays


In the past, smoking was allowed on airplanes, and there were designated areas for smokers to use ashtrays. In 2000, US airlines officially prohibited smoking on commercial flights, but their planes still have ashtrays as a safety measure in case someone disregards the rules and decides to smoke onboard. This measure helps ensure that any cigarettes or other smoking materials are disposed of safely to prevent a fire.

Most Airplanes Are White for Several Reasons


White paint reflects sunlight and heat better than darker colors, helping to keep the aircraft cool. John Hansman, an MIT professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics, says it can also prevent potential damage from solar radiation, especially when parked on the tarmac for long periods. Besides, it’s easier to spot cracks, leaks, or other signs of wear and tear against a white background.

Back Seats Are Usually the Safest

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The Federal Aviation Administration and most airline companies assert that no seat is considered “the safest” when boarding planes. They maintain that survival depends on various factors, including the type of crash and where it occurs on the aircraft. However, according to data from Popular Mechanics on airline accidents, passengers near the plane’s tail have an additional 40% chance of surviving a crash than those seated at the front.

Airplanes Have Air Filtration Systems


The air inside the cabin is a mix of recirculated and fresh air from outside the aircraft. This air undergoes filtration processes to remove contaminants and maintain air quality. Airline manufacturers and operators must follow strict standards for cabin air quality to ensure the health and safety of passengers and crew.

Pilots Control The Cockpit and Cabin


Pilots are in command of the cockpit, which is the area of the aircraft where flight controls and navigation systems are located. Although the primary responsibility of pilots is to operate the plane safely, aviation rules and safety protocols allow them to control the cabin area. According to federal regulations, the Pilot In Command (PIC) becomes the authority whenever the plane doors are closed, meaning they can restrain unruly passengers or write fines.


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