Aviation is among the most important industries in today’s fast-moving world. But the question is, how well do we really know the industry: Have you ever wondered what your pilot eats during that long-haul flight from JFK to Shanghai? Or how many parts a plane is made of? Undoubtedly, there are numerous surprising and interesting facts about the aviation industry which may shock you. For this reason, we have come up with the top 5 interesting facts about aviation infrastructure in this article to add to your knowledge pool.
1. Hartsfield- Jackson Airport (ATL) is the busiest commercial airport
Hartsfield- Jackson Airport (ATL) in Atlanta is the busiest commercial airport in the world with over 970,000 plane movements annually. This airport has been busiest since 1998 based on passenger traffic and busiest since 2005 based on the number of flight take-offs and landings. In 2019 alone, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta international airport saw over 110.5 million passengers.
2. The lifespan of a commercial plane is counted based on pressurization cycles
The average age of a commercial plane is not measured by time; instead, it’s measured based on pressurized cycles. Every time a commercial plane is pressurized during a flight, the fuselage is subjected to stress. An aircraft reaches its lifespan when there are cracks and metal fatigues which may cause danger. When manufacturers say a plane has “service life of 20 years,” they approximate the figures of 75,000 pressurization cycles and 51,000 flight hours. When an aircraft is used on long-haul flights, it typically experiences fewer pressurization cycles in its lifespan and can remain airworthy for over the 20 years.
3. Airbus A380 is the world’s largest passenger aircraft
There are not a lot of aircraft that made such a buzz when launched like the Airbus A380. To date, it is still the biggest passenger plane soaring through the sky. It is also smoother, quieter and provides the most comfortable flight. Nicknamed as the Superjumbo, Airbus A380 is the only plane flying today with a full-length upper double-deck, and it’s certified to carry up to 868 passengers in a one-class configuration. The A380’s maximum take-off weight is over 1.3 million pounds which is 30% more than the biggest 747 models ever made. It can carry over 600 gallons of water that feed into the onboard showers, galleys and the standard bathrooms. This giant aircraft’s maximum fuel capacity is over 85,000 gallons which is equivalent to 5,300 Toyota Camrys.
4. Pilots and co-pilots eat different meals
While airlines have different rules, this is among the common rules all airlines have. The rule states that pilots and co-pilots cannot eat the same food. For some airlines, the pilots should only eat the food eaten by those in business and first-class while the co-pilots eat different entrees. For other airlines, the pilot eats the food prepared for first-class passengers while the co-pilot is served the food that’s prepared for business class passengers. This rule ensures that in case of food poisoning, there will be someone left to land the plane.While this precaution might seem over-the-top, it’s reassuring to know that all airlines are taking these measures to ensure passenger safety.
5. Aircraft wings are curved for passengers’ comfort
Traditionally, aircraft wingtips used to be straight. But due to the pressure difference between the bottom and the top of the wing, the air used to flow around the wingtips during the flight causing severe turbulence. Engineers came up with a new wingtip design that curved upwards to reduce the turbulence. This makes for a more comfortable flight for passengers. Additionally, the curved wingtips also helps to reduce aircraft fuel consumption and prolongs the lifespan of the wings.
The aviation industry is very fascinating, with airlines fascinating people since their invention. However, there are very few people in the world who know exactly how they work.