Fun Flying Facts

Man has been successfully flying now for over 100 years.

But did you know...

KLM is the world’s oldest airline still flying under its original name. Its first flight from Amsterdam to London took place in may 1920

Cabin air is drier than that in most deserts

Air travel is the second safest form of travel. Only travel by escalator/elevator is safer

The wingspan (79.8m) of the the Airbus A380 is wider that the length (73m) of the aircraft itself

The wingspan of a Boeing 747 is longer than the first powered flight by the Wright Brothers

The Black Box – the flight data recorder is actually painted in heat-resistant, bright orange paint so it can be spotted easily amongst crash debris

There are 140 miles of wiring inside a Boeing 747

A captain and his co-pilot eat different meals to one another in case the food makes them sick

Aircraft lifespans are determined by the number of pressurisations the plane undergoes. Pressurisation causes stress on the fuselage, after 35,000 pressurisations the aircraft is generally retired from service. For most planes this equates to around 30 years of useful life

The pilot sits in the left hand seat of an airplane that has two side-by-side seats.  His (or her) co-pilot sits in the right hand seat.  However, in a helicopter the pilot usually sits in the right hand seat: this is so that he can fly the aircraft with his right hand on the 'cyclic' whilst leaving his left hand free to manipulate radios, switches and the 'collective' control

An Airbus A380 can fill up with up to 315,300 litres of fuel. Compare that to your average car which can hold between 45 to 60 litres of fuel

When aircraft manufacturers design a new aircraft they test the strength of the windscreen by firing a chicken at the screen from a 'chicken canon'.  Don't worry: the chicken is dead so there is no cruelty to animals!

Commercial aircraft tend to fly at around 30-39,000 feet above sea level.  It may seem like a long way from the earth and the air is definitely very thin up there but it is only 12% of the way to outer space.

Ever been on a long flight? Did you manage to stay awake? The pilots and cabin crew also need to have a sleep on these long flights so some of the larger aircraft have sleeping quarters for the crew either below the passenger floor level or hidden up in the ceiling above the passengers!

The airplane with the highest take-off weight is the Antonov AN-225.  It has a maximum take-off weight of 640 tons and was originally designed in the 1980s to carry the Russian space shuttle.  It is now used as a specialised cargo aircraft.

The tyre pressure in the wheels of a  typical automobile is around 35-45psi.  The tyres of an aircraft can be inflated to around 200psi.

It takes 3,600 litres of paint to give a nice shiny paint job to a newly built Airbus A380

Bird strikes - where an aircraft hits a bird - is a common occurrence.  Unfortunately it is usually fatal for the bird but rarely for the airplane or its passengers.  Bird strikes cause an annual repair bill of around $1.2 billion.