There are probably no people who would deny the importance of aviation in today’s fast moving world. The question is how much do we really know about aviation? Have you ever wondered of how long is the shortest flight or what does pilot eats, or why planes not fly over the Pacific?
As our next long flight is approaching, the topic of flying is topical for us and we want to share with you some 20 interesting air travel facts which we found interesting to read.
1. THE SHORTEST FLIGHT
St. Gallen, Switzerland to Friedrichshafen, Germany (Eight Minutes) To be sure, the world's shortest international flight, which begins operation in November 2016, takes a whopping eight minutes.
2. 1,200 INTERNATIONAL AIRPORTS
The Wikipedia page on international airports says that there are 1,200 international airports worldwide.
3. MOST POPULAR FLIGHT ROUTES
The most popular flight route is Jeju – Seoul Gimpo with 13,460,306 passengers over the course of a year. Impressive, right?
Meanwhile, in the second place is Melbourne – Sydney Kingsford Smith with 9,090,941 passengers. Third popular route is Sapporo – Tokyo Haneda with 8,726,502 passengers. In the fourth Fukuoka – Tokyo Haneda with 7,864,000 passengers and the fifth place gets Mumbai – Delhi with 7,129,943 passengers over the course of a year.
4. PILOTS EAT DIFFERENT MEALS
Pilots and co-pilots are advised not to eat the same meals when they are working. If something is wrong with the meal (like food poisoning), the other pilot will not be affected and can take over. The rule is not mandated by the Federal Aviation Administration, but most airlines have their own rules about it.
5. TEMPERATURE OUTSIDE OF AN AIRPLANE IS -56.5°C (-69.7°F)
On aircraft which fly above 30,000 feet, the temperature can often can get to temperatures below Jet-A's freezing point. For example: at 36,000 feet the standard outside air temperature is -56.5°C (-69.7°F) and is well below Jet-A's freezing point of -40°C/F. That’s colder than almost anywhere on Earth at any given moment of the year.
6. GALLON OF FUEL EVERY SECOND
The Boeing 747 burns about 1 gallon of fuel every second, or 5 gallons per mile. Reversing this gives us the figure of 0.2 miles per gallon of fuel. This is much lower than the average car's fuel efficiency at about 25 miles per gallon. But, considering the number of passengers the 747 carries, it is far more efficient. This breakdown explains that, because the plane can carry about 500 people, it's actually getting 100 miles per gallon per person.
7. THOUSANDS OF PLANES OVER THE USA AT ANY MOMENT
While you may only see the occasional plane pass by overhead, that doesn't mean the sky isn't full of them. In fact, according to the FAA, there are 5,000 planes in the air over the United States at any moment in time, and more than 8,000 flying across the globe.
8. WEIGHT OF LARGEST AIRPLANE IS NEARLY 600 TONS
The Antonov An-225 has an impressive maximum takeoff weight of 591.7 tons. In comparison, the Boeing 747-8F's maximum takeoff weight is 489,218 pounds less, at 347.091 tons.
9. PLANE EXHAUST KILLS MORE PEOPLE THAN PLANE CRASHES
According to a study conducted at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, airplane emissions are linked to 8,000 deaths each year. The number of people killed in plane crashes? Less than 1,000.
10. KLM IS THE WORLD'S OLDEST AIRLINE
Dutch airline KLM is generally accepted as the oldest airline in the world. Founded on 7 October 1919, the first flight departed on 17 May 1920 from London Croydon Airport to Amsterdam. Australia's Qantas was originally considered the second oldest airline because, like KLM, it still operates under its original name.
11. AMERICAN AIRLINES AND UNITED AIRLINES ARE THE AIRLINES WITH THE MOST CRASHES
There have been 551 such incidents, including terrorist or other attacks. Of these, 204 have involved at least 100 fatalities, 34 have had at least 200 fatalities, 8 have had at least 300 fatalities, and 4 have had at least 500 fatalities. Between 1923 (the first year an aircraft accident or incident exceeded 50 fatalities) and the present, these incidents have accounted for 58,046 fatalities across all seven continents and the three largest oceans.
The two airlines which have carried the highest number of crashes are American Airlines with 1,700 total crashes and United Airlines with 1,000 total crashes.
12. QANTAS AIRLINE HAS NEVER HAD A CRASH
The third oldest airline in the world, Qantas was cited in 1988 film Rain Man as an airline to have never had an aircraft crash. “Qantas. Qantas never crashed,” says Raymond, played by Dustin Hoffman.
13. MOST DANGEROUS WAY TO TRAVEL ISN'T FLYING
Savage found that flying was the safest mode of transport with just 0.07 deaths per one billion passenger miles. Conversely, travelling by motorcycle is by far the most dangerous way of getting from A to B, with 212.57 deaths per billion passenger
14. WORLD'S MOST EXPENSIVE PLANE TICKET CHARGE $43,535
New York to Hong Kong with Lufthansa charge $43,535 round trip. So, what does $43,000 get you in the skies these days? Well, Germany's flagship carrier thinks their on-ground personal assistants, standalone seat and bed setup, in-flight air humidifiers, bespoke toiletry kits, Markus Del Monego-selected wine list and Michelin-starred culinary offering hits the mark, and with their five-star Skytrax rating and a place in 2014's top 10 worldwide carrier table, they may just be right. You can expect to pay for the luxury of finding out though!
Meanwhile, on the second place is Los Angeles to Dubai with Emirates for upwards of $30,000 on the third place San Francisco to Abu Dhabi with Etihad Airways for $28,090 round trip.
15. MORE THAN 80% OF THE POPULATION ARE AFRAID OF FLYING
Acrophobia is defined as a fear of heights. Unlike a specific phobia like aerophobia – fear of flying -and other specific phobias, acrophobia can cause a person to fear a variety of things related to being far from the ground. Depending on the severity of the phobia, an acrophobic person may equally fear being on a high floor of a building or simply climbing a ladder.
16. AVERAGE AGE OF PILOT
The 2012 Databook listed the average age for all U.S. pilots as 44.7 years, 44.8 in 2013 and 2014 and 38,9 in 2015. The average age of the airline transport pilots remains nearly 50 and for commercial pilots around 45 for the last 5 years.
17. PLANES NOT FLY OVER THE PACIFIC
There are two factors why do planes not fly over the Pacific. The curvature of the Earth and its extra equatorial width, mean that curving toward the poles is a shorter distance than flying (what seems like on a map) “straight” across!
18. LONGEST FLIGHT IN THE WORLD
Australian airline Qantas successfully completed the first-ever nonstop flight between New York City and Australia becoming a longest flight in the world.
In October 2019, the flight, designated QF7879, became the longest commercial flight in the world, surpassing Singapore Airlines' regular commercial service between Singapore and New York which was 18 hours and 45 minutes.
Qantas also plans to test a nonstop flight from London to Sydney in the coming months. That route would be about 500 miles longer, adding up to an hour of flight time.
19. AVERAGE SPEED OF AIRPLANE IS 880–926 km/h
The typical cruising airspeed for a long-distance commercial passenger aircraft is approximately 880–926 km/h (475–500 kn; 547–575 mph).
20. TINY HOLE IN THE AIRPLANE WINDOW REGULATE CABIN PRESSURE
Most airplane windows are made up of three panels of acrylic. The exterior window works as you would expect—keeping the elements out and maintaining cabin pressure. In the unlikely event that something happens to the exterior pane, the second pane acts as a fail-safe option. The tiny hole in the interior window is there to regulate air pressure so the middle pane remains intact and uncompromised until it is called into duty.
Maybe there is some interesting fact you know about air travel? Let us know in comments!