The weird and wonderful world of aviation.
Eddie Rickenbacker wasn’t wrong when he said that ‘aviation is proof that given, the will, we have the capacity to achieve the impossible.’
Most of us have got used to air travel. It has become a ‘normal’ part of modern life from going on our holidays to seeing a plane on its flight path and wondering where it’s going to. Or, for many of us, it’s our chosen career and our lives revolve around aviation in one way or another.
However, we’re so used to it that has become easy to overlook what a true feat of engineering air travel really is.
There’s a lot which goes into keeping those planes in the sky and taking passengers to where they need to be. Here’s just some of our favourite facts from aviation.
· Only 18% of the world’s population has ever been on an airplane.
Although the sector continues to grow, and air travel is arguably increasingly affordable, it’s still only a privileged few who have taken to the skies. There’s a huge proportion of the population who may never fly, either.
· The world’s most frequent flyer has clocked up 13 million miles.
In contrast, American Tom Stuker has spent more time in an airplane than most of us could even fathom. His consultancy and sales career took him around the world in first class with United. He must know what his favourite in-flight meal is by now!
· An olive saved thousands of dollars
Speaking of airline food, American Airlines saved $40,000 in 1987 when they removed just one olive from each of the salads they served in first class. We wonder if any passengers even noticed.
· Hydrate when reaching those heights
During an average three-hour flight, your body can lose up to 1.5 litres of water due to the lack of humidity and its oxygen-thin air which increases your breathing rate. So, make sure you drink plenty of the clear stuff to replace that lost fluid. This is one of the potential reasons that you can feel the stronger effects from alcohol whilst on a plane as your body could also be dehydrated.
· A taste of luxury
There’s definitely room for some of the finer things in life when you’re on a flight. For example, Lufthansa is the world’s largest purchaser of caviar, buying in over 10 tonnes every year. However, around 1/3 of your taste buds are numbed when flying – so food may not taste how you think it should anyway!
· Go the distance
With most passengers preferring direct flights, airlines are constantly competing for who can offer the longest, direct flight to far flung destinations. The current frontrunner is Singapore to New York, which is 9,537 miles and takes 17 hours 25 minutes by Singapore Airlines. With longer flights comes an increased desire for more space for passengers to enjoy, including how Airbus is considering building luxury sleeping pods in the cargo areas.
· Efficiency first
The aviation industry continues to cut its carbon footprint. In fact, 70% of aircraft today are more than 70% more fuel-efficient per seat per kilometre than they were back in the 1960’s. Moves are still being made to increase the environmental credentials for air travel, with engineering developments, operations and types of fuel all likely to contribute.
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