The aviation industry is a fascinating one, yet most people don't know all that much about it. Whether you have never been on a plane in your life or consider yourself somewhat of a jet-setter, here are eight facts about flying that we bet you didn't know.
1. Pilots and co-pilots do not eat the same meals. While the pilot will often eat the same meal as the first and business-class passengers, co-pilots are encouraged to eat something different. The goal is to minimize the risk of the entire flight crew coming down with food poisoning at the same time.
2. A Boeing 747 is made up of over 6 million parts, totaling over 9,500 pounds in weight. These massive jets are capable of flying at speeds of up to 955 kilometers per hour. This popular aircraft costs approximately $8 million to construct.
3. Only about 5 percent of the world's population has ever flown. While that may seem surprising to us here in the United States, many people in developing countries may not have even seen a plane, nor are they likely to in their lifetimes.
4. An aircraft's lifespan is measured in terms of pressurization cycles, not actual flight hours. Although most manufacturers of planes estimate an average lifespan of about 20 years, a plane that flies mostly long-haul routes as opposed to shorter flights will have a much longer lifespan because it doesn't go through pressurization as frequently compared to the distance flown.
5. Air travel is much safer than you might think. Your odds of being killed in a plane crash are just 1 in 11 million. This is next to nothing when compared with your risk of dying in a car accident, which is 1 in 5,000. For the most part, plane crashes occur during the few minutes just after takeoff and just before landing, making up over 80 percent of all plane crashes.
6. One of the deadliest plane crashes in history, claiming more than 500 lives, occurred while still on solid ground. Two planes crashed head-on in the middle of the runway on Tenerife Island.
7. Planes get struck by lightning all the time. As scary as that might be to imagine, it is not very scary at all. Modern planes are constructed to be lightning-proof. There hasn't been a plane crash related to lightning since 1963.
8. Some planes are equipped with secret bedrooms, particularly those that service long-haul flights. During a 15 hour flight, the cabin crew needs to stay alert, focused and friendly, so they rotate shifts napping in the bedroom. They can typically access this bedroom via a private crew staircase. Some of these bedrooms can accommodate up to 10 beds!
Here at Davenport Aviation, we are experts in the flight industry, providing aviation parts and equipment to companies from around the globe. Don't hesitate to get in touch with us if you have any questions about our products and services.