Did You Know?

Interesting Facts

1. There are 100,000 aircraft in the air every day.

2. The black box on an aircraft is orange, not black. It was designed in 1953 by David Warren of Australia.

3. On 21 June 1913, over Los Angeles, Georgia Broadwick became the first women to parachute from an airplane.

4. It was also during the Italo-Turkish war that aircraft and airships were first used as war machines: on November 1, 1911 the first ever aerial bomb was dropped by Sottotenente Giulio Gavotti (who also was the first to perform a night mission) on Turkish troops in Libya, flying a Etrich Taube flying machine.

5. Short Brothers plc, usually referred to as Shorts or Short, is an aerospace company based in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Shorts was founded in 1908 in London, and was the first company in the world to make production aircraft.

6 .Robinson, the top-producing civil helicopter manufacturer in the world, has produced more than 12,000 helicopters.

7. Aiming a laser pointer at an aircraft is a felony in the US. The seemingly small light can reach all the way to the cockpit of a plane flying up to 12,000 feet, where it becomes magnified by the Plexiglass windows, creates a strobe effect, and compromises the pilot’s vision.

8. Whether it is a small double engine Cessna or a Jumbo jet A380, the definition of speed is the same for all types of planes.  These speeds are calculated prior to a take-off in accordance with aircraft weight, environmental factors etc. 

9. V1 is defined as the speed beyond which the take-off should no longer be aborted.

10. Vr or Rotate is defined as the speed at which the pilot begins to apply control inputs to make the aircraft nose to pitch up, after which it leaves the ground. The easiest way to memorize the rotate speed is the point where the nose leaves the ground and vortexes are created at the wing tips which rotate behind the aircraft.

11. V2 is the speed at which the aircraft may safely be climbed with one engine inoperative. This speed is nicknamed a “take-off safety speed”; it is the speed an aircraft with one engine inoperative must be able to attain in order to leave the runway and get 35 feet off the ground at the end of the runway, maintaining a 200 ft/min climb thereafter. This is the lowest speed at which the aircraft complies with the handling criteria associated with a climb after a take-off, followed by the failure of an engine.

12. The wings of the airplane are just one component of flight. There are actually four forces of flight that push the plane up, down, forward, or slow it down. These four forces of flight are lift, thrust, drag, and weight.

13. The Wright brothers invented and flew the first airplane in 1903. It is considered the world’s first “sustained and controlled heavier-than-air powered flight.” Their aircraft, the Wright Flyer, flew about 120 feet. Today, the newest Boeing 787 can fly 10,000 miles on a single tank of gas.

Last updated: 20 July 2017

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