Flight is a luxury which has been in our lives for over a century now, though many of us couldn’t imagine life without it. Thanks to the breakthroughs we’ve made in aviation, long-distance travel, even to the other side of the world, is a breeze, and we can travel faster than ever before, with many of our developments even helping us in our mission to explore space. In appreciation, we’ve put together a few fascinating facts about flight and aviation:
- The world’s oldest airline is KLM, first established in 1919, followed by Qantas, which was established a year later.
- At any given time of day, there are over 61,000 people flying over the USA.
- The average 747 aeroplane has between 240-280 kilometres of wiring.
- The term Mayday comes from the French m’aidez, which translates into ‘help me’.
- Pilots and co-pilots are required to eat different meals, so that in the eventuality that one suffers food poisoning, the other is still able to fly the plane.
- Around a third of your taste buds are numbed while flying, due to the change in air pressure.
- The world’s most expensive plane ticket cost Sydney millionaire Julian Hayward $123,000 in 2007 – he was the first person to buy a ticket for the A380’s maiden flight between Sydney and Singapore.
- During an average 3-hour flight, you can lose up to 1.5 litres of water from your body.
- French entertainer Michel Lotito has actually eaten an entire aeroplane. During the 1990s, he spent two years eating his way through a Cessna 150, breaking it down into tiny parts.
- The lifespan of an aircraft is not determined by years, but rather by the number of pressurisations it undergoes. Each time the plane is pressurised during flight, it causes stress on the plane’s fuselage, which eventually causes irreparable damage. As a rule of thumb, an aircraft can last for 75,000 pressurisations until it is taken out of use, which is roughly 20-25 years for most planes.
With every flight, however, comes the need for trained and qualified professionals every step of the way, from engineering to maintenance. ELMS Aviation, with its specialised aerospace quality management system, is on hand to ensure the competence and compliance of aviation professionals is up to scratch.
Image: James Wang, available under Creative Commons