If there’s one mode of travel in the world full of mystery and intrigue, it’s flying. Just think about it: every time you step on an airplane, you’re entrusting your life to a machine that hurtles through the air at hundreds of miles per hour. It’s no wonder that people are fascinated by all things related to flying.
So what exactly makes airplanes so fascinating? For starters, they’re huge machines that weigh hundreds of thousands of pounds, yet they can stay airborne for hours at a time. They also must contend with extreme conditions, including turbulence and lightning storms.
But other than these airplane facts, there are little-known facts about flying and air travel that will make you see the world of aviation in a new light. Here are some fascinating facts about air travel that you may not know:
1. You can’t open an airplane door mid-flight
Thank physics for this one: it’s impossible to open an airplane door while the plane is in the air. The difference in air pressure between the inside and outside of the cabin is just too great. Basically, the cabin pressure seals the door shut, so anyone who tries to open the airplane door in the middle of a flight would just fail.
While that one is a relief, another level of security makes it impossible for anyone to open the door mid-flight, and it’s a simpler one. All airplane doors have what’s called an “armrest lock,” which is a simple mechanism that locks the door shut. So even if someone tried to open the door, they wouldn’t be able to open it far enough to create any sort of safety hazard.
2. Airplanes don’t have reverse gears
You might think that commercial airplanes have reverse gears like cars do, but they don’t. That’s because when an airplane is on the ground, it doesn’t move backward under its own power.
This is where strong airport tugs come in. These tugs are connected to the front of the airplane and push it back when it’s time to move it out of its gate. Reversing an airplane would just be too difficult and time-consuming, so airport tugs are used instead.
3. Unfinished tooth surgery is the reason for air travel caution
If you’ve had any kind of dental surgery within the past few days, you might want to think twice before going on a plane. That’s because the change in cabin pressure can cause serious pain for people who have recently had teeth extracted or other dental work done.
The condition is called aerodontalgia, and it can cause a lot of discomfort for people who are unlucky enough to experience them. The good news is that these conditions are rare and usually only affect people who have had major dental work done.
The best way to avoid this pain is to wait at least two weeks after your surgery before flying. This will give your mouth plenty of time to heal to avoid discomfort during your flight. So listen to them next time your dentist tells you to wait a couple of weeks before flying.
4. You can’t lock yourself out inside an airplane bathroom
Have you ever worried about accidentally locking yourself in an airplane bathroom? Well, there’s no need to worry because it’s impossible to do. That’s because all airplane bathrooms have an emergency release lever that opens the door from the inside, even if it’s locked.
Emergency release levers can be found in every airplane bathroom. Sometimes, there can be a child or anyone who accidentally locks themselves in the bathroom. Cabin crews are trained to deal with this type of situation, and they will quickly open the door and get the person out.
So if you’re ever worried about accidentally locking yourself in an airplane bathroom, don’t be. The cabin crews can help you get out, and there’s always the emergency release lever if needed.
5. You can have your confiscated item back
If you’ve ever had something confiscated by airport security, you might be surprised to know that you can get it back. If you have time to take care of these things and send them back to your home, you’d be able to do so for a fee.
For example, you’ve bought a lava lamp at the airport, and it was confiscated because it’s a liquid. You can have that sent back to you if you’d like. All you need to do is fill out a form at the airport’s mail center. It’s important to note that not all items are eligible to be sent back, but it’s definitely worth a try if you want your item back.
Another way is by searching it online. There are a number of websites that sell items that have been confiscated by airport security. You may be able to recover your confiscated item through bidding or purchasing it from one of these websites.
So there you have it: five fascinating facts about air travel that you may not have known. Next time you’re waiting to board your flight, take a moment to think about all the incredible engineering and technology that goes into making air travel possible. It’s truly amazing what humans have been able to accomplish.