15 Facts About Aviation You Probaply Didn’t Know
We’ve come up with a list of cool and quirky aviation facts that may surprise even the biggest aviation buff, and help with any future aviation trivia. Did you know…
1. 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.
2. 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 fuel.
3. The world’s smallest jet is the BD-5 Micro. Its wingspan is 14–21 feet and weighs just 358 pounds.
4. The average Boeing 747 has around 150–175 miles of wiring inside it.
5. The first woman in the U.S. to become licensed to fly a play was Harriet Quimby (1875–1912) in 1911. She was also the first woman to fly across the English Channel.
6. The atmosphere in an airplane cabin dries out a person’s nose, and the changing air pressure numbs about 1/3 of a person’s taste buds. This is one reason for airlines adding lots of spices and salt to their foods. Additionally, tomato juice tastes less acidic in the air.
7. Neil Armstrong carried a piece of the Wright Flyer with him to the moon.
8. George Cayley (1773-1857) is widely considered to be the father of aviation. He built the first glider that could go short distances. His early work helped inventors understand the dynamics of flight, and the Wright Brothers acknowledged his importance.
9. Charles Lindbergh is arguably the most famous pilot in history. Nicknamed “Slim,” “Lucky Lindy,” and “The Lone Eagle,” he was an author, inventor, military officer, explorer, and social activist. He was also a friend of Henry Ford. He was the first to fly solo nonstop across the Atlantic Ocean from, New York to Paris, on May 20–21, 1927. The trip covered 3,631 miles and took 33 hours 29 minutes.
10. In 1947, Chuck Yeager became the first person to fly faster than the speed of sound.
11. Between June 14 and 15, 1919, British airmen John Alcock and Arthur Brown made the first nonstop flight across the Atlantic Ocean. They flew from Newfoundland, Canada, to Ireland. Because there was also a small amount of mail on the flight, they also made the first transatlantic airmail flight.
12. In 1986, a plane called Voyager flew all the way around the world without landing or refueling.
13. In 2002, a man tried to smuggle two pygmy monkeys in his underwear onto a plane. He was sentenced to 57 days in jail.
14. A woman from Stockholm, Sweden, attempted to smuggle 75 live snakes onto an airplane by placing them in her bra. She also had six lizards under her shorts.
15. A 66-year-old man tried to smuggle cocaine on a plane—via a cast made out of the drug. He had even purposefully broken his leg in case airport authorities X-rayed it. He almost got away with his crime, but when authorities found other sources of cocaine hidden in his luggage, they decided to also test the cast.