Airplane facts: 10 fascinating facts about planes and flying

 Travelers are having a difficult time. But, while the globe prepares to reopen in 2021, we’re here to keep you daydreaming and planning your next journey, whether it’s a staycation or a flight to undiscovered lands. Until then, we’ve got the most recent COVID-19 travel tips and updates to keep you informed and prepared.

If you enjoy traveling, there’s a good chance you’ve been on a plane. But, whether you’ve flown once, ten times, or a hundred times, we believe there’s always more to learn about planes. We’ve compiled a list of our favorite 20 aviation facts for you to use at trivia night or to share with your seat mate the next time you travel.


1. When did the first plane fly?

If you’re like aviation trivia, you’ll want to know the answer to this one. In December 1903, Orville Wright and Wilbur Wright flew the first airplane, the Wright Flyer, for an extended period of time. The maiden flight lasted around one minute, traversed 260 meters, and reached a peak speed of less than 11 kilometers per hour. By 1905, the Wright brothers were flying over large distances in their third version of the plane, the Wright Flyer III. Aviation was never the same after that.

2. What is the name of the world’s oldest airline?

The Dutch airline KLM was founded in 1919 and is the world’s oldest airline. One of the main reasons for establishing the airline was to connect the Netherlands to the Dutch East Indies. In 1924, KLM flew from Amsterdam to Jakarta (then known as Batavia), the world’s longest trip at the time. Qantas was founded shortly after KLM in 1920.

3. What is the price of a passenger plane?

The cost of a passenger jet can vary substantially based on the type, design, engine option, and how an airline wants the plane customized. Boeing jets range in price from $89 million for the 737-700 to $442 million for the 777-9. Airbus jets range in price from $81 million to $445 million, with the A330 costing roughly $259 million and the A380 costing around $445 million.

4. What is the world’s biggest plane?

The Antanov AN-225 is the world’s largest plane, weighing around 640 tons. The Stratolaunch, which was introduced in February 2018 by a startup related to Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, has the greatest wing span. It has a wingspan of almost 117 meters, which is substantially broader than the maximum width of a soccer field (90 metres). When it comes to passenger flights, the Airbus A380 can transport up to 850 passengers, making it the largest airliner in the world in terms of passenger capacity.

5. What is the world’s fastest plane?

The Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird was the fastest plane ever, reaching a speed of 3,530 kilometers per hour. The Boeing 747-8i, which is flown by Korean Air, Air China, and Lufthansa, is the fastest commercial airliner in operation today.


6. What is the top speed of a commercial passenger jet?

Commercial passenger planes typically fly at speeds ranging from 740 to 925 kilometers per hour (460 to 575 miles per hour). Because it gives good value for money, its speed has been pretty stable over years, if not decades. This implies that planes flying at 30,000 feet are traveling at less than the speed of sound, above which a change in design, materials, and fuel costs all add up to a more expensive flight.

7. How many planes are flying at any given time?

It’s hardly a secret how many planes are in the air right now. In 2017, there were an average of 9,728 flights in the skies at any given time, transporting around 1.2 million passengers. This may reach 20,000 at peak periods, although we’ve witnessed a drop since late 2019 owing to COVID-imposed flying limits.

8. Do pilots and passengers consume the same foods?

Pilots often consume the same items as passengers, however they are permitted to bring their own food if desired. While passengers are usually offered many options for airplane meals, the captain and co-pilot will never be given the same option in order to limit the risk of food illness in the cockpit.

9. How can I move from economy to business class?

Nowadays, having a high rating in an airline’s frequent flyer program is one of the only methods to upgrade from economy to business class. Qantas, by the way, introduced Business Class in 1979. Some airlines also provide options such as blind bidding, which allows passengers to receive an upgrade at a lower cost.

10. Is it possible for a lightning strike to destroy a plane?

Lightning strikes on aircraft are rather common. Typically, lightning will strike the plane’s wing tips or nose and then travel around the fuselage before departing the plane. A lightning strike can occasionally inflict minor damage or burns to the plane’s exterior, but in most cases, the plane is unharmed.

Every five million commercial flights, approximately one person is murdered. And it’s becoming safer by the day. For example, 2017 was the safest year in commercial aviation history, with no fatalities. In comparison, almost 1,000 passengers were murdered on commercial aircraft in 2005. On the ground, you are more likely to be killed by lightning.

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