Odd Facts About Aviation
More Odd Facts
DC-8 no. N9604Z was the first airliner to exceed Mach 1, but not the last. The Concorde and Tu-144 made supersonic passenger flight seem routine (at least, until a series of crashes and economic considerations caused their retirement). Today most commercial airplanes like the Boeing 787 and Airbus A350 cruise around Mach 0.85 to 0.89, while smaller corporate jets from Cessna, Gulfstream and Bombardier routinely cruise above Mach 0.90. It’s not unheard of, however, for subsonic airliners to exceed Mach 1 (761 mph at sea level), at least in terms of ground speed.
In February 2018 a Norwegian Air 787-9 heading from New York to London caught a ride on the jet stream over the Atlantic. Dreamliners had previously reached 776 mph with a tailwind, but this one made the crossing in 5 hours and 9 minutes, topping out at 799 mph. And a year later, a Virgin Atlantic 787-9 out of Los Angeles on its way to London also caught the jet stream 35,000 feet over Pennsylvania, achieving a ground speed of 801 mph. Because the high-speed wind was carrying the jets like boats on a river, these airplanes did not exceed Mach 1 as measured by local airspeed. At least one other non-SST airliner, however, did break the speed of sound…though not intentionally.
In August 2010, Steven Slater, a flight attendant of JetBlue airlines, got into an argument with a passenger during boarding at a Pittsburgh airport. He finally had had enough of his job, quit, and opened the emergency slide on the plane in order to leave.
According to witness, he grabbed the intercom and said: “To the passenger who called me a motherfuckers, fu8ck you […] I’ve been in the business 20 years. I’ve had it. That’s it.” Mr Slater then activated the emergency exit and slid down the inflatable slide onto the tarmac. He then boarded a train to the terminal, stripping off his tie and discarding it, to the astonishment of bemused onlookers. Slater was later arrested and charged with reckless endangerment and criminal mischief.
Jim Wilson-If Mom or Dad go to Heaven and they have to fly home, they will be booked on American Airlines as “Jim Wilson”. You will pay a coach ticket for them. They will ride all by themselves in the forward baggage compartment because it’s pressurized and their head will be forward so it doesn’t blow up under the G loads.
Sveltyana Savistskaya was the second woman in space. In August 1982, she and her crew mates docked with the Salyut 7 space station. The crew of the Salyut 7 had been in orbit for months. They eagerly greeted Savitskaya and presented her an apron. Pointing to the galley they said, “Good! Now you can cook for us.”
John Travolta is a qualified 747 First Officer flying for Quantas airlines. He was also the first non-test pilot to fly the Airbus380.
(USAF) was the first pilot to break the sound barrier. Welch was the chief test pilot of the F-86 and completed the flight at Muroc AFB, California on October 1st, 1949. He went supersonic a second time on October 14th, about thirty minutes before Chuck Yeager flew the X-1 through the sound barrier. Yeager got credit for it because the capabilities of the F-86 were kept classified until just recently.
In Honor of the 40th anniversary of the flight of Apollo 11, the First Moon Landing, we humbly offer the following:
The only watch worn on the Moon as an Omega.
The Apollo 12 Lunar EVA checklists featured pictures from Playboy magazineSee check list here.
The lives of Armstrong and Aldrin were saved when Aldrin used his pen to reset the Ascent Engine circuit breaker. It was a Fisher Model AG7E. Aldrin kept it as a souvenir.
Apollo 11’s 1202 Alarms were caused because Buzz Aldrin deviated from the checklist and did not turn off the rendezvous radar. He did this so they would not lose the Command Module’s position should they abort the landing. More about the 1202 Alarm.
Fisher Pens spent $2 million to develop a pen that would work in zero gravity. The Soviets used a pencil.See proof here.
Dr. Eugene Shoemaker, the person who trained the Apollo astronauts in Lunar geology has his remains interned on the moon.
The only person to have golfed on the Moon was Commander Allen Sheppard. He sliced a six iron.
Eugene Cernan was the last person to leave the Moon’s surface.
“Tell Cernan, BEEP-BEEP my ass!”
Al Shepard’s (Apollo 14)response whenever one of the crew patches for the back-up crew would float out of a locker. The back up crew, Cernan, Evans and Engle had taken care to stash away patches in every single locker and compartment in the spacecraft.
Sheppard was the oldest Astronaut when he commanded Apollo 14.
Before the crew can go to the launch pad, the Shuttle Commander must lose a hand of blackjack to the Flight Director.
Archie League was the first Air Traffic Controller.
On May 15, 1930, Ellen Church became the world first’s stewardess. Church was a registered nurse. After not being hired as a pilot, she pitched the idea of airborne nurses to assist passengers. Boeing Air Transport accepted her idea. In the early years, stewardesses not only attended to the airborne needs of the passengers, but on occasion refueled the airplane and helped start the engines.
The Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) Sporting Code for astronautics recognizes only flights that exceed an altitude of 100 kilometers (62 mi). However, in the United States, professional, military, and commercial astronauts who travel above an altitude of 80 kilometers (50 mi) are awarded astronaut wings.
Joseph William Kittinger II was the first man in space. On August 16, 1960 he made the final jump (yes jumped) from the Excelsior III at 102,800 feet (31,300 m).
A C-130 has landed on and then took off from an aircraft carrier.
It is said that pilots are the first one’s at the scene of a crash. Some are caught unaware but most fight the problem all the way down. The CVR (Cockpit Voice Recorder) records their final words. These are some of them.
“There he is .. look at him! Goddamn that son-of-a-bitch is coming! Get off!”
Pan Am 1736, Boeing 747, 27 March 1977.
Air Canada 621,Douglas DC-8, 5 July 1970.
“Hey, what’s happening here?”
Eastern Airlines 401, 29 Dec 1972.
“Ma I love you.”
Pacific Southwest Airlines 182. 25 Sep 1978.
“Larry, we’re going down, Larry…. I know it!”
Air Florida 90, Boeing 737, 13 Jan 1982.
“Amy, I love you.”
Atlantic Southeast Airlines 529, 21 Aug 1995.
Vnokovo Airlines 2601, 29 Aug 1996.
“Ah here we go.”
Alaska Airlines 261, MD-80, 31 Jan 2000.
“Too late! No time. No TIME!”
Air France 4950, Concorde, 25 JULY 2000.
Vesna Vulovic, a flight attendant who in 1972 fell 33,000 feet in the tail of an exploded DC-9 jetliner; she landed in snow and lived.
Joe Hermann of the Royal Australian Air Force, blown out of his bomber in 1944 without a parachute. He found himself falling through the night sky amid airplane debris and wildly grabbed a piece of it. It turned out to be not debris at all, but rather a fellow flier in the process of pulling his ripcord. Joe hung on and, as a courtesy, hit the ground first, breaking the fall of his savior and a mere two ribs of his own.
Nick Alkemade, an RAF tailgunner who jumped from his flaming turret without a parachute and fell 18,000 feet. When he came to and saw stars overhead, he lit a cigarette. He would later describe the fall as “a pleasant experience.” Nick’s trick: fir trees, underbrush, and snow.
Juliane Koepcke,a quiet seventeen year-old high school senior on her way to visit her father, fell two miles out of the sky, without a parachute, crunching into the dirt floor of the Amazon Rain Forest. On Christmas Eve 1971,Peru, LANSA Flight 508 exploded after be hit by lightening. Koepcke fell still strapped to her seat. After eleven days in the jungle, she made her way to a logging camp where she got first aid from the loggers and a canoe ride to an airstrip where she was flown to hospital.
When you hear one single “BING,” it’s a passenger who rang his/her button for the flight attendant to render assistance (or another drink). When you hear two-tone “BING-Bong,” it’s the pilot, ringing the flight attendant’s phone because he/she wants to talk to them. When you hear two full “BING-Bong… BING-Bong…” tones, it means you’ve been cleared for landing and its time to put up your tray table and seat back.
Why do airlines turn the cabin lights out on takeoff and landing?
Believe it or not, they do this so your eyes will adjust to lower levels of light. If there’s an accident and they have to deploy the emergency slides, studies have shown that you’ll be able to see better and thus be able to evacuate more quickly and safely.
“Airplanes can barely keep themselves in the air. How can they then carry any kind of load?”
“Airplanes suffers from so many technical faults that it is only a matter of time before any reasonable man realizes that they are useless!”
– Scientific American (1910)
“No flying machine will ever fly from New York to Paris.”
– Orville Wright.
“Airplanes are interesting toys but of no military value.”
– Marshal Ferdinand Foch [Professor of Strategy, Ecole Superieure de Guerre] (circa 1911) He was Supreme Commander of Allied forces, 1918
“Aviation is good for sport, but for the Army it is useless!”
– Marshal Ferdinand Foch
“To throw bombs from an airplane will do as much damage as throwing bags of flour. It will be my pleasure to stand on the bridge of any ship while it is attacked by airplanes.”
– Newton Baker, US Secretary of War (1921)