The aircraft that you travel in and its secrets

The aviation industry is expanding day by day. With great power comes great responsibility.   The aviation industry supports $2.7 trillion (3.6%) of the world’s gross domestic product (GDP). If aviation were a country, it would rank 20th in size by GDP. Around 10.2 million people work in the aviation industry directly. Air transport supports 65.5 million jobs. Worldwide, the aviation industry generates more than $800 billion in revenue annually.

Ever wondered how things in this big industry work? Here are a few things you probably didn’t know about the aviation industry and the aircraft you travel in.

How big is the aviation industry in India?

The Aviation sector in India currently contributes $72 bn to GDP. India has 464 airports and airstrips, of which the Airport Authority of India (AAI) owns 125 airports. These 125 AAI airports manage close to 78% of domestic passenger traffic and 22% of international passenger traffic. India is the third-largest domestic civil aviation market in the world. The world’s first airport that is fully powered by solar energy is in Kochi, India.

Where is the biggest airport in the world?

Beijing Daxing International Airport (PKX) – Beijing, China. Beijing Daxing International Airport is the biggest airport in the world and the latest addition to the list of supersized airports, and they’re topping that list.

Daxing New International Airport Beijing China | Source: Travel + Leisure

What happens when you flush?

As you press the flush button, the vacuum at the bottom of the bowl sucks the waste into a holding tank. The waste is sucked into a tanker at the airport and then dumped. Even if the pilot and flight attendants want to empty a tank midflight, it is not possible as the valve is located on the outside of the plane, and can be only opened by the ground crew.

What are black boxes?

Black boxes are an important part of an airplane crash investigation and can provide key information, which may lead to unravelling the whole investigation.

Source: ABC News

These boxes are usually placed in the tail of an aircraft, where they are more likely to survive a crash. These boxes records conversations between the pilots and engine noises. They are usually made out of a strong substance such as titanium. There have been incidents when the planes have crashed into the water bodies. To discover these boxes in conditions where they are underwater, Black boxes are fitted with an underwater locator beacon that starts emitting a pulse if its sensor touches water. 

While the data from the black box can help investigators determine what led to the plane crash, it can also be used as evidence to prove negligence on the part of the airline.

How many hours does a pilot have to work?

A pilot flies to three to five sectors a day, totalling about eight hours of flying time on an average, and a flight duty time of about 11-12 hours a day.

How many people have exactly travelled by airlines?

Unbelievably, less than 20 per cent of the world’s population has set foot on an airplane, but that’s changing dramatically.

What are the common aircrafts used by airline industries?

Boeing dominates the market as far as common aircraft go, with the company’s 787 (also called the Dreamliner), 757, 767, 727 and 707 models proving some of the most popular among commercial airlines.

Boeing 737 Max | Source: BusinessInsider

Currently Air India has many narrow body aircraft for domestic destinations like A320, A321 and A320 neo. Air India has also many wide body aircraft like Boeing 777-200LR, Boeing 777-300ER, Boeing 747-400 and Boeing 787-8 mainly for international destinations.

What happens to an aircraft after it’s retired?

If airlines conclude that it is no longer efficient to run an aircraft, then it goes through the retirement process.

Source: ScienceSource

It can cost businesses between Rs. 57 lakh (~$75,000) and Rs. 1.2 crore ($150,000) to dismantle a plane like the 747. The process requires a lot of work and can take up to three months to complete.

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