Why Planes Don’t Fly in Extreme Heat

“Flight 503 has been canceled. We apologize for the inconvenience.” That might come as a shocker when you’re sitting in the departure lounge looking at the gorgeous bright sunny weather outside. If there’s not a raincloud or snowstorm in sight, then what gives? Oh yeah, planes can’t fly in extreme heat! In the summer of…

Why There Are No Parachutes on Passenger Planes

Our world is like a great kettle, filled with strange theories and ordinary knowledge, seasoned with exciting discoveries. And some diced carrots. Kind of a big existential stew, if you get me. For example: recently, I discovered the existence of special, super-big parachutes… for airplanes! It got me thinking: if even an airplane can have…

That’s Actually Why Planes Fly Right Into a Hurricane

Your seatbelt is locked tight. There is nothing you can see through the plane’s window except massive clouds torn apart by frightening winds. On a normal flight, you would already start to panic, but it’s a hurricane flight and your plane is going straight into the eye of the storm. Lucky you! Hurricane flights are…

Why Some Planes Have Backwards Wings

When you picture an airplane, a pretty familiar shape comes to mind. A long narrow body with two main wings sticking out from the middle, a pair of smaller wings on the back end, and a tail fin in the rear sticking straight up. The wings may be straight or swept to the back, but…

What Happens When Lightning Strikes a Plane

It was a cold rainy day in October of 2016. Huge balls of hail crashed into the ground. In short, it wasn’t a good day to fly, and Wow Air Flight 404 headed from Reykjavík, Iceland to Paris, France would soon understand why… That iconic fuchsia-colored plane was struck by a massive bolt of lightning…

Why Planes Fly So Low

So you like to fly? Well, the average cruising altitude of a commercial airplane is between 31,000 and 38,000 ft. At this altitude, the air becomes thinner. As a result, aircraft can travel more easily and, even more importantly, burn less fuel. So, can’t modern planes rise even higher than that? Or even fly to…

Why Planes Can’t Move in Reverse

I was flying to San Diego the other day, and after having nestled into my window seat, I started to watch the other airplanes taxiing around. And suddenly, I realized that I’d never seen a single plane moving backward on it’s own . So, the question was, “Can airplanes actually move in reverse?” Despite what…

Why Wings Don’t Fall Off Planes

Wings. Ah those delicious Buffalo style chicken wings. I actually had those in Buffalo. Just love em! Especially when they’re hot and spicy! You…uh ‘scuse me. Oh, not that kind of wing? The airplane kind? Got it. Alright — let’s start over shall we? Even if you don’t know anything else about airplanes, you know…

Why Planes Are So Loud Inside

So…you’ve just taken your seat on board your airliner, and your palms are sweaty, your heart is racing, and you just can’t shake your anxiety. That’s okay – a ton of people are nervous flyers! You’ll probably be paying extra close attention to every sensation and sound during your flight. Stay with me: there are…

Why Planes Don’t Fly Over Himalayas

Wouldn’t it be amazing to see the tallest mountain on the planet from an airplane window? Just imagine yourself nestled in your seat, sipping on a coffee and admiring that snow covered mountain peak! The only problem is that planes don’t fly over Mount Everest, or the Himalayan range, for that matter. But why? To…