What Happens to Planes After Retirement

Do you think that the newer an airplane, the safer the flight? Not quite. Modern commercial aircrafts are very robust. One of the oldest commercial airplanes, a Boeing 737-200, made its first flight 40 years ago and still makes 3-4 regular flights a day! But what happens to the retired aircraft? There are several options…

Plane Spotting Philippines–Manila Ninoy Aquino November 2019 inc a 747

Air Asia A320 RP-C8971 Z2433 from Puerto Princesa (PPS) Gulf Air A330 A9C-KE GF154 from Bahrain (BAH) Cebu A320 RP-C3263 5J886 from Cotabato Awang (CBO) PAL A321 RP-C9911 PR2040 from Caticlan Boracay (MPH) Air Asia A320 RP-C8972 Z2351 from Panglao Bohol (TAG) Indonesian Air Force B737 A-7305 Korean Air B777 HL7532 KE621 from Seoul (ICN)…

The Little Plane War

This video was made possible by Squarespace. Build your website for 10% off by going to squarespace.com/Wendover. The commercial airline industry is the classic duopoly. In the US there’s Boeing—the long successful manufacturer most known for its iconic 747—and in Europe there’s Airbus—the more recent entrant formed as a consortium of various European manufacturers—and that’s…

Are Electric Planes Possible?

This episode of Real Engineering is brought to you by Brilliant, a problem solving website that teaches you think like an engineer. Over the past decade we have seen multiple industries looking to transition to renewable fuel sources, and while we have been making huge strides in the production of renewable energy, the technology required…

Why No One Should Swap Seats on a Plane

You board yet another long-haul flight and look for your seat. “26B – here we are!” You look down to see two husky dudes sitting in 26A and C. “Oh boy…” Hmm…There are plenty of empty seats around… “Time to switch places!” But not so fast! You could put the whole plane at risk! First,…

What Happens When You Hide in the Landing Gear of a Plane

It’s raining men, hallelujah, it’s raining men, amen. So goes the famous 1982 hit by The Weather Girls, It’s Raining Men. Yet for a woman in London on the 30th of June of this year, it was literally raining men- or rather a single man, who fell to his death and landed in the garden…

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…