The Lighter Side:
Random Aviation Facts

  • A commercial aircraft door will not open in flight because it is actually bigger than the window frame itself, and the door opens inward toward the cabin. To open, it must be opened inward, rotated and then slipped sideways out of the frame. Even if the door could somehow be opened, it would be like lifting a 2,200-pound (1,000-kilogram) weight.
  • Most planes flying internationally have their home country’s flag painted on or around their tails. Generally, the flag is facing the proper way round on the left (port) side of the aircraft and backward on the right (starboard) side. Why? Because that’s how it would look if a real flag were hoisted on a pole above the airplane during the flight.
  • Airline doors and windows are often inset a few millimeters from the fuselage so that they’ll expand to be flush with the fuselage during flight.
  • The windows in an airport control tower must be tilted out at exactly 15 degrees from the vertical to minimize reflections from both inside and outside the control tower.
  • A Boeing 737 weighing 150,000 pounds (68,000 kilograms) must deflect about 88,000 pounds (40,000 kg) of air — over a million cubic feet (31,500 cubic meters) down by 55 feet (16.75 meters) each second while in flight.