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An insight into the world of Aeronautics - from a different angle…

Have you ever been on a plane? Would you like to be a passenger on one – and why? Have you ever wondered – what the real engineering is behind travelling thousands of miles at an average of 600mph in the air and now the fastest method of transport on Earth today?

Historically speaking, the plane was first invented by the incredible Wright brothers who flew their first plane in December 1903 at a height of 120 feet. However earlier ideas encircled this semantic of flying; ideas involving gliders soon became popular and encouraged many engineers to think extensively in an evolving manner. Planes became an instant talk of town, spreading globally, as times like the world wars approaching in the periods of 1914-1945, fighter planes, jets and many more were developed.

The evolution of the airplane has revolutionized the aviation industry. Introduced to the Boeing 247, the first ever plane (originated from the US) that initiated the airline industry in 1933. Its maximum capacity was only 10 passengers at the time but also could fly 50% faster than the Ford Tri-Motor, which was the American, tri-engine transport aircraft. This plane was at first delineated for the aviation market but eventually came into the use of military services in the country. In fact early calculations were so accurate that based on these, versions of the prototype were updated and improved over the decades; effectively becoming the ideal design of airplanes we know of today

What about the environment?

Nevertheless, not everything about these fuel-running machines is thrilling. This man-made invention is one of the biggest contributors of carbon footprint and air pollution on the planet.

Whether it would be a passenger jet, a cargo plane, aerobatic or an amphibious plane; the concept of burning fossil fuels such as kerosene – a hydrocarbon packed mixture, becomes an environmentally dangerous factor, releasing greenhouse gases at an astonishingly exponential rate each year.

On the other hand, engineers have come up with solutions: electric aircraft. Recently, the largest electric plane has come into the news as this test aircraft depicts a taster of the plane running on just electricity, alone. This was reported in the central area of Washington State. Electric aircraft are a great way of reducing the effects of air pollution and providing zero emissions – a more sustainable replacement for years to come.

Inside the plane’s nucleus:

Pilots work their magic in a tiny control room called a cockpit which is commonly located at the front tip of the plane. Organized with multiple buttons, levers, switches and multiple panels, the deck provides all data about the plane, designed to give the pilots a good angle during flight. The pilot and co-pilot frequently coordinate information from ATC such as geographical direction, weather conditions and external dangers such as convective clouds, tall infrastructure, other planes in the area etc.

An outer view:

The wings play a crucial role: as these provide the balance between the four main forces that occur in air. These are: drag, thrust, weight and lift. The wings provide lift meaning, it creates a difference in air pressure such that the magnitude of the lift outweighs the weight of the plane (which occurs due to Earth’s gravitational acceleration). At heights the air pressure is low due to the presence of most gases; there are fewer particles. Hence mechanical energy from the engines transfers to the streamlined shape of the wings which eventually provides a force on the gaseous air particles: pushing and propelling the plane along at constant velocity (and thrust is provided; outweighing drag).

But it doesn’t stop there…

Did you know a specialized type of tape called “speed tape” can be used to fix airplanes, which is strong enough to withstand high speeds and pressures? Though it is considered as a temporary repair material, it works well for minor damage repairs! Aero planes are carefully manufactured and requires expensive, suitable machinery for a strong and capable outcome. Today, there are approximately 62,000 airplanes in the world including all commercial, military, and private jets. And the figure is only likely to increase.

Aeronautical science can be interesting to acknowledge…

Flying in the sky through hundreds of white, gaseous clouds and being able to view the world from above, seems breathtaking. From drones to helicopters to planes, technology has advanced itself in many areas, however the field of aviation is still underrated. With generations to come, this exhilarating topic is only ever growing as the future reveals more world-changing experiences.

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