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10 Aviation facts that most people don’t know (Part 1)

As an avgeek, have you ever been annoyed when one of your friends tries to show off their aviation knowledge but simply gets it wrong, I know I definitely have. Here are 10 facts about aviation that a lot of people won’t know, and some of them you can even show off when you are next flying.


10. The World’s longest timing flight was actually done in a Cessna-172

Whilst many people believe that the world longest flight is either a direct flight from London to Sydney with Qantas’ project sunrise, or an 18 hour flight from New York to Singapore, it was actually in a Cessna-172 in 1959. The flight lasted a whopping 64 Days, 22 hours 19 minutes and 5 seconds and the aircraft had to be refueled by a truck whilst it flew close to the ground. The flight eventually landed when the pilots noticed slight damage on the aircraft.

An image of “Hacienda” Refueling from a truck (credit: hackaday.com)

9. Human waste on planes doesn’t actually get flushed out of the aircraft

Whilst many people have heard myths of human waste crash landing in people’s gardens, this is not a regular occurrence. In fact, if airlines did this all the time it could kill many people as solid objects dropping from high altitudes are extremely dangerous if they hit anyone. Instead, waste is stored in a septic tank inside the aircraft, probably underneath where you’re sitting. So, next time you see flying waste hit the ground in front of you, just know that its a leak from the aircraft’s septic tank and isn’t happening on purpose.


8. Your plane will probably get struck by lightning at least once in your lifetime

Unlike in the movies, where a lightning strike can bring down an entire aircraft, this hasn’t happened since 1967, where planes were a lot older and didn’t have the modern technology which could prevent the plane from being damaged by lightning . Planes now have objects on the wings which can channel the electricity away from the plane if it gets struck, and the plane will be completely unharmed.

You can see in this image that the plane is being struck by lightning and then channeling the electricity to the aircraft’s wing (credit: nypost.com)

7.Boeing 747s used to run on 8 Floppy Disks

If you’re not aware of what a floppy disk is,like most of the population nowadays, it is an old fashioned way of storing date which was first invented in 1971 and is incredibly rare in 2022. These were often inserted into people’s computers and people used to store information on them, which is why it is incredible that such a large machine’s software was powered by 8 household appliances. In fact, some old 747s still run on them for this day, although this isn’t true for later aircraft.


6.You can unlock aircraft toilets from the outside

If you are the polar opposite of me and want to be mischievous on your flight, its true that you really can unlock the door of the aircraft toilet from the outside. You can do so by lifting up the metal “Lavatory” sign on the door and pushing the slider across. This is so that the crew can access the toilet in an emergency, or shut it for Take-off, Taxi and landing.

If you lift up the door’s lavatory sign, you can unlock the toilet from the outside. (credit: thesun.co.uk)

To Be continued in Part 2…


  • popularmechanics.com
  • fta-global.com
  • coavmi.com
  • foxweather.com
  • en.wikipedia.org
  • baatraining.com
  • ibm.com
  • commons.wikimedia.com(Cover image)

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