A Flight Engineer’s Career

A Flight Engineer’s Career

Photo Credit: pixabay.com A flight engineer also called an air engineer, is the member of an aircraft’s flight crew who monitors and operates complex aircraft systems. In most modern aircraft, their complex systems are both monitored and adjusted by electronic microprocessors and computers, resulting in the elimination of the flight engineer’s position. So, what does a Flight Engineer do? A flight engineer is responsible for ensuring that all components of the plane are in proper working order. It is their duty to make any of the repairs if a mechanical issue does arise. Flight engineers are also used to interpret complicated flight-related gauges and instruments, and to help pilots with navigation. However, several of these duties have been diminished due to the emergence of automated computer programs which are capable of performing several of the same duties at a cheaper cost. Regardless, flight engineers are still widely used by the military and by companies with larger aircraft. This is because military aircraft use the most recent technology, operate under different systems than commercial airlines, and are at higher risk of attack or mechanical problems. Certain countries also have laws requiring all three and four engine airplanes to carry a licensed flight engineer. A flight engineer’s career includes an extensive list of roles both on and off the ground. Before takeoff begins, they must inspect the aircraft and ensure that it is safe for use. They often have a pre-flight checklist that has to be completed before a plane is cleared to fly. These include checks for any fluid leaks or improperly inflated tires. Once the plane is airborne, the...
Some Cool Facts About Planes

Some Cool Facts About Planes

Photo Credit: pixabay.com You already know that planes fly and they take us to places, but do you know that there are some interesting facts about airplanes don’t know about? Read on for the top cool facts about planes from various sources (i.e., Reader’s Digest, DailyMail Online, Travel and Leisure and Fact Retriever). The long, thin body of an aircraft is called the fuselage, and at the end of the fuselage is where the pilots man the plane, which is called the cockpit. Aircraft wings feature a shape called an airfoil which is designed to create lift as the plane moves through the air. As the airplane flies, the air pressure below and above the wings is different, which keeps the airplane airborne. This difference of pressure is termed as “lift.” The little hole in the airplane window is necessary to regulate cabin pressure. Airplane windows are made up of multiple panels, so the hole helps the middle panel from becoming stressed with pressure during flight. When a plane lands at night, cabin crews will dim the interior lights, since in the event that the landing goes badly and evacuating passengers will have their eyes already be adjusted to the darkness. White lines in the sky that follow the plane’s trail are called vapor trails or contrails, which is the result of fuel being burned; it produces carbon dioxide and water, which condenses into tiny droplets behind a plane in the air. The internet and on-line check-in was first used by Alaska Airlines in 1999. Airplanes are lightning-proof. There are about 200,000 flights airborne every day, across the world. The...
Safety Tips for Air Travel

Safety Tips for Air Travel

Photo Credit: pixabay.com Whether it is your first time or your nth time in riding a plane, several air travel safety rules such as the following list of air travel safety tips should always be kept in mind. In case you’ve forgotten, here are the basics. Study the passenger safety card thoroughly so that the information is fresh in your mind. Listen when the flight attendant gives the safety briefing. Know where the emergency exits are. It is best to count the rows between your seat and the exit row, so you could find it if the cabin gets dark or smoke-filled. Immediately locate the flotation device from your seat. In case of fire, bend down close to the floor and move away from the fire and smoke. Also, place a wet handkerchief over your nose and mouth to help you breathe better. Put your luggage in the overhead bin across the aisle from you so that you can see that no one is opening your luggage during the flight. The safest seating is on the exit aisle in the back of the airplane as it is usually farthest from impact and farthest from explosive fuel. Keep your seat belt fastened. Keeping the belt on when you are seated provides that extra protection you might need to help you avoid injuries when the plane experiences turbulence. Don’t bring any hazardous materials. The basic hazardous materials that are not allowed on the plane are gasoline, corrosives and poisonous gases unless they were allowed by the airline and stored in a proper container. Reduce alcohol intake. The atmosphere in an airliner cabin...
What is an Airfoil in Aviation?

What is an Airfoil in Aviation?

Photo Credit: pixabay.com You may or may not have heard what is an airfoil on an airplane. What is an airfoil and how does it work? An airfoil is the shape of the aircraft’s wing, blade (of a propeller, rotor, or turbine). It is the term used to describe the cross-sectional shape of an object that, when moved through a fluid such as air, creates an aerodynamic force. Airfoils are employed on aircraft as wings to produce lift or as propeller blades to produce thrust. Both these forces are produce perpendicular to the air flow. Drag is a consequence of the production of lift/thrust and acts parallel to the airflow. Other airfoil surfaces include tailplanes, fins, winglets, and helicopter rotor blades. Control surfaces are shaped to contribute to the overall aerofoil section of the wing or empennage The basic principle behind an aerofoil is described by Bernoulli’s theorem. Basically, this states that total pressure is equal to static pressure (due to the weight of air above) plus dynamic pressure (due to the motion of air). Air that travels over the top surface of the aerofoil has to travel faster and thus gains dynamic pressure. The subsequent loss of static pressure creates a pressure difference between the upper and lower surfaces that is called the lift and opposes the weight of an aircraft (or thrust that opposes drag). As the angle of attack (the angle between the chord line and relative air flow) is increased, more lift is created. Once the critical angle of attack is reached (generally around 14 degrees) the aerofoil will stall. According to Dynamic Flight (2002), several terms are used to describe what...
Are Solar Planes the Future of Flight?

Are Solar Planes the Future of Flight?

Photo Credit: pixabay.com Between years 2015 and 2016, Solar Impulse 2, the first flying solar aircraft completed a circumnavigation of the Earth. This may be quite an achievement in aviation since aircrafts are mostly being propelled by fuel-powered engines. This may also be an environmental achievement, as it only uses solar power to make airplanes fly, as opposed to fuel which would bring about a heavy amount of carbon emissions in the atmosphere. Now that Solar Impulse 2 has flown and completed a turn around the Earth, are solar planes the future of flight? How does a solar-powered airplane work anyway? Here’s a preview of how it works, from revolvy.com: a Solar cell converts sunlight into electricity, either for direct power or temporary storage. The power output of solar cells is small, even when many are connected together, which limits their use and is also expensive. However, their use of freely available sunlight makes them attractive for high-altitude, long-endurance applications. For endurance flights, keeping the craft in the air all night typically requires a backup storage system, which supplies power during the hours of darkness and recharges during the day. Now back to the journey of the first flying solar aircraft. Solar Impulse 2’s journey to circumnavigate the Earth took more than a year, 505 days to be exact, to fly 26,000 miles (42,000 km) at an average speed of about 45 mph (70 kph). Despite its relatively slow speed and relatively low altitude, Swiss pilots Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg successfully landed the Solar Impulse 2 aircraft in Abu Dhabi on July 26, 2016, after flying around the world using...
Why the Plane was Invented and Some Historical Tidbits

Why the Plane was Invented and Some Historical Tidbits

Photo Credit: pixabay.com You may wonder why the plane was invented? Due to man’s desire to discover new methods of transportation and the desire to travel long distances without the complications of terrain as well as to travel in the shortest time possible, the plane was then created. What was the first flight in history? While many believe that the airplane was invented by the Wright brothers in Kitty Hawk, N.C., it was said that the first man to fly was New Zealander Richard Pearse in 1902, eight months before the Wright brothers first flew. Pearse, according to witnesses, flew a length of 50 to 400 yards in a heavier-than-air machine. Pearse’s aircraft was the first to use proper ailerons, which allowed the wings to warp and turn the aircraft. Though many credit the invention of airplanes to the Wright brothers, Richard Pearse never reported his inventions because he didn’t know there was any interest in flying. However, the Wright brothers were the first flyers to be officially recorded and the first to have also patented their invention. Though the Wright brothers tested many gliders in the early 1900s, none of them counted as an actual aircraft, and the brothers didn’t achieve flight until late 1903 with their first plane, the Flyer I. The craft weighed over 600 pounds, and Orville Wright was the first pilot, which was decided through a toss coin. The craft remained airborne for 12 seconds and traveled a little over 120 feet. To zoom in on the aviation history of the Philippines, here is a timeline of the Philippine Airline Industry: The government created an...