Flight

Flying Is Hard Work

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Did you know?

No matter how simple Superman makes it look, flying is hard work!

  • Even if you strapped on giant wings, you could never fly like a bird because there is not enough muscle mass in your arms and chest to provide the necessary power. Additionally, the human heart can’t pump blood quickly enough to satisfy the enormous strain of flapping. When flying, a sparrow’s heart pumps more than 450 times each minute!
  • Each engine on a Boeing 747 weighs almost 9,500 pounds, costs about $8 million, and burns 12 gallons of fuel per minute when cruising. Altogether the 4 engines account for about 5 percent of the total weight of a Boeing 747 upon takeoff.
  • Although you may have seen it in the movies, it is nearly impossible to open the cabin door of an airplane in midflight. This is because the cabins of commercial airplanes have to be pressurized and the difference between the pressure inside the cabin and the air outside the plane puts a tremendous amount of force on the door. On average, there are about 6 pounds per square inch of pressure on the door, so it would be like trying to lift a 2 ton weight.

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