Why food taste changes in flight?

Food tastes worst in flight

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Have you ever tried a food in flight? I think you surely did. Sometimes you will taste that food worst in flight. And we blame the airline for that thing. But truth is the airline is not responsible for that thing. 

Food tastes worst because you lost your one thing as you go higher in aircraft.
The thing that we lost as we go high in the air is some part of our sense of taste & smell. In aircraft's fuselage temperature is usually low & as we go higher air becomes thinner & atmospheric pressure reduces. Also, as we go higher humidity in the air reduces. It is even less than 15%. It dries out the air. This causes we lost some part of our sense of smell & taste. It is as same as we are having cold, in cold we lost our some part of the sense of smell. That is, we lost 30% of our sense smell & taste according to a 2010 study conducted by Germany's Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics, commissioned by German airline Lufthansa.

It is surprising to know that we lost our only sense of sweet & salty tastes. Other tastes such as sour, bitter, almost remain unaffected.

Other reasons responsible for changing food taste are engine noise. The study suggests that in loud noise food tastes less salty & less sweet. But in flight this effect of reducing taste is much lower. But food seems more crunchier.

Also one of the reasons is reheating the food in flight. As it is not allowed to use flames or microwave in flight so it is not possible to prepare food in aircraft. So food is prepared on the ground & then stored in the aircraft. Food is served hours later of its preparation. So it is reheated causes lost in some part of taste.

But one thing is good in all this,
Tomato juice or soup tastes better in flight than on the ground. Hence lots of passengers in flight ask for tomato juice or soup in flight.

So next time you go by flight, try tomato soup or tomato juice and experience its taste.

Thanks for reading!

Aircraft Flight Instruments (Gyroscope)

Gyroscope Flight Instruments

In previous post we learnt about flight instruments which uses pressure difference for their measurements. For previous post Click Here. Today we are going to know about flight instruments which uses Gyroscope for their measurements.

Attitude Indicator:- Attitude Indicator ( Also known as artificial horizon) in aircraft is used to to check orientation of aircraft. From this pilot can tell if aircraft is rolling or aircraft nose is pointing above or below. Attitude Indicator uses Gyroscope.
Image from:-en.Wikipedia.org

Heading Indicator :- Heading Indicator indicated the direction of motion of aircraft with respect to magnetic north. From this pilot can tell the direction of motion of aircraft.In Heading Indicator there is error due to friction.
Image from:- en.Wikipedia.org

Turn Indicator:- It consists of turn & slip indicator & turn co-ordinator. Turn co-ordinator indicates rotation of aircraft about longitudinal axis. It also shows that if aircraft is slipping or skidding.

Slip:-when ailerons are used aircraft rolls but due to ailerons along with rolling aircraft undergoes yawing motion in the direction where aileron is in upward direction this motion of aircraft is known as slip.

Skid:-To avoid slip motion of aircraft pilot moves rudder in opposite direction. Excess yawing moment due to rudder is know as skid.

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Aircraft Flight instruments

Pitot/Static Pressure Flight instruments

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If you ever visited in pilot's cockpit you will see lots of indicators. And you will get amazed how pilot take care of all the readings of flight instruments at a time.

Before learning about instruments let's take a look at some terms

Atmospheric pressure:- Atmospheric pressure is air pressure at the sea level.

Static pressure:- Static pressure is the air pressure outside the aircraft. In aircraft there are some static ports which measures air pressure outside aircraft. Static ports are located at such a place where there is no pressure difference because of motion of aircraft. E.g. at the sides of aircraft.

Pitot tube pressure:- Pitot tube is tube located at place such that there is maximum pressure difference due to motion of aircraft. E.g. at the nose of aircraft. As due to aircraft motion air will enter in pitot tube & pressure difference between pitot pressure & static pressure is maximum.

Here all the flight instruments which uses pitot or static pressure to take readings are listed & also their short description is given.

1.Altimeter:- Altimeter is a flight instrument used in aircraft to measure the altitude of aircraft. Altitude of aircraft is not a height of aircraft from the ground but altitude is height of aircraft above sea level. Altimeter actually measures pressure difference between atmospheric pressure at the sea level & static pressure. As air pressure decreases with height. Altimeter scales are calibrated with air pressure difference & altitude.
Image from :-wingsandwheels.com

2.Air Speed Indicator (ASI) :- Air Speed indicator is a flight instrument which is used to measure the speed of the aircraft. Air Speed Indicator actually measures the difference between pitot tube pressure & air pressure at sea level. Air Speed Indicators is calibrated with pressure difference & speed of aircraft. Air Speed Indicator is a colourful instrument with each colour some meaning. To know more about Air Speed Indicators Click Here
Image from :-gtaforums.com

3.Vertical Speed Indicator (VSI) :- It is also known as Variometer. It measures climbing or descending speed of aircraft. Variometer consists of aneroid capsule connected to static port and also surrounded by calibrated leak of static pressure( Just for understanding:- Consider aneroid capsule as balloon inside box, & surrounding pressure is pressure inside box). As altitude of aircraft increases outside atmospheric air pressure decreases so pressure inside aneroid capsule decreases immediately, but it decreases slowly due to calibrated leak. Actually VSI measures difference between static port pressure & surrounding calibrated leak of static pressure. Scale of VSI is calibrated with pressure difference & verticle speed of aircraft.
Image from :-www.dutchops.com

I know that these things are quite complex to understand but I tried my best to explain it in simple words. Even if you have doubt comment below or mail me!

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Why flight attendant requests to open the window shade at the time of Takeoff & Landing?

Secret Behind Flight attendant's request

If you have ever travelled by an aeroplane, you would've experienced that at the time of take off and landing, the flight attendant requests you to straighten the seats, fold up tables and raise the window shade. Have you ever thought why the flight attendant makes these requests? We think flight attendant makes these requests so that we can enjoy the journey, but in reality the reason isn't so.

Lots of crashes happen at the time of take off and landing. So it is important to take precautions and be ready for any mishap. In a case of an aircraft accident, flight attendants have very few seconds to escort all the passengers out of the aircraft. Each and every second is important. So to take out all the passengers in the least amount of time, passengers are requested to fold up their table and straighten their seats, so that they will not get delayed due to tilted seat or due to tables.

Now about window shades
Most of the passengers are curious about air travel and keep watching outside the aircraft window and enjoy the view. So at the time of landing or take off if any, technical problem occurs outside the aircraft such as fire or smoke or structural damage, the passengers or flight attendants can see it from the window and warn the pilot.

I hope you people enjoyed this post and now  know why you should listen to the flight attendants when these requests are made.

Thanks for reading!

Air Speed Indicator

Reading Air Speed Indicator

There are lots of instruments in Cockpit of Aircraft.
Today we are going to know about reading Air Speed Indicator (ASI) In simple words.
Air speed indicator is measuring instrument used to measure speed of Aircraft. Speed of aircraft is measured in Knots ( 1 Knot=1.852 Kph, 1 Knot=1.152 mph ). Air speed indicator consists of various colorful marking. And each of this color has some meaning. Meaning of each color is as follow,

1.White Arc :- White arc is known as flaps operating range. Lower limit(Here 40 Knots) of white arc is minimum steady flight speed of aircraft with Landing Configuration (Flaps & landing gears down). Upper limit(Here 85 Knots) of White arc is maximum speed allowed to aircraft with flaps extended.

2.Green Arc :- Green arc is known as normal operating range of aircraft. At the time of take off landing gears & flaps should be retracted at lower limit(Here 45 Knots) of green arc. Upper limit(Here 110 Knots) is maximum speed allowed to aircraft in turbulent air.

3.Yellow Arc :- Yellow arc is a speed range (Here 110 to 160 Knots)  of aircraft allowed in smooth air. If air flow is smooth only then pilot can take aircraft at speed range of yellow arc in Air Speed Indicator.

4.Red Arc :- Red arc is never exceed limit (Here 160 Knots) of aircraft speed.

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Aircraft Pilot Special Alphabets (NATO Phonetic Alphabets)

NATO Phonetic Alphabets

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What are NATO Phonetic Alphabets?

NATO phonetic alphabets are the International Radiotelephony Spelling Alphabets. These are simple English alphabets. As we say A for Apple, B for Ball, C for cat, etc. NATO Phonetics Alphabets are Globally standardise alphabets for pilots all over the world. These alphabets are used to avoid confusion between different languages all over the world.

Why NATO Phonetic Alphabets are used?

Over thousands of languages are spoken in the world. It is impossible to pilot to know all the languages. Previously there were many versions of languages used by pilots. E.g. Royal Navy used alphabets began with Apple, Butter, Charlie, etc. While British Infantrymen had their own version which started with Ack, Beer, Charlie, etc. Royal Air Force(RAF) developed alphabets based on both of these. When US air force entered into a war they used Able, Baker, versions of alphabets. So there was confusion between all the versions, Hence NATO Phonetic language was standardised.

NATO Phonetic Alphabets

NATO Phonetics alphabets are created by ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organisation). NATO Phonetics Alphabets are chosen in such a way that there won't be any confusion between two letters. As in a case of English alphabets there is a possibility of getting confused between 's' & 'f', between 'm' & 'n' etc. Also, those are chosen in such a way that these worlds would be familiar with the almost all languages also in such a way that there won't be any other words with same pronunciation & can be easily spoken by pilots.

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Aircraft Wing Configuration- Mid wing Aircraft

Mid wing aircraft

Image from:- en.wikipedia.org

 Aircrafts are classified based on various criteria. One of the criteria of classification is based on the position of its wings. Aircraft are classified as 
1.Low wing aircraft

In previous posts we learnt about low wings & high wings. Today we are going to learn about Mid wing aircraft

Mid wing aircraft

Aircrafts with wings attached at the mid portion (height wise) of the fuselage are known as Mid Wing aircrafts. Generally almost all the combat aircrafts are mid wing aircrafts. Mid wing aircrafts use symmetrical aerofoils unlike high wing & low wing aircraft. As symmetrical airfoils give more speed.

Advantages of mid wing aircraft

  • Mid wing aircraft have better rolling movements than high wing & low wing aircrafts. They have better rolling stability.
  • Mid wing aircrafts can get lift in vertically reverse direction. This is what enable stunt aircrafts to  flip & fly.
  • Mid wing aircraft has less interference drag. To know about drags Click here. It is a reason for using mid wings in high performance  aircrafs.
  • Mid wings allows carrying weapons such as Missiles & Bombs.

Disadvantages of mid wing aircraft

  • Mid wing occupies lots of useful fuselage volume. This is the main reason that it is not used in commercial passenger aircraft.
  • Mid wings are generally attached at the rear side of fuselage causing shifting of centre of mass at rear side of fuselage.
  • If landing gears are wing mounted then it(Landing gear) should be bigger in length.

Example for Mid wing Aircraft

1.De Havilland Vampire T11

2.Brewster SB2A Buccaneer

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