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  • Honeywell’s Boeing 757 fuselage outgrowth

    Honeywell, US aircraft engine manufacturer, has a surprising test aircraft with a strange outgrowth on the right-hand side of its forward fuselage. So what is it?

  • Why do we board a plane on the left?

    In the vast majority of commercial aircraft, passenger boarding always takes place on the left side of the plane. But why? To give an explanation some say it goes back to the Middle Ages, others speak about more functional aspects.

  • Why is there a hatch in the cockpit?

    Some aircraft have a hatch in the cockpit ceiling. On first test or commercial flights, pilots often use it to wave a flag. But what’s its real purpose and is it present on all airliners? Read our news article to find out.

  • Unlocking aircraft toilets – a tricky business

    For safety reasons, commercial aircrew must be able to unlock the toilets of an aircraft from the outside. To do so, there’s a special trick. We reveal the secret in this short video with no comment. Read the article.

  • Why do landing gears have the same lowering and retraction system?

    It’s not necessarily obvious, yet all commercial aircraft today are equipped with the same system. After takeoff, their front landing-gear retracts in a forward direction, from the rear, towards the front of the plane, and when landing, lowered in the reverse direction. But why?

  • Fuel dumping by commercial aircraft

    A Boeing 777 dumping tonnes of fuel over the Paris region – the story made big waves a few days ago. And yet this rare procedure is actually a classic solution to technical problem. Read the article.

  • Retreads, keep airlines rolling !

    A worn car tyre can be replaced; a worn aircraft tyre however is renewed several times using the technique of retreading. The principle is simple: the outer portion of the worn tyre tread is removed and replaced by a new one.

  • Hoisting fittings : what is their purpose ?

    They can be found on the the fuselage, nose section or wings: these fittings are essential in the process of aircraft manufacturing. There are on average around fifty per aircraft. Temporarily attached to the structure, this piece of equipment is used to enable the completion of several tasks.

  • What are all these wires for ?

    In commercial aircraft there are cables everywhere. But where are they located? What are they used for? And how are they made? We went to see at the Safran Electrical & Power factory, specialists in this field.

  • How does a plane get its stripes?

    Before being delivered to a client, commercial aircraft have to get painted according the airline’s livery. This process can take from 6 to 13 days to complete depending on the type of aircraft. Close immersion in STTS, a specialized group that paints around a hundred aircraft a year.

  • The explosive secrets of ejection seats

    Since their introduction in the 1940’s, ejection seats in fighter plane have saved the lives of many pilots. But just how do they work ? Come take a look.

  • How is a jet engine installed?

    Commercial aircraft engines are very, very heavy. Those found on short-haul planes,for example, weigh on average two metric tonnes, those on long-hauls are four times heavier; but how are they installed?

  • How do you start an airliner ?

    You don’t start a plane like a car, simply because an airliner has no ignition key. To start the engines pilots must follow a strict procedure. Watch the video and read the article to find out how.

  • Shedding light on flight safety instructions

    No matter the destination, before each take-off and landing in an airplane, we should all observe the safety instructions. Some are obvious, but others may be less so. A Europe Airpost purser explains.

  • What is load distribution in an aircraft?

    So that flights can be conducted safely, load distribution in an airplane is essential. Before take-off, pilots have to ensure that the masses on board - luggage, passengers and fuel - are well distributed.

  • This strange shuttlecock hanging off the tail...

    On test aircraft a cable with a cone at the end can be seen hanging from the top of the tail. Deployed in flight, this "trailing cone" is essential for the future commercialization of the plane. Why?

  • Aircraft cockpit: what are all those buttons for?

    They are all over the cockpit, the hundreds of buttons and screens are intriguing, baffling even. Each instrument however has a specific function and position. To demystify the question we visited a development simulator with an Airbus test pilot.

  • Civilian helicopters: heavy or light?

    There are nearly 80 different types of civil helicopters worldwide, but do you know which categories they belong to? In fact, everything depends on the maximum take-off weight. This is a short breakdown.

  • Engine location: below or above the wings?

    Today, most commercial aircraft are equipped with engines under the wings, unlike the 1970’s VFW-Fokker 614, which had them above. For what reasons? We went to find out from engine manufacturer Snecma, a Safran Group subsidiary.


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