Skip to main content

View Diary: How Airliners Work - Propulsion (191 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  I used to fear flying (13+ / 0-)

    and got sick of it, because I knew intellectually there was little danger but couldn't convince my animal brain.  So I learned as much as I could about how airliners worked, and my fear went away.  I have no idea how empirical facts could turn off my animal fear, but there you go.  

    I recently got to pay it forward by helping out a frightened woman on a flight.  She said she was scared of the engines, of their power, of a fire or explosion.  I explained to her that only about 10% of the thrust comes from the "fire" part.  90% of the thrust, I explained, is from the fans in front which are turned by the power provided by the "fire".   I drew a diagram on a napkin to help out visually.  I told her to think of them as great big household fans, blowing us along.  That calmed her down, and I think she enjoyed the rest of the flight (after I explained why "the back of the wing was falling off"... i.e. the flaps were down for takeoff).  Did I do good, Major Kong?

    I love all of your diaries and find them immensely entertaining and informative.  Thank you for sharing them with us!

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site