Aviation facts to save the day

If you’re travelling solo this summer, the likelihood is that you’ll find yourself waiting in long queues for check-in, doing some more waiting before boarding, and thinking how great it would be if you had something remotely clever to say to the interesting-looking traveller sitting just across from you.

If you don’t have the gift of gab, by the time you think of a good opening line, the interesting-looking traveller will probably be engrossed in a delightful chat with one of those people who have the annoying yet enviable ability of making conversation with absolutely anyone.

This leaves you with the very exciting prospect of resuming your hunt for rare Pokémon all over the airport terminal until you get called to your gate. While this kills the time, interaction with another human being is possibly a better way of making time go by faster.

We’re arming you with some aviation-related facts that can be handy conversation starters and equally handy if conversation runs dry, which is very probable considering that you lose around 1.5 litres of bodily water during a three-hour flight!

  • Food tastes different in the sky

Studies have shown that the low pressure and lack of humidity in the plane cabin affect our sense of smell, as well as our taste buds’ sensitivity to sweetness and saltiness, with the result that food tastes somewhat bland.

  • Different meals

Pilots and co-pilots are required to eat different in-flight meals in case of food poisoning.

  • Monsieur Mangetout

Monsieur who? Frenchman, Michael Lotito better known as Monsieur Mangetout (Mr Eat Everything) managed to eat a Cessna 150 plane over the course of two years. His appetite for non-foods stemmed from an eating disorder known as pica.

  • Oldest airline

Founded in 1919, KLM is the oldest airline still flying under its original name.

  • The Wright Brothers

Before experimenting with gliders and flying the first aeroplane in 1903, the Wright brothers were into the bicycle manufacture business.

  • Women in aviation

The first woman to get her pilot’s license in America was Harriet Quimby in 1911.

  • Sky Babies

The issue of nationality in case your unborn baby makes the inconvenient decision to pop out in mid-air is a bit murky. One of the options is that the baby takes the nationality of the country the aircraft is registered in!

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