Frames, Windows & Doors: Fact File!
Every part of an airplane is important but for us as passengers, probably the most important part is the cabin, where we can sit and sleep.
The cabin is located in the long central tube-shaped body of the plane, called the fuselage. It needs to be very strong – at cruising altitudes the atmosphere surrounding a plane is too thin for passengers and crew to breathe without an oxygen mask.
So like pumping a tyre, air is forced into the fuselage to increase the pressure inside compared to outside. Where it’s also very cold – at least minus 40° on a good day!
All of this pressure means that a fuselage needs to be very strong, and the strongest way is not to have any windows or doors in it! But obviously that’s not that helpful, especially if the plane is going to carry passengers – how will we get on board and see the amazing views!
Airplane doors are known as plug doors – they are designed to seal themselves by taking advantage of pressure difference inside the plane and outside. The higher pressure on one side forces the wedge-shaped door into its socket, making a good seal and preventing it being opened until the pressure is released.
The doors also have large locking mechanisms, to keep passengers safe and comfortable until they’ve arrived at the terminal.
Amy Aviation with support from the Royal Aeronautical Society. Click here to find out more.