In 1969, 17 year old Cuban, Armando Socarras Ramirez survived hiding in the right wheel well of a Douglas DC-8 on an eight-hour flight from Havana to Madrid. Upon landing he was found on the ground covered in ice and not breathing, Dubbed ”the popsicle” by Spanish doctors, he recovered fully.
The 747 airliner has a hump because Boeing was convinced that future supersonic aircraft would eventually make it obsolete as a passenger plane. The raised cockpit allowed for a hinged nose so the 747 could continue being marketable as a cargo carrier. Today, the 747 as a passenger plane is steadily replaced by twin-engine aircrafts as they are more efficient. However, fuel efficiency isn’t such a big concern for cargo and therefore, the 747 is very popular as a cargo plane.
In 1967 a Munich resident Helmut G. Winter built a catapult to launch Bavarian potato dumplings at noisy planes flying over his house forcing the West German Luftwaffe pilots to concede defeat and change their flight path.
The first non-stop transatlantic flight happened in 1919. A modified WWI bomber with an open cockpit took off from Newfoundland, Canada with a crew of two. They almost spiraled into the ocean twice in heavy fog, had to climb onto the wings to clear ice, and landed in a bog in Connemara, Ireland.
Concorde flew so high passengers received twice the dose of radiation from flying in a conventional aircraft, which was believed to increase cancer risk. The flight deck contained a radiometer so they could descend in case of a solar storm.
Between 1956 and 1972 Goodyear worked on an inflatable rescue plane for the US military. Despite being fully airworthy, the project was abandoned when the military didn’t order such planes.
The F-82 “Twin Mustang” fighter plane, designed to escort bombers thousands of miles to Tokyo, was literally two P-51 Mustangs joined at the wing. Both cockpits were fully functional, so one pilot could sleep while the other flew the plane on missions that could last up to 12 hours.
The cargo hold of the largest plane in service, the Antonov An-225 Mriya, is longer than the first flight taken by the Wright brothers.
On one of its first test flights, the Boeing 787 spent 19 hours and 2/3rds of the United States drawing the number 787 and the Boeing logo.