Dawn chasing us
Cruising at just over Mach 0.84 (600 mph at over 11,500 m/37,000 ft) the Airbus A340-642 is racing towards London as fast as it can (somewhere over Germany)....to escape the break of dawn which is behind us (over Asia/Eastern Europe). When you look out of the window you can't help but wonder...is it really minus 55 degrees Celsius just outside of this window?, and are we really travelling at 600 mph?! (the aluminium skin that surrounds the body of a modern Airbus or Boeing aircraft, and one that helps to keep passengers ALIVE is less than 2mm thick!).
Every passenger jet is a travelling life support system - it's a hostile environment. Carrying inside it the highly pressurized oxygen that keeps us alive. God forbid if it ever escapes, a simple flight can become a living nightmare. It goes without saying that many passengers take air travel absolutely for granted. The reality is that the jet-stream outside would kill you almost immediately. Thankfully, airplane designers have learnt from tragic accidents in the past to make sure that the aircraft fuselage of modern aircraft is as sophisticated and comfortable as possible.
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