Last week I rode some planes: Stockholm – Brussels – East Midlands Airport – Brussels – Stockholm – Oslo – Stockholm. Two of the engines involved were kind of fun because of their small size. The movements of EU bureaucrats has created a market for short plane hops anchored in Brussels, and so the cheapest way for the rest of us to move about by air in Western Europe is often to join the briefcase carriers and change planes in Belgium. These were the machines:
- Avro RJ 100 (British, production start 1992, being an upgraded version of a 1983 model)
- Embraer ERJ 135 (
French, production start 1995, pic above)
- Boeing 737-300 (US, production start 1981)
- Boeing 737-800W (US, production start 1994)
If you want to know what model you’re riding, just check the seat-pocket safety folder. Sometimes several similar models are indicated, but the air hostesses will know which one you’re on.
Someone on the Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe podcast recently pointed out that it was only 60 years from the Wright brothers’ first successful flight to the first moon landing. Quite something, huh?
Oh, and I finally got an explanation (don’t know if it’s the whole explanation) for why you’re not allowed to walk beneath the wings of passenger aircraft on the tarmac! A sign told me that it was because dirty water might drip from the wings and soil my clothing. I thought it was to keep insane gamers from tossing toy-soldier goblins into the jet motors.