Rode Some Planes


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:

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.

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  1. #1 Dan
    November 6, 2010

    Embraer stands for Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica. As far as I (and Wikpedia) know, all their planes are assembled in Brazil.

  2. #2 trajan23
    November 6, 2010

    December 17,1903:Wright Bros. make first flight.
    July 20, 1969:First men land on the Moon.

    As you said, pretty amazing.

    Way, Way off topic, but given your interest in Lovecraft, have you been listening to the BBC Radio adaptation of AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS that started on November 1st?They’re doing the whole book in 8 half hour installments.

  3. #3 John
    November 6, 2010

    The dirty water that might drip from the wings can include jet fuel, which can come down in a big splash.

  4. #4 Martin R
    November 7, 2010

    Dan, thanks for the correction.

    Trajan, I was not aware of the BBC Locecraft thing. I see that it’s streamable on-line! I’d like to get some mp3s though.

  5. #5 Jonathan Jarrett
    November 8, 2010

    Those Embraers are what do the run from Chicago to Kalamazoo, smallest aircraft I’ve ever been on where I wasn’t on one of the sets of controls 🙂 I banged my head a lot, you must have suffered far worse.

    On another note of coincidence I spent most of Saturday listening to the band H. P. Lovecraft and especially their song `Mountains of Madness’, so I think we are all very well attuned at this time.

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