Please Ex-Plane - Flight Terms Covered

19 May 2015

While travel can be a fun and exciting adventure, some flight terms and questions cause confusion. No longer will weight limits, turbulence and other air-travel occurrences go unexplained. Read on as we 'ex-plane' some common travel industry terminology and clear up any grey areas that might have left you baffled.

Q. Why does baggage have a weight limit?

Airlines impose their own limits on baggage weight according to their fare rules. These vary between airlines and cabin class.

In Australia, Workplace Health & Safety regulations say 32 kilograms is the maximum weight able to be lifted safely by one person. So the maximum weight allowance for all airlines cannot exceed 32 kilograms. While this may be the maximum weight in one bag, you may be able to check-in multiple pieces of baggage depending on your cabin class.

 Check baggage weight rules before you fly. Picture: Getty Images

Q. What does V1 mean?

V1 refers to velocity, or aircraft speed, and is said by a pilot during take-off. The speed at which an aircraft reaches V1, or its safe take-off speed, depends on factors including the type of aircraft, its weight, the ground temperature, altitude of the runway and the slat or flap setting. The pilot uses these to calculate the minimum take-off speed for maximum performance and safety of the aircraft.


Know your limits: Don't Let Extra Baggage Slow You Down

Feeling sporty? Airline Rules For Travelling With Sports Equipment


Q. How fast do supersonic jets fly?

Supersonic means you are flying faster than the speed of sound. The barrier of supersonic speed is 1,236 kilometres per hour (768 miles per hour), or one kilometre every 2.914 seconds (one mile in 4.689 seconds). When you reach this speed, you will hear a sonic boom, which is associated with compression and shock waves.

 Supersonic jets fly faster than the speed of sound. Picture: Getty Images

Q. What causes turbulence?

Most flyers fear turbulence during their flight. Pilots will tell you that turbulence is not dangerous, just an annoying ‘comfort and convenience’ issue. It's caused by a disruption to air movement, such as changes in atmospheric pressure, jet streams, air flow around mountains, when hot and cold weather fronts meet, or thunderstorms.

Aircraft are designed to fly at a steady pace on a pre-selected course. During turbulence, the aircraft computer systems automatically pull the aircraft back to the set course headings without pilots needing to intervene.

Do you have a question you would like ex-planed? Ask us @flightcentreAU with #pleaseexplane

.........................................................................................................................................................

Visit your local Flight Centre or call 131 600 for more advice and the latest travel deals.

.........................................................................................................................................................

Jason Dutton-Smith

I’m a passionate traveller and a first class nomad wannabe. I have a love for the written word and enjoy sharing stories that inspire travel. I like ordinary but love extraordinary. I’ll dance and sing karaoke to anything 80’s, will drink hot tea even if 40 degrees, love food and have a wicked sweet tooth. Architecture excites me, the window seat thrills me and anything aviation enamours me. I’m a perpetual dreamer who lives by Saint Augustine’s wise words – “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page”. My intention is to read War and Peace!