The lifesaving plane fittings you’ve never noticed
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MILLIONS jet away on a plane for their holidays but few stop to notice the discreet (but vital) parts of the planes that keep passengers safe.
From the hooks on the plane wings to mysterious black triangles on the walls, these are the most important parts of the plane and what they are used for.
Tiny holes in plane windows
Even frequent flyers might not have noticed that there are tiny holes on plane windows.
Luckily, there’s a very simple explanation and the holes are there on purpose.
The strange design helps the aircraft to withstand the changing air pressure outside.
Even though it may look like there’s a hole, the small gap doesn’t go through the entire pane.
Each window is made up of three different acrylic layers, and it’s only the middle one that contains the breather hole.
The small gap helps to regulate the high pressure environment on the plane, making the experience far more comfortable for passengers.
Black triangles on the wall
Keen-eyed passengers may notice tiny black triangles on the walls of their plane.
These indicate the position from which the wings can best be seen by staff from inside the aircraft.
They can then quickly check the position of the flaps or slats if required from the appropriate window.
Taking a picture of the plane wing above stunning scenery is popular for travellers.
But have you noticed there are tiny yellow hooks on the wing?
These are used to help staff evacuations over the wing and are used to secure and tether life rafts to the plane.
Passengers walk across the wing using ropes attached to the hooks in emergencies.
Handles by the exit
Many people peer nervously at the handles on exit doors, but have you spotted another set right next to them?
These are used to help staff hold onto the plane when manning the exit during evacuations.
The thought was that panicked passengers could push staff down the slide if they were rushing to escape.
Axe in the cock pit
Nearly all cockpits have an axe in them, but what is the reason?
According to retired airline captain Anas Maaz, who revealed on Quora, it is in case of fire.
“It is a firefighting device used to cut away cockpit panels and other aircraft areas if a fire develops inside them.
“The cutting allows the fire to be exposed, making it easier to aim the extinguishers to kill the fire off.”
Ashtrays in plane toilets
Ever wondered why modern planes still have an ashtray, even though smoking is banned?
It seems an unnecessary addition given people are no longer allowed to light up mid-flight.
But there’s actually a very credible explanation.
What if a sneaky passenger decided to try and have a cheeky cigarette in the toilet? They would need somewhere to dispose of the lit butt, and that place has to be safe.
“Regardless of whether smoking is allowed in any other part of the aeroplane, lavatories must have self-contained, removable ashtrays located conspicuously on or near the entry side of each lavatory door,” the US Code of Federal Regulations reads.
This article originally appeared in The Sun and was republished here with permission.