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Air planes: Flying wonders

by  Editor Miro Susta

Is the air plane a flying wonder? Yes it is. Just imagine the power behind lifting 577 tons heavy “vehicle” with up to 800 passengers and cargo goods high in to air (Airbus 380) or to fly more than 15’000 kilometres without landing, bringing up to 300 passengers and cargo to final destination within 17 hours (Boeing 777ER; Perth-London).

“Colorful Landing” by Leif Løndal

From historical point of view, humans have been investigating and developing many kinds of machines in order to make the transportation easier, more efficient and faster.

Today we have many options of transportation such as trains, ships, road vehicles and air planes. They enable to move things and people around the world in more efficient way and much faster.

From all of these options of transportation, the air plane is one of the most important transportation “vehicle”. The air plane has changed the world in many ways, by increasing the speed & safety of travel, improving international business and making the world more connected and globalized.


“Fly over” by Marc Pelissier

Before viewing selected air plane photographs which I have discovered in 1x photo gallery I wish to ask you “what would life be our life like if the air plane never existed?”

A creepy question indeed. But the simple answer is:-

  • it would take days, weeks and months to reach places instead of hours,
  • we would be far back in terms of technology, because of the advanced computer technology developed along with the air plane engineering would not be fully available to us,
  • the war and it result might be completely different without air planes,
  • finally, the beauty and joy of flight would only be experienced by the birds, would not be able to take all the beautiful aerial photographs from the air plane. 
    See also older 1x article: 
    The World from Above – Photographing from commercial air plane and the dream of flight would remain just that, a dream.

Window view” by Miro Susta

“Above LAX” by Andreas Agazzi

 “Fly away” by Stefan Kierek

Up and Down” by Nadav Jonas

“Just(in) a Bieber Party!” by Carlos Resende

“Fly to the moon” by Miro Susta

“Setting off” by Comyu Matsuoka


“Flying into History” by Andrew J. Lee

“MS-Bretagne” by José Fangueiro

“Space Travel” by Sebastian-Alexander Stamatis

“Entertainment High in the Sky” by Miro Susta

“On the same wave length” by Rafaël Molia

“particle accelerator” by Udo Dittmann


“Full power Tiger” by Luis Andre Pereira Diogo

“Red Arrows in a grey sky” by Peter Walmsley

“Swiss & Himalayas” by Miro Susta

“Next Flight” by Yoshihiko Wada

“Landing in Leh” by Krishnaraj Palaniswamy


“Aerial Conjugation” by Bong Manayon

“Burning Sky” by Miro Susta

“City hoppers” by Adrian Sommeling

“Night landing” by Ander Aguirre

Following some few interesting facts about airplanes & airports.

The largest and heaviest air plane in the world is the Antonov An-225 cargo air plane, is powered by six turbofan engines with an approximate weight of 640 tons. It is 84 meters long with cargo capacity of 250 tons.

Fastest currently in operation commercial large air plane is the Boeing 747-8i known as the 747-8 Intercontinental. It is the largest air plane of the 747 family. It has a cruising speed of 1’026 km/hour (Mach 0.86)

With a clocked speed of 4’176 km/hour (Mach 3.5), the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird is the fastest jet in the world. This military air plane was designed for surveying enemy territory at highest speeds and high altitudes for intercept by surface-to-air missiles or fighter aircraft.

Aerospatiale/BAC Concorde supersonic passenger air plane was historically the fastest commercially operated passenger air plane. It had a maximum speed of 2’430 km/hour (Mach 2.04). It took 2 hours and 56 minutes to fly from New York to London. It entered service in 1976 and continued flying for the next 27 years.

“Last Flight from JFK” by Peter Davidson

The Airbus A380 a double-deck, wide-body, four-engine jet air plane is the world's largest  passenger air plane, 72.72 m long, 24.09 m high, 79.75 m wingspan, with 577 tons take-off weight.


Ready for landing” by Miro Susta

To date the longest commercial air plane non-stop flights are the first regularly scheduled commercial flight linking Australia and Europe, Qantas Airways flight from Perth to London (Boeing 787-9) and the Qatar Airways flight from Doha to Auckland (Boeing 777-200LR); both 14’500 km long with around 17 hours flying time.

Longest upcoming scheduled non-stop flight is planned by Singapore Airlines from Singapore to New York, 16’100 km long, 18 hours flying time (Airbus A350-900). Scheduled commencement date is end of 2018.

The world’s largest runway is in Tibet, China at the Qamdo Bamba Airport at an elevation of 4’334 meters above sea level. It is 5’500 meters in length.

At 4,411 meters above sea level, Daocheng Yading (Tibet, China) is the world’s highest civilian airport, surpassing the previous record holder Qamdo Bamba Airport at 4,334m.

Travelling by air plane there is a one-in-15,000,000 chance of being involved in a plane crash. According to the World Health Organisation worldwide there are around 1.24 million road deaths every year.

Established in 1919, the Dutch KLM is the world’s oldest airline following by Australian Qantas (founded in 1920).

Escort evidence” by M. Hülsbusch

10,000th model of the Boeing 737 left factory in Renton, Washington, USA, The Boeing 737 has broken the Guinness World Records title for the most produced commercial jet aircraft model.

First scheduled commercial airline flight started 1 January 1914 for the USA St. Petersburg-Tampa Airboat Line.

First commercial jet air plane was the four-engine Havilland DH6 Comet aircraft. It took the first flight with 36 passengers from London to Johannesburg on May 2, 1952.

Worldwide there are more than 100’000 air planes in the sky every day.
The Tenerife Los Rodeos Airport on the Canary Island in Spain airport disaster, which occurred on March 27, 1977, remains the deadliest accident in which 583 people have been killed when a KLM Boeing 747 attempted to take off without flight clearance, and collided with a taxiing Pan Am Boeing 747.

Shortest commercial international flight is from St. Gallen-Altenrhein in Switzerland to Friedrichshafen in Germany. The 20 kilometre flight over Lake Constance takes just 8 minutes. It is served by People's Viennaline, a small Austrian airline using Embraer regional jets.

The Aviation Safety Network has revealed that year 2017 was the safest year in aviation history.

“Rough landing” by John Crux

Don’t be afraid to take a short or long journey with an air plane.
And do not forget to capture beautiful aerial photos through the air plane window!

“The Pan-American Highway” by Franco Farinati

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A great tribute to aviation, wonderful photos and interesting facts about the history written so far including an outlook to what comes next. I was on a nonstop flight with Singapore Airlines, from Newark to Singapore with an Airbus A340-500; from take-off until landing recorded time: 18h57. This route is until today the longest that has been flown reguarely nonstop. Operation has been ceased some time later but is planned to be offered again once the airline receives the new Airbus A350 for ultra long flights. Thanks so much Miro and Yvette for your work, great documentation! Andy
Andreas many thanks for interesting comments and for your appreciation. Singapore Airlines will resume scheduled flights from SIN to NY by end of this year, using AB350-900.
Wonderful series, fantastic images, congrats Miro !!!
Many thanks Thierry.
I love this, both images and facts, thanks. I recently took the 17-hr flight from Perth to London and back - a test of endurance, but a piece of aviation history. Commercial aviation is something that is astonishingly complex on many levels, yet we manage to make it work so well.
Steve, many thanks for your comments. Last week I was flying over North Pole from Toronto to Hong Kong (16 hours) with beautiful view of the frozen landscape around NP. I created a photo article about crossing the arctic zone. I hope that it will be published soon. Don't miss it.
Thanks a lot Miro for that great article and for the honor to have one picture selected to illustrate it. I thought it was my last picture from Red bull air race in Cannes selected ;-) but prefer the one you selected. I love the selection you did with very diverse and great illustration, some fun, some technics, some aesthetic, some history !
Many thanks Marc for your nice comment, I am glad to see that you like the articles. You have great photo gallery.
An informative and well-written article with a great collection of photographs !!
Thank you Rana.
Fantastiche! Complimenti a tutti.
Grazie mille Massimo
Great article, gorgeous photographs! Congrats to all and many thanks to Miro for this fine and interesting report. Cheers, Yvette
Thank you very much Yvette.