Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The Airbus A320

My second flight was on an Airbus A320 with registration VT-ADS owned by Air Deccan. I am a total fan of Airbus and I strongly believe in the engineering superiority of Europe over the USA. Thus I made yet another set of deductions for my second flight and pondered again how many would be correct.

Deductions

The journey on the A320 would be much smoother than the 737. Reason : My belief that European engineering is superior to the Americans.

The plane would be all economy class. Reason : Air Deccan is a low cost carrier.

I could take a lot of pictures inside the aircraft. Reason : No food was served to the passengers and thus the flight attendants would just sit down.

I would be able to see the Anna University Dome. Reason : I knew from observation that all aircraft had full view of the campus during their approach.

Touchdown would be much smoother. Reason : I love Europeans :)

Conclusions

Right I was. The plane was smooth and handled perfectly. In spite of going through clouds very often, there was considerably less shaking than there would have been on a Boeing.

That was a simple one. Air Deccan charges more than Jet yet gives nothing to eat!

Wow I took a lot of photos. Inside the cabin, outside, etc. The plane was only 3/4th full, so I could get 2 windows all to myself.

Not only did I see the dome, I also saw people playing in the AU grounds!

The difference was too small to make out. So Boeing and Airbus stand at the same level :( .


I had also, in my awe-stricken state, forgotten to observe many things about the working of the aircraft during my first flight. For example in both flights I was sitting in full view of the wings and could see the control surfaces moving. It was only during the second flight that I observed a few things about the control surfaces.

The ailerons moved very little during the rolls. This is probably because of their being far from the fuselage on the side.

Flaps with their fairings are used with great efficiency in commercial jets. If not for them the plane could never fly at such low speeds required for landing.

Slats and flaps produce so much noise pollution. Contrary to expectations, about 40% of all the noise from an aircraft is from the slats and flaps. I experienced this first hand. Within the cabin the engine noise could never be heard. But before landing when the slats were deployed I was able to hear the whine of air around it. That must have been a lot of noise outside.

The spoilers or air-brakes are also used efficiently during landing.

I could clearly distinguish a series of sensors on the wings to measure various parameters like temperature, pressures, air-speed, etc.

Some Pictures



The A320 I was on. Registration VT-ADS



The sky looks blacker at 33000 feet.



A packet of chips blown up due to differential pressure.



The sensors that measure some parameters clearly visible.



Close up of a sensor in one of the flap fairings. Click to view large image.



The spoilers deployed to reduce air-speed.



Is the Captain looking at me!? Click to enlarge.

4 comments:

Ritu said...

Hi... Nice post. Im not a technical person..but ur post was interesting. Guess Im gonna fly Airbus on my next flight too... :-)

Srinath S said...

Thanks Ritu!

Mohammed Shahid said...

Hi Srinath, Congrats on the laurels you won in the NASA paper contest. Wrong place to post this, but ToI quotes you saying 'Virgin Atlantic...tested biofuels A380...on 1 engine'. Now is that true ? VA's test was on a B747 while Airbus flew an A380 on GTL fuel.

Srinath S said...

Thanks Mohammed!

You are right... VA tested it on a B747 and not an A380. I don't know how the mistake crept in. I apologize and thanks for pointing it out.