fun facts about planes

10 Fun Facts About Planes & Commercial Air Travel History

Did you know that the new year marks 104 years since the first scheduled commercial flight took off? It wasn’t quite the same experience airline passengers are used to today and the travel distance was much shorter, but it paved the way for transcontinental flights. honor this amazing accomplishment, we’ve put together 10 fun facts about planes and their history for you to enjoy. From the first flights to modern luxury airlines, these fun facts about planes will blow your mind!


  1. The first commercial flight occurred thanks to the St. Petersburg-Tampa Airboat Line which used an aircraft that could take off and land on the water. It only flew 50 feet above the water and travelled approximately 21 miles from St. Petersburg, Florida across the Tampa Bay, landing in Tampa, Florida 23 minutes later. This flight was only available for roughly 4 months but carried more than1,200 passengers who otherwise would have spent up to 12 hours traveling from St. Petersburg to Tampa via train or steamship.
  2. Delivering the mail via airplanes also greatly influenced commercial airlines. This lead government agencies to establish safe airways, safe aircrafts, and licensed pilots. Ultimately through the Air Mail Act of 1925, the Post Office worked with private contractors to deliver airmail which rapidly increased technological advancements in airplanes. So yes, the Post Office did help commercial airlines in their development.
  3. Aeromarine West Indies Airways, later called just Aeromarine Airways, was the first airline to offer U.S. international passenger service. The flights were from Key West, Florida to Havana, Cuba.
  4. The first non-stop transatlantic flight was the Focke-Wulf 200 operated by Lufthansa. It took off in Berlin and landed in Brooklyn 25 hours later.
  5. In 1938, Boeing was the first to offer a pressurized cabin for a scheduled commercial flight. This allowed the plane to cruise at altitudes of 20,000 feet to fly above bad weather instead of through it.
  6. Speaking of bad weather, airplanes are designed to endure lighting strikes with no serious side effects. Similar to a car, the lightning travels through the outer body of the plane and then exits back out into the air around it.
  7. Flying used to be a very personal experience with free full meals provided to passengers in economy. However, as flying became one of the most popular modes of transportation, this service was phased out which help cut costs for the airline.
  8. Pilots and copilots often eat different meals to avoid any potential food related illnesses during their flights.
  9. Pilots and air traffic controllers are required to speak English in order to be considered for the job.
  10. Commercial jets fly at roughly 580 miles per hour.


Next time you’re at the airport, you can use these fun facts about airplanes as talking points with fellow passengers! Whether you travel in economy or first class, remember that you’ll need the right ID to get through the TSA check point. For some states, that means you’ll need a Real ID license. To learn more about which states have Real ID licenses and which ones are approved for extensions, you can read our guide here. For any of your personal document needs in order to update your license, visit us at

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