While you're waiting for your flight at the boarding gate, at some point, you probably look out the window to check your plane. Can we all agree that there's something oddly comforting about seeing a large plane waiting for you? For some reason, it just looks safer.
Plus, when you're up in the air in a smaller plane, you just feel every lift and dip. And most people erroneously chalk it up to the pilot's skills, but Captain John Cox says, "Pilots can make some difference, but the takeoff procedures are rigid, making pilot differences pretty small."
Instead, here are some reasons why we don't feel as many movements in the sky when we're in a larger plane:
1. Larger planes are obviously heavier.
NASA explains, "How much lift the plane gets depends on the shape, size, and weight of the airplane as well as the speed at which it is moving." Because larger planes are heavier, they accelerate slower, which is why takeoff feels much smoother.
2. The number of engines matters.
Commercial planes run on four engines, in general, while smaller planes only have two. Cox shares, "Large four-engine airplanes climb slower than modern twin jets." He continued, "With a four-engine airplane there are three other engines to provide thrust for the climb, in a twin there is only one. This means that twin jets have a higher power-to-weight ratio than three or four engine jets."
3. The landing gear makes a difference.
Even though it doesn't have a major impact, bigger planes have more tires making it more stable.
4. Your eyes may be tricking you.
Finally, passengers on larger aircrafts feel safer because they "sit higher" or further away from the ground, which makes "the visual sensation less intense." But guess what? Cox reveals that whether you're in a big or small plane, it's more or less the same thing.
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