What those signs and symbols at an airport runway actually mean...

By David Flynn, May 20 2014

Did you ever catch yourself looking out through the window of an airplane as it trundles around the runway, before take-off or after landing, and wondering what all those signs, lights and symbols dotting the runway mean?

The Way to Go: Moving By Sea, Land, and Air is a new book which uses gorgeous graphics and clear, simple, language to explain the infrastructure and engineering that lies behind everyday life.

Here are some excerpts from the chapter on air travel.

Runways

Airport approaches

Air traffic control

The 'black box'

"Exploring our incredible interconnected world is the task of Kate Ascher’s The Way to Go: Moving By Sea, Land, and Air. Lusciously illustrated and meticulously researched, The Way to Go reveals the highly complex and largely invisible network of global transportation."

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David

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 2221

What I want to know is this: why is the sound of luggage rolling over the step-plate of an escalator or travellator so utterly magical?

:P

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

10 Jan 2012

Total posts 253

It's enough to put you into a trance. Especially after a long haul flight! But by far the greatest sound is that of a 77W spooling up while crossing the piano keys.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 2221

I love how the Qantas A330-300s engines have a noticeable change in sound when they reduce thrust after the main takeoff and climb-out. Their all-out takeoff run also sounds amazing.

Another great sound when flying is that split second of eerie silence between the engines cutting out and the main landing gear hitting the runway (and then obviously the roar of reverse thrust).

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 May 2013

Total posts 33

First time on A330 was leaving Mumbai some years ago; the reduction in noise was VERY noticable to the point where I thought the engines had failed climbing out over downtown Mumbai! Not a more happier bunny than me when the usual but reduced engine roar came back

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 2221

It definitely takes some getting used to!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1136

GE90-115B startup = best sound in the whole world.

25 Feb 2013

Total posts 59

Aargh! It's aeroplane, not airplane! If you're going to get foreign contributors, at least make them write (or edit) according to local style!

Quite.

Whatever next? They're going to start calling aerodromes, airports?

Heavens! 

:p :p

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 2221

Here we go! :P

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

14 Jan 2014

Total posts 286

Clutching pearls at the thought of it...

12 Oct 2011

Total posts 23

hahah I'd normally agree but if you read the article, you'll find that this is an exceprt from another publication. It's not something written for AusBT.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1136

Call them aircraft.  Problem solved.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 2221

Crafty.


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