The Online Library of Knowledge



An airliner in flightAn airliner in flight An airliner is a large aeroplane that transports passengers from one airport to another. It is designed to fly long distances without refuelling. An airliner’s engines, usually turbofan jet engines, are encased in pods often fixed to the underside of each wing. The fuel used by an airliner is stored inside each wing. The framework is covered with a very thin metal skin. Airliners have a large fuselage inside which the passengers, crew and baggage travel. The space where baggage is stored, the cargo bin or hold, is separate from the passenger cabin. The largest airliners, known as wide-bodies, have two aisles inside the passenger cabin. The Boeing 747 jumbo jet and the A380 are wide-bodies.

Preparation for take-off

A cutaway illustration of an Airbus A380 airlinerA cutaway illustration of an Airbus A380 airlinerBefore an airliner takes off, the ground crew gets to work. The aircraft is refuelled from a tanker, while firefighters stand by. Various vehicles arrive to replenish food, drinks and water supplies. Lavatories are refilled with water and disinfectant.

Luggage checked in at the airport terminal is carried by moving belt to the bag room. Here it is placed in containers and taken to the aircraft for loading by baggage handlers. The containers are loaded aboard using a loading platform that can be raised up to the level of the hold. Following last-minute checks to the airliner’s instruments and controls, it is ready for take-off.

Inside the passenger cabin of an airlinerInside the passenger cabin of an airliner


When flying at high altitudes, say, 12,500 m (41,000 ft), there is a danger of ice building up on the outside of an aircraft. In modern airliners, sensors detect the presence of ice and heat from the engines is used to clear it.

© 2020 Q-files Ltd. All rights reserved. Switch to Mobile