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It Takes Only Ten Minutes to Clean Aircraft Between Flights

Many people may not realize that the aircraft actually does get cleaned between flights, and they may wonder how it happens when there’s so little time from when the passengers disembark, to when the next set of passengers must board for the next flight. Apparently the cleaning of an aircraft is a fast and productive process. Usually passengers will never see the cleaning crew before or after their flights. Still, it’s good to know that some effort is put into it.

People can be messy. Most of us have seen a movie theater after the movie is over, and it’s pretty much what happens on the aircraft too. Potato chip and cookies crumbs will be all over the seats, floor, and even in the magazine pouch of the seat. The seat belts will be in disarray. Blankets, pillows, and magazines may be out of place, and the lavatories will be disgusting. Trash will be everywhere. The galley will be a complete mess. It must be good for the flight crew to know that someone else will clean it up.

According to the best vacuum cleaner portal it only takes ten minutes for the cleaning crew to get the aircraft back to sparkling new again. And generally, it’s a cleaning crew of only four people. How is it possible that only four people can clean an entire aircraft in ten minutes?

That ten minutes is usually the time involved to unload an aircraft, and then allow the next set of passengers aboard. During this time, the cleaners hop onboard and work their magic.

This team of cleaners is often already onboard before the passengers are unloaded, and they stay on until they’re done, which may mean when passengers are already boarding. But you will never see them.

One company responsible for aircraft cleaning services at West Palm Beach International Airport in Florida is called JetStream Ground Services. This is the company who is responsible for cleaning every United plane that arrives at PBI airport.

To understand how the process works, it’s best to break the process down into understandable components. On one plane from Newark, the United Airbus A319 was being prepped for cleaning. JetStream keeps a large room full of cleaning supplies needed to clean the aircraft right below the gate.


As soon as the aircraft has landed, the four person cleaning crew is ready and in place. They’ll watch as the aircraft parks at the gate and see the jet bridge moved into position. The cleaning crew will wait patiently near the door of the jet bridge waiting for the passengers to unload.

Most people who’ve arrived at their destination are eager to disembark. Few ever have a look around as they get off a plane, as they’re eager to head to their next destination. This is why you never seen the cleaning crew, though they’re there.

You know how the first class cabin can always disembark first? After this happens one of the cleaning crew will slip onboard to begin cleaning.

Once all the passengers are off the plane the rest of the cleaning crew will board. This is when the ten minute countdown begins. Half the crew begin at the front of the plane, while the other half begin at the back.plane_vacuum

To further complicate matters they’ll have the onboard flight crew exiting, while the new flight crew boards. The cleaning crew may also have to contend with issues such as the video screens dropping down, which can make cleaning much more difficult.

During the cleaning process each bag of trash will be hauled off the plane one by one. The cleaning crew will also arrange the seat belts in a welcoming manner for the next passenger. The lavatories will also be fully cleaned, garbage emptied, and the toilets emptied. Apparently the employees of Jetstream prefer the Airbus over the Boeing, because there is a gauge that says when the fluid pump for the lavatory has been done.

The employees will also give the plane a good vacuuming. And in just ten minutes, the plane will be completely cleaned, and ready to hand back over to the flight crew. The cleaning crew will walk back down the jet bridge stairs and back to their cleaning headquarters to get ready for the next flight.

The next round of passengers will never see this crew. While the Airbus A319 is a modestly sized aircraft, they must clean other jets that are much larger in the same amount of time. The JetStream company may clean up to 300 different aircraft in one day.

Did you know that the more trash you toss around the plane, the longer it will take your cleaning crew? That means delayed flights. After your next flight, help them out a bit and carry out your own trash.

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The History of Aviation

Aviation has had a long interesting history, from when the first kite was invented in China around the 5th century BC, to today’s attempts by Space X to build a rocket to Mars.

Humans donning flying wings has ended in many tragedies. Men have tried to jump from towers wearing winged contraptions, but since they did not understand life, stability, or control, they failed. It’s believed that around the 6th century in China and Japan, there were man-carrying kites for civil, military, and punishment purposes.

Hot air balloons were also designed by the Chinese around the 3rd century BC. Originally, these were smaller lanterns that merely held lights for festivals. There is still one example of the oldest exist flying device for humans in a Vienna museum. It consists of a white circular balloon and blue basket that were constructed in 1796. These hot air balloons were successful in the 18th century due to the discovery of hydrogen gas, and the hot air balloon.


One of the first airships was designed in France. It was unmanned, and flew around the Eiffel Tower for 23 minutes, with the use of an electric motor. The downfall of earlier airships was that they were merely toys, and too frail for human flight. The Germans solved this problem in 1899 with the building of the first Zeppelin. It was 420 feet long, and it was powered by two Daimler engines. It was balanced by a weight between two nacelles. Its first flight was only 18 minutes, as the balancing weight broke. Airships were used in both WWI and WWII. They are still flown on a limited basis today, usually for promotion, after the invention of airplanes and jets.

Sir George Cayley has been called the “father of the aeroplane”. He was able to understand the principles of aircraft that were “heavier than air”. He studied the physics of flight, and went on to design the first heavier-than-air aircraft. He went on to successfully design a governable parachute, which first carried an aviator across Brompton Dale in 1853.


It’s no surprise that during the age of steam, many inventors harnessed the power of an aerial steam carriage to get people into the air. Many of these were merely for show but Alphonse Penaud was a Frenchman who created a monoplane in 1871 that he was able to successfully fly for a distance of 130 feet.

Perhaps gliders were a more successful invention, harnessing merely the air currents and requiring no engine. In the late 1890s, Percy Pilcher flew several gliders successfully. Samuel Franklin Cody in England was also a pioneer of manned kite flying.

The Wright Brothers advanced flight technology by solving some of the problems of flight control. They invented a wing warping for roll control, and a simultaneous yaw control with steerable rear rudder. They also designed and built a low powered internal combustion engine. One of the most famous flight photos is of Orville Wright who flew a plane up to 120 feet in twelve seconds. Wilbur Wright also flew 852 feet in 59 seconds.


Airplanes were used extensively in WWI from 1914 to 1918. After WWI ended, there were some major advancements in aircraft technology. They evolved from low powered biplanes to sleek high powered planes made from aluminum. WWII saw much more advanced aircraft and directional rockets for small targets. Helicopters were added to these aircraft advances.


The first commercial jetliner flew on July 27, 1949, and ensured the success of passenger flights into the 21st century. Space flight became a reality in the 1960s. In 2015, André Borschberg flew the first solar powered aircraft. It will be exciting to see what advances are made in aircraft and spacecraft over the next decade. Is it possible to fly humans to Mars?

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