44 The Interdisciplinarity of Flight

Lyndsey Bradley

Mikey Sampson, Plymouth State IDS Major

This short post by Lyndsey Bradley breaks down the common and almost forgettable aspects that go into every flight. On a bright summer day, you are bound to catch yourself staring into the sky at a plane passing by. To you and many others, it is just a simple plane going to land at a local airport, but for many others, there are a lot of steps to the process.

A flight takes disciplines from science, physics, business, communication and many more. The article explains how each of these becomes a process to a flight. Flights are one of the most multidisciplinary businesses on the planet. From the moment you step into an airport, you are dealing with security and safety. This then tags on the process of your tickets. Plane tickets are advertised all over the Internet. In order to provide the most comfort and safety for a costumer, process must be taken from all different disciplines.

Before reading this article I never knew how much work really goes into a simple flight. I enjoyed reading this article because Lyndsey made it simple and clear on how each discipline goes into each process of a flight.

The Interdisciplinarity of Flight
Lyndsey Bradley, Plymouth State University IDS Major

Flights. Something that most of us love to hate. Making life much more convenient, but can also be painful and scary. Flights are a prime example of what interdisciplinary is. You don’t just appear in the sky, there are tons of details that go into flying that many people don’t even realize.

Lyndsey at the airport, getting picked up after a trip to the Dominican Republic
Lyndsey at the airport, getting picked up after a trip to the Dominican Republic

First of all, when you are on a plane, you are 40,000 FEET IN THE AIR. How is this possible? Science! Physics to be exact. It took humans a long time to figure this out, but there is tons of science and math that needs to be done in order to have people soaring through the sky.

And of course engineering. Planes are not random parts put together; there are tons of planning that goes into them. And every single piece that is put on a plane is put there for a reason. They are designed for safety, efficiency, and to some extent comfort. A plane is designed to try and allow people to land safely in the event of a crash, whether is be land or water. Efficiency of speed, money, comfort and design is important as well. And one of the least important factors is comfort. As anyone who has been on a flight can agree, flights have somewhat comfortable seats, but since they cannot recline very much, and since there is not much personal space, it is hard to be comfortable on a flight that is 5 or more hours long. But hey, as long as we get there in one piece.

Business. Flying people around the world is a huge business, and there is a large market. There is tons of advertising, price competition, sales, customer service; the list goes on and on. There are many employees behind the scenes that deal with the planning and logistics that customers don’t realize.

Another necessary discipline that airlines have is communications. An airport would be a disaster if there was not an efficient way for all different departments to be able to communicate with each other, as well as with the customers. Anyone that has ever been to an airport knows at first glance, it can be overwhelming. But once you are able to understand how everything comes together, is it not difficult at all to find the information that you are looking for.

Overall, it takes many different disciplines in order to successfully fly a group of people around the world. As customers, do not put much thought into how, or why everything works, we are only concerned with getting to our final destinations. Hopefully this does not make your next trip to the airport even more overwhelming than it ordinarily would be.


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The Interdisciplinarity of Flight Copyright © 2016 by Lyndsey Bradley is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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