Have you ever wondered how many Londonian airports have been built since the 1900s? Here is one of the best videos I have seen about this topic. It is one of a series produced by the comedian Jay Foreman. Thanks to this great source of information, you can have the answer as well as some fun.

Another interesting video tells us the train options to connect the six London airports to the City of London:

As you can see, it may cost an arm and a leg to travel to London. However, London airport system is the busiest one in the world. It demands a lot of concentration from its air traffic controllers as shown in this previous post:


Here is a remarkable video for training purpose. It is not easy to understand how air traffic is managed at Heathrow airport but this video helps a lot to make out the stakes:
Voici une vidéo remarquable à but pédagogique. Il n’est pas facile de comprendre comment la circulation aérienne est gérée à l’aéroport de Heathrow mais cette vidéo est d’une grande aide pour comprendre les enjeux:

Note that there are four stacks in the vicinity of London. The word « stack » means « holding pattern » here. However, stack can mean another thing in aeronautical and general English. For instance:

Notez qu’il y a quatre « stacks » aux environs de Londres. Le mot « stack » signifie ici « circuit d’attente ». Cependant, stack peut vouloir dire autre chose en anglais aéronautique et général. Par exemple:

  • Stack of folders = Pile de dossiers
  • Smokestack = Cheminée d’usine
  • Hay stack = Botte de foin, meule de foin
  • Radio stack = Equipement radio à bord de l’avion (radio com, radio nav, transponder)
  • Wood stack = Tas de bois
  • Stack up / Stack down = Espacement décalé vers le haut ou vers le bas entre des avions de chasse ou d’acrobaties aérienne
  • Vent stack = Colonne de ventilation
  • To stack = Empiler, entasser
  • Stack = Circuit d’attente dans l’espace aérien londonien pour les avions à destination d’Heathrow

Note that easterly operations match westerly winds, and westerly operations match easterly winds.

Notez que les opérations d’est correspondent aux vents d’ouest, et que les opérations d’ouest correspondent aux vents d’est.


Solid-as-a-rock A380 aircraft struck… by lightning!

It is not uncommon for aircraft to be struck by lightning but this super heavy Emirates Airbus A380 got hit by a jagged bolt of lightning right over the pilot’s seats.

A huge amount of electric energy must have passed through the airframe of the aircraft during its approach at London Heathrow last week. Amazingly the commercial aircraft escaped damage, and nobody was hurt.

Is it any wonder this airplane may sustain such a stress in a clap of thunder? The size and the nature of the A380 airframe seems to be the right solution to such hazards. Thanks to its thick metal structure, the plane behaved as a perfect Faraday cage:

Paris Charles de Gaulle airport running out of de-icing fluid