Symphonik From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 154 posts, RR: 0 Posted (7 years 2 months 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 5564 times:
I just flew US (well, HP) for the first time (SJC->PHX) and on one of their A320's. I have a couple of questions about the bird itself.
1.) On both flights in and out, as the plane pulled away from the gate and throughout the taxi, then for a number of seconds after takeoff, I heard noises from the belly of the beast. It wasn't a continuous sound, rather like someone was down there with a power ratchet, going from bolt to bolt and tightening them. It was fairly constant, maybe one squeak every half-second, then gradually slowed down and faded in volume. It's really hard to type out what it sounded like. What sort of mechanical activity is going on during these portions of the taxi and takeoff?
2.) Some of the windows on the plane had little black triangles over them. They didn't seem to correspond to the location of oxygen canisters/lights/etc in the overhead bins or to exit rows (I was in the row 10 exit and I saw one maybe one or two rows ahead of me). What do these symbols mark?
Thanks for satisfying my curiousity. No complaints about the flight or the crew, everyone was very professional and there were no major hitches (though my PHX->SJC leg was delayed a bit -- the APU was offline and they had to pump air in to get the engine started up). Still, based off that experience I wouldn't have any problem flying US/HP again. The plastic cups for drinks onboard were bigger than what UA gives you.
The two black triangles correspond to the location inside the cabin where the wings meet the fuselage. The area between these two points marks the overwing portion of the cabin space. One triange is placed where the front of the wing meets the fuselage, and the other is placed where the back of the wing meets the fuselage.
[Edited 2006-10-01 23:37:22]
It's an entirely different kind of flying; all together.
Jc2354 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 554 posts, RR: 0 Reply 5, posted (7 years 2 months 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 5392 times:
Yes, the sounds you heard was (basically) the hydraulic systems going through a self-test phase. If you hear it, it's a "good thing". The sound is much more noticeable on the earlier models.
You might also be onboard when they have to do a "system reset" while parked at the gate. Imagine rebooting your computer. Takes about 10-15 minutes to go through every system on the airplane , and you'll hear every noise, ding, warning, every light will go off and on, even the toilets will flush. The flight attendants can also do a cabin only system reset.
As for the black triangles, I believe they are above the windows at row 9 or 10. These window locations indicate the most optimum viewing of the wing and engine areas. Especially during or after de-icing, you might notice one of the pilots looking out of these windows.