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Aircraft Interior Odor  
User currently offlineExitrowaisle From United States of America, joined May 2000, 264 posts, RR: 0
Posted (11 years 1 month 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 2164 times:

I apologize if this has been asked before, but I am really interested if there is a specific answer, and thought airline maintenance folks may know.

Everyone knows that smell right as you board a commercial aircraft, be it turboprop or jet. It's not quite jet fuel, not quite coffee, not quite air freshener. It makes the air feel very "close" and synthetic. Can anyone tell me exactly what that is? Does it have something to do with the pressurized air in the cabin? Or am I really just confused as to what jet fuel smells like? Why does that exact same odor seem to be on every aircraft regardless of airline or type?

14 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineCancidas From Poland, joined Jul 2003, 4112 posts, RR: 11
Reply 1, posted (11 years 1 month 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 2127 times:

all of the obove, mixed together plus other ingreident. try vomit, dirty feet, dirty diapers, rotten food, jet a, 100ll, etc... use your imagination, it's in there! Big grin


"...cannot the kingdom of salvation take me home."
User currently offlineSrbmod From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (11 years 1 month 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 2086 times:

Maybe one of those tree-shaped air fresheners you hang from your rearview mirror should be mandatory equipment on a/c. While we're at it, how about some fuzzy dice, a dancing hula girl, and a bobblehead chihuahua.

User currently offlineCancidas From Poland, joined Jul 2003, 4112 posts, RR: 11
Reply 3, posted (11 years 1 month 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 2066 times:

the tree shaped thingy hangs in one of the planes i rent. funny to see it there. winter pine. ill try to get a pic next time i fly it. Big grin


"...cannot the kingdom of salvation take me home."
User currently offlineDL_Mech From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 1937 posts, RR: 9
Reply 4, posted (11 years 1 month 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 2003 times:

I believe that the dry-cleaning solution used to clean the seat covers has a lot to do with the smell.


This plane is built to withstand anything... except a bad pilot.
User currently offlineWestJetYYZ From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (11 years 1 month 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 1882 times:

I think I've got it down exactly. In no particular order...
- jet fuel
- hydraulic fluid
- stale coffee
- mint chewing gum
- re-circulated air
- lav spray
- leather
- plastic
- cookies/pretzels.

mix all that together... airplane!


User currently offlineAA61hvy From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 13977 posts, RR: 57
Reply 6, posted (11 years 1 month 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 1861 times:

Perfume from the hot F/a's.


Go big or go home
User currently offlineMiami1 From Australia, joined Feb 2001, 706 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (11 years 1 month 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 1860 times:

And body odour from the tech crew!  Smile/happy/getting dizzy



User currently offlineBR715-A1-30 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (11 years 1 month 22 hours ago) and read 1780 times:

Somebody ought to write a letter to SC Johnson Wax, and ask them to produce an air freshener (In the tree form) and call it AIRPLANE. It would smell exactly like an airplane. Who's game to sign a petition  Smile?

User currently offlineFredT From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2002, 2185 posts, RR: 26
Reply 9, posted (11 years 1 month 5 hours ago) and read 1716 times:

Ramp rat sweat. F/As just love it when you leave a puddle of it behind by the galley/fwd cargo in the F50s.  Smile

Just kidding, of course. They were always nice even though they had to stand in it afterwards. Many cans of coke and bottles of Evian were handed out on hot days.

I hear cleaning out the pressurisation valves isn't the nicest job available. Especially not while smoking was still allowed. That, and the shape of air filters, insulation and so on, gives an idea.

Cheers,
Fred



I thought I was doing good trying to avoid those airport hotels... and look at me now.
User currently offlineGoboeing From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 2694 posts, RR: 15
Reply 10, posted (11 years 4 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 1690 times:

I love that smell of a commercial jet.

The aerobatic planes I flew reeked of fuel. I wouldn't be surprised if it had something to do with the 100LL that leaked out of the fuel cap in front of the windshield during the inverted systems check and into the cabin. But, that's just a guess.  Wink/being sarcastic

Nick


User currently offlineCancidas From Poland, joined Jul 2003, 4112 posts, RR: 11
Reply 11, posted (11 years 4 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 1678 times:

BR715-A1-30, i am !


"...cannot the kingdom of salvation take me home."
User currently offlineBR715-A1-30 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (11 years 4 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 1661 times:

http://www.petitiononline.com/Air234/petition.html

The petition is up. I hope everybody signs it.

I kind of got creative with the petition comment.

[Edited 2003-08-06 08:15:12]

User currently offlineUndies737 From Australia, joined Aug 2003, 58 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (11 years 4 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 1622 times:

exitrowaisle,

The protective coating on the compressor blades is what I think is the cause of that smell.
Unfortunately theres not much that can be done as all air for bleed services is tapped off downstream of the compressor, & the fact heat will amplify the fumes/odors.

Jet fuel is kerosene, smells similar to deisel.

Aircond pack uses pressured air from the engine for pressurisation (unlike cars using an electric fan to pump air out the vents).

Its actually a much better system than using a refrigerent type.
In an aircraft, the air is constantly renewed with conditioned, outside air.
Airconds in buildings & vehicles run efficiently cos they are conditioning the already conditioned air (recirc).

Heres a speil of what goes on.

The air leaves (bleed air) the engine diffuser (after compressor stages/immediately before burner section) under pressure @ over 260degreesC.
It is then delivered as is, to the aircond pack/s & other bleed services - ie. ice protection, eng starting.

There aircond pack cools this hot/high pressure air through 2 stages: 1- primary heat exchanger - ram air being the cooling medium, 2- air cycle machine - utilising remaining heat energy of the partially cooled air to spin the turbine (drives a fan to cycle ambient air over heat exchanger), thus cooling the air further.
From here it travel through a water separator, to a mixing chamber (where hot bleed air is added as required to maintain set temp) before being delivered to the cabin as conditioned air.

I guess I got a bit side tracked there, but hope this will give you a better idea of where that odor could be coming from

Cheers

undies737


User currently offlineUndies737 From Australia, joined Aug 2003, 58 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (11 years 4 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 1644 times:

have a look @ this schematic,

http://www.b737.org.uk/schemeaircon400.gif


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