exitrowaisle
Posts: 236
Joined: Sat May 06, 2000 2:32 am

Aircraft Interior Odor

Sun Aug 03, 2003 8:34 am

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?
 
cancidas
Posts: 3985
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2003 7:34 am

RE: Aircraft Interior Odor

Sun Aug 03, 2003 8:50 am

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."
 
srbmod
Posts: 15446
Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2001 1:32 pm

RE: Aircraft Interior Odor

Sun Aug 03, 2003 9:39 am

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.
 
cancidas
Posts: 3985
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2003 7:34 am

RE: Aircraft Interior Odor

Sun Aug 03, 2003 9:41 am

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 avatar
DL_Mech
Posts: 2069
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2000 7:48 am

RE: Aircraft Interior Odor

Sun Aug 03, 2003 10:41 am

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.
 
Guest

RE: Aircraft Interior Odor

Mon Aug 04, 2003 10:47 am

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!
 
aa61hvy
Posts: 13021
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 1999 9:21 am

RE: Aircraft Interior Odor

Mon Aug 04, 2003 12:54 pm

Perfume from the hot F/a's.
Go big or go home
 
miami1
Posts: 652
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2001 10:31 pm

RE: Aircraft Interior Odor

Mon Aug 04, 2003 12:59 pm

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

 
BR715-A1-30
Posts: 6525
Joined: Thu May 30, 2002 9:30 am

RE: Aircraft Interior Odor

Tue Aug 05, 2003 3:57 am

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?
Puhdiddle
 
FredT
Posts: 2166
Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2002 9:51 pm

RE: Aircraft Interior Odor

Tue Aug 05, 2003 9:01 pm

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.
 
goboeing
Posts: 2429
Joined: Mon Jun 05, 2000 5:31 am

RE: Aircraft Interior Odor

Wed Aug 06, 2003 10:32 am

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
 
cancidas
Posts: 3985
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2003 7:34 am

RE: Aircraft Interior Odor

Wed Aug 06, 2003 12:00 pm

BR715-A1-30, i am !
"...cannot the kingdom of salvation take me home."
 
BR715-A1-30
Posts: 6525
Joined: Thu May 30, 2002 9:30 am

RE: Aircraft Interior Odor

Wed Aug 06, 2003 3:13 pm

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]
Puhdiddle
 
undies737
Posts: 58
Joined: Wed Aug 06, 2003 11:21 pm

RE: Aircraft Interior Odor

Thu Aug 07, 2003 12:40 am

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
 
undies737
Posts: 58
Joined: Wed Aug 06, 2003 11:21 pm

RE: Aircraft Interior Odor

Thu Aug 07, 2003 12:44 am

have a look @ this schematic,

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

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