Sign in to follow this  
Guest kdfossum

Smell like an airplane:)

Recommended Posts

This will be last on my plans for my cockpit but lately this has made me wonder.I spend lots of time around aircrafts, and everytime I pass the air outlet of a plane on the ground I notice the distinct smell from inside the cabin. Have you ever noticed the same when flying?Maybe it's the dry air that does it, or maybe it's the type of air filter they use onboard that creates it, but it made me think.We try to replicate all these things to fool our senses and make believe we're inside a real plane when flying. Visual and sound, and perhaps even movement for those who really gets into it.But how about smell?I actually like the smell inside the cabin, and I wonder if I can recreate it for my cockpit. It would certanly add some realism I think.For those of us who have enclosed or plan to enclose our cockpit, it could be a cool thing to do.What is the general thought on this?Just "thinking out loud".Best regards,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Help AVSIM continue to serve you!
Please donate today!

It is a good idea, but remember this: Many times those smells will accumulate over time, or during the thousand of cycles the aircraft experiances. The smell would be fairly indicative of what type of people are onboard most of the time. Example: If the plane carried nothing but professional atheletes, then it will probably have that after shave on top of testosterone (sweat!) smell. If professional golfers, then it would probably smell a lot like cologne. If it's your average airline that carries families across the country, then it will probably smell more like bad gas mixed with spilled food and room deoderizer. You get the idea! The point is, if you build an enclosed flightdeck, then the smell will become mostly like what your house smells like, but with the addition of the smell monitors and PCs give off as they warm up. Speaking of PC's and the sort, many of the sounds that are heard on the flightdeck such as instruments (analog) and airconditioning, and the never ending hum and buzz of electronics is important too. I am sure that the sounds of all the pc's and monitors, and the sort will give your flight deck an ambience all it's own.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really think it's the filters they use in aircraft that creates this certain smell though, probably to prevent all the odors of the different people to take over:) Every aircraft smells the same inside to me, that distinct cabin scent. You only know what I mean if you're around aircrafts alot. Otherwise it's just something you dont notice, but the smell is there, and when you walk onboard an aircraft it's just one of those things that adds up to the experience of flying an airliner.It doesnt matter what type of aircraft we have coming in, or who's onboard. We fly the SF Giants, and their planes smell the same as the ones full of families and small kids coming from Hawaii, which in turn smells the same as every other aircraft we get.The air onboard, has a certain scent to it, and I would like to create that if possible. You dont think Wonder Baum makes Aircraft Scent do you? LOL

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The smell is a combination of things. Mainly its the actual smell of aluminium and the the zinc chromate primer that all aircraft have as well as things like the furnishings.Well thats my theory anyway.My day job is fixing Land Rovers and if on a rare occasion we get a really old Land Rover in and also the old ones that I've owned in the past have a similar smell. Military aircraft and old aircraft seem to have a stronger odour(try inside a DC3 ), less fancy interior trim I would guess. If anyone wants, I'll go inside my Beechcraft sim and bottle you some. Give us a quid and its yours. Plus postage of course !Hmm, could this be a new way to fund my simbuilding ?.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That smell which is the same from Airbus to Boeing, from airline to airline is a characteristic of the airconditioning systems used on airliner aircraft. All airliners use ACM's (air cycle machines)Gary

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I totally think that's what it is, and perhaps the type of filtering. I bet a unit like that would be somewhat pricy though eh? lol. But you know the smell I'm talking about right Gary?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

*VOC*sVolatile Organic Compounds....is the answer. And it is in the seats, carpet and the plastic interior pieces!What people often refer to as the 'New Car Smell' is the same phenomenon. It comes from the manufacturing processes of comstructing plastic and foam components. In cars, the compounds continue to 'sweat' out of the finished products and produce vapors that give that distinct 'new smell'. After a few weeks and months, the organic compounds have pretty much been burnt off and the new car smell is no more!Same thing in airplanes. What ALL passenger planes have in common are:1. Seats2. Plastic cabin liners3. CarpetsThese all have the same flame resistance chemicals cooked into the finished product. They are also made by relatively few manufacturers. They actually try to reduce the VOCs in materials...but there will always be a little 'smell'. Some people have mentioned Air Conditioning system filters. Filters are NOT made of a vapor producing substance (intentionally...because they are supposed to filter OUT particles, not add them!)...so I don't think that's it at all. Also, the Primer in the aircraft is very low VOC after curing...so not sure that would be it either.SOOOOOO....to duplicate 'the smell'...buy an airliner seat, line your cockpit with airplane plastic and lay down airliner carpet! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

captain777 is right. I can smell the cabin smell from my old cockpit seats. Of course not very strong. You can do when ur nose get close to it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For the GA people, just stuff a few old rags smeared with Aeroshell motor oil and a few splashes of 100LL Avgas under the seat.. :)//Tuomas

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

>For the GA people, just stuff a few old rags smeared with>Aeroshell motor oil and a few splashes of 100LL Avgas under>the seat.. :)>>//TuomasI think that's the wrong kind of 'flying' we want to do ;)Matt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think what you want is the smell of BURNT 100LL AvGas in the cockpit... Every time I've been up in the military aircraft, which tend to be bare and free from fancy carpets, furnishings and trim, there is ALWAYS the wonderful rich smell of burnt fuel! Quite addictive if I must say so... :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep Alkit,Captain 777 is right and its because of the way the airconditioning systems work on the airliners by recirculating air that the smell continues to exist for the life of the aircraft from front to back.Recirculated air supplies 50% of the airflow requirement which reduces engine bleed air and conserves fuel.If the system constantly drew in fresh air every cycle then this unique smell wouldnt exist as it would be dumped overboard in the ventilation system and would not get a chance to be obsurbed into the seats carpets etc, much the same way cigarette smoke does. The smell is not only that of the aircraft components which is minimal,but mainly a mixture of air fresheners, food reheating, coffe brewing, carpet shampoo, pesticides etc etc,which is why a brand new planes smell will change to this smell in only a matter of weeks.Gary

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

>I think what you want is the smell of BURNT 100LL AvGas in>the cockpit... Every time I've been up in the military>aircraft, which tend to be bare and free from fancy carpets,>furnishings and trim, there is ALWAYS the wonderful rich smell>of burnt fuel! Quite addictive if I must say so... :(That's probably the smell of burning kerosene.. mmmm... ;)//Tuomas

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just thought it could be a type of air freshener that was used on board to, as much as possible, eliminate odors of various kinds from 250 people cramped into the same cabin for hours.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

well, here's my two cents worth,I worked for 5 years cleaning cabins for Delta and Hawwiian, and a year cleaning United airlines....and some Continental.yeah we all agree on the smell and discused where it comes from. but here's one for you...Delta planes, 90% of the time all smelled the same..Ive worked 727,737,757,767,md-11 md90, L10 11, and the nairly all smelled the same, however, there are the instances where they cooked fish in F/C and it smelled like fish...the front lave not serviced..smells like....well you know..and so forth....But there was a big diffeance between the airlines..United didnt smell like Delta...Delta didnt smell like, hawaiian and soforth...the hawwaiin .DC10's had distict smell, that could be smelled all the way down the jetway.not so much as there new 767, but intime they too, recived the same smell as the DC10....so...I have now idea , where i was going with this...I guess its just FYI :) but each airline had its own smell...so if you want that smell, just pic up some old seat cushsions, from your fav. airline:)and have at it

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this