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Continuing Dr. Stahl’s series of articles for AOPA

We left off last month comparing some of the functions of the awesome 777 flying machine with our own physical capabilities. This time let’s talk about the innards of the two machines and see how it is all done.  As I wrote in previous posts about our circulatory system, it takes about 60,000 miles of “fuel lines” to supply nutrients to all the far-reaching corners of our anatomy.  The airplane has a much simpler fuel system as the huge fuel tanks sit inside the wings right over the engines they supply.  As we saw last month, the 777 carries about 50,000 gallons of fuel depending on the mission, and to get that from the fuel tanks to the engines uses only about 400 feet of fuel lines. Our “fuel system” is a lot more complex, and with the redundancy of multiple arteries going to our many end organs, ours is more fragile. I think I’d rather have the airplane’s simple system, there’s a lot less to worry about!

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