AS9120B, ISO 9001:2015, and FAA AC 0056B ACCREDITED

5 Hidden Aircraft Features You Did Not Know About

Each element on a plane, from the wings and fuselage to the passenger seats and lavatories, has been carefully considered with safety in mind. Even if you fly often, you may be surprised by the large number of hidden features on airplanes, and the little details you never knew existed.  The next time you board a flight, you may want to pay closer attention. These include safety features hidden in plain sight that could be useful for more than just emergency situations, improving passenger comfort as well as safety.

Armrest Button

Finding enough space in your seat has often been a struggle for passengers on packed flights. As such, many of us choose our seats carefully in a row depending on our habits. However, one thing you may not have known is that if you choose to sit in the aisle seat, there is a hidden button you can press to give yourself more space. Underneath the aisle-side arm of the seat, there is a button close to the hinge which allows you to push it upright so it is flush with the seat. This feature has been installed specifically so that passengers may quickly and easily exit their seats in the case of an emergency evacuation, but they can also be a large source of comfort during a regular flight.

The Hidden Handrails

Though they are less hidden than many of the other items on this list, many passengers will not notice that there is a handrail molded into the luggage compartments on either side of the fuselage. So, if you need to make a trip to the lavatory and things start to get bumpy, rather than reaching for the nearest seat and risking bumping a fellow passenger on the head, you can look up and reach for the handrail.

Secret Sleeping Compartments

When flight attendants are on their breaks during both short flights and overnight travel, they often spend time resting in hidden sleeping compartments. Though these do not exist on every plane, they are a regular section of larger planes like the Boeing 777 and 787. Typically located behind the cockpit and above first class, these small rest areas usually contain a bed, reclining seat, and sometimes even a bathroom and TV.

Black Triangles Above the Window

Next time you board a plane, look out for a little black triangle stuck above the passenger seat with the clearest view of the wing. This sticker marks the location of whas has become known as “William Shatner’s Seat.” The reference comes from an episode on the 60’s sci-fi show, Twilight Zone called “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet,” wherein, from his seat on the plane, Shatner’s character sees a gremlin on the wing. Luckily, gremlins are not a problem that flight crew have to consider, but nevertheless, these windows are useful safety features in themselves, allowing crew to check mid-flight for ice or potential problems that the wings may have.

Holes in the Windows

If you have ever picked the window seat, you may have noticed a small hole at the bottom of the window. Known as the bleed hole, these tiny features act as a type of safety valve. As they fly at high elevations in the air, the pressure inside an aircraft during flight is usually much greater than the pressure outside to ensure the health and safety of the passengers on-board. The windows have three panes with the difference in pressure contained in the outer two windows. As a result of this small hole, the outer pane bears the most pressure so there are several extra layers of security between the passengers and the window most likely to be damaged in rare emergency cases.


Each of these items are just some of the hidden safety features on airplanes; there are also secret handcuffs, ash trays, surveillance cameras, and a sky marshal hidden in plain sight among others. While these are some of the more fascinating instances of hidden safety mechanisms, some of the most essential covert features are those core components which keep the plane working at its best. For access to high-quality components for your aircraft, you can rely on Nascent Aviation. We have a wide inventory of over 2 billion new, used, obsolete, and hard-to-find components delivered with rapid turnaround and shipping times. If you find any items of interest on our online catalogs, you may simply submit an Instant RFQ to receive a competitive quote for your comparisons in 15 minutes or less!


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