Commercial airplanes often feature multiple types of emergency exits. In addition to traditional emergency exit doors, they feature overwing exits. From the Boeing 737 to the Airbus A320, some of the world’s most popular commercial airplanes feature overwing exits. What are overwing exits exactly, and how do they differ from traditional emergency exit doors?
The Basics of Overwing Exits
Overwing exits are emergency exits that are found near a trailing edge. Trailing edges, of course, are aerodynamic surfaces, such as wings. They are known as “overwing exits” because they allow passengers to escape “over the wing” of an airplane in the event of an emergency.
Overwing Exits vs Traditional Emergency Exit Doors
Most commercial airplanes feature overwing exits as well as traditional emergency exit doors. While they are both used to provide an escape route for passengers in the event of an emergency, they aren’t the same. Overwing exits and traditional emergency exit doors differ in several ways.
You can find overwing exits and traditional emergency exit doors in different areas. As previously mentioned, overwing exits are found near a trailing edge where they allow passengers to escape over a wing. Traditional emergency exit doors are often found in other places.
Another difference between overwing exits and traditional emergency exit doors involves the size. Overwing exits are almost always smaller than their traditional counterparts. They are shorter as well as narrower. With their smaller design, overwing exits have a lower evacuation capacity than traditional emergency exit doors.
How Overwing Exits Work
Most overwing exits leverage an inflatable slide. When an overwing exit is opened, a slide will be deployed. The slide will quickly inflate so that passengers can safely exit the airplane. Assuming the airplane is on the runway or ground, passengers can go through the opened overwing exit, after which they can slide down the inflatable slide.
The slides used with overwing exits are designed to inflate automatically. If the slide doesn’t begin to inflate, however, airplanes typically feature a handle for manual inflation. A crew member can pull the manual inflation to inflate the slide.
Overwing exits are emergency doors on airplanes. Like traditional emergency exit doors, they allow passengers to escape during an emegency. Overwing exits are simply characterized by their location. They are found near a trailing edge. When opened, an inflatable slide will be deployed, which passengers can use to escape the airplane.