Is It Necessary to Turn Airplane Mode On?

“Your portable electronic devices must be set to airplane mode or turned off.”

You may have heard of this familiar announcement by a flight attendant before your flight. Why is it necessary to set your smartphone to airplane mode or turn it off when you on an airplane? You may wonder how turning a smartphone on can give huge impact to such large aircraft.

Let’s get to the bottom of the truth about airplane mode, which you know as common sense, but you may not know the exact reason for, with Incheon Airport!

Airplane mode, a safety setting for all!

To begin with, airplane mode is the function of blocking all communication of electronic devices such as cellular communication, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi. Since only telecommunications are shut down blocked, you can still use all other features or apps installed in your electronic device. In general, if you swipe down from the top of your smartphone, you can find an airplane mode button. Then why shut down your smartphone’s telecommunications on an aircraft?

It’s for safety measures when an aircraft takes off or lands. When the pilot communicates with the control tower in the airport during take-off or landing, electromagnetic waves from electronic devices like smartphones may interfere with the pilot’s communication. If the pilot fails to communicate with the control tower, it may lead to a huge accident.

Is in-flight Wi-Fi safe?

Many of you may know the above as common sense. Then, some of you may be wondering if the electromagnetic waves generated even when set to airplane mode create any problem. Furthermore, in-flight Wi-Fi is offered on most aircrafts nowadays. If so, are these electromagnetic waves safe?

When there was no airplane mode, everyone turned their mobile phones off. Since the impact of portable electronic devices was not known at that time when such devices were launched, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) set up guidelines to shut off all electronic telecommunications during take-off or landing. This decision has spread across the world and is still being maintained. Even today, some airlines ask you to turn your mobile phones off, instead of setting them to airplane mode.

In 2013, however, the FAA determined that short-range telecommunications except for voice telecommunications show little impact. This is why an airplane mode setting was introduced, and why many aircrafts recently began to offer a Wi-Fi service.

But still you need to be careful about voice telecommunications. It may create a noise in a pilot’s communication with a control tower during take-off or landing. Although many regulations have been eased lately, some airlines still emphasize setting your mobile phones to airplane mode or turning them off. Because it’s “Safety First, Safety Second!”

Airplane mode conserves battery life

There is another benefit with the airplane mode in addition to safety. Since your base transceiver station keeps changing in an aircraft flying at a fast speed, your battery may die early if your smartphone is turned on. However, if you turn on the airplane mode instead, you can conserve your smartphone’s battery life and protect the safety of passengers at the same time. Isn’t this great?

If you are still confused, it is best to follow the instructions of each airline. Because some airlines ban the use of any kind of mobile phones in an aircraft. So instead of following your own judgment, don’t you think it is better to follow their rules? For the safety of all, we hope you consider and practice the guidelines on how to use and handle your smartphone in an aircraft!

Can Airplanes Go Backwards?

Have you ever seen an airplane going backwards on the runway? You may have seen cars going backward, but airplanes only moving forward in the sky and on the ground. You may think, if cars can do it, why not for airplanes? But still, it is not easy to imagine a large and heavy airplane to reverse. The Incheon Airport will satisfy your curiosity about whether an airplane can go backwards!

Impossible in the Sky! How About on the Ground?

We will give you the answer right away! First, airplanes can’t go backwards in the sky. It’s easy when you understand the principle of the airplane. Airplanes can fly due to a lift, a force generated when its wings move through the air. The lift originates from the momentum of an airplane that goes forward, in other words, airplanes can’t go backwards in the air.

But some airplanes can move backwards on the ground! It is different though from how cars drive backwards, the way we are well aware of.

Cars go backwards by delivering the power of the engine to the wheels. When the driver shifts into reverse, one serrated wheel is added in the course of delivering the power, which changes the direction of rotation contrary to that of the movement forward.

However, the wheels of an airplane don’t receive any power, unlike those of a car. An airplane can go backwards by generating the momentum in the opposite direction. Almost all airplanes have the device to reverse the direction of momentum of their engine—going backwards by shifting the direction of exhaust fumes. This method, however, is rarely used. Why?

No Reverse Thrust on the Runway!

It is because going backwards that way is extremely dangerous on the runway! It differs by model, but generally airplanes weigh hundreds of tons, and if such heavy airplanes generate reverse momentum, its engine and the airframe can be extremely burdened. It can even blow up an object nearby on the runway. In other words, regardless of its feasibility, reverse thrust is not used because it can lead to a secondary damage.

Thus, reverse thrust on the apron or aircraft stand is banned by the Aviation Act. Then, why are airplanes equipped with the thrust reverser if the reverse thrust is banned by the law? In fact, the thrust reverser is used like a brake of a car. It is used to reduce the speed of the airplane when it is landing. When it is used this way, using the reverse thrust is legally allowed.

Towing Car, a Small Giant in the Airport

For those who take an airplane often might not get it because from time to time, airplanes do go backwards after boarding. In fact, this is done by a towing car carrying the airplane. A towing car is a car that tows the airplane on the runway. In order to prevent the damage that can be caused by the reverse thrust of an airplane, towing cars are used to carry airplanes backwards on the runway.

For reference, an airplane is 15 times heavier than a towing car. The secret of the Herculean strength of a towing car lies in its engine. A towing car has an engine displacement of 10,000 cc, 5 times greater than that of an ordinary vehicle. Its gear can be shifted up to four forward and three backward (a total of seven), which enables it to carry the airplane around with enormous power.

Now, is your curiosity of an airplane going backwards satisfied? To summarize, airplanes can’t go backwards in the sky and can on the ground. For the sake of safety, airplanes don’t use its own device to go backwards on the runway but instead, it is carried by a towing car. If you see an airplane going backwards one day in the Incheon Airport, try to look for a towing car below it!

We’ll Take Care of Aircraft Safety! 4 Aircraft Diagnostic Systems

Since any aircraft crash may lead to mass casualty incidents, safety is the most important. This is why it is essential to continue to inspect and repair aircrafts before take-off and after landing. Then, who is inspecting aircrafts during operation?

The simple answer is the aircraft diagnostic system, which we will be introducing today. Aircrafts have various self-diagnostic systems designed to help them fly safely by informing them whether they are following the route correctly or if there are any warning signs coming from the engine. Let’s take a look at the diagnostic systems that take care of aircraft safety!

Flight Management System (FMS), the Aircraft’s Brain

The first diagnostic system that helps aircrafts fly safely is the Flight Management System (FMS). It is no exaggeration to say that FMS is an aircraft’s brain! It contains all the data required for a flight, such as an aircraft’s flight plan, waypoints connecting flight routes, airport names, locations, frequencies, and base stations.

It also calculates and combines massive amounts of data and provides information on the optimal flight to the pilot. If you enter your starting point and destination, it tells you the shortest route like GPS for cars. Also, if you cannot fly along the original route due to bad weather, it quickly finds you a detour. If you enter the amount of fuel and flight plan before departing, it also tells you the most cost-effective flight route that consumes the least amount of fuel.

Not only does the FMS contain all of the available data about a flight, but it also analyzes the data and informs pilots of the most appropriate information in terms of time and cost! Don’t you think that’s enough to call the FMS an aircraft’s brain?

Inertial Reference System (IRS), a Compass in the Air

The second diagnostic system that helps aircrafts fly safely is the Inertial Reference System (IRS). This is a system in the aircraft that serves as a compass, calculating the aircraft’s location, route, and speed as well as wind speed and direction, and helping pilots not to get lost in the air. Data obtained from this system is transmitted automatically to an aircraft’s “brain,” or FMS, which helps pilots create a more precise flight plan!

The IRS, which helps aircrafts fly with its location information, is an upgraded version of the Inertial Navigation System (INS), which has been used since the 20th century. INS is an automatic navigation system that calculates and finds the destination on its own, analyzing an aircraft’s rotation, position, and movement.

While the INS boasts the advantages that it can calculate fast and keep the system stable, its disadvantage is that its margin of error increases as the flight time increases. Due to this error of INS, a Korean Air airplane entered the Soviet Union’s airspace and was shot down in 1983. Since then, the Global Positioning System (GPS) was made public!

Currently, aircrafts are flown by a combination of IRS, whose accuracy has been upgraded with better technology, and GPS. IRS guarantees a safe flight by positioning aircrafts more precisely.

Central Maintenance System (CMS), Playing the Role of an Aircraft Mechanic

If you look at the cockpit, you can see a control panel with various buttons along with the clear sky in front. Inside the control panel, various wires are connected to the aircraft’s body. Inside the panel lies the Central Maintenance System (CMS), which plays a role of the aircraft’s doctor. The CMS monitors many systems in an aircraft and diagnoses whether there are any problems in their operation.

The inclusion of CMS, which self-diagnoses problems, inside aircrafts reduces the maintenance workload for a mechanic! With the combination of CMS’s monitoring data and the pilot’s data, it is possible to find where an aircraft requires maintenance and how an aircraft is maintained. As CMS reduces the time and effort required for a mechanic and helps to deal with system failures quickly, wouldn’t you think it’s safe to call it the aircraft’s doctor?

Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS), Helping to Communicate with the Ground

The last system that helps aircrafts fly safely is Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS).

ACARS is a system that connects communications between an aircraft and the ground. It can communicate with short messages, show transmitted information on a screen, or print it so that the pilot can see it.

ACARS allows aircrafts to transmit its location, departure and arrival times, and technical information on the engine to the ground, and if necessary, allows the flight crew to receive information on the weather, flight plan, gate number, and more from the ground. More importantly, it can send and receive aircraft failures!

What if a problem is detected in aircraft’s body, engine, or another part during flight and you need to make an emergency landing? To allow the ground to prepare such a landing, ACARS sends failure information to the ground in advance. Since the ground receives such information in advance, it can repair the aircraft as soon as the aircraft lands.

Today, we have looked at the various diagnostic systems for safe flights: Flight Management System (FMS), Inertial Reference System (IRS), Central Maintenance System (CMS), Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) 😊.

It is amazing that aircrafts require help from so many systems from when they take off to when they land safely. We can board aircrafts without worries thanks to these smart systems.

“A Living Museum” Vivid Experiences at the National Aviation Museum of Korea

“A place to learn about the 100-year history of Korean aviation”

“Experience hands-on jet aircraft cockpits and air sports in VR”

Did you hear? A museum will be opening soon where you can explore the history of Korean aviation and enjoy air sports!


Looking for a place to explore the history of Korean aviation as well as learn about aviation technologies and how they will impact our lives in the future? Look no further than the National Aviation Museum of Korea located near Gimpo International Airport!

Even before its opening, the museum is the talk of the town with its visitor-friendly interactive centers open to all—from children and students to families. Curious to see if Incheon Airport is also featured in this museum? Keep reading till the end to find out! 😊 Let’s get started on our tour of the National Aviation Museum of Korea.

How was the National Aviation Museum of Korea established?

A hundred years ago, Korea was a barren land for the aviation industry. Now, Korea has become a member of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) as a country with outstanding aviation infrastructure. However, despite its highly acknowledged status, Korea lacked facilities to systematically promote and exhibit the history and artifacts of its aviation industry.

This is why the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MOLIT) decided to establish an aviation museum in their enactment of the Second Framework Act on Aviation Policies (2015-2019) in December 2014. The construction began in November 2017 and the museum will soon open on July 5, 2020!

The National Aviation Museum of Korea is designed with symbolic images to increase its aesthetics and merit. The exterior resembles the engine of an aircraft, while the inner skylight the turbine.

Moreover, July 5 is also the 100th anniversary of the opening of the Willows Korean Aviation School, which was the first pilot training school in South Korea. The school was organized in Willows, California on July 5, 1920, by the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea and Korean-Americans to give opportunity to Korean youths willing to participate in the Korean independence movement.

The opening of the school made the headline of the Willows Daily Journal at that time—you can also check out the original copy of the newspaper at the museum! The pilot license of Lee Yong-keun, an independence activist who was designated the first flight officer by the Provisional Government, is also one of the major exhibits.

As you enter the museum, you will be greeted by Narae, a character from an animation on EBS. Don’t forget to take a photo with Narae to remember your visit! Let’s now explore the museum in depth.

The past, the present, and the future of South Korea at a glance—sites of attraction for each floor

Once you step inside, you will feel fresh and nice as the sunlight shines through the turbine-shaped skylights. The exhibition halls on each floor are thematically divided by the past, the present and the future of the aviation industry of Korea.

On the 1st floor, there is an aviation gallery where you can witness the top aircrafts in history and various historical materials. The 2nd floor lies an exhibition hall of the aviation industry and an interactive center; the 3rd floor, a special exhibition hall, an aviation library, and an interactive center for children; and the 4th floor an outdoor observatory and a cafe.

Let’s take a closer look at each floor!

1st Floor – Hall of Aviation History

On the 1st floor of the “Hall of Aviation History,” you can browse the history of the world aviation and the 100-year history of the Korean aviation.

At the “Republic of Korea section, there are a total of four themes: “National Salvation,” showing the remarkable activities of the pilot independence activists; “National Defense,” showing the foundation of the Korean Air Force and their activities during the Korean War; “National Prosperity,” showing the country’s economic growth despite the difficulties during early civil aviation; and “National Power,” showing several cases of the Korean aviation industry ruling over the world.

You can also find exhibits that show the proud history of Korean aviation. 13 life-size aircrafts that show the changes and development in the history include: Standard J-1, the training aircraft of the Korean aviation school of the Provisional Government; T-6, the aircraft that was purchased through contribution and committed in the Korean War; and KF-5, the first supersonic jet that was assembled and produced in Korea!

Taking photos is permitted, so be sure to snap some photos of the aircrafts on display!

2nd Floor – Hall of Aviation Industry

On the 2nd floor lies the “Hall of Aviation Industry” where you can learn the present of the Korean aviation industry.

Here, you will not only understand the present and the vision, but also the development of aircrafts and its scientific principles. Aircraft manias will love this place because you can learn the basic scientific principles on how aircrafts are manufactured, their components and how to pilot as well as fly the aircraft.

You can also see the aerial view of Korea’s representative airport—Incheon International Airport! 😊

Museums are boring, you say? No way! Unlike other museums with dull exhibitions, about 40% of the National Aviation Museum of Korea is organized with interactive centers!

“Can you see the runway?

If you set the indicator in the instrument to the rectangular box, the plane will automatically land on the runway.”

Get a chance to become the first officer of the Boeing 747-400 Flight Simulator which is found in the Pilot & Control Room. The instructor who will help you is a former pilot with more than 20 years of experience, so wouldn’t it be reliable? It would definitely be a vivid experience for you!

The instructor for the “aircraft experience,” which includes safety and emergency escape drill, is also a former flight attendant. Here you can have a thrilling experience of escaping from the aircraft using a slide that unfolds in case of an emergency!

3rd floor – Hall of Future

At the “Hall of Future” on the 3rd floor, you can take a glance at the development of aviation technology and its future.

Here would be a place for children to grow their dreams and hope. You’ll witness everything you have seen in sci-fi books; such as solar-powered unmanned aerial vehicles, autonomous aerial vehicles, and more with cutting-edge aviation technology.

Various interactive centers are available on this floor as well. You can enjoy vivid experiences using high-tech equipment such as VR and simulators from “air sports” like riding a light-sport aircraft, paragliding and hang gliding to taking part in drone racing! Don’t miss the “Black Eagle Riding” as well, where you can pilot the aircraft of the Black Eagles aerobatic team!

There are also interactive educational centers that offer easy explanations for children: the “Children’s Creativity Center” where even toddlers can experience the functions and roles of an airport, and the “Aviation Culture Class” where they can make and paint things. This museum should be the best venue to play and learn for children!

* Admission is free, but interactive centers are charged. Reservations are required for interactive centers. Please visit the National Aviation Museum of Korea for more details!

Operation Hours and Directions

  • Operation Hours: Tuesday – Sunday / 10:00 – 18:00 (last entrance at 17:00)

  • Closed on Mondays, New Year’s Day, Seollal, Chuseok

(If Monday is a holiday, the museum opens on the day and closed on the next day.)

  • Admission Fee: Free for exhibitions / Charged for interactive centers

We have browsed through the different exhibitions and interactive centers as well as the past, the present and the future of the aviation industry here at the National Aviation Museum of Korea. How about visiting the museum during your family trip this summer? Thank you for your interest and support of the National Aviation Museum of Korea!

BTS Suga’s Latest Song ‘Daechwita’ and Incheon Airport ‘Walk of the Royal Family’

“Daechwita, Daechwita, play it loud, Daechwita!”

Any K-pop or BTS fan will have heard of this! It is the lyrics of “Daechwita” released this last May by Suga, a member of BTS, under the name of August D. The song’s title “Daechwita” is originally traditional Korean music that was played during the Joseon period when the king would take a walk, and August D’s Daechwita is a pop song reinterpreted in modern hip hop to capture the hearts of fans in Korea and around the world with a catchy chorus.

▶ Watch Agust D’s Daechwita (Source: Big Hit Entertainment official YouTube channel)

As August D’s Daechwita music video hit 10 million views in just 8 hours after being released, many people started wondering about the Korean music Daechwita. Let’s talk about what kind of music Daechwita is and why it is appealing.

What kind of music is Daechwita?

Daechwita is music played for the king’s walk or official procession. It was also played for not only the king but also public officials when they came to their newly appointed jurisdiction and for generals when they appeared for their public duties.

▶ Watch original Daechwita (Source: National Gugak Center’s YouTube official channel)

There is a special line in the official marching song Daechwita, indicating its start and end.

“Now, one hit, Daechwita (鳴金一下大吹打)!”

It means “Let’s hit jing once and begin”, and is literally a line announcing Daechwita’s start. August D’s Daechwita also has this line before the song begins. The person who shouts this line serves as a conductor in Daechwita, and is called “jibsa”. In contrast, the jibsa shouts “heonhwageum” or “heolageum” when Daechwita ends.

As a song played for marching, Daechwita gives a grandiose, majestic, and cheerful mood. What kinds of instruments are used to give such a unique mood? You can find the answer in the word Daechwita.

“Chwi” in Daechwita means blow, and “ta” means hit. Daechwita is played by wind instruments (blow) and percussion instruments (hit). Let’s find out what role each instrument plays to create a cheerful mood, shall we?

“Wind instruments” used in Daechwita – Nagak, nabal, and taepyeongso

Wind instruments such as nagak, nabal, and taepyeongso are used in Daechwita. Let me show what role each of them plays.

Doesn’t nagak look familiar? Nagak is an instrument made by taking out flesh from a large turban shell and grinding the sharp tip of the shell. It is characterized by powerful, low, soft tones like a foghorn. As it produces just one note without change in intervals, it gives a heavy mood.

Nabal is a 120-cm-long instrument. It is notable that the performer plays it with just the right hand. Nabal cannot play a melody, but it can produce a few notes as you can control its length.

Usually in Daechwita, nagak and nabal take turns producing single notes. There is an instrument that plays powerful sounds without change in tone, uses various notes, and boats a refreshing tone. This is taepyeongso, which boasts a high melody. It is the only instrument that plays a melody in Daechwita, and it is loved today due to its exciting tone. Taepyeongso gives cheerfulness amid a heavy atmosphere.

Percussion instruments used in Daechwita - Jing, yonggo, and jabara

Jing is a percussion instrument played by ringing its brass body. If you hit it once, its ringing is long and deep. Yonggo is a drum used for marching music including Daechwita. Its drum frame has a dragon painting. The performer hangs yonggo around the neck to hang down to the belly, holds two drumsticks with both hands, and hits it with the drumsticks from the top down. Jabara is a percussion instrument consisting of two bronze round plates. Let’s look at how these three percussion instruments are played in Daechwita.

“Now, one hit, Daechwita (鳴金一下大吹打)!” Jing is hit once after the above line, yonggo is hit three times, and Daechwita then starts. The percussion instruments signal the start of Daechwita.

Jing, yonggo, and jabara keep rhythm in the music. As jing’s sound is sustained for a long time, it broadly maintains the meter. Yonggo and jabara keep detailed meter in a song. Due to the percussion instruments, each of which plays its own role, Daechwita can be played more softly without losing its unique meter.

Daechwita spreading across Incheon Airport: ‘Walk of the Royal Family’

Daechwita—does it seem like you can only see it in a concert? You can also watch Daechwita in Incheon Airport, which takes care of the start and end of your travel in Korea.

Incheon Airport has performed the “Walk of the Royal Family”, an event which reenacts a walk of the royal family. In this event, you can see the king and queen walk with their people. Then, majestic and cheerful music is played as the king takes a walk in the airport. Majestic and cheerful music for the king’s walk? Can you guess what it is? That is Daechwita!

Since Daechwita was played when the king took a walk, Daechwita is also played during the Walk of the Royal Family in Incheon Airport. Isn’t it amazing that you can hear traditional Korean music, which has influenced K-pop, in Incheon Airport?

Simply watching it is not the end! This event has a photo time where you can take a photo with the performers wearing royal clothing and accessories. Although it is now suspended due to COVID-19, we hope to see a walk of the king again soon in the airport. Then you will be able to hear Daechwita once again.

  • Place: 3F, Duty-Free Zone, Terminal 1 (between West and East Halls of Korean Traditional Culture Experience Center)
  • Time: (1st) 11:20-12:00 / (2nd) 13:00-13:40 / (3rd) 15:00-15:40

* Performance times may be subject to change depending on the airport’s situation.

We have so far talked about Korea’s traditional music Daechwita. What is it like? Incheon Airport will be there with culture so that cheerful Daechwita can be played for your travel. J