Have you ever been in a plane and wondered: how fast do planes fly? It sure doesn’t feel like you’re going fast while inside the aircraft. But that’s because planes fly at a constant speed, once at cruising altitude.
You’ll feel the acceleration as you take off, just like you would when you accelerate in a car. But once you reach a constant speed, it feels like you’re not moving.
So you might be surprised to hear that a commercial aircraft flies at nearly 10 times the speed of a car on the highway.
Commercial aircraft fly at approximately 900 km per hour or 550 miles per hour. This is their cruising speed, which describes the speed of the plane once it reaches its maximum altitude.
How fast do planes take off?
Most commercial airplanes and jetliners take off at about 150 to 175 miles per hour. Typically, the smaller the aircraft, the slower the plane has to go for take off. This is because smaller aircraft are lighter, so it doesn’t take as much momentum and fuel to take off. Small light aircraft take off under 100 miles per hour; some even take off at 50 mph.
Take off speed does not just depend on the type or weight of the airplane. It also depends on the wind speed, outside air temperature, and air density.
Fixed aircraft, like a commercial plane or a jet, require air in order to generate lift and ultimately fly. So, planes often fly into the wind to help generate the lift needed for take off. A headwind will help lift the wings allowing for an efficient take off.
On the other hand, it is more difficult to take off with a tailwind. The back of the plane and its wings do not have the aerodynamics to help generate lift.
So, now you know that planes need air to generate lift for take off. But, planes have difficulty taking off in warm climates because they don’t get as much lift from the thin air. In cooler temperatures, the air is thick which facilitates takeoff.
The warmer the air, the less dense it is. Warm air has less water, and therefore less density.
How fast does a 747 fly?
The Boeing 747 flies at about 550 miles per hour at cruising altitude. This large aircraft takes off at 175 miles per hour to 200 miles per hour. This is the upper limit of speed required for take off. Because of the Boeing’s sheer size, it needs quite a bit of speed to get off the ground.
Do planes fly at maximum speed?
No, planes do not fly at their maximum speed. Flying at maximum speed is incredibly fuel-inefficient. It would cost the airlines thousands of extra dollars, which would increase ticket prices. The time saved going at max speed to your destination does not justify the amount of money spent for the airline or the passengers.
Accelerating to max speed won’t be comfortable for passengers, either.
What is the fastest plane in the world today?
The fastest plane in the world today is the North American X-15. It recorded a maximum speed of Mach 6.7. The plane was flying at about 4,500 miles per hour or about 7,200 km per hour. The pilot was flying at an altitude of 102,000 feet.
How fast do planes take off from aircraft carriers?
Planes will take off from aircraft carriers at about 150 to 180 miles per hour. Light aircraft do not need as much speed to take off; they require just 50 to 100 miles per hour.
Whether a plane is taking off from an aircraft carrier or a runway in a commercial airport, the speed required is the same. It primarily depends on the weather as well as the direction and speed of the wind.
A headwind will reduce the takeoff speed, because the air will travel under the wings and generate lift. Cooler temperatures also reduce the take off speed, thanks to dense air that helps lift the plane.
How fast are planes going when they land?
Planes move at about 150 to 180 miles per hour when they land and take off. They must slow down drastically from their top speed of 500+ miles per hour to land safely and stay inside the runway.
Can a plane fly around the world in 24 hours?
Yes, but is it possible to fly around the world in 24 hours? Unlikely. This is not realistic for a commercial aircraft with passengers. The circumference of the earth is 24,901 miles. This means that the plane would need to go about 1,040 miles per hour to make it around the entire Earth in one day. This is possible for a modern day jet, but most commercial aircraft fly at about 500 to 550 miles per hour.
The longest non stop flights today range from about 8,000 to 9,500 miles in 16 to 18 hours. Flights this long are incredibly taxing on the pilots, too. They typically rotate flying duties between four people and sleep in between shifts. Adding six to eight hours to the longest flight ever recorded would be quite the feat.