As soon as a large jet takes off from an airport, the first thing pilots do is take the plane as high as possible, as fast as they can. Few people know that the average passenger airplane usually reaches its cruising altitude of 6 to 7 miles in the first 10 minutes of the flight. On the other hand, each airplane has its own optimum cruising altitude, which is based on its weight and some other characteristics.
The average cruising altitude of a commercial airplane is between 31,000 and 38,000 ft. At this altitude, the air becomes thinner. As a result, aircraft can travel more easily and, even more importantly, burn less fuel. So, can’t modern planes rise even higher than that? Or even fly to space?
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Supersonic passenger airliner Concorde 0:44
Why planes fly at a height of 35,000 ft 1:28
… and why they can’t fly higher 2:00
Although, one aircraft could! ✈️ 3:35
What a spaceplane is ???? 4:56
What about helicopters? ???? 5:49
How fast planes fly 7:34
#planes #aviation #brightside
– Few people know that the average passenger airplane usually reaches its cruising altitude of 6 to 7 miles in the first 10 minutes of the flight.
– By flying at a height of 35,000 ft, planes manage to avoid bad weather, such as high winds and heavy rains, raging in the lower layers of the atmosphere.
– While flying higher, a plane needs more time to get back to a safe altitude. And during an emergency like rapid decompression, every second counts.
– If a plane climbs too high up, the air gets too thin to provide enough lift to keep the machine up.
– While flying at a lower altitude, airliners can also rely on the assistance of wind. But that high up, they would waste too much fuel to stay aloft.
– There was one aircraft that could fly way higher than usual commercial airliners. It was NASA’s Helios Prototype, an ultra-lightweight, flying wing aircraft, and it reached the unprecedented height of 18 miles!
– When an airplane is fast enough and has big wings that can support it in the air, the atmosphere does the rest of the work and holds it aloft.
– Admittedly, there are such things as spaceplanes. These are vehicles that can fly like an airliner in the atmosphere of our planet and maneuver like a spaceship in the vacuum of space.
– Talking about choppers, they’re mostly used for flying short distances and usually don’t rise higher than 10,000 ft.
– As for small planes, most of them have an engine that resembles the one in your car. As a result, it can handle only relatively short flights at a height of no more than 15,000 ft.
– Today, most commercial airliners are powered by turbofan engines which work best at a speed of 400 to 600 miles per hour.
– There’s no point in moving any faster than that because, in this case, planes would waste too much fuel and air travel wouldn’t be so cost-effective anymore.
– the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, with a cruising speed of 650 miles per hour, can transport 291 passengers and uses just 19 lbs of jet fuel per mile.
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