Basically, the higher a plane flies, the thinner the air is. This is both good and bad. Good: there’s less drag on the plane, so less fuel is needed to hit the same speed. … Higher altitudes also require a longer climb, which in turn means the airplane burns more fuel to reach its cruising altitude.
Can planes fly faster at higher altitudes?
The air gets thinner higher up as the density decreases, so air resistance is lower at higher altitudes. This means that an aircraft can fly faster and use less fuel at increased altitudes.
Why is it more efficient to fly at high altitude?
They work better at high altitude firstly because the air is cooler. Cool air expands more when heated than warm air. … Low density causes low drag and therefore the aircraft flies much faster at high altitude than on low altitude when it is given the same thrust.
Why do planes not fly at lower altitudes?
The higher the altitude the lower the density of the air. The lower the density the lower the drag (friction that the plane has to overcome) but also the lower the lift (thus you need bigger wings to keep the plane up). Increased drag increases fuel consumption but lower lift requires planes with bigger wings.
Why do planes fly at 40000 feet?
The biggest reason for this altitude lies with fuel efficiency. The thin air creates less drag on the aircraft, which means the plane can use less fuel in order to maintain speed. Less wind resistance, more power, less effort, so to speak. Spending less on fuel is also great for airlines, for obvious reasons.
What happens if a plane flies too high?
When the plane gets too high, there is insufficient oxygen to fuel the engines. “The air is less dense at altitude, so the engine can suck in less and less air per second as it goes higher and at some point the engine can no longer develop sufficient power to climb.” …
Why do planes do not fly over the Pacific?
The primary reason airplanes don’t fly over the Pacific Ocean is because curved routes are shorter than straight routes. Flat maps are somewhat confusing because the Earth itself isn’t flat. Rather, it’s spherical. As a result, straight routes don’t offer the shortest distance between two locations.
Do pilots sleep while flying?
Do pilots sleep in flight? The simple answer is yes, pilots do and are allowed to sleep during flight but there are strict rules controlling this practice. Pilots would only normally sleep on long haul flights, although sleep on short haul flights is permitted to avoid the effects of fatigue.
How cold is it at 35000 feet?
How cold is it up there? The higher you get, the colder it gets, up until 40,000 feet. If the temperature at ground level was 20C, at 40,000 feet it would be -57C. At 35,000 feet the air temperature is about -54C.
Can you breathe at 35000 feet?
Whether you are flying aboard a small Cessna or a jumbo-sized Airbus A380, you can breathe freely inside the cabin without wearing a mask or respirator. Even at a cruising altitude of 35,000 feet, you shouldn’t have trouble breathing.
Are planes checked before every flight?
Some people think that before taking off in an airplane the pilot simply has a casual glance at it. Perhaps he kicks the types, checks the fuel gauges to makes sure he has enough fuel, and then just departs. But this is very far from the case. All good pilots use pre-flight checklists before every flight.
How far can a pilot see at 35000 feet?
If you look up into space you are looking through about 62 miles of atmosphere, at 35,000 feet you will be looking through almost 230 miles of atmosphere to see the horizon.
Can a plane fly at 60000 feet?
Some aircraft can fly higher
Concorde has been the only significant exception amongst commercial aircraft. It could fly up to 60,000 feet due to the increased lift generated when flying at much higher speeds. At low altitudes, drag would prevent it from reaching its high speeds.
What is the highest a plane has ever flown?
On February 17, 1986, The highest altitude obtained by a soaring aircraft was set at 49,009 ft (14,938 m) by Robert Harris using lee waves over California City, United States.
Can you hear a plane at 30 000 feet?
While immovable, they could detect aircraft as far as 15 miles away—a significant early warning in those days. Really, though, you don’t even need specialized equipment; there are plenty of times, on a quiet day, where I’ve heard commercial airliners far overhead, at 30–40,000 feet, using just my ears.
Can a plane fly through a tornado?
Flying through a tornado could destroy an airplane; pilots avoid all thunderstorms — particularly those producing tornadoes — by a wide margin.