It is the rotation of the Earth that is causing the longer flight times, but not because it’s moving towards or away from the flying aircraft. It is rather due to its influence on wind patterns – the so-called high-altitude jet streams. … These jet streams have a significant effect on aircraft.
Why does it take longer to fly back from Europe?
Jet streams often flow west to east at about 100 mph and at 30,000 to 38,000 feet elevation where airliners fly. These winds are caused primarily by the earth’s rotation but vary as a result of solar effects on weather. Flights are often about 20% longer if they’re opposed by winds.
Why do return flights take longer?
The reason it took so much longer to fly back is the jet stream, a river of fast-moving air high up in the sky. Jet streams are usually about 100 miles wide. They can be thousands of miles long and are found all over the earth. To be called a jet stream, the wind must be moving faster than 60 mph.
Why does it take longer to go from east to west?
The main reason for the difference in travel time is due to the jet stream. … Since the jet stream winds go from west to east, airplanes flying eastward can take advantage of the fast moving winds and hitch a ride on this atmospheric river. However, a plane flying to the west would be going against the winds.
Why do planes 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. … Whether a commercial airline is flying from the United States to Asia or elsewhere, it will have the fastest and most fuel-efficient flight by performing a curved rout.
Is jet lag worse going or coming back?
Travelling east (such as coming back to the UK from the USA) often leads to more severe jet lag than going west. It’s thought this is because our bodies adjust more easily to a longer day than to a shorter one where we lose several hours. The more time zones you fly across, the worse the jet lag.
Can a plane fly faster than the Earth rotates?
At the equator, the Earth spins about twice as fast as a commercial jet can fly. That rate slows the closer you get to the poles, but regardless, it’s always going to be faster than a plane.
Do planes fly slower to save fuel?
According to Drela, today’s airplane builders actually favor a smaller, lighter, and therefore slower aircraft that peaks its fuel efficiency at slower speeds. (Cars also become more efficient at slower speeds on highways.)
Does flying east to west take longer?
Jet streams are, at their most basic, high-altitude air currents caused by atmospheric heating and the inertia of the earth’s rotation—and they’re the reason why flights from west to east are faster than the same route traversed in the opposite direction.
Why do return trips cost more?
Fare differences like this are sometimes due to the planes being fuller because of the date or day of the week. For example, Friday evening flights are often more expensive than Saturday morning flights, since fewer people travel Saturday.
Why do westbound flights take longer?
It is the rotation of the Earth that is causing the longer flight times, but not because it’s moving towards or away from the flying aircraft. It is rather due to its influence on wind patterns – the so-called high-altitude jet streams. … The strength of this is related to the speed of rotation.
Is it faster to fly north or south?
Since the equator gets more sun than any other part, it will always have warmer air rising towards the north or south poles. … This means that the air from the equator moving to the north or south poles will be moving faster than the ground it is over, resulting in winds always moving from the west to the east.
Does the earth rotate east to west?
Because Earth rotates on its axis from west to east, the Moon and the Sun (and all other celestial objects) appear to move from east to west across the sky. Viewed from above, however, the Moon orbits Earth in the same direction as our planet rotates.
Do planes fly over Everest?
Airplanes often avoid air paths that take them over Mt Everest or the Pacific Ocean. … This is because “the Himalayas have mountains higher than 20,000 feet, including Mt Everest standing at 29,035 feet. However, most commercial airplanes can fly at 30,000 feet.”
Why do pilots say heavy?
When a pilot uses the phrase “heavy,” he is reminding ATC that his aircraft is large and requires more separation between it and the aircraft following.
Is it safe to fly over the ocean?
Can a plane land on water in case of an emergency? Yes it can, but it is not designed to do so, and an emergency landing is always better on land at an airport. … However, as long as sea conditions are smooth and the ditching is performed in a proper way, an aircraft can land on the sea and remain afloat.