Airplanes are a very convenient way to travel, but not every individual is delighted to travel 37,000 feet high up in the air. It is natural for people to feel a little insecure about traveling in airplanes but there are many ways by which you can help control that overwhelming feeling. Having the right information can help you understand why airplanes need to travel that high up in the air and that this is not a thing to get anxious about.
A cruising altitude refers to the altitude at which the aircraft shall spend most of its flight. This is exactly the altitude where the plane shall level out after taking off. Not only does this altitude allow the plane to fly more efficiently but it also prevents the chances of meeting other aircraft in the air.
Although airplanes cruise at a wide range of levels and there are several factors that determine the cruising altitude of a plane. Cruising altitude for different airlines may vary between 25,000 feet and 40,000 feet. It is also not uncommon for an aircraft to change cruising altitude several times if it is a long journey flight. Every flight has a certain optimum cruising altitude which would depend on the weight of the aircraft.
In this article we help you understand the various factors which determine the cruising altitude to give you a better idea about it. And also why it is more beneficial for the plane to fly high up in the air rather than, down below. It can get scary for people to realize that they are up among the clouds but there are certain reasons why planes need to fly high in the air.
Here below are the factors and reasons why the aircraft has to travel high up in the air:
• The air in the earth’s atmosphere becomes thinner as the altitude increases. When the air becomes thinner, it offers less resistance to objects flying through; this is why less thrust is required to move the aircraft. This in turn, helps the aircraft fly more efficiently.
• Altitudes are defined in relation to number of feet above sea level. Pilots need to aware of the terrain over which they are flying. For example, twenty thousand feet may be suitable for southern Florida but it may not be the same if the aircraft was flying over mountains.
• Cruising altitude would also depend on weather. Pilots receive weather reports and request alternate cruising altitude from air traffic control to avoid air turbulence.
• The length of the flight also plays an important role. The cruising altitudes for short flights are usually less as compared to the cruising altitude for longer flights.
• Flying too close to the clouds may make it hard for the pilot to see and cross winds may lead to air turbulence.
• Flying low means more bug and insects on the wind shield which again can make it hard for the pilot to see in front and reduce visibility.
• There is less friction at higher altitudes, less friction and higher air speed causes engines to burn less fuel therefore it improve fuel efficiency allowing the airplane to travel further.
• Also, at higher altitudes, the air is less dense, therefore the aircraft can run more effectively
• Best fuel efficiency occurs when the plane gets into the mid 30’s +
• High altitude means less power is needed to propel the plane and at 40,000 feet the engines are just above idle power.
These were just some reasons why aircrafts travel high up in the air. So you know now, that this is nothing to be worried about; good airlines take all safety measures to guarantee you have a safe and pleasurable trip. And even though you may be high up in the air, do not forget that the pilots operating the plane are experienced and know everything there is to be known in order to help you reach your destination at the earliest without any inconvenience. Enjoy your flight!
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