(ORDO NEWS) — Passenger planes perform air travel, as a rule, at an altitude of 10 kilometers. Where did this plank come from?
In general, the flight altitude of an airliner differs depending on the type and model of the aircraft, its size, the presence of certain equipment and functions.
Small civil aviation aircraft and some jet aircraft fly at an altitude of no more than 6,000 meters, while large and high-speed airliners fly in the upper layers at an altitude of 7,000 to 13,000 meters. Small light aircraft usually do not fly above 2000 meters.
The flight altitude is usually called the vertical distance to the aircraft body. Depending on the level of the reference point, the height is distinguished: true (from the level of a point directly under the aircraft), relative (from any conditional level – the level of the threshold of the runway, the level of the airfield, the highest point of the relief, and so on) and absolute (from sea level).
Flight altitudes are divided into extremely small, small, medium and large. Extremely small ones differ depending on the type and speed of the aircraft, small ones – from extremely small up to 1000 meters, medium ones – from 1000 to 5000 meters, large ones – over 5000 meters.
The level occupied by the aircraft should be distinguished from the flight altitude. Echelons are counted according to standard atmospheric pressure and have values determined by regulatory documents.
But why do passenger airliners fly at an altitude of exactly 10 kilometers? The fact is that the higher the flight speed, the lower the optimal air density.
In dense air near the ground, flying is uneconomical, and at an altitude of more than 12 kilometers, one would have to develop supersonic speeds to ensure optimal engine operating conditions. A typical civil aviation speed of 800-900 km/h is best developed at an altitude of about 10,000 meters.
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