Why do airplanes fly in a curve?

Or why is it that when you see flight paths on a map they always take a curved route between 2 cities? It’s because planes travel along the shortest route in a 3-dimensional space. This route is called a geodesic or great circle route. They are common in navigation, sailing and aviation.

Why can’t planes fly in a straight line?

Ask the Captain: Why don’t planes fly in a ‘straight line?’ … Answer: It is shorter to fly the Great Circle route than a straight line due to the circumference of the earth being so much greater at the equator than near the poles.

Why don’t planes fly straight across 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.

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Why can you only fly one way around the world?

Instead, the earth’s rotation affects the way the wind blows on our planet. … Plane travel times do often differ depending on the direction of travel, but this is caused by wind currents in the upper atmosphere called jet streams, and in the northern hemisphere it has a lengthening effect on flights from East to West.

Why do planes fly at an angle?

The role angle of attack plays in flight is explained in detail by NASA’s education website. If the top of the wing is more curved than the bottom of the wing, then air pressure does indeed decrease over the wing and help to suck up the wing. … Even a perfectly flat-winged airplane can fly if it tilts its wings.

Why can’t planes fly over the North Pole?

North Pole FAA Flight Requirements

Adding to the problems are the fact that being so near the North Pole can interfere with navigation systems that rely on magnetism. Planes flying in the North Pole, thus, need to have equipment that can compensate for this as best as possible.

Why do flights go over North Pole?

By routing through the North Pole, we cut fuel costs as well as time. Reduction of one hour of travel time saves more than 7 tonnes of fuel and reduces Carbon emissions,” she added. The superior make of aircraft over the years too has made such a feat possible.

Can a plane fly over Mount Everest?

Tim Morgan, a commercial pilot writing for Quora says aircraft can fly above 40,000 feet, and hence it is possible to fly over Mount Everest which stands at 29,031.69 feet. However, typical flight routes do not travel above Mount Everest as the mountains create unforgiving weather.

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Do you fly faster against Earth Rotation?

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.

What happens if a plane has an emergency over the ocean?

Q: Can most twin-engine commercial aircraft fly and maintain altitude on one engine in an emergency over oceans? A: Yes. … If the engine failure occurs at cruising altitude, the aircraft will descend to a lower altitude until the remaining engine has enough thrust to maintain level flight. This is known as drift down.

Why can’t a plane fly slowly and let the earth pass underneath?

The reason an airplane can’t just idle and let the ground pass underneath is the same reason as why a ball dropped from a tall tower lands at the base of the tower and not next to it. … In order to fly east, the plane increases its speed relative to the surface of the Earth and begins to overtake it.

Can a helicopter fly across the Atlantic?

A helicopter can fly across the Atlantic – and this has been achieved several times. The first transatlantic helicopter flight took place in 1952. The first non-stop transatlantic helicopter flight took place in 1967.

Why do planes fly at 35000 feet?

A balance between operating costs and fuel efficiency is achieved somewhere around 35,000 feet, which is why commercial airplanes usually fly at that altitude. Commercial airplanes can climb to 42,000 feet, but going beyond that can be precarious, as the air starts to become too thin for optimum flight of the airplane.

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Can airplanes fly upside down?

The answer is yes for a “little” bit! Unlike military fighters, commercial planes do not have the engine power for sustained inverted flight and rely on lift from the wings. … Commercial airliners are only tested and certified for upright flight.” However, one Boeing aircraft has flown upside down – twice!

Do planes cruise nose up?

It so happens that most airliners have a C.G./aerodynamics combination that require a positive fuselage incidence angle in order to stay level at cruise – resulting in a slightly nose up position at cruise. But this is not so with all aircraft – for instance, the CR7 usually cruises with the nose slightly down.

What is in the nose of a plane?

The nose of the aircraft, the “radar dome,” is made of a fiberglass composite. But if even tiniest imperfections arise during production — if, for instance, little foreign particles, drops of water or air bubbles become enclosed in the resin — over time they can cause fine cracks through which moisture can seep.