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Distance To Altitude  
User currently offlineMatt D From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 9502 posts, RR: 43
Posted (15 years 1 week 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 993 times:

Here's something I've often wondered. What is the typical ground distance covered that an airliner will travel to get from FL0 (ground level) to crusing altitude-say FL320 (32,000 feet)? Is it 40 miles? 50 miles? 75 miles? 100 miles? What about in reverse, on descent? How much ground distance will be covered starting with descent to zero AGL? I realize that there are certain variables involved, such as payload, a/c type, and whether or not the distance travelled is a straight line. But let's make it easy, and take a straight flight path.

Put another way, picture a triangle. The hypoteneuse is the flight path. Line X is altitude, from zero to 35,000 feet. Line Y is the ground distance. The intersection of the hypoteneuse and line X is FL350, level flight. The intersection of the hypoteneuse and line Y is the runway, and touchdown.

What is the typical distance of line Y?

6 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineIainhol From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (15 years 1 week 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 969 times:

When I jumpsat a A340 from LAX to LHR, and we where just over half way to San Fransico when we where 34,000ish feet!

User currently offlineWestern737 From United States of America, joined May 2000, 489 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (15 years 1 week 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 956 times:

I think 6,730 feet equal 1 mile. Not to be exact but you ll need to look at conversion to find the exact.

User currently offlineKohflot From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (15 years 1 week 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 959 times:

The best answer is: it depends.

It depends on the plane.. there's a big difference between a 757 and an A340. Even regional aircraft don't climb the same.. a CRJ is very slow in the climb above 30,000 ft and can take 30+ minutes to get to 350 while a 328JET can climb at 6,000 ft per minute off the deck and can be in the 30's in 15-20 minutes.

It depends on the load.. obviously a light 757 is going to climb faster than a heavy one.

It depends on the temperature.. the warmer it is, typically the slower the climb.

It depends on the length of the flight.. On a short trip, it sometimes doesn't make sense to spend so much time climbing when you're going to spend even longer coming back down. On the other hand, turbojets burn less fuel higher up, so manufacturers hand out charts that show the best cruising altitude for a particular distance, takeoff weight, and temperature.

I know this probably doesn't help, but it's very difficult to give a firm number.. ATC doesn't help much either when climbs and decents are controlled and not just up to the airplane and its crew.

User currently offlineEGGD From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2001, 12443 posts, RR: 32
Reply 4, posted (15 years 1 week 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 941 times:

Decent from FL330 is usually about 100 miles.

Work the rest out from that Big grin


User currently offlineUSAFHummer From United States of America, joined May 2000, 10685 posts, RR: 51
Reply 5, posted (15 years 1 week 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 927 times:

"I think 6,730 feet equal 1 mile."

A statute mile equals 5,280 feet, and a nautical mile is about 6,028 ft. I think...


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User currently offlineQANTAS747-438 From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 2076 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (15 years 1 week 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 923 times:

a mile IS 5280ft. Smile/happy/getting dizzy


My posts/replies are strictly my opinion and not that of any company, organization, or Southwest Airlines.
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