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Question Concerning Distances In Air  
User currently offlineJimbobjoe From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 677 posts, RR: 0
Posted (14 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 1206 times:

I hope that this question has not been answered before...but I dunno how to search for it.

It's also weird to explain...so I have provided a drawing.  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

In my little drawing, A and B are cities. The line X is a line approximating the distance if you were to drive from A to B.

Line Y is approximating the distance if you were to fly from A to B at some sorta altitude. And finally line Z is approximating the distance of flying from A to B at some sorta altitude which is much higher than that at which line Y is.

With this in mind, I've come to the conclusion that there is a longer distance involved the higher the altitude. My question is, how significant is this longer distance? In particular, in airline terms, is the distance all that much longer between a plane flying between A and B at 35,000 feet and a plane flying at 45,000 feet? How much more distance does the Concorde have to fly since it's flying at least 25,000 feet higher than anything else?

Warm regards in advance for your answers.

2 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineTNboy From Australia, joined Mar 2002, 1131 posts, RR: 18
Reply 1, posted (14 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 1196 times:

Sometimes the altitude can be determined by the prevailing winds. For example, a flight of 1000km(or miles) at 30 000ft with a tailwind of 50 kph can be longer (and more expensive to operate) than the same flight at 40 000ft with a tailwind of 200kph. The small difference in climb and descent becomes negligible.

"...every aircraft is subtly different.."
User currently offlineTimz From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 7227 posts, RR: 7
Reply 2, posted (14 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 1176 times:

If Concorde flew the whole London-NY trip at 60000 ft it would fly 3 or 3 1/2 miles farther than if it flew the whole trip at 40000 ft.

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