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How Many Planes In The Air At The Same Time?  
User currently offlineTeme1976 From Finland, joined Feb 2008, 22 posts, RR: 0
Posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 29446 times:

Did a quick search and could not find this issue discussed before - correct if I am wrong.

I was just wondering how many planes are in the air at certain time point worldwide. And I mean the busiest time of the day and year. Let's say 4 PM central european time when afternoon traffic in Europe is in full action, westbound transatlantic traffic is on its way, morning traffic has started in eastern U.S. and still some action in the far east. Or maybe early morning in europe when more action in the far east and also in the U.S.

10 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17055 posts, RR: 67
Reply 1, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 29435 times:

Thousands and thousands. I can't remember exactly but IIRC you're talking over 1000 flights over the US alone during the peak periods.


Across the Atlantic you get well in excess of a thousand flights a day.



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineBond007 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 5417 posts, RR: 8
Reply 2, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 29426 times:



Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 1):
I can't remember exactly but IIRC you're talking over 1000 flights over the US alone during the peak periods.

More like 5000-6000 at peak times in the USA. So if you extrapolate that .. bearing in mind the peak time for Asia, Europe, USA are all different, you probably get 20,000 in the air at one time... maybe?




Jimbo



I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
User currently offlineZANL188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3526 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 29400 times:
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Even more fascinating... How many of each type are in the air at any onetime?

Boeing used to include the 737 figure in every 737 press release but has stopped that practice - probably became difficult to keep up, but it was in the 1000+ ballpark....



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User currently offlineSlamClick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 68
Reply 4, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 29380 times:

Another question I've pondered.

I wonder when was the last time there was NOT ONE airplane aloft over Earth.
I'm betting it was some time in the late 20s or early 30s. Certainly at no time since WW the Second.



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User currently onlineB6JFKH81 From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 2891 posts, RR: 7
Reply 5, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 29350 times:



Quoting SlamClick (Reply 4):
I wonder when was the last time there was NOT ONE airplane aloft over Earth.

I would say right before the Wright Brother's flight in 1903!  wink 



"If you do not learn from history, you are doomed to repeat it"
User currently offlineBok269 From United States of America, joined May 2007, 2104 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 29346 times:



Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 3):
Boeing used to include the 737 figure in every 737 press release but has stopped that practice - probably became difficult to keep up, but it was in the 1000+ ballpark....

One takes off and lands every 5 seconds...as for how many are in the air, I don't know.



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User currently offline2H4 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 8955 posts, RR: 60
Reply 7, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 29340 times:
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Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 3):
Even more fascinating... How many of each type are in the air at any onetime?

While not a complete list (US IFR flights only), this page at Flightaware is an interesting one:



Especially interesting are the types of which a single example is in the air:



Note the B-25 and Il-96. Yesterday, I noticed NASAs B-52 flying over northern Texas.

2H4



Intentionally Left Blank
User currently offlineAskr From Poland, joined Mar 2008, 45 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 29280 times:



Quoting SlamClick (Reply 4):
I wonder when was the last time there was NOT ONE airplane aloft over Earth.

Well, right after 9.11 all flights in the US were grounded for at least 2 days if i remember correctly.

On a side note, astronomers were crazy - they could clearly see the difference between a normal nigh sky and a sky free of all the condensation trail left by planes!



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User currently offlineBond007 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 5417 posts, RR: 8
Reply 9, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 29260 times:



Quoting Askr (Reply 8):
Well, right after 9.11 all flights in the US were grounded for at least 2 days if i remember correctly.

Well, to be exact of course, there was never a time when EVERY flight in the US was grounded. Presumably AF1, the military, and various government and emergency flights were airborne at one time or other.

Jimbo



I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
User currently offlineTdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 10, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 29246 times:



Quoting Bok269 (Reply 6):
Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 3):
Boeing used to include the 737 figure in every 737 press release but has stopped that practice - probably became difficult to keep up, but it was in the 1000+ ballpark....

One takes off and lands every 5 seconds...as for how many are in the air, I don't know.

737's average about 8-10 hours per day of utilization and there are about ~4000 serviceable 737's out there. If we go with the low end of the scale to account for planes in maintenance, there should be about 1300 737's in the air at any given time, although it probably goes up and down during the day as different regions hit their heavy flight times.

Tom.


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