Matt D
Topic Author
Posts: 8907
Joined: Fri Nov 19, 1999 6:00 am

### Distance To Altitude

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?

Guest

### RE: Distance To Altitude

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!
Iain

Western737
Posts: 465
Joined: Fri May 12, 2000 5:45 am

### RE: Distance To Altitude

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

Kohflot
Posts: 941
Joined: Wed Sep 29, 1999 5:31 am

### RE: Distance To Altitude

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.

EGGD
Posts: 11884
Joined: Sat Feb 24, 2001 12:01 am

### RE: Distance To Altitude

Decent from FL330 is usually about 100 miles.

Work the rest out from that

EGGD

USAFHummer
Posts: 10261
Joined: Thu May 18, 2000 12:22 pm

### RE: Distance To Altitude

"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...

Greg
Chief A.net college football stadium self-pic guru

QANTAS747-438
Posts: 1724
Joined: Mon Jan 22, 2001 7:01 am

### RE: Distance To Altitude

a mile IS 5280ft.

---QANTAS747-438
My posts/replies are strictly my opinion and not that of any company, organization, or Southwest Airlines.

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