Questions

Why do planes not go in a straight line?

Why do planes not go 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. Q: Captain, I often follow trans-Atlantic flights between Europe and the USA.

Why do planes look like they fly sideways?

It is an optical illusion most of the time but airplanes do fly sideways in specific conditions. It is called side slipping and although it looks like the aircraft is out of control it is actually very much in control by the pilot. It happens when winds hit the aircraft from the side.

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What angle do planes land at?

Q: Is there a certain angle used to land a plane safely? Does it vary when various flight controls are in use? A: The normal descent profile is approximately 3 degrees. This can vary, but during the final stages of landing, 3 degrees is usually the target.

Why do planes land into the wind?

Pilots prefer to land and take off in headwind because it increases the lift. In headwind, a lower ground speed and a shorter run is needed for the plane to become airborne. Landing into the wind has the same advantages: It uses less runway, and ground speed is lower at touchdown.

Can a plane land in strong winds?

As always, airlines and airports will have wind speed limits. If the wind is too strong they will choose not to land or take-off. Simple as that! Aircraft are designed to be able to fly in stronger winds than you may think, and although landings can seem scary in these conditions, they are not.

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Why do planes fly with their wings angled?

Planes in flight need to move forward (speed) to keep a constant flow of air over the wings. This constant flow of air provides lift. As you gain altitude upon takeoff, the wings are angled up.

What makes an airplane fly diagonally?

Mainly it is just an optical illusion created by the angle of the wings to the fuselage that makes an airplane look like it is flying diagonally. There are occasions when in relation to the ground they are flying diagonally. To maintain airflow over the wings and keep enough lift to remain airborne the aircraft turns its nose into the wind.

Why do planes fly sideways when landing?

Plane normally don’t fly sideways. However, for a crosswind landing/takeoff, the aircraft will correct for the wind by pointing its nose into the wind so that the aircraft’s flight path is flying in it’s intended direction. During cruise, aircraft just fly at an angle to maintain a heading.

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What happens when you turn an airplane right?

To turn an airplane right, the left aileron goes down, the right goes up. This causes the left wing to go up, and the right wing to go down. In this configuration, the plane is now at an angle, with increased overall drag (because the ailerons up or down are less aerodynamic than a straight wing). Increased drag slows the airplane.