# Altitude of a Commercial Jet - The Physics Factbook

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# Altitude of a Commercial Jet

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Bibliographic EntryResult
(w/surrounding text)Standardized
Result Cutnell, Johnson. Physics. New York: Wiley, 1998: 67. "an airplane moving horizontally with a constant velocity of +115 m/s at an altitude of 1050 M." 1050 m Chant, Christopher. The World's Greatest Aircraft: Civil Aircraft. Philadelphia: Chelsea House, 2000. "Performance: Maximum Speed 906 km/h (563 mph) at 11,887 m (39,000 ft.)." 12,000 m Drinkard, Terrell. Cruise Altitude. sci.aeronautics.airliners, 3 November 1993. "Two major factors spring to mind immediately. One is the cabin pressure differential. Typically around 8 psi. This limits most airliners to about 40,000 ft (DC-10s were designed for a higher cabin pressure differential - about 10 psi if memory serves). The other limit is the aircraft's certification altitude. The 757 for instance is certified to 42,000 ft last I heard, but there is nothing physically preventing the airplane from climbing higher (other than the cabin pressure consideration)." 12,000 m "Boeing 747". Encyclopedia of Aviation. New York: Scribners, 1977: 33-34. "… it has a range of 4,330 mi.(6,965 km), and maximum speed is over 600 mph (965 km/h) at 30,000 ft. (9,000 m)." 9,000 m The Great Leap Forward. Wired. 9.08 (August 2001). "30,000: Cruising altitude of a commercial jet." 9,000 m

The invention of the airplane is one of human's most outstanding accomplishments. Throughout history, man has searched for faster means of transportation. The airplane is a fast and rather safe means of transport. Airplanes have many uses in society today but one of the major uses includes commercial transport. There are many types of planes such as jets (small and large), rocket planes (fastest airplanes that reach the highest speed and altitude), and many other types. Jet airplanes are is the fastest source of commercial transport for long distance journeys.

An airplane depends on its wings, engines, and control to stay operating. The wings and tails of the plane are the control aspects. The engine is responsible for pushing the plane through the air. The Magnus Effect is demonstrated through the movement of the plane. As the plane moves, the airflow over the wings is deflected downward, thus keeping the airplane up. This attribute is an example of Newton's third law that states that when one object exerts a force on a second object, the second object exerts a force on the first that is equal in magnitude but opposite in direction. The downward force on the air produces an equal upward force on the wings.

The cruising altitude of a normal commercial jet airplane today is around 12,000 m (35,000 ft).

Daniel Cheng -- 2003