How Fast Do Planes Fly?How fast do planes fly?

The simple answer to the question of how fast do planes fly would have been “very fast.” But that would not have done justice to the question. That answer would have been appropriate for a kid in the kindergarten who would not understand the great details. However, for you, we will bring the numbers and duly trash the question as you would want it. Stand fast!

How fast planes fly depends on the kind of planes you are talking about and the purpose for which the plane was built. There are personal planes, commercial planes, and military planes.

First, Planes in general can fly from the range of 100 mph up to thousands of miles per hour. For personal planes, the fast they can fly is between 120 to 200 mph. And the reason for this is that they are single-engine planes. Factors such as weather conditions and wind also are accountable for why personal planes cannot fly above that speed limit.

Concorde Flying
Concorde Flying

If the weather is favourable, single-engine planes can go as fast as 250 mph. The reason for this would be because those planes are bigger. Cirrus Vision SF50 is reported to have a speed of about 576 mph.

Military planes are designed for one thing, and that is so they can fly at a very fast speed. We bet you know the military is always about being swift and precise. Thus, their airplanes are created to ensure that missions get accomplished in the shortest possible moments.

The known reported speed for a military plane is the range between 717 mph and 1,195 mph. This speed is for fighter jets, and the highest speed recorded is an astonishing 1,920 mph to 3,100 mph.

F35 Flying Close to Terrain
F35 Flying Close to Terrain

Although some military aircraft such as cargo planes go below these numbers to a speed of 400 mph to 640 mph.

Commercial airlines’ fastest average speed when they cruise at their maximum altitude is 550 mph. These are passenger airlines and though they are not single engines, the weight they carry and several other factors limit how much they can fly.

Most notable commercial airplanes and their speed is highlighted below:

  • A Boeing 747 cruises at a speed of 570 mph.
  • Airbus A380 has a cruising speed of 630 mph.

How Fast do Planes Fly During Take-off?

Take-off speed varies between planes due to the weight of each plane and the number of passengers each plane carries. For most commercial planes, the average take-off speed is between 150 to 175 mph. In addition, a plane that is smaller in size will easily take off than a bigger plane. The reason for this is that smaller planes are lighter in weight and size, so the momentum and the fuel needed to take off are quite limited, and they do not expend much.

Typically, a plane’s take-off speed is between 115 mph and 160 mph on runways. A Boeing 747 is reputed to take off at a speed of 184 mph when it is carrying all its capacity. And that is about 366 passengers. Other variables that may limit or increase how fast take-off for a Boeing 747 can be is weather conditions, the length of the runway, and also as said its weight.

How Fast do Planes go During Landing?

Planes cannot go “very fast’ when landing to prevent a disaster. When planes are in the air, they typically cruise at the speed of 500 to 600 mph. If and when they are about to land, they cannot fly that fast anymore. Thus, they must reduce their speed when they are about to land to the speed of about 170 mph. This is how fast a Boeing 747 can go during landing.
Also, when planes touch down on the runway, they must apply brakes as quickly as possible until the plane comes to a definite halt.

Boeing 747 landing
Boeing 747 landing

According to One Monroe Aerospace, planes break when landing by using;

  1. Wing spoilers: This is a flap that is used to deaccelerate the plane as it approaches the runway, and it Is left raised to create drag which slows down the plane.
  2. Disc Brakes: This is similar to the braking system in the automobile. It is attached so they can squeeze the wheels and apply pressure so the plane can slow down until it comes to a complete stop.
  3. Reverse Thrust: This is used to reverse the speed of the planes when landing.
    It is thus imperative that planes do not go fast when they land, to prevent the plane from overshooting their runway.

How do Airplanes Fly Fast?

For planes to fly fast, there are various considerations. Air is the first. Then the wings are the next. The wings are attached to the plane to ensure that they move faster when air passes over them. The wings require pressure to lift them in the air. A computer simulation of how this process works is given by NASA.

Numerous buttons are at the disposal of the pilot to help the plane fly either fast or to change direction of the plane. For the Roll, it helps to turn the plane right or left by raising ailerons on one wing and lowering the same on the other wings.

Lufthansa Boeing 747-8
Lufthansa Boeing 747-8

The Pilot uses the Pitch to make the plane climb or descend. When the elevator is raised, the plane would climb, while when the elevator is lowered, it causes the airplane’s nose to drop, sending the plane in a downward direction.

The Yaw, like the Roll, is used to turn the plan to one side or the other. All of these are important to determine how airplanes fly fast. And they are at the disposal of the pilot. As stated earlier, the weather conditions are also a factor in how fast a plane can fly.

What is The Fastest Plane?

The fastest plane ever was built for NASA for conducting high-speed research in space. That’s the North American Aviation X-15. Its recorded top speed when it was launched from the B-52 mothership was 4,520 mph. And that record was set on October 3, 1967. And unfortunately, no aircraft has rivaled that speed till this moment.

Fastest Military plane: A descendant of the Lockheed A-12 “Oxcart” which was designed for the American Central Intelligence Agency, is the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird. It is the fastest military jet with a speed of 2,250 mph when it evades missiles, a function it was intended for.

That is, to outrun and intercept surface-to-air missiles. Due to the very high cost of operating the aircraft and the cold war, the SR-71 was retired in October 1997 by the US Air Force, the CIA, and even NASA.

Fastest Civilian Plane: The Concorde, which was only restricted to flying over water, with a record speed of 1,354 mph is the fastest civilian plane. A joint venture between the United Kingdom and France. The noise of the aircraft was the main reason for this restriction. However, that does not mean it never travelled overland. It did travel but the noise produced from its sonic boom meant the sound affected humans below.


Aside from the noise, the cost of a seat was way too high that it was not commercially viable. Though it could get you to your destination in time, you might not afford such a cost to fly. And what would spell the end for the world supersonic was the crash on July 25, 2000. The plane has continuously crossed the oceans for 27 years without recording any accident before the year 2000.

Since its last flight in 2003, there are no signs that the Concorde will ever fly again. Though some interest groups are working to achieve this, the economic side of the project may not make it see the light of the day.

Are fighter jets faster than planes?

Yes, fighter jets are faster than planes. They can fly twice if not three times faster than planes or commercial airlines. The average speed of a fighter jet is 1,600 mph. Though they normally cruise at the same speed as commercial planes or passenger jets for fuel efficiency.

A fighter jet can fly in a single flight between 1,300 to 3000 mph. Additionally, the Soviet-built Mikoyan MiG-25 Foxbat is the fastest fighter jet ever built but never flew at its maximum speed because of overheating engine concerns. It was recorded to only have flown at the speed of 2,400 mph.

F35 Lighting II
F35 Lighting II

Though passenger jets may be built to fly as fast as a fighter jet, regulations, and the altitude it can fly among other considerations may be a hindrance.

Airplanes are a marvel that has continued to undergo innovative measures to ensure speed and efficiency. This article has discussed all information about the speed of an aircraft. How fast it can fly. Furthermore, the take-off speed and landing speed of an airplane was explained. Hopefully, the safety of passengers will continue to prevail as new inventions come to life.

Can Commercial Aircraft Fly Faster?

Unfortunately, with all the advancements in aviation technology, one thing that hasn’t changed is how fast planes travel.

Aircraft don’t fly any faster because they burn more fuel at higher speeds, meaning that it isn’t economically efficient. Additionally, operating at higher speeds puts more strain on the aircraft engine and its components, causing them to wear down faster.

Flying faster isn’t in the airline’s interest if it means higher ticket prices. So, while some airlines fly at slower speeds, others do not.

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James Blake

By James Blake

Does it fly? Then I am interested!

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