Now, this is a question that comes to everyone’s mind. Sane scientific mind at least, that why does an airplane fly at such high altitude. I mean having an obstacle-free path is good enough. An airplane can fly at that altitude, can’t they? Well, the answer is yes, but then there would be some unviable issues with it which we will be discussing in the current article.
In order to reach high altitudes, the airplane has to use a lot of engine power. We know that an airplane engine is a power machine and consume lots of fuel for its operations. The aircraft has to maintain a minimum forward velocity while climbing, this also makes it enter into a thinner atmosphere. So additional engine resources are required for pressurizing the cabin so that passengers can have a safe and healthy flight.
Air Density plays a pivotal role in the complete aircraft operation. When aircraft fly at very high altitudes they require less fuel to operate than that at lower altitudes. Now here we have to take this into consideration that most of the commercial jetliners are running on jet engines. And Jet Engines in order to operate require…
Jet engines in order to operate require a mix of the fuel-air mixture known as stoichiometric ratio. What this means broadly is that the ratio of fuel to air molecules have to be precise in order to reach maximum operational efficiency. As the altitude increases the air becomes thin.
Or in other words, the density of air would decrease resulting in a lower number of air molecules entering into the system. As a consequence, the number of fuel molecules entering the engine will also have to be lowered to match the number of air molecules. Ultimately this results in a lower amount of fuel be burned to be operationally effective.
Hence it can be concluded that at higher altitudes the aircraft becomes more fuel efficient hence more economical too. Now, this is one reason, secondly, as the aircraft reaches the higher altitudes the air friction on the aircraft also decreases hence enhancing the overall fuel economy of the aircraft.
Aircraft apart from the above-mentioned reason, also fly high in the sky as a safety precaution. You see when you fly too high then the chances of hitting an obstacle are minimal. The aircraft frame is actually very sensitive to hits at high speeds even a bird hitting an aircraft can be disastrous. Hence flying high reduces such risks.
Also at high altitudes, the exposure to the weather-related phenomenon is pretty less. Imagine a thunderstorm brewing up. No aircraft pilot would want to risk his plane getting stuck in such a weather. It is hazardous for the airplane, hence flying high also takes care of running into extreme weather situations.
The element of safety is also applicable to flying at high altitudes. Most of the modern aircraft are sophisticated pieces of equipment and they have the fail-safe mechanism for most of the issues that can crop up in flight. Provided the pilot has time in his hand to rectify the situation. He can only have ample time in his hand when he is flying at high altitudes and there is a window period between taking corrective measure and hitting the ground.