What is the Aviation Football Cup?

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Aviation Football (Soccer) Cup

For football fans and aviation enthusiasts, the Aviation Football Cup is something they are well aware of.

It is a football (soccer) tournament that is hosted only for aviation professionals from around the world. The first tournament was held back in 2005, in Portugal, and airline employees initiated it, and ever since, it has merely continued to grow leaps and bounds.

This tournament has specifically been designed so that aviation professionals from around the globe can meet, travel, play, celebrate, and interact with each other. Ever since it has been 14 successful years for the tournament, and it just keeps growing every passing year.

There are a total of 155-plus teams that participate in this tournament. Over 950 games are played, and more than 4000 professionals attend, scoring over 4000 goals. A total of 50 nations and five continents take part in this prestigious tournament, which is only open to aviation professionals, and they have a gala time.

player holding aviation football cup in hands

What brings each participant to this tournament is his/her shared love for the game, for travel, as well as all the values that are attached along with these, such as – team spirit, fun, and laughter, cultural experience and exposure, a competitive sporting atmosphere, honesty and fairness in the games that are played, as well as creation of friendships that are to last a lifetime.

The tournament is open to amateur football clubs – related to the aviation industry – all around the world. The only criteria is – the participating team should all be a part of the aviation industry – part of airlines, airports, cargo, handling, controllers, travel agencies, and the like.

They can be current or former employees. However, there is a small exception to this hard and fast rule – every team is allowed to bring in two non-aviation members into their team, provided they are non-professional football players.

The registration process requires participating teams to show their company ID cards, to confirm that they belong to the aviation industry and are not professional football players. However, amateur non-aviation teams are also allowed to participate in the tournament.

The organization might make an exception to providing wild cards based on the final decision, as is taken by the organizing committee. The best part is, teams can send in as many participants as players, staff as well as guests as they like.

The teams are divided according to sections referred to as pots (which is a system followed only competitions when there are more than two groups) based on their rankings in the Aviation Football Cup’s rankings at the start of every tournament. Each group contains one team from every pot.

The teams all have seven players on each side, and the games are played outdoors on either artificial or natural grass. There are three divisions – men’s team, women’s team, and teams for more than 35-year-old men.

Final Words

Thus, if you’re ever wondering what the Aviation Football Cup is, know that it is one of the biggest coming together of football and aviation.

Are you attending as a player in this marvelous tournament, and you are still in need of new soccer equipment or apparel? Visit THIS IS AMERICAN SOCCER and take a look at their extensive selection of goods!

What is an Airborne Observatory?

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Airborne Observatories

The term airborne observatory refers to an air-based setup where a telescope is placed on an airplane, airship, or a hot air balloon to view the outer space. Airborne observatories come with their own set of advantages and disadvantages.

One of the prime benefits of these observatories is that since the telescope is now located at a sufficiently high altitude, preferably over the stratosphere, it can quickly provide a clear view to the millions of celestial bodies in the universe.

This is because since the telescope is now located over the stratosphere, which contains water vapor, which in turn absorbs the infrared radiations, we can now efficiently conduct observations in the ideal infrared spectrum.

Another reason for the clear vision of outer space from airborne observatories is that due to its high altitude location, the astronomers do not have to worry about climatic and pollution-related factors since they always get to work with a clear sky now.

Kuipter Airborne Observatory in flight

Every situation has two sides to it; similarly, the airborne observatory also has a fair share of disadvantages.

Some of the drawbacks faced by astronomers in such situation are the weight limitations of the telescope and other instruments which can be loaded into the airplane, the instability of the platform on which telescope is placed due to its transient nature, safety issues associated with flying objects, and lastly the huge amount of expenditure it takes to fulfill such a project.

Leaving beside the pros and cons of this fascinating approach to study the universe, NASA back in the year 1965 had already paved the path for airborne astronomy by launching its Convair 990 aircraft to explore the solar eclipse. Year after year, NASA has to date launched several airborne astronomy-related projects which have provided humankind with some significant discoveries about the universe we reside in.

The most distinguished airborne observatory developed by NASA was the Kuiper Airborne Observatory (KAO), which was frequently used to study the solar system and extragalactic observations between the years 1975 to 1995.

The KAO carried a 36-inch reflecting telescope. Some of the important discoveries made by the KAO are observations regarding Pluto’s atmosphere, rings around Uranus, the existence of complex organic molecules in space, and the presence of traces of water in comets and Jupiter’s atmosphere.

The most recent development in the field of airborne astronomy is the addition of SOFIA or Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy to the list. This is a joint project led by NASA and German Aerospace Center and allows the astronomers to study the universe with much greater clarity. Its primary objective is to locate and observe the two black holes at the center of a distant galaxy.

After analyzing the entire notion of airborne astronomy, it is quite evident that the development of airborne observatories has helped humankind to have a better understanding of the universe because of the several advantages it possesses over the traditional ground-based observatories.

Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy

Conclusion

As fascinating the idea sounds, it has also proved equally beneficial for the astronomers around the world by helping them to find answers to the most debated questions regarding the outer space.

Perhaps you prefer to keep your feet on the ground while stargazing and exploring the universe?

Then a telescope is all that you need to start your journey. Head over to the website ExoplanetScience.org and browse their selection of telescopes right away!

How Does an Air Data Computer Work?

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Air data computer and its advanced operation

System Control Center Woman working in a Technical Support Team

An air data computer is an advanced device, also known as an avionics component. They play a very significant role in aviation maintenance, as they provide certified airspeed and parameters for altitude, which are of utmost importance in the efficient operation of an aircraft.

These air data computers assimilate data from the external parts and sensor systems of the plane and analyze them to give a series of calculated outcome which are crucial for the aircraft’s functionality.

All the flight-related information is now stored in the air data computer. With these computers being made available for comparatively smaller commercial and private aircraft, air data computers have become indispensable.

An earlier design of ADC

During the later years of the 1960s, there was a groundbreaking military project. In this, the first single device was installed. It took the inputs and systematically supplied all the data.

Tomcat Fighter, the central air data computer which was installed in the F14A, completely revolutionized the concept of cockpit information streaming and set the standard for the modern Air Data Computer technology.

The air data computer analyzes static, and pilot pressure, total air and outside air temperature), TAS (true airspeed), IAS (indicated airspeed), angle of attack, pressure altitude, Mach number, and angle of yaw and that sum up the basis of how an air data computer work.

All these operations and wiring in the cockpit of the aircraft made it a mess for the pilots to work comfortably, and thus, the invention of the air data computer took place.

Cloudy binary code transmitted in sky

The rotorcraft in ADC

The rotorcraft undergoes certain mechanical phenomena and due to the downwash of the rotor, which can easily affect and alter the accurate pressure measurements. The rotor downwash can be corrected using digital filtering technology.

The digital filtering technology reduces the pneumatic noise present in the air pressure without the addition of any weight.

The air data computer is capable of holding multiple sets of configuration data so that it can reach the target platform as a result of this various aircraft, which is how an air data computer work.

Basic working

The air data computer has two tubes/ capsules. One is for static pressure, whereas the other one is for dynamic force when there is a signal imbalance in the circuit, which rotates a shaft through a motor.

This physical reading is then converted to electrical signals using a transducer. The air data computer now has sensors Analogue to Digital Interface Units. Before the air data computer receives the results, they are converted to digital signals.

We hope you learned how an air data computer works with the detailed explanation above. It has a very significant role in the overall working and functionality of the aircraft.

It helps to obtain the correct reading of pressure, and it also rectifies the imbalance in the dynamic and static pressure in an airplane.

Top Aviation Maintenance Schools in the U.S

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Best Aviation Maintenance Programs in the U.S.

Sign with logo for Pacific States Aviation

The aviation maintenance is the study regarding the upkeep of the aircraft parts, which includes a complete inspection, overhauling, the rectification of defects, if any. Also, the airworthiness of the aircraft is taken under consideration under the aviation maintenance schedule.

The maintenance of aircraft parts also covers the aspect of modifications and repair; therefore, if any part of the plane needs to undergo any change or need to repair is dealt with accordingly. The maintenance of an aircraft and its components should be carried with the utmost precautions.

What Are Aviation Maintenance Programs?

Aviation maintenance programs are undergraduate level programs. The roles related to these programs include- Aircraft Maintenance Engineer who is also known as a Licensed Aircraft Maintenance Engineer, Aircraft Maintenance Technician, and Aircraft Maintenance Mechanic.

So, if you are willing to take up the course, then top aviation maintenance schools in the U.S. are discussed in detail below. The details regarding the courses these universities offer are also mentioned.

1. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

replica of first airplane and the Wright Brothers at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Embry- Riddle Aeronautical University was found in 1925. It is located at Daytona Beach and Prescott, where it has its primary campus. According to U.S. News & World Report’s 2017, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University was ranked 12 in the list of Best Regional Universities in the South.

The universities offer online training programs as well. There are more than 150 other training centres and campus all around the globe, owned by Embry- Riddle Aeronautical University. The university majorly focuses on courses related to aeronautics like- aviation, aeronautics, or engineering.

Training in aviation, aeronautics, or engineering is also offered by the university as well as an associate’s, and bachelor’s degree programs in aviation maintenance science are provided as well. The associate’s degree program prepares students to take the FAA Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) Mechanic certification exam.

The provide bachelor’s degree program of Embry- Riddle Aeronautical University in the field of aviation maintenance science offers a concentration in various areas like aerospace electronics, aviation maintenance, and flight.

Hence, the university is one of the top aviation maintenance schools in the U.S.

2. Broward College

Broward College Willis Holcombe Center building and courtyard

The Broward College has 58th rank as mentioned in the WalletHub’s 2016 list out of the best community colleges in the whole country.

The institution offers an associate’s degree in aviation maintenance as well as diplomas for airframe or powerplant mechanics, which are needed for a certification course, and Broward College also provides the Avionics Technician certificate.

The educational institution also provides internships for willing candidates.

3. Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics

Glenn Curtiss and Orville Wright, in the year 1929, laid the foundation for the Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics. It has the privilege of being one of the first universities to have the approval of the Civil Aeronautics Authority, which is the precursor of the FAA.

Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics holds the FAA approval. Pennsylvania, Maryland, Ohio, and South Carolina are the places where Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics have established their campus. Aviation and technology programs, as well as its Jump Start program, is offered by the institution.

Under the jump start program, short-term training in specific fields. After completion of the programs above, students can appear for the A&P Mechanic’s certification exam.

Conclusion

To be at any of the posts like – Aircraft Maintenance Engineer, Aircraft Maintenance Technician, and Aircraft Maintenance Mechanic, students have to have an associate’s degree in aeronautics, engineering or aviation which also helps them to clear the A&P exam.

Therefore, students can consider the above mentioned top aviation maintenance schools in the U.S.

12 Best Gifts for Aviation Lovers

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Gift Guide Aviation Lovers

It is the holiday season, which means that it is time for cheer and gift-giving. For some people (like Sheldon Cooper), gift-giving can be quite an intimidating activity, especially if there is someone in your life with a specific passion.

So today, we are going to help you pick the perfect gift for all your aviation loving family and friends, doing our bit to end up in Santa’s nice list!

pilot checking his plane pre-launch pauses to look down runway

Most ideas from this list came from a specific wedding gift ideas related website called Party Wedding. This is because I got the inspiration for this article when I was at a good friends wedding. Feel free to check out the website mentioned above!

Whether your budget is in the double digits or triple digits, here are a few ideas to help get you started:

1. Aircraft Model

You can not go wrong with model airplanes. And a true aviation lover can never have too many of them. An aircraft model that is made well has dual benefits; it lasts forever and makes for a beautiful display at home, or adorn the workplace.

And if your aviation enthusiast is one who has children, making this model aircraft can be a fun activity to do with their little bundles of joy, and also an exciting way of passing on their passion for aviation.

2. Nautical Sextant

We know that sextants are not part of aircraft. However, they were an essential invention for navigation. And a pilot understands how essential the right tools for navigation are.

3. A Piece of an Airplane

If you want to make an AvGeek’s day and are ready to shell out some cash, then you could try searching for an original airplane piece or part. You creative get creative and track down aircraft parts that can be used as décor.

And you have a reasonably good chance of finding a vintage pilot bag or galley cart on Etsy.com. Items like these carry history and make for some great conversation starters.

4. Pilot’s Tools

This nifty little kit, stores all the essential items that one might need in times of an aviation crisis. Also, toolkits for pilots have not been around for a long time, which means they had to struggle to find the tools for their troubles. So this ensemble would be a great and useful gift.

5. Serengeti Aviator Sunglasses

Now we understand that this is a fairly obvious option. But what most people consider Aviator sunglasses are not the real deal. Serengeti is a trusted brand for eye wear options, and it is also a hit among the aviation community.

There isn’t much room for error with a pair of sunglasses. As many aviation enthusiasts spend their time outdoors, these sunglasses will shield them from the glaring sun as they peer over the horizon.

6. Airplane Ride

There is no better gift than the gift of experience. And any AvGeek would jump at the opportunity to fly and ride on an aircraft of their dreams. Everyone knows that flying is expensive, so even though AvGeeks passionately love airplanes, they may not get the opportunity to fly as often as they would like.

Buy them a gift card or enrol them for a class at the nearest flight school or set them up for a ride on a historical warbird, and who knows, maybe they will even let you tag along!

helicopter pilot smiling while listening to air traffic controller

7. Aviation Themed Pieces of Art

A beautiful aviation photo or piece of artwork makes for a fair and thoughtful gift for the average aviation fan, and it also makes it easier to incorporate it with their existing decor, without much hassle.

Depending on if your loved one would enjoy posters or photographs can help sway your decision. There are many witty posters on Aviation available online, which can be framed to make the perfect wall hanging.

8. Aviation Themed Pure Leather Wallets

This makes for a more subtle way of including aviation into an everyday essential. It is made using 100% genuine leather. This wallet is classic, as well as sturdy. It has the pilot’s wings symbol embossed in one corner.

This gift will make your beloved AvGeek think of you every time they look at this beautifully crafted wallet.

9. Books or DVDs About Airplanes

For many people in the field of aviation, their passion for aviation has also resulted in a thirst for information about the area they so adore. So informative or even fictional books on aviation themes are enormous hits.

DVDs such as the hit TV show “The Aviators” or an Aviation Documentary like “One Six Right” are frontrunners from our end.

Or maybe your loved one would appreciate excellent coffee table books like “In the Cockpit: Inside 50 History-Making Aircraft” or even’ 101 things to do with your pilot’s license’. They can make for an exciting read as well as a great conversation starter.

10. Aviation Attire

Now we do not mean a full-blown flight suit, Top Gun style. But a few pieces of Aviation merchandise can never hurt. Most of the cheesy clothing items (with the monikers of “I’m Cool Because I’m a Pilot!”) do make a great gag gift or stocking filler.

But if you are in the mood to brighten up their day, then Aviation themed jackets are available in many different versions. You can easily find both leather and Bomber jackets on the internet that would make any AvGeek happy.

11. Aircraft Bookends

If your AvGeek has a collection of books from the many places they’ve flown to, then this could be the perfect gift to display some literary gems. This bookend, shaped like a vintage plane, would look gorgeous on any mantle and would be ideal for holding their favorite aviation books.

12. Flight Simulator

This are the big guns. But they make a fantastic gift for aviation enthusiasts. The X-Plane 11 Global Flight Simulator is probably the best flight simulator software available for aviation enthusiasts.

It provides them with an experience of all the real adrenaline rushing moments of being in the clouds.

Pilot and flight attendant interacting with each other

We hope that our list makes your holiday season easy, both in terms of decisions and budget. We also hope that the gifts end up bringing joy and cheer in the lives of those who receive them.

Which gift did you end up picking? Do you have other suggestions about a gift for Aviation enthusiasts? Let us know here!

24 Best Aviation Gift Ideas for Pilots

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What to Buy for the Mavericks in Your Life?

When you have a member of the flying squad in your circle of friends or family, buying a gift for them becomes both comfortable as well as challenging at the same time.

On the one hand, you know they would adore something aviation-themed, but on the other hand, you are completely stumped as to which aviation-related surprise would they appreciate most.

So we are here to help you with your gift-giving quandary. While buying gifts for pilots, one must try to combine the thrills of flying high and a little bit of creativity, with a touch of practicality and precision.

So sit back and go through our little guide to buy the best gift for the pilots of your life, that are tailored to meet both your budget and their expectations.

Oh, by the way, some of these gift ideas came directly from a German website named Stonefoot. They have some fantastic and exciting gifts listed on their website, check them out!

Portrait of male pilot in airplane cockpit

Best Gifts for Pilots

1. Best Pilot Tumbler

Many of the best gifts are also the simplest. And this customizable tumbler, with the pilot’s name along with the word “BEST EVER”, will attain just that. Personalize it to your tastes to make a thoughtful gesture.

2. Leather Jacket

This is simple, dateless, and a fan favorite. Made with 100% leather, it includes a storm flap covering the YKK zip, and it also has a Second World War United States flag embossed on the interior. This will make their pilot pals jealous.

3. A Pilot Lounge Sign

Something elegant and polished to add to their decor at home. A fun vintage piece, this makes for the perfect new addition to an aviation geek’s existing decor at the home bar or even the office cocktail.

It has the option to have their name written on the top alongside some aircraft art and our favorite three-dimensional hand-crafted martini glass.

4. Bose Aviation Headphones

This gift has both style and function. As we all know, Bose, the World’s top brand for quality audio. Luckily for us, their headset is a premium gift and has an aviation theme that will leave the pilot in your life drooling.

It can be a little heavy on the pocket, so if the Bose is out of your budget, try the headsets by Kore Aviation.

5. Trust Me. I am A Pilot Tee

A little bit of a cheeky gift, it is sure to put a smile on your loved ones face. And they are never going to buy it for themselves, so why don’t you help them out a bit?

6. Vintage Aviator Sign

Dateless style meets old-world charm in this neat little personalized wall decor to decorate their walls. It is an excellent gift for a pilot who seems to have everything.

7. GoPro Mount

For the pilots who are also camera enthusiasts and want great pictures or videos. You can help make their life more comfortable with this aircraft GoPro mount.

Hand-crafted from airplane grade aluminium, the mount fits like a glove literally on any aircraft, which is equipped with tie-downs. This makes it the perfect gift to be used by any pilots as well as those flight school students.

8. An Airplane Necklace

It is simple, chic, and not over the top. Get a cute little necklace, along with a note which has a sweet message.

9. Personalized Lounge Barrel Pilot Sign

The top of the barrel is called “Quarter Barrel,” which can make for the perfect gift ever. This is a unique item for someone who wants to keep away from the things that just say “Pilot” or “Aviator.”

We have various Quarter Barrel Signage gift options that can be customized, along with different themes ranging from wine, Barbecue, whiskey to golf, garage, and everything else in between.

10. A Portable Charger

There is no job more travel sensitive than a pilot’s. And everyone who stays far from the base for extended periods knows that a charger is essential, how else would they keep in touch with their loved ones.

With a charger that packs a 26800mAh battery, it is enough to charge any smartphones a minimum of six times, or it can charge a tablet twice over. It provides nine days of unlimited usage on average.

As a bonus, it can also charge at least three different devices altogether, which makes it the great travel buddy for any aviator.

Close up of captain's epaulettes

11. Travel Adapter

Anyone who travels a lot will tell you hat sockets, and adapters can be a pain in the neck during different stopovers. Most pilots already own one. However, if you know a fresh graduate, we are sure they will appreciate it.

And honestly, if your beloved pilot has one in their travel bag already, they regret not keeping a backup, as we all know how easily small items mysteriously disappear in our luggage. This is a must-have pilot’s accessory for surviving this modern age.

12. A Pen for Pilots

Another great contender for a stocking filler is this nifty little pen that has an LED light attached to it. It comes in handy for checking and marking maps when there is not a lot of light available.

13. David Mccullough’s Wright Brothers

For the pilots who also share a love for reading, this nifty little book will be a blessing. Let World David McCullough, a famed historian, take you through the lives of two bicycle repairers hailing from Ohio, specifically Dayton, and single-handedly changed the course of the historical tides.

This national bestseller carefully drafted at the expertise of a Pulitzer Prize awardee, not once but twice, is a page-turning biography that will reignite any pilot’s sense of fascination.

14. Vintage Aircraft Plaque

For the chasers of storms, the sky warriors, and cloud divers, this timeless wooden tablet is the definition of perfection. It can also be personalized by a name board that can be hung in an ode to old-world style and is made entirely in the United States of America.

15. A Quirky Coffee Mug

A witty little cup that will make their day from the moment they hold it. We are sure the pilot in your life enjoys some beverages for this cup that could be utilized. An aviation enthusiast who appreciates wit, as well as some humor, will appreciate this gift as well.

16. Whiskey Glasses with an Aviation Theme

This is the best gift for the pilot, who is also a whiskey connoisseur. A set of wonderfully crafted whiskey glasses is the right mix of both worlds. They have a 13.5-ounce capacity. You can boast about some exquisite art of vintage airplanes soaring high.

While you are on the lookout for gifts that combine old malts and a love for flying, you might also want to check out some options for tailored whiskey barrels as well as bar decor too.

17. Coaster Set

It comes in a pack of four different aviation themed coasters. They make for the perfect kick back and chill partners for the pilot of your life. Each is different than the other, and all of them have a display picked from the instrument panel.

18. A Vintage Map for Travellers

A personalized timeless and classic wooden sign makes for a perfect anniversary present for the traveller pilot and their spouse. You can pay homage to a wedding, a magical honeymoon, or your favorite destination. A simple gesture celebrates their love for globetrotting.

19. Remote Controlled Hobby Aircraft

All pilots love airplanes, regardless of their size. A hobby plane reminds one of their yesteryears filled with a childlike fascination with planes. And of course, sometimes it’s great to fly with your feet firmly grounded, just to switch things up.

In any scenario, we assure you that the pilot you love will adore a remote-controlled hobby aircraft.

20. Daddy’s Co-pilots Aviator themed Keychain

This adorable Keychain makes for the perfect stocking filler. It comes with a banner that reads, “Daddy’s Co-Pilots,” accompanied by a vintage bronze aircraft charm as well as a clip along with as many personalized name tags on “clouds” as members of the family.

21. 3D Aircraft Card

A beautiful card is a cherry on top of your main gift for your pilot. This card is adorned with an enchanting sketch of an aircraft high up in the sky and surrounded by the fluffiest little clouds, which looks whimsical.

So open it and be greeted with a 3D plane which “flies off” of the map. It has some spectacular detailing, including windows.

22. A Custom-made Pilot Sign

Made from carefully crafted steel and molded-in propeller-like shape. It also has a customizable name board. It is a classy and subtle gift to adorn both the home or the workplace.

23. An Old World Pilot’s Lounge Sign

It’s difficult for someone to not fall in love with the skies after having seen them so up close and personal. So if the pilot in your life is as head over heels in love with the heavens as we assume them to be, then this neat lounge sign id the best gift for them.

Made and sourced entirely in the United States from beautiful polished wood, this lounge sign arrives ready to adorn your chosen wall at home or elsewhere.

24. Aviator Glasses

We left the most obvious one for last Aviator glasses, cliche, or classic, whatever you may call them. You can’t deny that they are the pinnacle of a fantastic gift tailored for pilots.

So were we successful in our goal to help you find the perfect gift? Were some of these items already in your wishlist? Did a wonderful gift skip our attention? We are excited to gear all your inputs and feedback! Write to us below!

How Fast Does a Commercial Airplane Fly?

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Iberia Airbus A320 passenger jet airplane

Airplanes have been one of the most amazing inventions to date. The aviation sector has seen various milestones being set up year after year. This century has witnessed the evolution of the communication sector, with airplanes being the most advanced medium.

As a regular person, you must have wondered what makes airplanes so unique, let alone their skill of flying? It is speed. Planes are known for their super speed, which helps you fly across landmasses, within a matter of hours.

So, how fast does an airplane exactly fly? This question has intrigued numerous people. But even if it is the fastest mode of travel over oceans, it has numerical to which the measure is limited.

While in the air, an object tends to have two types of speeds; ground speed and airspeed.

Ground Speed

Defined by its literal meaning, ground speed is self-explanatory. The time that the airplane takes to cover a certain amount of distance over the ground is known as ground speed. During the cruise altitude, an aircraft might have a ground speed between 300-600 nautical miles per hour.

Mostly the aircraft’s cruise at the same ground speed. However, wind plays a more significant hand in driving the plane while up above in the sky! A tailwind tends to push the airplane while a headwind slows the big machine down.

AirSpeed

Airspeed has various variations to it. When an aircraft is still on the runway and has a headwind of 20 miles per hour, then the plane is said to have airspeed of 20 mph irrespective of the fact that it is moving.

This is because the airspeed is defined as the speed of the air over the wing. This speed over the wing helps to know how much lift it is producing. It is this lift that allows the airplane to support its massive weight and helps it to keep hovering high up.

But remember, whenever you ask a pilot about the speed of the machine he is flying, he answers it in the form of airspeed as it is this speed which keeps the airplane flying.

airplane backlit by the sun in midair

Mach Speed: Speed of Sound

When the aircraft attains a certain altitude (25,000-30,000 ft), the speed of sound is measured. This speed is termed as Mach Speed. It is defined as the percentage of the speed of sound. For example, a Mach number of 0.70 implies 70% of the speed of sound.

This speed differs as it depends upon the temperature of the air. The Mach number is taken as a reference as to when an aircraft approaches the speed of sound; shockwaves start to form, and hence the machine can face severe aerodynamic issues. Therefore, airplanes have a maximum Mach number of flying.

This is how the speed of a commercial airplane is measured. So, next time when a co-passenger asks you about the speed of the plane you are travelling in, you know how and what to answer!