Video capturing the ‘real speed of planes’ shows just how fast they actually go
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Obviously, planes go fast. That’s a given - how else are they getting us halfway around the world so quickly?
But with them usually being so far away, it’s not always so clear just how fast they actually go when they’re flying through the air.
However, a video capturing the ‘real speed’ shows just how quickly a passenger jet moves when we’re not looking at it from such a great distance.
There is actually a name for the effect which makes us feel as though planes are not going so fast, when obviously they are. It's called the Motion Parallax and is based on how quickly an object moves through our field of vision.
So, a car driving very fast on the motorway with things moving past very quickly appears to be faster than a plane up in the sky, which lingers in our field of vision for much longer. However, this TikTok video bypasses the Motion Parallax and shows just how quick planes really are.
In fact, the Boeing 737 seen in the video (a common workhorse airliner), has a cruising speed of an eye-watering 545mph. No wonder it whizzes by so quickly!
What's crazy is that in aeronautical terms, this isn't even that quick. It's fast alright, but there are many, many types of aircraft capable of achieving much faster speeds.
The supersonic passenger jet Concorde, for example, had a cruising speed of just over 1,340mph, allowing it to make Atlantic crossings in record time.
However, even this pales in comparison to the fastest air-breathing aircraft ever manufactured - the Lockheed Martin SR-71 Blackbird. First designed and built in the 1960s, the SR-71 was intended for use as a reconnaissance aircraft operating at high altitudes.
It's outfitted with stealth technology but is also so fast it could actually outrun surface to air missiles. Its maximum speed was clocked in at an astonishing 2,200mph.
All these are truly astonishing speeds, but even the relatively snail-like Boeing 737 is still very fast, as the video captures.
Rather than the usual squinting at an aircraft from a great distance away, the video shows an airliner flying past in the clouds, looking like it's just cruising to its destination.
Given how high up you are when going at the cruising speed, and how the plane hopefully slows down when it comes to land, the video looks rather alarming. The jet absolutely shoots past. It almost doesn't look real.
As for how planes stay up, there's really no point pretending that anyone actually knows or understands. Engineers say they do but really they're all just winging it.
Sure, you can say stuff about thrust and air pressure and lift, but it's still basically just magic to us.