jet speed

how fast is a commercial jet going when it leaves the ground on takeoff?

Which commercial jet? A V1 on a Concord is about 175 knots indicated airspeed. V1 on a Boeing 747 is about 142 KIAS. A 737 has a V1 of about 143 KIAS. Of course this varies with the wieght of the aircraft, the density altitude, runway condition, model of the aircraft, etc.

I need to use “preview” when I’m low on caffeine.

in MPH please

There are too many variables to give an exact number. Take-off speed depends on several factors, the biggies being the type of aircraft, altitude of the runway, it’s cargo weight, and it’s fuel load. Anywhere from 110 knots to 220 knots (126 mph to 253 mph) answers the question. A 747-400 taking off at sea level ranges from 140kn (161 mph) empty of passengers and cargo to 170kn (196 mph) full load, full fuel. Hope this helps a little.

Knots X 1.15 = MPH

thanks for the information-i was watching the daytona 500 when i asked this as i can’t imagine those guys driving their cars that close to each other at that speed-i was wondering what it looked like going 180 mph-so i guess i have already experienced it-

Not really, you haven’t. Not until you are in an airplane going 180 mph and you suddenly find yourself five and a half feet from ANOTHER airplane going 180 mph. I don’t mean to offend you but- one is heavily protected in an airplane. And, accidents aside, one doesn’t get close to another plane at high speeds.


now now
i did not mean that it was exactly like riding in a race car
i meant the ground goes by very fast at that speed
damn give me a break

But the sensation is very different because of the scale of the airplane.

Driving a go-kart at 60 mph would probably feel faster than the 180 mpg takeoff speed of a 747.

I’ve flown airplanes at 300 mph 50 ft off the runway. I’ve driven a car at about 150 mph. The car felt faster. WAY faster.

[hijack]What kind of plane was it? That is awful fast so close to the ground.[/hijack]

It’s not directly the scale, but a result of it, your proximity to the ground, that makes the car seem faster.
25mph in a go-kart feels insanely fast because your butt is about 4 inches above the pavement…well, that, the short wheelbase, and the high ratio steering…
Even in a big car your eye level is still only a few feet from the ground.
In an airliner, your eye level is, what? 25 feet above the ground? The effect is drastically reduced.
The acceleration is still exhilarating, but your visual reference point is farther away.

I saw an extreme-sports thing on the tube a while back(yeah, I watch), where these nuts were shooting down steep hills prone, on stretched out skateboards. They were achieving something like 60+ mph, with their heads about 5 inches off the pavement.
When interviewed, they said they’d never done anything that felt faster…that the effect was as if they were traveling at 300mph.
I will wait for the virtual-reality equivalent.

I agree with Jeff. It’s the proximity to the groung what makes it feel faster.

A question for Turbo Dog: Exactly what commercial jet takes off at 220 kts?

And another for Sam Stone: what kind of birds do you fly?


A Concorde will be actually be airborne around 200kts…220 may be a tad high though. They start to rotate sometime before that.

Dr. Lao and E1Skeptic: This was in a Glasair III, at the factory in Arlington, WA. We did a high-speed pass down the runway at about 300 mph (actually closer to 350, since we dove for the runway), then did a zoom and overhead break for the landing (the VSI pegged at over 3500 fpm on the zoom up). Whoo hoo. Unfortunately, I don’t own one or have access to one any more, so all I get to fly are spam cans.

I did have a wonderful flight home one evening in a Mooney I rented - the tailwind I was getting kept getting stronger as we went closer to the ground, and we were flying over flat prairie on a severe clear summer evening with a sky smooth as glass, so I descended to 1000 ft AGL and flew 300 miles doing about 250 kts. I got a pretty good sensation of speed out of that flight, but nothing like you’d get in a fast car or that Glasair.

You remember flights like that for a lifetime. It’s been four years since that evening, and it still brings a smile to my face when I think about it.

I have no idea. It was a rough arbitrary number based on not researching every model commercial airliner under all conditions. I knew the Concorde was 200 at certain conditions, but that’s it. My estimate was a little high on that end, as it’s a little low on the other hand. Sorry.