How Fast Do Planes Fly?

From airspeed to wind speed, take a look at the factors that affect the speed of an airplane. A good understanding of these factors will help build a better pilot.

How Fast Do Planes Fly?

Once planes are up in the air, they can travel at amazing speeds but the different types of speeds differ depending on take off, landing and up in the air.

This article will be covering all of the different types of speeds a plane will fly depending on the location they are traveling to and the distance. 

How Fast Can They Go?

It all depends on the type of plane you are on. You can either be flying commercial, private or a jet and they all travel at different speeds. For most commercial planes, they will travel at full speed between 550-580 mph.

However, there are different speeds for when the planes are taking off and landing too. 

For all types of planes, they need to build the momentum to get them up into the sky. Therefore, when taking off and landing, it is nowhere near as fast as when they are up in the sky.

For most commercial flights take off will be anywhere between 160-180mph. When the plane is landing, it is slowed down a bit more at 150mph. 

Commercial Planes 

As mentioned above, the speed on the plane is usually between 550-580mph but the wind is one of the main factors which can either push against the plane or make it go faster.

You also need to look at the different take off and landing stirrups. If they are shorter, they need to reduce the speed quicker to make sure they stay on the strip. However, if the strip is longer, they have more room to slow the plane down. 

Landing speeds also depend on the weight of the aircraft and the capacity. Weight and speed are always combining factors when looking at how fast the plane can fly and when it needs to be slower. 

What About Private Jets?

Private jets are the quickest way to fly because they travel at double the speed of a commercial flight. Therefore, for those long journeys you might make to America on a commercial flight, that time can be more than halved on a private jet. 

We all know that being able to travel at 1,200mph comes at a hefty price and much more than flying at a commercial rate. However, the more common types of private jets fly at around 600-700mph which still make a big difference in time.

Due to there also being less people on the plane, it is quicker to board and fly and can be considered safer than commercial flying. 


Even Though most people will never get to fly in any of these types of military planes, they are extremely impressive in terms of speed. This is not only recently as well but back in the 1970s there were military planes which were flying at speeds above 2,000mph. 

We will never actually be able to find out exactly how fast they are able to go because this information is classified, we can only imagine that it is much higher than this.

For example the Boeing X-37B flies at roughly 10,800 miles per hour which is just incredible and like a bullet. 

Single Engine Planes

Single Engine Planes

Single engine planes do not go anywhere near as fast as some of these other planes but they still work in the same way and get affected by the same factors. They can only go up to about 140mph because they only have one engine. 

Depending on whether there is a lot of wind or not, the single engine planes are able to reach higher speeds of 250mph if the winds are low. However, when the winds are high it is unable to fly against it as well. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How Fast Does An Aircraft Need To Take Off?

It all depends on the weight of the aircraft because the lighter planes do not need as much speed to be able to take off. They only usually require between 50-100mph to be able to take off.

However, with heavier commercial planes you are more likely to need a higher speed for momentum around 160-180mph. 

What Is The Average Speed Of A Commercial Plane?

Over the past 20 years there has been a significant drop in speed due to saving on fuel prices. Therefore, planes are taking longer to get to destinations because their planes are traveling at lower speeds to save on costs.

However, the majority of commercial planes will be flying in the air between 550-580 mph. 


Overall, planes all fly at different speeds depending on the company who owns the planes and what type of journeys they are doing. There are also different types of planes which travel at different speeds due to the cost required to fly in them.

The private jets are abl;e to fly faster because they are smaller, holding less passengers and luggage but are much more expensive due to the luxury and space you will have. 

You also have the military planes which are not used for public use but are far faster than any type of commercial or private jets. They were made for their speed and quadruple the speed of some commercial planes and are like bullets in the sky.

Therefore, the speed of a plane always depends on the purpose it has. Most commercial companies will want to save as much money as possible on their fuel for profit but military planes do not have this issue because they aren’t flown as frequently. 

You also need to look at how high the plane is flying. The higher a plane flies, the faster it will be going. If you are only traveling a short distance, the plane will fly quite low and much slower in comparison to a high flying flight.

Jodie Price
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