Anonymous asked in Cars & TransportationAircraft · 1 month ago

if the concorde flew at 70000 feet.. does that mean that it never had to deal with turbulence?

if that's correct why don't other planes do the same? not enough power? too expensive? not profitable?

6 Answers

  • Dan B
    Lv 7
    19 hours ago

    As you go up in altitude, air density is thinner (still 20% oxygen) - air molecules are further apart.  That results in less lift and less power from the engines.  Also, the speed of sound is lower (761 mph at sea level vs 660 mph >36,000 ft) which requires fuselage designs to lower the aerodynamic drag and turbulence.  Ramjets work at those altitudes efficiently at about Mach 3, turbojets and turbofan engines do not..  A ramjet needs 400+ mph speed before it can operate.  So the aircraft would need two types of engines or engines from the SR71 or have afterburners.  Cost of operating and airplane goes up as the speed and altitude capabilities go up - led to the demise of the Concorde (not hte crash).  The crash was the straw that broke the camel's back so to speak.

  • 2 weeks ago

    A plane has to have a certain amount of lift on the wings to fly.   The higher you go the thinner the air and the less lift so to compensate you have to go faster.   But when you get around the speed of sound you run into a whole new set of problems.    Making a civilian airliner that can go faster than the speed of sound is an expensive proposition.   I think we are done with supersonic passenger flight.   What we will see is ballistic flights.   You take off from New York City,  fly up to 60,000 feet as a jet then use rockets to go on a ballistic trajectory out into space.   Once in space your speed is maintained and you use no fuel.   Then as you come down on the other side you can simply glide in for a landing.   Obviously the greater the distance the more efficient the flight.   I see New York to Australia,  Japan,  China,   and LAX to London and Europe.   

  • Zack
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    1. The Concorde didn't fly at 70,000 feet. Its max altitude was 60,000 feet, and it usually cruised slightly lower.

    2. Flying higher requires more lift. To gain more lift, you need to give the plane a bigger wing or make the plane fly faster. With the exception of turboprops, making airliners fly faster than their current speed will cause them to fly transonic - supersonic, which would use a lot more fuel. Using a bigger wing would make the plane heavier, more expensive, and would take up more space at the airport, possibly allowing less planes to park and make the plane's wing more likely to hit stuff.

    3. There is still turbulence at 60,000+ feet.

  • 1 month ago

    No. There is jet stream induced turbulance at that altitude, just not convective or orographic turbulance. Commercial planes cannot fly that high and manufacturers are reluctant to design airplanes that can due to high design and manufacturing cost of suitable airframes and engines, making it unprofitable. 

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  • 1 month ago

    An aircraft needs a certain combination of wing area and dynamic pressure to remain in flight. Flying higher thus imply either flying faster to compensate for the reduced air density or having much larger wing.

    Concorde flew faster, the U-2 has a huge wing.

    Flying faster requires engine and air intake capable of supersonic flight, and that is extremely complex. Having a large wing means having a huge and heavy structure that takes away much payload and fuel capacity.

  • 1 month ago

    Not enough oxygen to keep engines going.  The sst was a  special design all around.

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