Who's Online

We have 2343 guests online

Life in the Skies

'A Local Bestseller!'

What Tony says
(See here)

What others say

Les Posen
(See
here)

Yvonne Lee
(See
here)

Louisa Lim & Allan Koay
(See
here)

Aireen Omar, Asran & Bo Lingam
(See
here)

Latest Comment

Why do I experience
Have this issues but never on long flights over bi

Can a Boeing 777 dit
Hi Richard, Nope, APU does not give any hydraulic

Please, please, plea
I have flown a lot and to many places in the world

Cathay Pacific Airwa
20 years at cathay. Salary is crap

Why do I experience
without a doubt, you had a panic attack. It is sim

Could you explain th
great explanation in a plain language. thank you v

What are the dangers
I also had talc pleuradesis done & mine happened t

What are the cruisin
The maximum cruise speed of the A330 is Mach 0.86

What do you think of
Hi I have flown 777 a few times with Singapore air

Why do I experience
I had the same thing happen to me on a short fligh

Paperback Version

 For Local Availability - Check Here
 
Home > Flying the Plane > What are the cruising speeds of the various airliners?
What are the cruising speeds of the various airliners?
Flying - Flying the Plane
Monday, 07 January 2008 20:22

Hello Capt Lim!

Very informative, extensive and thoroughly enjoyable site!

I have 3 issues lingering in my mind.

1. When aircraft are assigned altitudes during peak periods, are they also assigned cruise speeds? Or, are these factors already taken into account
for the various aircraft types by the controllers when the flight plans are being filed?

2. During the cruise, is the Mach Number preset by the auto-throttle or is it gradually achieved by manually setting the throttle levers?

3. And finally; what are the cruising speeds of the various airliners?

Thank you very much in advance and take care of yourself and the passengers.

Rani Isaksen,
Faroe Islands

Hi Rani,

Thank you for visiting my site. Here are the answers to your questions:-

1. Every aircraft has an optimum cruising speed at a particular level. For the Boeing 777, it

is Mach 0.84 at around 35,000 feet or Mach 0.86 for the Boeing 747-400. When filing a Flight Plan, the cruising speed must be given for every types of aircraft. During peak periods, the ATC or Air Traffic Control may assign a common speed for spacing to ensure safety. So a Boeing 747 pilot may not be able to fly his desired speed of Mach 0.86 and fly at Mach 0.84 instead if she is behind a Boeing 777.

2. On the Boeing 777, the cruising speed at any level is calculated by the computer of the aircraft. For example, at 28,000 feet, the computer (FMC) will command a speed of Mach 0.81. When the computer is coupled or connected to the auto-pilot and the auto-throttle, the power setting is achieved automatically. There is no need for the pilot to manually set the
throttle settings as he would have done in older aircraft.

3. Here are the optimum cruising speeds for some of the more modern Airliners flying today.

Airliners Optimum cruising Speeds (Mach)

Boeing 747-400 0.86
Boeing 787 0.85
Boeing 777 0.84
Boeing 767 0.80
Boeing 757 0.80
Boeing 737 -800 0.78
Boeing 737 - 300/400/500 0.74

Airbus 380 0.85
Airbus 340 -300/600 0.82
Airbus 330 0.82
Airbus 320 0.78
Airbus 310 0.78

McDonnell MD-11 0.85

For your information, Mach 1.0 is equivalent to the speed of sound. It is 758 miles per hour or 660 knots at sea level. This speed varies with altitude and temperature. Mach 0.84 means the speed of the Boeing 777 is cruising at 84 % the speed of sound at 35,000 feet.

Bye bye and safe flying!

Trackback(0)

TrackBack URI for this entry

Comments (5)

Subscribe to this comment's feed
WHAT!!!???!!!???
That doesn't make sense! When I was flying en-route Abu Dhabi-NYC via Etihad. The speed meter said that we were going at 660 mph at 36000 feet! That's a supersonic A-330! However, the flight was delayed 3 hours while I was in the plane, so they had to rush...I guess smilies/smiley.gifsmilies/wink.gifsmilies/cheesy.gifsmilies/grin.gifsmilies/angry.gifsmilies/sad.gifsmilies/shocked.gifsmilies/cool.gifsmilies/tongue.gifsmilies/cry.gifsmilies/kiss.gif
xwjtyftu , 24 Nov, 2009
It makes sence
If you were flying at 660mph (Ground speed), that means the A330 was Flying at March 0.87, so it was still a subsonic flight but the plane was flying over its optimum cruising speed. smilies/wink.gif
Xtian , 27 Jul, 2010
It doesn't make sense
You haven't say whether it was TAS,KIAS or Ground speed. And I think that there was a tailwind...
Michal , 25 Aug, 2011
Cruising Speed
If an emergency onboard a Boeing 757, for example, made it necessary to continue to the nearest airport at the normal cruising speed of approx. 530mph at 35,000ft, could that speed be maintained in controllable flight at lower altitudes, right down to near landing, or would the aircraft slow down due to denser air ??
Macky , 12 Jul, 2012
Re: WHAT!!!???!!!???
The maximum cruise speed of the A330 is Mach 0.86 which at 36,000 ft is 567 mph(913 km/h). In order to obtain a ground speedof of 660 mph there could have been an average 90+ mph tailwind. The plane's true air speed would have not exceeded 570 mph, (unless the pilot exceeded recommended maximum).

There's a post that explains how this works: http://www.askcaptainlim.com/f...-wind.html.
Technophant , 27 Mar, 2014

Write comment

smaller | bigger

busy
 

Paperback Version

 For Local Availability - Check Here

Endorsements By..


LIFE IN THE SKIES

'A Local Bestseller!'

Endorsed & Recommended by

Patrick Smith
Boston USA
(See
here)

Capt Meryl Getline
ex-United Airlines USA
(See
here)

Capt Doug Morris
Canadian Airlines
(See
here)

Capt  Robert J Boser
ex-United Airlines USA
(See
here)

Follow me

@CaptKHLim

Like What You Read?


If you like what you read, more stories are found in my book LIFE IN THE SKIES (Preview here) and you can purchase a copy here. To check for any latest updates or postings, you can follow my Twitter at @CaptKHLim or Facebook here

10 Most Popular Posts


30 Previous Posts


Disclaimer | Privacy
2004 - 2011 © AskCaptainLim.com | Site Concept by eQuilec.com