Why Planes Fly Faster Eastward?

On some flight routes, you have definitely observed that the flight times on departure and return are different. Here is the scientific explanation for this situation.
The situation changes in windy weather. if you think of planes traveling at the same speed relative to the air (this means every plane spends the same fuel) the plane going in the same direction as the wind is going faster than the ground; because both the aircraft covers a certain distance compared to the air, and the wind carries the air and the aircraft inside it a little further. If the plane got into the wind in the opposite direction, this plane is slower than the ground. as a result, we can say this. If there is a strong wind blowing from Istanbul to Ankara, the Istanbul-Ankara flight will take shorter and the Ankara-Istanbul flight will take longer.

Perhaps the most interesting of the winds are strong air currents called jet-streams, blowing 10-30 km above the ground. they are constantly blowing in the same direction, from west to east and at speeds of 100-400 km per hour. Jet-stream, which was not felt from the ground, was first discovered by bombers during World War II. Studies on these winds since then show that they were formed in an inexplicable manner due to the effect of the Earth's spin.
regular passenger aircraft go at a speed of 800 km / h relative to the weather. If an airplane flying eastward enters a jet-stream blowing at a speed of 200 km / h, its speed will be 1,000 km / h relative to the ground. if the plane goes in the opposite direction, this time its speed will be 600 km / h relative to the ground. this means a 66% difference in travel time and fuel consumed by the aircraft.

passenger planes do not have alternatives such as not to go in the opposite direction to this wind. As per international rules, aircraft can use predetermined airlines and can fly only at certain heights. For this reason, there are also planes entering the jet stream in the opposite direction. travel time can also be shortened depending on the speed of this wind.


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