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Why Does a Plane Look and Feel Like It’s Moving More Slowly Than it Actually is?

The Conversation

Posted Oct 2, 2023

A passenger jet flies at about 575 mph once it’s at cruising altitude. That’s nearly nine times faster than a car might typically be cruising on the highway. So why does a plane in flight look like it’s just inching across the sky?

Director of the NASA Iowa Space Grant Consortium Sara Nelson is an aerospace educator who relies on the laws of physics when teaching about aircraft. These same principles of physics help explain why looks can be deceiving when it comes to how fast an object is moving.

Read Nelson’s full article in The Conversation here.