the corner office

a blog, by Colin Pretorius

Can jumbo jets glide?

That jumbo jets are unable to glide is an urban legend that I've (rather gullibly, perhaps) believed for yonks.

As it turns out (and it's on the internet so it must be true), 747s have a glide number of 15, which means they can cover 15 kilometres for every kilometre they drop. What's more, they have a 'sink' rate of about 2,000 feet per minute (see also this article) which means that if the engines went phut at 30,000 feet, the pilots would have about 15 minutes to land the thing.

The internet has ruined the art of arguing. When someone corrected me earlier this week, my reaction was not to stick to my guns and say 'does too not glide' - that would be foolish given how easy refutation can now be. My reaction was 'hmm, good point, best I google it'. We are all better informed these days, but we have, sadly, lost a little something along the way.

{2010.04.21 15:43}

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