When most people think about airplanes, their first thoughts won’t be to the thousands of examples of these vehicles which aren’t used for tourism, and will often go straight to passenger planes and other recreational options. Of course, this makes sense, as most people are never exposed to anything other than the options used by holidaymakers. The sky is shared by a huge number of people, and they all have their place in the balance which needs to be found, with a large part of this being down to size and speed alone.
There are loads of reasons to want to move faster than the speed of sound, though very few vehicles can achieve speeds like this. Instead, a select few of the world’s most powerful jets are able to reach these speeds, and their use is almost entirely reserved for national security and military purposes. While you may not see many of them, there are loads of planes like this making their way around the sky.
The Super Sized
Of course, speed isn’t everything, and some planes don’t need to be able to travel incredibly fast. Instead, planes like the AN 124 rely on size to get themselves known. With the ability to carry other plans, large animals, and even historical monuments, these sorts of vehicles are truly the behemoths of the sky. Of course, though, given their size, they tend to only be used when absolutely necessary, and won’t do much more than act as an ornament most of the time.
The High Jump
One of the disadvantages of a typical plane is the fact that it needs a runway to be able to take off and land, and needs some space to build up speed. On an aircraft carrier or small airfield, this sort of luxury can’t always be afforded, and this is where a Harrier Jet comes in. Known as a VTOL (Vertical Takeoff And Landing), this sort of plane is able to take off directly upwards, while also having the ability to hover in the air. This sort of plane is great for when times require swift action from a lot of pilots, as they don’t have to take it in turns to take off.
Nowadays, a huge portion of the planes in the skies are completely unmanned. Being controlled by people on the ground, drones are able to fly for much longer than normal planes, as they don’t have to use as much fuel. In most cases, this sort of vehicle is used for surveillance, but a lot of militaries also use them for striking targets which are behind enemy lines.
Hopefully, with all of this in mind, it should be a lot easier for you to start understanding why so many flights get delayed. With the sky being shared between so many planes, there isn’t often the space for a large plane to take off, and this means that pilots have to time it just right if they want to be able to get away on the first attempt.