Most of us have traveled by air before, and we never often think about how the aircraft manages to stay in the sky (at least most of us don’t and seek a calm and smooth flight!)
However one of the most common questions we get is whether a jet plane is faster than a propeller plane?
The most common type of airplane we see today; especially in commercial travel, is the use of a jet plane.
Jet planes have definitely replaced the propeller plane, although it would be a lie to say that propeller planes do not see action anymore, as they certainly do.
However, there are many reasons that jets are now the dominant force in the sky, and today we’ll explore the differences between the two types of airplanes, and why one is now more popular than the other.
What Is The Difference Between Jets And Planes?
First off, let’s look at what makes an airplane fly. Airplanes are made out of many different parts, but the main parts include wings, tail, fuselage, and engine.
These parts work together as a team on their journey through the skies.
Wings provide lift with the pressure difference between top and bottom surfaces. The wing also provides maneuverability and direction control while moving forward.
During takeoff and landing, the tail functions as a rudder and stabilizer.
Now we get into the differences between jets and planes. The fuselage holds all the components including the cockpit where the pilot sits.
The engine powers the whole aircraft from takeoff to landing. Therefore, if you want your aircraft to move forward, then you need power. Power comes from engines, and both propeller and jet engines exist.
A jet engine works on the same principle as a rocket engine. A jet engine produces thrust by accelerating its exhaust gasses.
This acceleration happens because of the hot gasses leaving the engine. In order for this acceleration to happen, the engine needs fuel, which is mixed with compressed air.
Since the earliest days of aviation, jet planes have existed in several different experimental models.
During the first World War, air battles played a pivotal role in the war, and so a lot of research and development was put into jet aircraft to improve performance in the skies.
Although propeller planes dominated when the second World War rolled around. Jet planes became the mainstay in military and commercial flights from the 1950s onwards, most notably used during the Korean War.
In contrast, a propeller engine uses the rotation of a fan or propeller to produce thrust. It does so by creating a low-pressure area behind the blades. As air flows past the blade, it slows down and creates lift.
Despite the popularity of jet engines in modern aviation, propeller planes are still used in flight.
Although they often get a bad reputation because they ‘feel’ old school, which may negatively impact certain aspects of modern flying which we will come onto in just a second.
Are Jet Faster Than Propeller Planes?
The short answer is yes, and many airlines have moved to jet engines for a number of reasons that go beyond just the speed element, although this is almost certainly one of the major shifts.
Speed Of Travel
The biggest benefit of using a jet engine over a propeller engine is the ability to travel further distances in less time.
When traveling long distances, having a slow plane puts you at a massive disadvantage; especially when it comes to trade and military purposes.
If you’re going to be spending hours in the air, why not make sure that you’re getting somewhere quickly?
Before the invention of the jet engine, the fastest plane could only achieve about 200 miles per hour (322 km/h).
However, since the introduction of the jet engine, planes have been able to reach speeds of well over 500 mph (805 km/h), sometimes even exceeding 600 mph (965 km/h).
When it comes to cost, the price of buying a new jet engine is much cheaper than buying a brand-new plane.
Since the jet engine has become more popular, the prices of these engines have dropped significantly.
For example, an older model of the Boeing 737 costs $100 million dollars, whereas a new model can be bought for under $50 million.
With a jet engine, you don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on a brand-new plane, but you do need to invest in a brand new jet engine.
When you consider air travel, the safety aspect of flight is of utmost importance. And the jet engine provides a safer environment for passengers.
Because the jet engine doesn’t require any moving parts, it’s far safer than a propeller engine which relies on the motion of the propeller for flight.
There are also no bearings to wear out, making them much more reliable.
A jet engine is also quieter than a propeller engine, meaning that you won’t hear any noise coming from your plane.
In fact, the sound produced by a jet engine is actually quite similar to wind blowing through trees.
Many passengers on a propeller flight will note how much louder it is to sit next to the wings than on a jet engine flight.
What About Private Jets Versus Commercial Flights?
We can clearly see that jet engines are the dominant way to fly, and their speed far outweighs that of a propeller engine.
But what about private jets? Are they typically faster than commercial airplanes?
In most cases, yes. A private jet can easily exceed the speed of a commercial airplane. This is due to the fact that a private jet is designed specifically for speed.
Its purpose is to travel as fast as possible, so there’s no reason to compromise on its design.
A private jet can reach speeds of around 400 to 700 miles per hour, whereas a standard Boeing 747 has a cruising speed of around 500 miles per hour.
Another factor that makes commercial flights slower is that they are typically heavier airplanes.
This allows private jets to fly at a higher altitude where the air is thinner and there is less resistance for the jet to fly against.
This is why the price tag of a private jet, to commercial flight, is so different.
Not only are you paying for the private experience with no queues; you’re also paying for the speed that comes with a private jet.
The evolution of aviation has paved the way for faster and more efficient air travel. And as technology continues to improve, it will be exciting to see the next innovation in air travel.
For now, though, we know that jet engines are the future of flying, and if you want to enjoy the luxury of traveling in style.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Far Can A Private Jet Fly?
There isn’t a limit to how far a private jet can fly, as it will depend on the size of the aircraft. Generally speaking, the further you want to fly, the bigger the plane you’ll need.
How High Do Private Jets Fly?
Private jets can fly at altitudes of 41,000 feet. Whereas a commercial aircraft will fly at a lower altitude of around 31,000 to 38,000 feet because they are heavier.