Why do airplanes take off against the wind?

6 Answers

Yo Kass Profile
Yo Kass answered
Airplane pilots prefer to take off against the wind because it takes less ground speed to create enough lift to fly.

Why planes fly against the wind
When a plane takes off, it needs to get enough lifting force to stay in the air - that's what the wings on an aircraft are there for!

When wings "push" through the air, they generate this lifting force from air resistance. However, if they are flying against the wind, then the force they are generating increases.

For example, a plane that needs to reach speeds of 130mph to take off, would need to reach that speed on the runway before being able to leave the ground.

A plane that's taking off against 30mph winds only needs to generate the remaining 100mph to create enough lift for take off!
Shen Mark Profile
Shen Mark answered

An aircraft takes off or lands into the wind, it gives them the ability to be traveling slower relative to the ground and still have lift. Suppose a small aircraft has a stall airspeed, or the speed below which it doesn't produce enough lift to stay aloft, of 50mph. If it comes in for a landing WITH a wind that's blowing 30mph, just to stay in the air until it touches down, the pilot has to be going at least 80mph ground speed.

Didge Doo Profile
Didge Doo answered

Not a direct answer to your question, but two of my sons, in an Australia-first, launched their hang gliders from the bottom of a hot air balloon at a town called Canowindra.

A couple of friends joined them and the balloons made very rapid descents to pick up the next hang glider and take them aloft again. My youngest boy, Neil -- he was about 19 or 20 at the time -- enjoyed flying rings around the balloon as it descended...

But that's when he made his mistake. He followed it in.

Just as he was coming in to land he realised, too late, that balloons fly WITH the wind but he had to land INTO it. I have his voice on the video he was taking at the time and his comment was kind of excremental.

He damaged the kite, broke the camera, and bruised himself.

---

On a comical note, when the group arrived at their motel they found that the whole town had been talking about their flight. The motel manager asked if they'd mind paying up front. She thought they were likely to kill themselves.

Rowan Webb Profile
Rowan Webb answered

If a vehicle, be it a car or an airplane, were to travel towards the direction of the wind, it will definitely move at a much faster speed which might lead to an accident. Hence, the notion to travel against the direction of the wind is to have greater control of the said vehicle to prevent any mishaps from occurring.

Sean Avina Profile
Sean Avina answered

According to me, When an aircraft takes off or lands into the wind, it gives them the ability to be traveling slower relative to the ground and still have left. Suppose a small aircraft has a stall airspeed, or the speed below which it doesn't produce enough lift to stay aloft, of 50 m/h. If it comes in for a landing with a wind that's blowing 30 m/h, just to stay in the air until it touches down, the pilot has to be going at least 80 m/h ground speed.


Answer Question

Anonymous