Lifestyle

Why planes can’t fly in very hot weather

A SUMMER heatwave is a welcome arrival for holidaymakers – but it might not be good news if you’re planning to fly.

A pilot has revealed that in extreme cases, the hot weather could result in flights being cancelled.

A pilot has explained how extreme heat can affect the air pressure needed to take off an aircraft

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A pilot has explained how extreme heat can affect the air pressure needed to take off an aircraftPhoto credit: Getty

All planes need ‘lift’ to be able to fly – this is when planes use air pressure to stay aloft, balance gravity below, pull pull from behind and thrust to propel the plane forward.

However, in extreme heat, the density of air becomes much thinner, making it much more difficult for planes to take off and land.

This means that it is the temperature at both your destination and your original location that can determine whether your flight will go ahead or be cancelled.

Captain John Cox narrated United States today: “A maximum temperature is specified – if the temperature exceeds this value, the flight cannot take off.”

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He continued, “At very high temperatures, the amount of payload an aircraft can carry can be limited.

“Sometimes it’s necessary to offload cargo and/or passengers because the hot air isn’t as dense, which reduces the available lift.”

Thankfully, planes can use it to operate in high temperatures, starting at around 43°C.

2017 however more than 40 flights were canceled in Phoenix, Arizona, after temperatures reached 48C.

Aircraft must also address the issue of extreme heat affecting an aircraft’s complex machinery.

At high temperatures, an onboard air conditioning system could fail, resulting in a very uncomfortable journey for passengers.

The most extreme negative effects of this would leave passengers severely dehydrated or suffering from other heat-related illnesses.

Pilots also have to constantly keep an eye on the engine and the temperature of the aircraft.

Regardless of extreme heat conditions, the take-off portion of any flight is when the engines are hottest and operating at their maximum capacity to generate more thrust and get the aircraft airborne.

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Flight delays are also more likely happen in summer – here’s why.

And we’ve explained why you should Never fly after noon during the holidays.

“Plane on runway, taking off. Rare shot very close to the plane.”

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“Plane on runway, taking off. Rare shot very close to the plane.”Photo credit: Getty

Add to this extreme heat conditions and lower air density, then the engines have to work even harder and there is a risk of overheating.

Pilots work hard to track the temperature of the engines, calculating both outside and inside temperatures and adjusting engine usage accordingly – however, this can impact engine speed and functionality.

https://www.thesun.ie/travel/8659375/planes-fly-hot-weather-cancelled-heat/ Why planes can’t fly in very hot weather

Fry Electronics Team

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