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At what speed does a 747 leave the ground?

Cargolux 747 Scrapes Engine In White-Knuckle Landing Caught On Video

Wild footage recorded of the hard landing shows one of the aircraft’s engines making contact with the runway, sustaining damage.

by Emma Helfrich | PUBLISHED Apr 17, 2023 7:59 PM EDT

Cargolux 747 Scrapes Engine In White-Knuckle Landing Caught On Video

Emma Helfrich View emma helfrich’s Articles

A Cargolux Boeing 747-400 freighter went viral over the weekend for attempting a landing that did not go as intended, resulting in damage to the aircraft and a dramatic video of the incident.

The Cargolux 747, which was registered as LX-ECV, had taken off for flight CV7545 from Dubai Al Maktoum International Airport in the United Arab Emirates on April 15 at 2:10 p.m. local time. The aircraft was approaching Luxembourg Findel Airport in that country for landing after a six-and-a-half-hour trip when the footage of the incident that would soon follow was recorded from the ground and later shared on social media.

The video shows the plane touching down hard a what was reportedly Findel Airport’s Runway 06, causing the aircraft to bounce off of the runway. The 747 then wavers in mid-air for a moment before coming back down again, slapping down its nose gear in a wing-down orientation, noticeably scraping one of its left engines across the tarmac. The plane then takes to the air again and the clip ends.

According to reports that have since emerged following the hard landing, LX-ECV’s crew ultimately decided to abort the landing altogether and perform a go-around. The aircraft is said to have reached an altitude of 4,000 feet as it carried out the second landing attempt and Flightradar24 data shows that it was able to safely touch down at 6:45 p.m. local time.

Flightradar24’s playback of the LX-ECV’s flight. Credit: Flightradar24 screenshot

Cargolux Airlines, which is a major cargo air carrier and is headquartered in Luxembourg, has released a statement about the incident confirming that the aircraft did suffer an unspecified level of damage. The company said that LX-ECV will remain grounded until the necessary inspections, repairs, and internal investigations are completed. The airline has also made it clear that no one was injured during the incident.

Corresponding photos have since surfaced online as well showing some of the damage sustained by the aircraft after its hard landing. In two such images, scrapes and dents can be seen on the underside of at least one of the plane’s left-wing engine nacelles.

LX-ECV is a 14-year-old Boeing 747 cargo plane that belongs to Cargolux’s fleet of 30 aircraft, which also includes 747-8F purpose-built types. Additional information provided by Flightradar24 detailed that LX-ECV was originally performing a return service to Taipei from Luxembourg, but the flight was diverted to Dubai and then directed to continue on to Europe.

The kind of cargo that LX-ECV may have been hauling on its flight back to Luxembourg’s Findel Airport, which it is based out of, wasn’t divulged by Cargolux. The airliner’s website states that its Boeing 747-400s have a maximum takeoff weight of 875,000 pounds. The engines found in each of the plane’s four underwing nacelles are CF6 high-bypass turbofan models produced by General Electric Aviation.

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The predominant consensus about what exactly caused the mishap to occur still largely seems to be uncertain. Using Flightradar24 data, the Breaking Aviation News & Videos account on Twitter did make it a point to note that LX-ECV was attempting to execute the landing with a 15-knot crosswind and a relatively high ground speed of 175 knots. While the crosswind isn’t anything out of the ordinary for most commercial airliner landings, the incident could have simply been caused by an overcorrection.

A similar situation occurred back in 2021 when an RC-135U Combat Sent electronic intelligence-gathering aircraft made a frightening crosswind landing at RAF Mildenhall in England. The plane was returning from a mission and had to make an approach to Mildenhall’s Runway 28, which eventually led to a sudden dip in its left wing causing one of its engine nacelles to drag against the airstrip causing damage.

If Cargolux’s ongoing investigation results in any notable findings as to the cause of LX-ECV’s turbulent landing, The War Zone will be sure to provide an update.

How Fast Do Airplanes Go? (during Takeoff, Flight, Landing)

Concorde, British Airways

If you’ve ever wondered why the average flight doesn’t take that long, wonder no more. Once a plane gets into the air, it can fly at amazing speeds, and they are always affected by the wind and other weather conditions. Here are some facts about airplane speeds, during takeoff, mid-flight and landing.

Table of Contents

  • How Fast Do Airplanes Go?
  • How Fast Do Commercial Airplanes Go
  • How Fast Do Private Jets Fly
  • How Fast Do Military Planes Fly
  • How Fast Do Single Engine Planes Fly

How Fast Do Airplanes Go?

As a general rule, airplanes can fly from 550 to 580 miles per hour, although this is most common with commercial planes. However, this is only an average because wind and the elements can affect that number. In addition, military aircraft, private jets, and other types of aircraft may have speeds that are higher or lower.

Q: How fast do airplanes go when they take off?

A: Most commercial planes take off at roughly 160 to 180 MPH.

Q: How fast do airplanes go when landing?

A: Commercial airplanes land at approximately 150 to 165 MPH.

How Fast Do Commercial Airplanes Go

Big commercial airplanes generally fly in the 550-580 MPH range, but their landing and taking-off speeds are naturally going to be different. Most commercial planes take off at roughly 160 to 180 MPH, while landings take place at approximately 150 to 165 MPH.

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British Airways Concorde

As a general rule, airspeed is measured according to the velocity of the plane as it flies through the air. Wind resistance can affect that speed more than anything else, and if takeoff and landing speeds vary it is due to overall weight capacity or runway length, among other factors.

Type Certificate Date Sheets, or TCDSs, are published by the FAA and give the minimum and maximum airplane speed for each type of aircraft. They publish these sheets for every make and model of aircraft in use today and are therefore a great way to get this type of information.

How Fast Do Private Jets Fly

If you love speed, private jets are the way to go. For example, the Aerion AS2, which can fly from New York to London in a little under three hours, can fly at an impressive 1,200 miles per hour, which is difficult for some people to even comprehend.

Aerion AS2

The Dassault Falcon 900 EX is made in France, can seat up to 19 passengers, and flies at speeds of more than 660 MPH. Other private jets that can fly in the 600+ miles-per-hour range include the Gulfstream G-500, the Bombardier Global 5000, and the Dassault Falcon 7X.

Related Article:

Top 10 Fastest Private Jets in The Skies

Two of the fastest private jets – the Gulfstream G-650 and the Cessna Citation X – can fly at speeds of more than 700 miles per hour, which proves that private jets do an amazing job of getting you from Point A to Point B quickly and safely.

How Fast Do Military Planes Fly

There are so many different types of military planes that it is difficult to determine an estimated speed, but here are a few facts.

Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird

The SR-71 set a record in 1976 when it flew at a very impressive speed of more than 2,100 miles per hour. However, this isn’t as fast as it can go, even though the maximum speed is classified so it’s something we’ll never know.

The AeroVironment RQ-14 Dragon Eye UAV, for example, only flies at around 22 miles per hour, while the Boeing X-37B flies at roughly 10,800 miles per hour. In between these extremes, however, are military planes that fly at 300, 500, and several thousand miles per hour.

Related Article:

The Top 10 Fastest Hypersonic Aircraft Ever Recorded (Manned & Unmanned)

If you’re interested in learning the average airplane speed for military aircraft, it is good to keep in mind that many cargo transport planes are extra-large and tend to fly at low speeds, while military combat planes are designed to go much faster. This accounts for the wide differences in the planes’ miles-per-hour numbers.

How Fast Do Single Engine Planes Fly

Of course, there are also single-engine planes, which on average can travel at around 140 miles per hour. Although they are small, their speeds are not high because they are single-engine planes that are also affected by things such as wind resistance and other factors.

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Cessna 172 Hacienda Refueling from Pick-up Truck

On calm days when there isn’t a lot of rough wind, the ground speed of a single-engine plane can be the same as the airspeed. Some single-engine planes can even fly as fast as 250 miles per hour. Some of these planes are much bigger than others, which explains the differences in their overall speed.

In addition, when it comes to airplane speed, many turboprop planes can fly as fast as some jet airliners, although the average speed for this type of plane is roughly 450 miles per hour.

The Tupolev Tu-114 has a maximum speed of 540 miles per hour, while the XF-84H Thunderscreech is listed in The Guinness Book of World Records as having a speed of more than 620 miles per hour.

When you purchase an airline ticket, it always gives you a start and end time, but it won’t tell you how fast the plane will be flying once it’s in the air. You can estimate this number if you know the number of miles between the two cities, but knowing that different planes have different speeds is also a good thing to keep in mind.

How Fast Do Airplanes Fly?

How Fast Do Airplanes Fly?

We know that airplanes can fly fast. They’re much faster than other forms of transport like cars or trains, but the question remains: just how fast do planes fly?

Airplanes can typically fly between 100 mph and 1,500 mph. The speed at which an airplane travels will depend on the aircraft classification and mode of flight. Small private aircraft fly between 100 and 200 mph. Larger commercial passenger jets typically fly between 500 and 600 mph. Military aircraft can reach speeds of up to 2,200 mph.

To compile the technical information for this article, we have spent many hours researching the many types of planes in depth with aviation experts.

All of the airspeed data is published on the aircraft manufacturers’ websites, and we have used this information as a reference.

Table of Contents

What Effects Airplane Speed?

Design, engine type, wind conditions, and altitude are the main factors that affect how fast an airplane moves.


The higher the altitude, the less dense the air. This causes the wing to produce less lift. A 747, for example, may find it more challenging to maintain altitude as a result, and it may also lose speed as it battles to keep its lift.

High altitudes also cause the air passing over the wings and through the engines to become less dense, which limits the amount of thrust that can be produced by the engines.

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This can result in the 747 losing speed, especially at extremely high altitudes where the air is very thin. On the other hand, as air density goes down at high altitudes, the drag on the plane may go down, letting it keep its speed or even speed up.


The performance and speed of an aircraft can also be impacted by its weight. For instance, a heavy Airbus A380 will need more power than a lighter Airbus A320 to go at a given speed. The A380 will also have a lower top speed because it has more drag when it goes faster.

Engine Type

The type of engine an airplane has can also affect how fast it goes.

Jet engines, like the ones in the Boeing 777, are often used in bigger planes because they are more powerful and efficient than piston engines. Jet engines can produce a lot of thrust, which makes them suitable for flight at higher speeds.

Piston engines, like the ones used in a Cessna 172, are less powerful and efficient and are typically found in smaller, slower aircraft. They can only travel at modest speeds. This is why the Cessna 172 is such a popular trainer aircraft.

Air Density

The density of the air can have a big effect on how fast a plane goes. Temperature, humidity, and air pressure are the main variables that impact the density of air.

We know airplanes need lift, right? A major factor in the production of lift is the air density, as denser air produces greater lift than less dense air. If the air is more dense because of high humidity or low air pressure, the wings will produce more lift. This makes it easier for the plane to stay airborne, and with the right conditions, it may even speed it up.

But if the air is less dense due to high air pressure or temperatures, the wings of the aircraft will provide less lift, making it harder for the plane to maintain altitude and possibly slowing it down.

The air would be less dense and produce less lift for the 747’s wings if it were a cold, dry day with low humidity and low air pressure. The 747 might find it harder to keep its height as a result, which could slow it down.

Wind Conditions

Wind conditions can significantly affect plane speed. The aircraft’s ground speed (the rate at which it crosses the ground), as well as its airspeed (the speed which it travels in the air), can be influenced by the direction and speed of the wind.

The effects of headwinds and tailwinds are one way that wind conditions can affect an airplane’s speed. A wind that blows in the same direction as the motion of the aircraft is known as a “tailwind,” and a wind that blows in the opposite direction is known as a “headwind.”

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Headwinds can slow down a plane’s speed because they act against the plane’s movement.

A Boeing 747 flying at 500 mph with a 100 mph headwind will have a 400 mph ground speed. As the 747 fights against the headwind to keep its speed and altitude, it will also likely use more fuel.

Tailwinds can help an airplane move faster. For example, a Cessna 172’s ground speed will climb to 150 mph if it is flying at 100 mph with a 50 mph tailwind. Private pilots like me love a good tailwind because it saves fuel costs and moves them along faster!

Aircraft Design

Design also influences how fast an airplane can go. Aerodynamics come into play. This concerns things like where the engines are placed and the shape of the wings.

The shape of the wing has a big bearing on how much drag will be generated. The speed of an airplane can also be affected by where the engines are located.

The aircraft’s thrust and drag characteristics, which have an impact on its speed and performance, can be changed by where the engines are placed.

The aircraft’s overall aerodynamic design can also have an effect on speed. Take, for example, a fighter jet with a sleek, long shape. All other things being equal, it’ll be able to fly faster than a plane with a boxy, less aerodynamic shape.

Examples of Specific Aircraft Speeds

Let’s take a quick look at how fast planes go by the specific type of plane:

Commercial airliners

Passenger planes like the Boeing 747 or the Airbus A380 usually fly at 500 to 600 mph. They’re capable of going a bit faster but it’s more efficient to cruise at these speeds.

Military Jets

Military jets, like the F-16 Fighting Falcon or the F-35 Lightning II are built for high-speed flight. They travel at average speeds of up to 1,500 mph or more.

Small General Aviation Planes

These are planes that are used for a wide range of things, like business, pleasure, and personal travel. Small general aviation aircraft like the Piper PA-28 and Cessna 172 are a couple of examples. The normal cruising speed for these aircraft is between 100 and 200 mph.
A small Cessna 172 takes off and lands at approximately 70 MPH. You can read our suggestions for a good cruising altitude for a Cessna 172 here.

We’ve categorized the aircraft into small private, commercial airliners, and military. As you can see from the tables below, there is a very large range in top speeds between the various classifications of planes.

Top Speeds of Popular Small Private Aircraft

Learn about the fascinating world of aviation. Students or seasoned pilots will hopefully enjoy my insights about flying aircraft. Read more about me.

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