Air Transport

AIR TRANSPORT

The aircraft is the second fastest method of transport, after the rocket. Commercial jets can reach up to 875 kilometres per hour (544 mph), single-engine aircraft 175 kilometres per hour (109 mph). Aviation is able to quickly transport people and limited amounts of cargo over longer distances, but the disadvantage is high costs and energy use.

Air freight has become more common for products of high value; while less than one percent of world transport by volume is by airline, it amounts to forty percent of the value. Time has become especially important in regards to principles such as postponement and just-in-time within the value chain, resulting in a high willingness to pay for quick delivery of key components or items of high value-to-weight ratio. In addition to mail, common items send by air include electronics and fashion clothing.

The majority of aircraft also need an airport with the infrastructure to receive maintenance, restocking, refueling and for the loading and unloading of crew, cargo and passengers. While the vast majority of aircraft land and take off on land, some are capable of take off and landing on ice, snow and calm water.

For short distances or in inaccessible places helicopters can be used. The primary advantages of the helicopter are due to the rotor blades that revolve through the air, providing lift without requiring the aircraft to move forward. This creates the ability for the helicopter to take off and land vertically without a runway. For this reason, helicopters are often used in congested or isolated areas where fixed-wing aircraft cannot take off or land.

It is estimated that up to 500,000 people are on planes at any time.

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