Air travel is usually the quickest way to get from here to there, and there are lots of fun facts about flying that will make you look forward to the trip!

For some, flying is an easy and almost magical way to get from one place to another quickly. For others, it’s a pain that involves security checkpoints, cramped seats, and high anxiety. Regardless of the way you feel about flying, it’s actually pretty incredible that people can get to the other side of the globe in less than 24 hours. Here are some fun facts about flying that will help you appreciate this luxury we all tend to take for granted.

1. How fast and how high?

fun facts about flyingA Boeing 747 cruises at about 567 miles per hour, which is almost triple the top speed of a professional race car. Savings on the high cost of jet fuel is a goal of the commercial flight industry and pilots balance fuel economy with speed to meet their scheduled arrival times. Flying speed fluctuates with tail and head winds.

In a commercial airliner you will fly at about 36,000 feet or higher, which is almost seven miles above sea level. Your pilot will keep track of exactly how how high up you are with the use of an altimeter which measures air pressure to calculate how high the plane is flying. The air traffic controllers also keep track of all planes’ altitude so the aircraft have a clear flight path free from turbulence and other planes.