DFW Airport

What Effect Does Extreme Heat Have on Airplanes?

How hot and cold weather affect an airplane's ability to get off the ground

Ever been at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport or Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport in the summer months when the pilots asked for a reduction in luggage weight?

That was probably due to the extreme heat at those airports. It is this heat that plays an important role in an airplane being able to lift off the ground.

In colder temperatures, the air is denser, which means an airplane requires less lift to get off the ground.

In hotter temperatures, the air is less dense.

The lower the air density, the faster the airplane must travel to produce enough lift to take off. Therefore, it takes a longer runway to reach a higher speed for takeoff.

This is why weight restrictions are sometimes placed in hot areas such as Phoenix, Las Vegas and Dallas-Fort Worth.

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