By dividing the total number of minutes by the distance traveled, we get the speed at which an airplane flies. But its speed doesn’t come down to simple mathematical calculations.
For example, an A320 aircraft that can carry up to 180 passengers sails at a speed of 400 to 500 nautical miles per hour or knots (645 to 805 km / h). However, high speed can only be achieved at higher altitude. For an aircraft to reach a range of 645 km / h, it will need to fly at an altitude of about 36,000 feet. That’s not all. The speed of an airplane also depends on the wind and the elements.
Ground speed: This is the time it takes to cover a certain distance on the ground. For example, at cruising altitude, airplanes can have a ground speed of 300 to 600 knots (555 to 1110 km / h). However, the wind can affect the speed at which the aircraft passes over the ground. A tail wind pushes the airplane at a faster speed while a head wind slows the speed of the airplane on the ground.
Airspeed: An airplane sitting on the runway typically has a headwind of 32 km / h because airspeed is a measure of the speed of the air over the wing. The speed of the air flowing over the wing dictates the lift produced by the wing, and it is this lift that allows the aircraft to support its own weight and allows it to fly, according to flightdeckfriend.com.
Pilots always refer to their airspeed rather than their ground speed, because airspeed is what makes the aircraft fly. Ground speed is a by-product. In principle, if you had a headwind of about 225 km / h, the plane could take off from the ground without moving forward.
(Sources: Aero Corner, FlightDeckFriend.com)