How do jet take-offs work and the benefit of flying private?
One of the benefits of flying by private jet is the ability to fly to and from many more airports than are available to most commercial airlines. Since private jets come in a variety of sizes, from turboprops to long-range jets, airports with smaller runways can accommodate smaller aircraft than the traditional commercial-size aircraft. This is what ultimately directly affects the takeoff speed required for liftoff. So how do you know what aircraft can land at which airport? It all depends on the length of the runway and the amount of runway a specific jet needs to take off. And just how much is that?
Aircraft manufacturers produce complex calculations to determine the required take-off distance and take-off speeds for every flight scenario. A few factors that determine the required take-off distance could include the aircraft design, aircraft configuration/flap settings, temperature, wind direction and strength, and runway surface and slope.
Airlines or private jet operators rarely take off within the shortest distance possible, even when it’s perfectly safe to do so. Short distance take-offs reduce the engine’s life and increase maintenance costs. Therefore, pilots are encouraged, when suitable conditions apply, to use reduced take-off and land thrust procedures. This takeoff run uses less engine thrust thus increasing the lifetime of the engine and saving unnecessary maintenance costs. Ultimately take-off and landing is not some magical method, in fact, much engineering goes into the engines just as how a rocket booster for rockets has detailed engineering.
If you’ve ever gone hiking with a heavy backpack, you know it requires more energy than traveling light. The same theory applies to aircraft: the heavier they are, the more difficult it is for them to achieve flight, and if it’s a light aircraft it is easier.
For safety reasons, the FAA places weight restrictions on all aircraft. This is known as MTOW (maximum takeoff weight). In addition to the empty weight of the aircraft, it includes any additional mass that it will carry, including crew, passengers, baggage/cargo, and fuel.
Let’s say a private jet charter with the crew and minimal passenger load requires just 5,000 feet for takeoff. That same aircraft with a full payload could easily require 1,000 more feet for takeoff. This is because it will need the extra field length to generate the higher speed (and subsequent lift force) needed to overcome the additional weight and wheel drag.