Altitudes in Aviation

The Titanic Of The Skies – A380!
Source: Wikipedia

Do you know, that there are 5 types of altitudes used in aviation? They are as follows:

Type  of  Altitude Aviation - Aviatorsbuzz

Absolute Altitude: In simple terms, it is the altitude above the ground level over which the plane is flying. It changes constantly as the terrain height over a geographical area changes continuously.

Pressure Altitude: It is the altitude of the aircraft above the standard mean sea level. It shows the airplanes altitude assuming that the sea level pressure is 1013.25 hpa (29.92 inHg).

Indicated Altitude: It is the altitude shown by the aircraft altimeter. It changes as the altimeter is updated with the actual sea level pressure (say 1004 hpa) at lower altitudes and 1013.25 hpa at higher altitudes.

Density Altitude: It is the altitude that the aircraft feels it is flying at eg., at higher altitudes there is lower air density, now, if the density gets lower even at low altitudes, the aircraft ‘feels’ that is it flying higher.

True Altitude: It is the actual altitude of the aircraft above the sea level that it is flying at. It calculates the aircraft altitude based on the current sea level pressure instead of the standard 1013.25 at higher altitudes.


Question – Do Airplanes fly at Altitude settings or FL (Flight Level) or both ??

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Jagrata Banerjee is our young and dynamic plane spotter and Aviation photographer whose quest for aviation rose when he travelled for the first time on a plane. Since then he has been curious about the physics behind these big flying machines, he has been studying aviation for the last 5 years and now is also an avid plane-spotter.