How long would it take a Boeing 747 to go around Jupiter?

  • Assuming a 747 could fly around Jupiter at its top Earth speed (I know this assumption is unrealistic), how long would it take to fly around Jupiter once?

    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it does not appear to be about astronomy.

    @Hohmannfan Disagree, the OP is using the time taken as a more tangible measurement of how large Jupiter is.

    On the other hand, you could close it as trivial math if you want, but I'm not going to make that call.

    To address the unrealistic assumptions, here's a good read:

    @called2voyage: he doesn't say what context he wants to use it for. The question as it stands looks totally like a homework question and that's not what we answer here.

    @AtmosphericPrisonEscape Agreed as far as "homework question", though I really doubt the OP actually has this in homework, but you would be perfectly justified in voting to close as math homework.

    Perhaps @RANSARA009 could rewrite the question to make it on topic. See: What topics can I ask about here? - Off topic are 'usage of equipment' (a stretch), or better 'questions that are purely hypothetical'. Without airspeed and altitude any calculations are a guess, along with the best altitude at which to attempt flight (on a craft with unspecified modifications). It's trivial to ask the diameter, somewhat better to ask "How long did a particular satellite take to make one orbit?" (how that info is generally useful is another matter).

    Might have to fill passenger compartment with fuel. 261,000 miles without a fuel stop is asking a *lot*.

  • It will depend on the speed of the jet, however:

    Jupiter has an equatorial circumference of 449,200 km, a current-generation 747 has a top speed of 988 km/h so it will take about 455 hours or nearly 19 days (18.9) (this doesn't allow for re-fueling).

    For comparison, if the 747 at top speed went around Earth's equatorial circumference (to actually fly, it would have to go further, but I'm keeping things simple), It would take about 40.5 hours or 1.69 days.

    @called2voyage wow. I thought Jupiter was bigger than that.

    @JanDvorak Even the monumental Jupiter is relatively small. Compare to the time it would take the same 747 to go around the Sun's equatorial circumference: about 4420 hours or 184 days.

    Never mind refueling; an unmodified 747 depends on the atmosphere it flies in to supply oxidizer for the fuel anyway, and it doesn't look like the Jovian atmosphere will be good for that.

    Now for the more interesting question: how do the orbital periods compare?

    @HenningMakholm Good comment, but I'm going to go ahead and cut this short. This question is not supposed to be one of engineering, but more of a way of getting a more tangible perception of Jupiter's size. Alex's answer, Tim's comment, and your comment are now sufficient to give a summary of issues for the uninformed. Please take any other feasibility issues to chat.

    @JanDvorak 1,000 times the volume but just 10 times the circumference. That's how volume to radius works, to the 3rd power. (the actual, 11 times is mostly due to it's fast rotation rate and equatorial bulging). I happen to think that 10 earth diameters is huge. Planets don't get much bigger than that. Stars do, planets don't.

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Content dated before 7/24/2021 11:53 AM

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