When flying back from Ethiopia last Friday, we crossed paths with two airplanes, in a span of a minute. I have never seen planes cross that close. We must have flown over the other planes by just a few hundred meters. One was that close, I could almost see the pilots in the cockpit of the other plane. It made me think about the amount of planes in the air at any given minute.
Well, I looked it up: As I am writing this (Sunday afternoon in EU, morning in the US), Flightaware was tracking 3,146 airborne aircraft, and registered 34,130 arrivals in the last 24 hours. And that is in the US only.
How would that look like on worldmap? Well, Christo's Blog posted this video simulating all the flights in the world, within a 24 hour period - you can see the sun moving across the globe. You can also download a 19 Mbyte high resolution .mov version.
This video is a project from the Zurich School of engineering. They also publish another experiment, showing live air traffic above Switzerland. It takes a while to load, so be patient, it is worth it! You can click on any plane you see to get the flight and plane details..
It all relativates air travel, no?
More posts on The Road about flying