What Is an Airplane's Takeoff Speed?


While a single-engine airplane can takeoff at speeds as slow as 55 knots, larger jetliners routinely require speeds closer to 150 knots. The takeoff speed varies for different types of aircraft.

The exact takeoff speed required for each individual aircraft is based on the thrust-to-weight ratio. This varies for different types of aircraft and is based on design and engine selection. Takeoff weight, airport elevation and flap configuration are also contributing factors in calculating the proper takeoff speed. Prior to each takeoff, the pilot must calculate the safe takeoff speed for the aircraft. This speed is referred to as the rotation speed.