# 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. Aug 9 '16 at 16:01
• @Hohmannfan Disagree, the OP is using the time taken as a more tangible measurement of how large Jupiter is. Aug 9 '16 at 16:05
• On the other hand, you could close it as trivial math if you want, but I'm not going to make that call. Aug 9 '16 at 16:09
• To address the unrealistic assumptions, here's a good read: what-if.xkcd.com/30 Aug 9 '16 at 19:14
• @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. Aug 10 '16 at 17:47

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. Aug 9 '16 at 16:47
• @called2voyage wow. I thought Jupiter was bigger than that. Aug 9 '16 at 17:45
• 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. Aug 9 '16 at 19:23
• @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. Aug 9 '16 at 19:25
• @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. Aug 10 '16 at 0:15

Someone else answered a somewhat related question (can you fly through Jupiters atmosphere?).

From the website:

Jupiter: Our Cessna can’t fly on Jupiter; the gravity is just too strong. The power needed to maintain level flight is three times greater than that on Earth. Starting from a friendly sea-level pressure, we’d accelerate through the tumbling winds into a 275 m/s (600 mph) downward glide deeper and deeper through the layers of ammonia ice and water ice until we and the aircraft were crushed.

Not sure if it would work with a stronger airplane. So, the answer is probably "you can't do that".

• Alex..thank you so much for your scientific answer..i just ask this question because of my curiosity & about the Planet size. i know this cannot be happen. Aug 9 '16 at 13:05
• I only posted because I thought "I read this somewhere", and I found the link above amusing. The actual answer for a hypothetical superplane will depend on how deep into the atmosphere you have to descend in order to have enough lift. This quickly gets very technical and very complicated.
– Alex
Aug 9 '16 at 13:11