altitude questions

From:         campbjw@wkuvx1.bitnet
Organization: Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY
Date:         30 Oct 93 22:46:42 PDT
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In the Nashville, TN area where I live, Air Traffic Control usually
assigns commercial flights to altitude levels of 28000 to 33000 feet -
what is the highest common flight level used and what is the maximum
flight level the average commercial plane can attain?  Related to
that, what are the limiting factors in altitude attainment for
commercial planes?  Are these altitudes typical for trans-oceanic
flights?  What are typical altitudes for European flights - I assume
somewhat less since distances travelled are often less than in
North America?  Does direction make much difference in altitude
assignments?

Thanks,

John

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John Campbell  (CAMPBJW@WKUVX1.BITNET)
Western Kentucky University          Bowling Green, KY (USA)