In order to take off, an airplane has to generate enough lift (upward force due to air pushing on the plane) to overcome its weight (downward force due to gravity). The faster an airplane goes, the more lift it generates. This is why airport runways are usually very long (sometimes longer than a mile): because planes need a lot of space to gain enough speed to take off. They also need a lot of space to land safely and slow down from such high speeds.
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