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Performance Speeds

in Aircraft Performance

True Airspeed (TAS)—the speed of the aircraft in relation to the air mass in which it is flying.


Indicated Airspeed (IAS)—the speed of the aircraft as observed on the ASI. It is the airspeed without correction for indicator, position (or installation), or compressibility errors.

Calibrated Airspeed (CAS)—the ASI reading corrected for position (or installation), and instrument errors. (CAS is equal to TAS at sea level in standard atmosphere.) The color coding for various design speeds marked on ASIs may be IAS or CAS.

Equivalent Airspeed (EAS)—the ASI reading corrected for position (or installation), or instrument error, and for adiabatic compressible flow for the particular altitude. (EAS is equal to CAS at sea level in standard atmosphere.)

VS0—the calibrated power-off stalling speed or the minimum steady flight speed at which the aircraft is controllable in the landing configuration.

VS1—the calibrated power-off stalling speed or the minimum steady flight speed at which the aircraft is controllable in a specified configuration.

VY—the speed at which the aircraft will obtain the maximum increase in altitude per unit of time. This best rate-of-climb speed normally decreases slightly with altitude.

VX—the speed at which the aircraft will obtain the highest altitude in a given horizontal distance. This best angle-of-climb speed normally increases slightly with altitude.

VLE—the maximum speed at which the aircraft can be safely flown with the landing gear extended. This is a problem involving stability and controllability.

VLO—the maximum speed at which the landing gear can be safely extended or retracted. This is a problem involving the air loads imposed on the operating mechanism during extension or retraction of the gear.

VFE—the highest speed permissible with the wing flaps in a prescribed extended position. This is because of the air loads imposed on the structure of the flaps.

VA—the calibrated design maneuvering airspeed. This is the maximum speed at which the limit load can be imposed (either by gusts or full deflection of the control surfaces) without causing structural damage. Operating at or below manuevering speed does not provide structural protection against multiple full control inputs in one axis or full control inputs in more than one axis at the same time.

VNO—the maximum speed for normal operation or the maximum structural cruising speed. This is the speed at which exceeding the limit load factor may cause permanent deformation of the aircraft structure.

VNE—the speed which should never be exceeded. If flight is attempted above this speed, structural damage or structural failure may result.

 

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