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Climb Requirements

in Aircraft Performance

After the aircraft has reached the 35 foot height with one engine inoperative, there is a requirement that it be able to climb at a specified climb gradient. This is known as the takeoff flightpath requirement. The aircraft’s performance must be considered based upon a one-engine inoperative climb up to 1,500 feet above the ground. The takeoff flightpath profile with required gradients of climb for the various segments and configurations is shown in Figure 10-36.

Figure 10-36. One engine inoperative takeoff.

-Click to Enlarge- Figure 10-36. One engine inoperative takeoff.

NOTE: Climb gradient can best be described as being a specific gain of vertical height for a given distance covered horizontally. For instance, a 2.4 percent gradient means that 24 feet of altitude would be gained for each 1,000 feet of distance covered horizontally across the ground.

The following brief explanation of the one-engine inoperative climb profile may be helpful in understanding the chart in Figure 10-36.

First Segment

This segment is included in the takeoff runway required charts, and is measured from the point at which the aircraft becomes airborne until it reaches the 35-foot height at the end of the runway distance required. Speed initially is VLO and must be V2 at the 35 foot height.

Second Segment

This is the most critical segment of the profile. The second segment is the climb from the 35 foot height to 400 feet above the ground. The climb is done at full takeoff power on the operating engine(s), at V2 speed, and with the flaps in the takeoff configuration. The required climb gradient in this segment is 2.4 percent for two-engine aircraft, 2.7 percent for three-engine aircraft, and 3.0 percent for four-engine aircraft.

Third or Acceleration Segment

During this segment, the airplane is considered to be maintaining the 400 feet above the ground and accelerating from the V2 speed to the VFS speed before the climb profile is continued. The flaps are raised at the beginning of the acceleration segment and power is maintained at the takeoff setting as long as possible (5 minutes maximum).

Fourth or Final Segment

This segment is from the 400 to 1,500 foot AGL altitude with power set at maximum continuous. The required climb in this segment is a gradient of 1.2 percent for two-engine airplanes, 1.55 for three-engine airplanes, and 1.7 percent for four-engine airplanes.

Second Segment Climb Limitations

The second segment climb requirements, from 35 to 400 feet, are the most restrictive (or hardest to meet) of the climb segments. The pilot must determine that the second segment climb is met for each takeoff. In order to achieve this performance at the higher density altitude conditions, it may be necessary to limit the takeoff weight of the aircraft.

It must be realized that, regardless of the actual available length of the takeoff runway, takeoff weight must be adjusted so that the second segment climb requirements can be met. The aircraft may well be capable of lifting off with one engine inoperative, but it must then be able to climb and clear obstacles. Although second segment climb may not present much of a problem at the lower altitudes, at the higher altitude airports and higher temperatures, the second segment climb chart should be consulted to determine the effects on maximum takeoff weights before figuring takeoff runway distance required.


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