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Aircraft Performance

Pressure Altitude – Range Performance (Part One)

Aircraft Performance

The ability of an aircraft to convert fuel energy into flying distance is one of the most important items of aircraft performance. In flying operations, the problem of efficient range operation of an aircraft appears in two general forms: To extract the maximum flying distance from a given fuel load To fly a specified distance […]

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Pressure Altitude – Climb Performance (Part Two)

Aircraft Performance

Of greater interest in climb performance are the factors that affect the rate of climb. The vertical velocity of an aircraft depends on the flight speed and the inclination of the flightpath. In fact, the rate of climb is the vertical component of the flightpath velocity. For rate of climb, the maximum rate would occur […]

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Pressure Altitude – Climb Performance (Part One)

Aircraft Performance

Climb performance is a result of using the aircrafts potential energy provided by one, or a combination of two factors. The first is the use of excess power above that required for level flight. An aircraft equipped with an engine capable of 200 horsepower (at a given altitude) but using 130 horsepower to sustain level […]

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Pressure Altitude – Straight-and-Level Flight

Aircraft Performance

All of the principal components of flight performance involve steady-state flight conditions and equilibrium of the aircraft. For the aircraft to remain in steady, level flight, equilibrium must be obtained by a lift equal to the aircraft weight and a powerplant thrust equal to the aircraft drag. Thus, the aircraft drag defines the thrust required […]

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Atmospheric Effects on Density

Aircraft Performance

Effects of Pressure on Density Since air is a gas, it can be compressed or expanded. When air is compressed, a greater amount of air can occupy a given volume. Conversely, when pressure on a given volume of air is decreased, the air expands and occupies a greater space. That is, the original column of […]

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Density Altitude

Aircraft Performance

The more appropriate term for correlating aerodynamic performance in the nonstandard atmosphere is density altitude—the altitude in the standard atmosphere corresponding to a particular value of air density. Density altitude is pressure altitude corrected for nonstandard temperature. As the density of the air increases (lower density altitude), aircraft performance increases. Conversely, as air density decreases […]

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Pressure Altitude

Aircraft Performance

Pressure altitude is the height above the standard datum plane (SDP). The aircraft altimeter is essentially a sensitive barometer calibrated to indicate altitude in the standard atmosphere. If the altimeter is set for 29.92 “Hg SDP, the altitude indicated is the pressure altitude—the altitude in the standard atmosphere corresponding to the sensed pressure. The SDP […]

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Atmospheric Pressure

Aircraft Performance

Though there are various kinds of pressure, pilots are mainly concerned with atmospheric pressure. It is one of the basic factors in weather changes, helps to lift the aircraft, and actuates some of the most important flight instruments in the aircraft. These instruments often include the altimeter, the airspeed indicator (ASI), the vertical speed indicator, […]

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