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Understanding Take Off Speeds

Understanding Take Off Speeds

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Published by: charlie on Jun 27, 2010
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08/29/2012

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Takeoff and Departure Operations
Understanding Takeoff Speeds
Flight Operations Briefing Notes
Flight Operations Briefing NotesTakeoff and Departure OperationsUnderstanding Takeoff Speeds
I Introduction
Pilots are used to calculating takeoff speeds and, therefore, understand the operationalsignificance of V
1
, V
R,
and V
2
. However, they are slightly less familiar with thedefinitions of V
MU
, V
MCG,
and V
MCA.
.Takeoff speeds are a safety key element for takeoff, and enable pilot situationalawareness and decision-making in this very dynamic situation. The use of erroneoustakeoff speeds can lead to tail strikes, high-speed rejected takeoffs or initial climb withdegraded performance.The objective of the following Flight Operations Briefing Notes is to provide, from anoperational perspective, an overall review of takeoff speeds, and of the factors thataffect the calculation and use of V speeds.
II Background Information
This section is provided as a takeoff speeds refresher. However, additional informationis also available in the Airbus “Getting to Grips with Aircraft Performance” brochure.
II.1 Control Speeds and associated Takeoff Speeds
The efficiency of such aerodynamic surfaces as the wings (for lift), the rudder, theailerons, and the elevators, depends on adequate airflow speed. This airflow speeddetermines the minimum takeoff speeds.
Page 1 of 8
 
 
 
Takeoff and Departure Operations
Understanding Takeoff Speeds
Flight Operations Briefing Notes
V
MCG
 
(Velocity of Minimum Control on Ground)
During the takeoff roll, it is of utmost importance to know the minimum speed at whichthe aircraft will remain controllable, in the event of an engine failure on ground. This isbecause, in such a case, and if the takeoff is continued, only the rudder will be able tocounteract the yaw moment that is generated by asymmetric engine(s) thrust.Per regulations, the minimum speed at which an aircraft is defined to be “controllable” (lateral excursion lower than 30 feet) after an engine failure on ground, is referred toas V (Velocity of Minimum Control on Ground)
MCG
.V
MCG
mainly depends on:
Engine(s) thrust
Pressure altitude.If a failure occurs before reaching V
MCG
, the takeoff must be interrupted to maintaincontrol of the aircraft.
N o t e 
: Steering is not used during certification flight tests. However, in real lifeoperations, steering would be helpful in controlling the aircraft.
Figure 1
Ground Control after Engine Failure
V
1
: Decision Speed
V
1
is the maximum speed at which a rejected takeoff can be initiated, in the event of anemergency. Additional information on this “Go/No-Go” decision can be found in theFlight Operations Briefing Note entitled: “
Revisiting the Stop or Go Decision
”.V
1
is also the minimum speed at which a pilot can continue a takeoff after an enginefailure.If an engine failure is detected after V
1
, the takeoff must be continued. This implies thatthe aircraft must be controllable on ground. Therefore, V
1
is always greater than V
MCG
.
 
Page 2 of 8
 
 
 
Takeoff and Departure Operations
Understanding Takeoff Speeds
Flight Operations Briefing Notes
V
MU
 
(Velocity of Minimum Unstick)
 
V is achieved by pitching the aircraft up to the maximum (tail on the runway,
MU
foraircraft that are are geometrically-limited) during the takeoff roll (Refer to Figure 2below). The speed at which the aircraft first lifts off is V.
MU
Therefore, lift-off is notpossible prior to V
MU
.
N o t e 
: All Airbus aircraft types, with the exception of the A318, are geometrically-limited.
Figure 2
V
MU
Flight Test on an A330
V
R
: Rotation Speed
The rotation speed ensures that, in the case of an engine failure, lift-off is possible andV
2
is reached at 35 feet at the latest.
N o t e 
: Therefore, at 35 feet, the actual speed is usually greater than V
2
.
The rotation of the aircraft begins at V
R
, which makes lift-off possible, at the end of themaneuver.The V
R
must be such that the lift-off speed is greater than V
MU
.
Page 3 of 8
 

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