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CLIMB PERFORMANCE

7

CHAPTER 7 CLIMB PERFORMANCE PAGE 7.1 7.2 7.3 INTRODUCTION PURPOSE OF TEST THEORY 7.3.1 SAWTOOTH CLIMBS 7.3.2 STEADY STATE APPROACH TO CLIMB PERFORMANCE 7.3.2.1 FORCES IN FLIGHT 7.3.2.2 CLIMB ANGLE 7.3.2.3 CLIMB GRADIENT 7.3.2.4 RATE OF CLIMB 7.3.2.5 TIME TO CLIMB 7.3.2.6 SUMMARY OF STEADY STATE CLIMB 7.3.2.7 THRUST EFFECTS 7.3.3 TOTAL ENERGY APPROACH TO CLIMB PERFORMANCE 7.3.3.1 TIME BASED CLIMB SCHEDULE 7.3.3.1.1 SPECIFIC ENERGY VERSUS TOTAL ENERGY 7.3.3.2 FUEL BASED CLIMB SCHEDULE 7.3.3.2.1 TIME VERSUS FUEL BASED CLIMB 7.3.3.2.2 MAXIMUM RANGE CLIMB SCHEDULE TEST METHODS AND TECHNIQUES 7.4.1 SAWTOOTH CLIMB 7.4.1.1 DATA REQUIRED 7.4.1.2 TEST CRITERIA 7.4.1.3 DATA REQUIREMENTS 7.4.1.4 SAFETY CONSIDERATIONS 7.4.2 CHECK CLIMB TEST 7.4.2.1 DATA REQUIRED 7.4.2.2 TEST CRITERIA 7.4.2.3 DATA REQUIREMENTS DATA REDUCTION 7.5.1 SAWTOOTH CLIMB 7.5.1.1 SPECIFIC EXCESS POWER CORRECTION 7.5.1.2 DRAG CORRECTION 7.5.1.3 THRUST LIFT CORRECTION 7.5.1.4 ALTITUDE CORRECTION 7.5.2 COMPUTER DATA REDUCTION 7.5.2.1 ENERGY ANALYSIS 7.5.2.2 SAWTOOTH CLIMB DATA ANALYSIS 7.1 7.1 7.2 7.2 7.4 7.5 7.7 7.9 7.10 7.12 7.13 7.15 7.18 7.19 7.20 7.25 7.29 7.30 7.31 7.31 7.32 7.33 7.33 7.33 7.33 7.36 7.36 7.37 7.37 7.37 7.38 7.39 7.42 7.43 7.44 7.45 7.50 7.54

7.4

7.5

7.6

7.i

2 GREEK SYMBOLS REFERENCES 7.10 7.9.FIXED WING PERFORMANCE 7.58 7.7 7.55 7.9 MISSION SUITABILITY SPECIFICATION COMPLIANCE GLOSSARY 7.60 7.8 7.9.ii .1 NOTATIONS 7.60 7.58 7.56 7.

4 7.15 7.17 7.28 7.18 7.11 7.14 7.19 7.13 7.11 7.24 7.7 7.5 7.10 7.3 7.23 7.27 7.22 7.2 7.6 7.7 7.8 7.27 7.16 7.31 7.22 7.12 7.17 7.18 7.CLIMB PERFORMANCE CHAPTER 7 FIGURES PAGE 7.23 CLIMB CORRECTION FACTOR FORCES IN CLIMBING FLIGHT CLIMB VECTORS WIND EFFECT ON CLIMB ANGLE THRUST AND DRAG POWER AVAILABLE AND REQUIRED TIME TO CLIMB INTEGRATION CLASSIC RATE OF CLIMB PERFORMANCE HODOGRAPH THRUST EFFECTS FOR JETS THRUST EFFECTS FOR PROPS SUBSONIC CLIMB SCHEDULE MINIMUM TIME TO CLIMB SUPERSONIC CLIMB SCHEDULE TYPICAL ENERGY LEVEL CLIMB PATH SPECIFIC EXCESS POWER CURVE REFERRED FUEL FLOW ACTUAL FUEL FLOW MINIMUM FUEL CLIMB SCHEDULE OPTIMAL TIME AND FUEL CLIMBS SAWTOOTH DATA CARD CHECK CLIMB STANDARD DAY RATE OF CLIMB 7.5 7.20 7.4 7.iii .15 7.9 7.1 7.13 7.29 7.44 7.30 7.14 7.34 7.19 7.9 7.8 7.21 7.

25 7.27 7.28 7.iv .30 ENERGY RELATIONSHIP TO CLIMB INTEGRATION RESULTS FOR DISTANCE REFERRED FUEL USED STANDARD DAY FUEL USED FUEL USED IN CLIMB RATE OF CLIMB FROM SAWTOOTH CLIMBS CLIMB ANGLE FROM SAWTOOTH CLIMBS 7.26 7.49 7.48 7.50 7.52 7.46 7.24 7.51 7.47 7.FIXED WING PERFORMANCE 7.29 7.

3) (Eq 7.2 V dV T Ps = dE h = dh + gT dt dt dt dV dV dh = dt dh dt dV dh Ps = dh + V g dh dt dt Ps = dh 1 + V dV g dh dt 1 V dV 1 + gT dh (Eq 7.5 (Eq 7.5 (Eq 7.W sin γ = W ax g G j R L = W cos γ dV W T T cos α .v .D .6 7.8) 7.D .T .1) 7.4) 7.T G j R 7.2 7.3 (Eq 7.11) (Eq 7.6 = T cos α .3 CCF = 1 V dV 1 + gT dh (Eq 7.12) 7.3 dh = Ps dt (Eq 7.2) (Eq 7.6) 7.W cos γ + T sin α = W az g G j T cos α .2 7.5 7.CLIMB PERFORMANCE CHAPTER 7 EQUATIONS PAGE V E =h+ h 2 T 2g (Eq 7.3 L .T .W sin γ = g =0 G j R dt T Nx (Eq 7.10) 7.7) 7.9) (Eq 7.5) 7.

14 7.12 7.21 7.FIXED WING PERFORMANCE T .19) 7.15) V-DV W = P .6 V sin γ = W T (Eq 7.21 7.22) (Eq 7.14) -D V = dh = Vv dt Nx W T Nx 7.6 -D V= T ROC = dh = dt Nx W (Eq 7.10 h 1 dh = h 1 t= ∫ dh ∫ 0 dh 0 ROC dt (Eq 7.18) (Eq 7.6 T γ = sin Nx -D (Eq 7.20 dh + V dV g T dt = Ps dE = dh + V dV g h dE dt = h (Eq 7.vi .23) 7.D = W sin γ (Eq 7.Preq A W 7.21) 7.21 Ps (Eq 7.17) (Eq 7.16) 7.13) -1 Nx 7.14 Vv = V sin γ T V hor = V cos γ T Rate of Climb = Ps ( ( 1 dV V T 1+ g dh dV T 1+ V g dh Ps ) ) dh (Eq 7.24) 7.20 h Time to Climb = ∫ h 2 1 (Eq 7.20) 7.

30) 7.CLIMB PERFORMANCE E h Time to Climb = ∫ E h 2 1 dE Ps h (Eq 7.vii .1 = . (Eq 7.38 2 W ∆D = D Std -D Test = ( 2 2 -W Std Test ) 2 π e AR S γ Pa M (Eq 7.26 V E h 2 T =h Test Test + Test 2g ( dh ) dt Ps = Ps Test Test ( 1 V 1+ V T ref dV T g V + dh T ) (∆T Nx (Eq 7.29) 7.32) 7.39 7.37 (Eq 7.25 .25) V dV dh T T = + g dW dW E h 1 = d dW dW h dE ( ) V h+ 2 T 7.∫ 1 2 2 E 1 dE dE h h h 1 dW (Eq 7.25 Fuel to Climb = ∫ E h W .∆D) (Eq 7.25 W W Fuel to Climb = ∫ dW = .31) .21 2g (Eq 7.dW = .38 W Std = Ps Test Std T Std Std Test W V T W Test Std 7.27) 7.26) 7.28) E h 2 7. f Ps 1 dE = ∫ h E h 1 dE Ps h W .33) 7. f 1 (Eq 7.dW dt = f dE dE dt dE Ps h h h dW E h 2 W .

273.W cos2γ Std Std Test Test 2 π e AR ρ Ve S ssl 2 2 2 n -W n2 Std z Std Test z Test 2 π e AR ρ Ve S ssl 7.15 7.52 ˚C = ˚K .FIXED WING PERFORMANCE L = nz W nz = cos γ 2 ∆D = (Eq 7.46 Fuel Used = ∫ W dt f 1 (Eq 7.40 7.44 ∆Τ = f ∆H .44) t t 2 .35) 2 2 cos2γ .T nz = L W nz = cos γ T G G sin α (Eq 7. ∆T a N t t 2 ( ) Distance = ∫ V cos γ dt T 1 (Eq 7.36) 7.40 ( dh ) dt γ Std = Ps Std = sin -1 ( ( ) Std 1 V dV T 1 + gT dh ) (Eq 7.42) (Eq 7.40) (Eq 7.42 7.42 L = W cos γ .43) 7.37) 7.41) W P sin α j (Eq 7.40 2 ∆D = ( W ) (Eq 7.47 7.42 7.40 (W ) (Eq 7.38) 7.39) j 7.45) (Eq 7. 7.46) 7.41 7.34) (Eq 7.viii .41 dh dt V T (Eq 7.

50) 7.48) 7.53 7. M ( ) (Eq 7.CLIMB PERFORMANCE OAT = f Ta.ix .52 7.49) (Eq 7.52 7. M T ( T ) h=H P +∆ H c ref Pc ( ) Ta T std (Eq 7.53 Ta = f ( OAT.47) (Eq 7. M ) V = f OAT.

.

Primary emphasis in this chapter is on energy analysis since measuring climb performance in jet aircraft and determining climb performance for various climb schedules is best done through energy methods. An interceptor launching to take over a particular combat air patrol (CAP) station is primarily interested in climbing to altitude with the minimum expenditure of fuel. An attack aircraft launching on a strike mission is primarily interested in climbing on a schedule of maximum range per pound of fuel used. the desire is to reach intercept altitude with the best fighting speed or energy in the minimum time.1 . the sawtooth climb method can be used successfully for lower performance aircraft during climb speed determination and is also suited for single engine climb performance evaluation in the takeoff or wave-off configuration. 2. Conditions for best climb rate. Conditions for best climb angle. 5. 3. Evaluate the requirements of pertinent military specifications. Different missions may require optimization of other factors during the climb. 7. However.2 PURPOSE OF TEST The purpose of this test is to determine the following climb performance characteristics: 1.CHAPTER 7 CLIMB PERFORMANCE 7. 7. Conditions for the shortest time to climb. This chapter also discusses the sawtooth climb as an alternate test method of determining specific excess power. 4. 6. If launching on an intercept.1 INTRODUCTION Climb performance is evaluated in various ways depending on the aircraft mission. Conditions for minimum fuel used to climb. Climb schedules for the above conditions.

Climbing at constant indicated airspeed is not constant VT. From the chain rule.2. dV dV dh = dt dh dt (Eq 7. The sawtooth climb is one method of obtaining the airspeed schedule for maximum rate of climb.2) The only time P s is equal to rate of climb is when the climb is done at a constant true airspeed.3. To express rate of climb potential in terms of P s. Ps is calculated by measuring energy height as in Eq 7. There are conditions where the sawtooth climb is more applicable.2 .4 and Eq 7.1 to derive Eq 7. which is rarely the case.3 THEORY 7. Sawtooth climb is a secondary method of determining Ps. except when climbing in the stratosphere on a standard day.2 is zero.1 then taking the time derivative as in Eq 7.3) 7. The results of tests are derived from a series of short.3 and substituted into Eq 7. If true airspeed is constant.FIXED WING PERFORMANCE 7. The test provides limited information on overall climb performance but does establish the best airspeed at which to climb at a specific altitude. Climbing at constant Mach number is not constant VT either. then dVT/dt in Eq 7.1) V dV T Ps = dE h = dh + gT dt dt dt (Eq 7. true airspeed (VT) must be evaluated in the climb. V E =h+ h 2 T 2g (Eq 7. dV/dt can be expressed as in Eq 7. timed climbs through the same altitude band. The sawtooth climb is more time consuming than the level acceleration run.5. especially in determining single engine wave-off for multiengine airplanes or climb in the approach configuration for a jet.1 SAWTOOTH CLIMBS The primary method of determining specific excess power (Ps) is the level acceleration.

5) Knowing Ps and the climb schedule.6 and is useful in evaluating rate of climb. If the aircraft is accelerating during the climb as in a constant indicated airspeed schedule. ft ft/s2 ft ft/s2 s ft/s ft/s.3 . 7.CLIMB PERFORMANCE dV dh Ps = dh + V g dh dt dt dh 1 + V dV g dh dt (Eq 7. A term called the climb correction factor (CCF) represents the values within the brackets of Eq 7. the rate of climb potential is: dh = Ps dt 1 V dV 1 + gT dh (Eq 7.7) Where: CCF Eh g h Ps t V VT Climb correction factor Energy height Gravitational acceleration Tapeline altitude Specific excess power Time Velocity True airspeed There are three cases to consider about the CCF. but the actual rate of climb is adjusted by the velocity change along the climb path (dVT/dh). 1.6) Specific excess power is nearly independent of the climb or acceleration path for modest climb angles.4) Ps = (Eq 7. CCF < 1 and rate of climb is less than Ps. CCF is defined as follows: CCF = 1 V dV 1 + gT dh (Eq 7.

If the aircraft is climbing at a constant true airspeed.3. For supersonic aircraft however.5 1.5 h = 20.0 Constant V . CCF > 1 and rate of climb is greater than Ps. 2.0 1.5 0 i Constant M h < 35. True airspeed had to be held constant. For a low speed aircraft the factor does not have much significance.FIXED WING PERFORMANCE 2. This approach was derived before the total energy theory was developed.4 . 3. the influence of the CCF on rate of climb is significant. as in a constant Mach number through decreasing temperature. and is inadequate for analyzing climb profiles of supersonic aircraft where both true airspeed and altitude change rapidly.0 Figure 7.000 ft 0 . If the aircraft is decelerating while climbing.000 ft 1. Figure 7.1 CLIMB CORRECTION FACTOR 7. CCF =1 and rate of climb equals Ps. One major assumption was the aircraft had no acceleration along the flight path.1 illustrates CCF as a function of Mach number.0 Mach Number M 1.2 STEADY STATE APPROACH TO CLIMB PERFORMANCE The classical approach to aircraft climb performance problems was to use the static or steady state case.5 2.5 Climb Correction Factor CCF 2. 7. The following paragraphs are intended to present a quick overview of the classical approach.

CLIMB PERFORMANCE 7.D .T . L αj γ Flight Pat Horizon D T G T sin α G TR j γ TG cos α W j W cos γ W sin γ Figure 7.3. the equations reduce to: L = W cos γ (Eq 7.2 for review and can be resolved perpendicular and parallel to the flight path.2.2 FORCES IN CLIMBING FLIGHT Forces perpendicular to the flight path are: L .10) 7.W sin γ = W ax g G j R (Eq 7.9) By assuming angle of attack (α) is small.8) (Eq 7.W cos γ + T sin α = W az g G j Forces parallel to the flight path are: T cos α . and the aircraft is in a steady climb where acceleration parallel flight path (ax) is zero.5 . or at a constant true airspeed. the engines are closely aligned with the fuselage reference line.1 FORCES IN FLIGHT The forces acting on an aircraft in a climb are presented in figure 7.

15) Nx W Angle of attack Thrust angle Acceleration parallel flight path Acceleration perpendicular to flight path Drag Rate of climb Flight path angle Lift Gross thrust Net thrust parallel flight path Ram drag Velocity True airspeed Vertical velocity Weight 7. By maximizing specific excess thrust.15.T G j (Eq 7.D = W sin γ (Eq 7. as Eq 7.13 are multiplied by V an expression for rate of climb is developed. the climb angle is greatest.W sin γ = g =0 G j R dt T = T cos α . a useful expression for γ can be found: T -D (Eq 7. If both sides of Eq 7.T .D .FIXED WING PERFORMANCE dV W T T cos α .13) With true airspeed held constant.6 .12) T Nx .3.14) γ = sin -1 Nx W The term in brackets is specific excess thrust. and is graphically shown in figure 7. (Eq 7.11) Nx R (Eq 7. T V sin γ = Where: α αj ax az D dh/dt γ L TG TNx TR V VT Vv W -D V = dh = Vv dt deg deg ft/s2 ft/s2 lb ft/s deg lb lb lb lb ft/s ft/s ft/s lb.

climb angle decreases as weight increases. As the aircraft climbs.7 .15 shows if net thrust is greater than drag. Wind is also a factor. depends on specific excess thrust (TNx D)/W.14. the climb angle. γ. the propulsive thrust decreases. 7.2 CLIMB ANGLE hor As seen in Eq 7. The effect of increasing weight on climb angle can be evaluated from Eq 7. Since climb angle is inversely proportional to weight. Drag remains essentially constant.3 CLIMB VECTORS Eq 7. 7. However. A steady wind has no effect on the climb angle of the aircraft relative to the moving air mass.CLIMB PERFORMANCE V Vv γ V Figure 7.14. dh/dt is positive and a climb results. The prime reason for optimizing climb angle might be to gain obstacle clearance during some portion of the flight. There is an absolute ceiling where TNx = D and γ = 0. Increasing altitude decreases specific excess thrust and the climb angle.4. Winds do affect this distance and give apparent changes in γ as depicted in figure 7. the maximum climb angle must give the most altitude gained for horizontal distance covered.2.3.

This is a classical result and leads to the assumption γmax occurs at VL/Dmax.4 WIND EFFECT ON CLIMB ANGLE Excess thrust. But. In figure 7.FIXED WING PERFORMANCE V γ Head Wind No Wind Tail Wind Figure 7. γmax may occur over an airspeed band.D. is a function of airspeed. The aircraft must be flown at the velocity where maximum excess thrust occurs to achieve the maximum climb angle.5.8 . The net thrust available from a pure turbojet varies little with airspeed at a given altitude. the same can be said for a turbofan. A jet lacking thrust augmentation usually climbs at the velocity for minimum drag or minimum thrust required to achieve the maximum climb angle. the maximum excess thrust at military thrust occurs close to VL/Dmax. 7. With thrust augmentation. thrust available varies with airspeed and γmax occurs at other airspeeds. TNx . In general.

lb x 10 T or D 3 TN Buffet Limit mil 100 200 300 400 True Airspeed .9 . The gradient is usually expressed in percent where 100% occurs when Vv = Vhor.2.CLIMB PERFORMANCE 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 L D 1 max TN max Thrust or Drag . 7. or tan γ = 1 (45 deg).5 THRUST AND DRAG Specific excess thrust determines climb angle. whether specific excess thrust is measured directly or calculated from independent estimates of thrust. drag. The gradient can be determined from figure 7. and weight.3 by dividing Vv by Vhor or by measuring tan γ.3 CLIMB GRADIENT Climb gradient is the altitude gained for the distance traveled.kn V T 500 600 Figure 7.3. 7.

7.2. Power available can be expressed as net thrust times velocity (TNx x V) and power lost to drag as drag times velocity (D x V). Excess power is also defined as the difference between the power available to do work in a unit of time and the work done by drag per unit time.16.4 RATE OF CLIMB Eq 7.10 . Then Eq 7. In specific excess power. T ROC = dh = dt Where: D dh/dt TNx PA Preq ROC V W -D V= T V-DV W = P . which was defined as the difference between net thrust available and drag (thrust required) at a specific weight.FIXED WING PERFORMANCE 7. dh/dt.6 depicts a typical curve of power available and required. dh/dt is rate of climb at constant airspeed. kn lb. Figure 7.Preq A W Nx Nx W (Eq 7.15 can be rewritten as Eq 7. depends upon specific excess power.16) Drag Rate of climb Net thrust parallel flight path Power available Power required Rate of climb Velocity Weight lb ft/s lb ft-lb/s ft-lb/s ft/s ft/s.3. This is similar to excess thrust.2 shows rate of climb.

CLIMB PERFORMANCE Prop And Jet At Same Weight P A P rop Power Max ROC Jet AJ et Max ROC Prop L D P max True Airspeed . For the turboprop. For the military power turbojet. the thrust is nearly constant so power available is a straight line originating at V=0. the maximum value of excess thrust might occur at a speed less than VL/Dmax and close to the speed for minimum thrust horsepower required.6 POWER AVAILABLE AND REQUIRED The power required curve is derived by multiplying V by the drag at that speed.kn V T Figure 7. Propeller efficiencies also account for part 7. The power available curve is derived by multiplying V by the thrust at that speed.11 P R Bo t h .6. The slope of the curve is directly proportional to the magnitude of thrust. the thrust tends to decrease with an increase in velocity as also seen in figure 7. Depending on the exact shape of the turboprop thrust curve.

h h t = ∫ 1 dh = ∫ 1 dh 0 dh 0 ROC dt (Eq 7. are also finite altitudes. Maximum rate of climb for the jet occurs at much higher true airspeed than that for L/Dmax. That value pertains only to the corresponding altitude. Increasing weight with no change in excess power reduces rate of climb.15. At each altitude. and specific excess power directly depends upon true airspeed according to Eq 7.FIXED WING PERFORMANCE of the curve shape. defined as the altitudes where 100 ft/min and 500 ft/min rates of climb can be maintained. Weight affects rate of climb directly and in the same manner as it does climb angle. 7. The slope of the curve for power available changes as the true airspeed changes. Wind affects rate of climb negligibly unless gradient and direction changes are large within the air mass. Continuous variations in rate of climb must be attained through integration as in Eq 7. Altitude has an effect on rate of climb similar to its effect upon climb angle.17) Where: h ROC t Tapeline altitude Rate of climb Time ft ft/s s.5 TIME TO CLIMB The rates of climb discussed are instantaneous values.12 . 7. The service ceiling and combat ceiling.2.3. Rate of climb at the absolute ceiling goes to zero when TNx = D and excess power is minimum. there is one velocity which yields maximum rate of climb. True airspeed strongly affects rate of climb performance since thrust and drag are functions of velocity.17.

3. A rate of climb curve is shown in figure 7.ft h Figure 7.6 SUMMARY OF STEADY STATE CLIMB A curve of vertical velocity versus horizontal velocity can be used to summarize the steady state performance.17 is not usually available as an analytical function of altitude. A more accurate method to determine time to climb is discussed in section 7.7. Both altitude and airspeed must be specified.2. 1 dh/dt ∆h Tapeline Altitude . 7.8.3 7. The determination of time to climb then can only be determined graphically as in figure 7.CLIMB PERFORMANCE The term dh/dt in Eq 7.3. as well as the climb path itself and actual rate of climb at every point.7 TIME TO CLIMB INTEGRATION The method is limited by the fact that more information is needed than just the altitude change with time.13 .

FIXED WING PERFORMANCE

Rate of Climb - ft/min ROC

Max Rate Of Climb

**in rig hO ug o hr Speed For tT Maximum en g Climb Angle an T
**

Vx Vy

Speed For Maximum Rate Of Climb

Maximum Level Flight Airspeed

V

H

True Airspeed - kn V

T

Figure 7.8 CLASSIC RATE OF CLIMB If figure 7.8 is converted into vertical velocity versus horizontal velocity using Eqs 7.17 and 7.18, climb performance can be summarized graphically as in figure 7.9 for the same speed range. Vv = V sin γ

T

(Eq 7.18) (Eq 7.19)

V

hor

= V cos γ

T

Where: γ Vhor VT Vv

Flight path angle Horizontal velocity True airspeed Vertical velocity

deg ft/s ft/s ft/s.

7.14

CLIMB PERFORMANCE

3 Vertical Velocity - ft/s Vv

4

2 5

γ

2

1

Horizontal Velocity - ft/s V

hor

6

Figure 7.9 PERFORMANCE HODOGRAPH A radius vector from the origin to any point on the plot represents the true airspeed and makes an angle to the horizontal equal to the actual climb angle at that speed. From figure 7.9: Point 1 Point 2 Point 3 Point 4 Point 5 Point 6 7.3.2.7 Maximum level flight airspeed Climb speed at the given rate of climb Speed for maximum rate of climb Speed for maximum climb angle Stall speed Descent THRUST EFFECTS VH VT Vy Vx Vs NA.

The discussion to this point deals with one set of power parameters; however, rate of climb is calculated using Eq 7.16 and changes with throttle position or net thrust parallel to the flight path, TNx.

7.15

FIXED WING PERFORMANCE T ROC = dh = dt Where: D TNx h PA Preq ROC V W -D V=

Nx

T

Nx

V-DV W =

W

P - Preq A W

(Eq 7.16)

Drag Net thrust parallel flight path Tapeline altitude Power available Power required Rate of climb Velocity Weight

lb lb ft ft-lb/s ft-lb/s ft/s ft/s lb.

From a study of drag characteristics for jets, the maximum climb angle speed (Vx) C occurs at L CD max, which is the minimum drag condition. The speed is independent of power setting. The speed for best climb rate, Vy, increases with increasing thrust. Figure 7.10 illustrates the effects discussed.

7.16

Figure 7. does not change with increasing power.ft/s V T Figure 7. The speed for maximum climb angle.ft/s ROC Vy Vx Min Drag True Airspeed . 7. Vy.CLIMB PERFORMANCE C C L D max Vx Vy Rate of Climb .17 .11 shows the result. the best rate of climb speed.10 THRUST EFFECTS FOR JETS For the propeller aircraft. Vx decreases with the increased power setting as the climb progresses.

7.3 TOTAL ENERGY APPROACH TO CLIMB PERFORMANCE Climb schedules can be determined by randomly flying a large number of climb schedules and picking the best schedule based on the flight results. Schedules based on less information would yield poor results.11 THRUST EFFECTS FOR PROPS 7. There are more scientific approaches and this section uses the information attained from the excess power chapter to determine climb performance.18 . Each flight requires a climb and if a schedule is selected based on measured Ps data.3.ft/s V T Figure 7. and specifically climb schedules.ft/s ROC Vy Vx True Airspeed . The treatment starts with the subsonic jet and advances to supersonic speeds. the results could be quite good.FIXED WING PERFORMANCE 3 C 2 L D max C Vy Vx Rate of Climb .

CLIMB PERFORMANCE 7. 7. sawtooth climbs. acceleration is required along the flight path.ft h Constant E h True Airspeed . thus.ft 2 V 2g Figure 7.19 . which is seen as an increase in total energy as shown in Eq 7.ft h Max Rate Maximum Energy Constant Ps Constant Eh Max Rate Tapeline Altitude . with lines of constant energy height as shown in figure 7. Maximum Energy Constant Ps Tapeline Altitude . or other methods can be worked up on a cross-plot of altitude and Mach number. The maximum points occur at increasing airspeed.3.1. Excess power must be divided between the requirements of climbing and acceleration.3. or true airspeed. as altitude increases.1 TIME BASED CLIMB SCHEDULE Ps data taken from acceleration runs.12 SUBSONIC CLIMB SCHEDULE The peaks of the curves represent the speed at which the maximum specific excess power occurs at each altitude. Each peak is also the speed for maximum instantaneous rate of climb at that altitude for an aircraft flying at constant true airspeed.12.ft/s V T Specific Kinetic Energy .

By flying the points where the Ps contours are tangent to the lines of constant energy height. To put Eq 7.1 SPECIFIC ENERGY VERSUS TOTAL ENERGY Time to climb is given in Eq 7. a schedule for the minimum time to achieve an energy state. is developed as the optimum energy climb schedule.20) h Time to Climb = ∫ h 2 ( 1 dV T 1+ V g dh Ps ) (Eq 7.2) Rate of Climb = Ps ( 1 dV T 1+ V g dh ) dh (Eq 7.12. 7. The integration requires determining the actual rate of climb at every point. The integration will not work for any portion of the schedule where altitude is not increasing.17.1.21) 7. The plot is also shown as a function of specific potential energy (h) and specific V2 kinetic energy ( ). or maximum rate of total energy addition.17 in more useful terms the following equations are used: V dV dE T T h = dh + g dt dt dt Ps = (Eq 7.1) Where: Eh g h VT Energy height Gravitational acceleration Tapeline altitude True airspeed ft ft/s2 ft ft/s. This curve may be useful if the points of tangency are not well 2g defined.3.20 .3.FIXED WING PERFORMANCE 2 T V E =h+ h 2g (Eq 7. which cannot be easily obtained from figure 7.

25) 1 Where: Eh Eh1 Eh2 g h h1 h2 Ps ROC t V VT Energy height Energy height at start of climb Energy height at end of climb Gravitational acceleration Tapeline altitude Tapeline altitude start of climb Tapeline altitude end of climb Specific excess power Rate of climb Time Velocity True airspeed ft ft ft ft/s2 ft ft ft ft/s ft/s s ft/s ft/s.13.21. Results for both the maximum rate of climb schedule and the maximum energy climb schedule are shown in figure 7.CLIMB PERFORMANCE dh + V dV g T dt = Ps (Eq 7. 7.1 and substituting it into equation 7.24) Time to Climb = ∫ E h 2 1 dE Ps h (Eq 7.21 .22) Using the differential form of Eq 7. time to climb can be expressed in terms which can be graphically integrated from figure 7.23) h Ps E h (Eq 7.12. dE = dh + V dV g h dE dt = (Eq 7.

the potential energy is lower than in the maximum rate of climb with kinetic energy making up the difference. The climb schedule actually recommended is often a compromise between the theoretical maximum rate and maximum energy schedules. and may be further modified by considerations such as providing an airspeed or Mach number profile which is easy to fly. the maximum energy climb schedule is nearly optimal and is recommended for jets climbing to high altitude.s/ft 1 Ps Climb te Of a um R Maxim Climb nergy um E Maxim Time To Climb E h1 Energy Height . For transitions between widely separated energy levels. The maximum energy climb schedule will give the minimum time between two energy levels.13 MINIMUM TIME TO CLIMB The maximum energy climb schedule gives a path defined by altitude and Mach number for transitioning from one energy level to a higher level in the minimum time.22 . The ideal model works well when the end points of the energy climb are near the maximum energy climb schedule. along lines of constant energy height. 7. Theoretical treatments usually assume an ideal model in which the airplane can translate instantaneously. but breaks down when they are not. However.FIXED WING PERFORMANCE Inverse of Specific Excess Power . particularly if the energy levels are close together. the potential gains by flying this schedule can be negated by the real process of exchanging kinetic and potential energies. and without loss. Every point on the maximum energy climb schedule represents the maximum P s for that energy height which will get the aircraft to an energy level faster than any other schedule. however.ft E h E h2 Figure 7.

the large speed increase necessary renders the conventional method of using the peaks of the Ps curves useless.14 illustrates a typical climb schedule for a supersonic aircraft. An ideal pushover or dive is carried out at constant Eh from C to D.14 SUPERSONIC CLIMB SCHEDULE If the final speed is near the aircraft’s maximum speed. This optimum energy climb path is also known as the Rutowski climb path. Note D Optimum Energy Climb Constant E h Tapeline Altitude . after its developer. This subsonic climb is usually a nearly constant Mach number schedule. However. Figure 7.14) consists of four segments to reach energy state E in minimum time.ft h A 7. the energy schedule becomes more significant.23 . Constant Ps E 0 200 100 C 200 300 400 500 B Mach Number M Figure 7. The acceleration in the dive is actually part of the optimum climb path.CLIMB PERFORMANCE and/or providing a Mach number relative to maximum range or maximum endurance airspeed. The subsonic climb segment follows a path similar to the one illustrated to the tropopause at state C. For a supersonic aircraft. Segment DE is the supersonic climb to the final energy state desired at E. The path (Figure 7. the energy method works well. Segment AB represents a constant altitude acceleration from V = 0 to climb speed at state B. Note in this example the optimum climb path includes an acceleration in a dive.

6 0. However.0 1.4 0. one in a subsonic region and the other in the supersonic region. Constant E h 70 Tapeline Altitude .2 1.6 1. When and how to transition from the subsonic segment to the supersonic segment may be an issue if the Ps contours near M = 1 are poorly defined. the conventional schedule may still be useful if a profile is desired to reach maximum range airspeed at altitude. Perhaps the most expeditious path is the one toward the highest Ps contour available without decreasing Eh.15 TYPICAL ENERGY LEVEL CLIMB PATH 7. A climb schedule defined by the conventional method of the peaks of the Ps curves at each altitude is undesirable because of the large speed change involved if a speed near the maximum is desired at the end of the climb. There is no complete agreement on when to start the pushover. Path CD in figure 7.2 Mach Number M Figure 7.4 1.0 2.2 0. Figure 7.ft x 10 3 h 60 50 40 30 20 10 Constant Ps Optimum Energy Climb Path 0.FIXED WING PERFORMANCE segments BC and DE pass through points on Ps contours which are tangent to lines of constant Eh.14 illustrates a typical transition using this idea.15 illustrates the difficulty in choosing the transition paths when Ps contours become irregular in the transonic region.24 . The assumption implies the climb should be subsonic until intercepting an Eh level tangent to two Ps contours of equal value.8 2.8 1.

7. result in a climb path with the corners rounded off. The abrupt discontinuities in angle of attack and attitude are avoided in the actual climb.15. and the change in airspeed per pound of fuel in accelerations is dV/dW. The energy approach to climb performance can also be used to determine how much total energy is added per pound of fuel consumed. where transitions are assumed to be instantaneous.∫ 1 2 E 1 dE dE h h h 1 dW (Eq 7.3.CLIMB PERFORMANCE Notice in figure 7. This requires specific energy to be differentiated with respect to the change in aircraft gross weight due to fuel used.28) 7.26.dW = . .26) Fuel burned in a climb can be determined by integrating Eq 7. Change in altitude per pound of fuel used is dh/dW in climbs.1 = .26 as was done in determining time to climb.25 . (Eq 7.27) A relationship of fuel flow to specific excess power can be written as Eq 7. real transitions as opposed to ideal zooms and dives.2 FUEL BASED CLIMB SCHEDULE The aircraft mission may require the expenditure of minimum fuel to achieve a given energy level.28.3.dW dt = f dE dE dt dE Ps h h h dW W . dE = d dW dW h ( ) V h+ 2 T 2g V dV T = dh + gT dW dW (Eq 7. W W E 2 h Fuel to Climb = ∫ dW = . The sum of both terms equals the change in specific energy with respect to fuel used as in Eq 7.

FIXED WING PERFORMANCE Eq 7.17. E h f Ps 1 dE = ∫ h E h 2 1 dE Ps h W . From acceleration run data.29 requires combining P s and fuel flow data from other tests. Evaluating Eq 7. Ratio of Specific Excess Power . and referred fuel flow curve.16 7.27 can be rewritten as follows: E h Fuel to Climb = ∫ E h 2 W .16. can be generated. f 1 (Eq 7.ft/s Ps Figure 7. similar to figure 7.26 W .ft/s lb/h to Fuel Flow Ps Mach Number M Specific Excess Power . the Ps curve similar to the solid line in figure 7.29) Where: Eh g h Ps t V VT W ˙ Wf Energy height Gravitational acceleration Tapeline altitude Specific excess power Time Velocity True airspeed Weight Fuel flow ft ft/s2 ft ft/s s ft/s kn lb lb/h. f .

W f δ T θ T Outside Air Temperature OAT Figure 7.17 REFERRED FUEL FLOW For a given altitude (δ) and temperature (θ).lb/h .27 . 7. For the same acceleration run. the actual fuel flow for standard conditions can be determined as shown in figure 7. the outside air temperature (OAT) and referred fuel flow can be determined versus Mach number.18.CLIMB PERFORMANCE SPECIFIC EXCESS POWER CURVE Fuel Flow Referred To Total Conditions .

16 by P the corresponding points on figure 7. W f Mach Number M Figure 7. the peak of P the s curve occurs at a slower speed than the peak of the Ps curve in figure 7. The results are cross-plotted as shown in figure 7.18 ACTUAL FUEL FLOW ˙ The ratio of Ps to Wf can be determined by dividing each point on figure 7.lb/h . Since fuel flow increases with increasing speed.FIXED WING PERFORMANCE Fuel Flow .16. ˙ Wf P To develop the minimum fuel climb schedule.18 and plotting s versus Mach number as the ˙ Wf dashed curve in figure 7. all the s curves for each altitude are ˙ Wf determined.28 .19. 7.16.

29 .2.3.3.19 MINIMUM FUEL CLIMB SCHEDULE 7.20 depicts a typical result given the same aircraft following an optimal time climb and an optimal fuel climb.19 appears very much like the time based climb in figure 7. Figure 7. 7.CLIMB PERFORMANCE Tapeline Altitude .ft h Constant E h P Constant .14.1 TIME VERSUS FUEL BASED CLIMB The climb path based on minimum fuel in figure 7. s W f Minimum Fuel Climb Path Mach Number M Figure 7.

In reality. The initial point of the cruise leg is defined by an altitude and an airspeed for a particular gross weight.20 OPTIMAL TIME AND FUEL CLIMBS The optimal minimum fuel climb path lies above. but roughly parallel. the optimal fuel path is easier to achieve since the optimal time case requires an ideal climb.FIXED WING PERFORMANCE 60 Tapeline Altitude .4 1. There are sophisticated mathematical techniques which can be used to determine a theoretical solution. 7.2.3. the optimal minimum time climb path. However. In practice.ft x 10 h 3 50 40 30 20 10 Minimum Fuel Minimum Time 0.30 .0 1. and an ideal zoom to reach the end point. actual down range distance traveled 7.3. The schedule which gets to that energy level with minimum fuel used.6 1. an ideal dive.2 MAXIMUM RANGE CLIMB SCHEDULE The maximum range climb schedule should achieve maximum range for fuel used during the climb to a desired altitude and cruise speed.8 Mach Number M Figure 7. if the cruise speed is near the climb speed for an energy minimum fuel climb. is close to the optimal time schedule. the minimum fuel climb approximates the no-wind maximum range per pound of fuel.

21. For a head wind. A typical flight data card is shown in figure 7.21 SAWTOOTH DATA CARD Climbs are performed at the same power setting and aircraft configuration as used in the check climb (paragraph 7. or a height change attainable in two minutes. The altitude increment is about 1000 ft either side of a target altitude. an incremental increase in speed for the climb schedule slightly improves the range Ps curves. Target Vo Vo Initial HP Final HP ∆t Fuel OAT Misc Figure 7. are not characteristic provided the peaks of the ˙ Wf too sharp. Normally. 7. choose the climb band symmetrically about the target altitude. full power is used. Speeds are chosen to bracket the expected best climb speed of the aircraft. which ever is less.4 TEST METHODS AND TECHNIQUES 7. The same altitude band is used for each climb. 7.31 . Power setting is defined by the scope of the test but is the same for each run.CLIMB PERFORMANCE in the climb is considered when optimizing the overall range problem which also includes cruise and descent. For a tail wind. rather than altitude gain. wind affects the range in a climb. until Ps decreases and time. an incremental decrease in speed increases range over that obtained from the no-wind schedule.1 SAWTOOTH CLIMB A series of timed climbs are made at different speeds from a point below the test altitude to a point above it.4. When time is the criterion.3). with respect to energy height.4. As in the cruise phase. becomes the test criterion.

keep a running plot of observed time to climb versus Vo and before leaving the test altitude.1. As many points as possible are flown at each altitude. 7. The card can be expanded to record other parameters such as angle of attack. Climb perpendicular to the prevailing winds to minimize the effects of wind shear. time. a full power unaccelerated minimum speed point. On the back of the data card. Record actual in-flight Vo.1 DATA REQUIRED 1. fuel counts or fuel remaining. examine the plot for points which need repeating. Once through the altitude increment. or two minutes whichever comes first.4. Power is applied and final trim adjustments are made before reaching the lower limit of the altitude band being measured. data are recorded. The description above is only applicable when Ps is determined to be positive.1. see paragraph 8. W. The exact time of entering and leaving the altitude band is recorded by a stopwatch or an instrumentation system. Confine the flights to the bounds of a limited geographical area since the primary concern is the shape of the curve obtained rather than the magnitude.FIXED WING PERFORMANCE The aircraft is first trimmed in the configuration desired while still well below the nominal altitude. torque. and a descending turn is initialized to get the aircraft below the altitude band for another run. then the same flight test technique applies. Altitude: Record the observed pressure altitude HPo band for each point. a standard data card is prepared similar to figure 7.32 . and either outside air temperature or time of day so temperature can be obtained by other meteorological methods. except in reverse. For each altitude. and a maximum speed point are obtained at the test altitude in order to complete the curve. Time: Record elapsed time from the beginning of the altitude band to the end. For a description of the sawtooth descent flight test technique. In addition. If Ps is negative and the airplane is descending.21 with the target indicated airspeed included for each point. engine RPM. etc. 7. 2.4.

Vo ± 1 kn with smooth corrections.CLIMB PERFORMANCE 3. Consider low altitude stall potential in slow speed climb tests and Vmc for multi-engine aircraft. 7.3 1. Velocity: Record observed airspeed.1 g.4. 6.1. Normal acceleration ± 0. Fuel weight: Record the fuel remaining to determine aircraft gross weight. DATA REQUIREMENTS Test altitude band ± 1000 ft about a target altitude. 2. 7. 7. and torque for a turboprop. OAT or Ta: Record ambient air temperature from on-board instrumentation at target altitude.4 SAFETY CONSIDERATIONS There are no unique hazards or safety precautions associated with sawtooth climbs. 3. Smoothness is just as important as in acceleration runs and for the same reasons. angle of attack.4. (May be obtained from direct observation).4. it is better to maintain the incorrect speed as accurately as possible.33 . 4. rather than try to correct it and risk aborting the entire run.2 TEST CRITERIA Allow sufficient altitude for the engine(s) to reach normal operating temperatures and the airplane to be completely stabilized at the desired airspeed before entering the data band. Observe airspeed limits when in the powered approach configuration and engine limits at the selected thrust setting. 7.1.1. If a small airspeed error is made while setting the airplane up. Vo. 5. Miscellaneous: Record other information desired such as RPM.

engine pressure ratio. a schedule recommended by the manufacturer. 3. angle of attack. or some other schedule for which climb performance is of interest.4. Time to climb.34 . In addition. data cards are prepared to record the climb data as in figure 7. 2. This schedule may be a best climb schedule as obtained by flight test.22. Fuel used. For most jet aircraft. speed. Specify the schedule flown on each climb performance chart. exhaust gas temperature. data may be obtained on various engine parameters such as engine speed.2 CHECK CLIMB TEST The check climb test is flown to compare the standard day climb performance of an aircraft in a specific configuration to results predicted from sawtooth climbs or acceleration runs. Distance traveled. The three main areas of investigation are: 1. and any other desired parameters. a mechanical recording means is necessary to obtain simultaneous reading of the many parameters of interest. etc. Record data at approximately equal increments of altitude and include time. gross thrust. The general method is to climb the aircraft to just below the maximum ceiling while maintaining precisely a predetermined climb schedule. After the schedule to be flown is determined. temperature. fuel flow. 7. These are useful to the analyst but are secondary to the three main parameters.FIXED WING PERFORMANCE 7.

Since gross weight. and stable temperature gradients from ground level to the aircraft’s maximum ceiling is desirable. If the rate of climb is high. If the anticipated rate of climb is low. 7. taxi. every 5000 ft is sufficient. The interval is adjusted as the rate of climb decreases with altitude. and acceleration to climb schedule whenever conditions permit. light winds. and fuel density are extremely important to climb tests. fuel and weigh the aircraft prior to commencement of tests.CLIMB PERFORMANCE t Prior to Start Start Taxi Takeoff t H Po NA Fuel temp Fuel density OAT or Ta Fuel remaining NA NA NA Vo target NA NA NA Vo actual OAT or Ta Fuel remaining Misc Figure 7. Plan the flight to climb perpendicular to the wind direction. fuel weight. Fuel samples are taken and tested for temperature and density. An area of smooth air.35 . takeoff.22 CHECK CLIMB Adjust target points for instrument error and position error for both the airspeed indicator and altimeter. Record fuel remaining and time for start. The test area can be sampled via a survey balloon or another aircraft for wind and temperature data. data are recorded every 1000 to 2000 ft.

A rapid cross-check between external horizon and the airspeed indicator is required. stop the rotation. Maneuver as required and re-intercept the climb schedule as soon as possible to minimize gross weight change. If rate of climb is fairly low. time. Maintain the climb schedule to within 5 kn. noting Vo. rotate to intercept and maintain the climb schedule. a better entry can be achieved by stabilizing on the target speed 1000 ft below entry altitude. If the climb must be interrupted. the best entry is achieved by first stabilizing in level flight with partial power at some speed below the scheduled climb speed. A slight rate of change of indicated airspeed implies a much larger rate of change of kinetic energy. but immediate attitude correction. If the rate of climb is high. If the wind gradient effect subsides. During the climb. trim the aircraft. Any undesirable trend is difficult to stop since the aerodynamic controls are less effective. if possible. precise control. and as the climb speed is approached. advance the power smoothly. and distance if available. apply power. The best way to cope is to avoid large corrections by a rapid cross-check. If these affect the climb speed schedule.FIXED WING PERFORMANCE Establish level flight as low as possible on climb heading. When preparations are complete and the aircraft is trimmed. If the pitch attitude is very steep. and rotate the aircraft simultaneously to maintain airspeed. Intercept the climb at the break off pressure altitude and airspeed after re-establishing attitude and stabilizing the climb. maintaining a precise speed schedule becomes difficult. and constant attention to trim. Descend below the altitude at which the climb was stopped. stop the climb at a given pressure altitude. the appropriate corrective action is a small. Trim the aircraft for hands-off flight. it may be necessary to substitute the aircraft attitude indicator for the external horizon during initial portions of the climb. Wind gradients appear as sudden airspeed changes. When all preparations are complete and the data recorder is running. As the desired power setting is reached. apply an appropriate corrective action.36 . at which time the aircraft is approximately established on the climb schedule. If corrections become necessary. fuel. At high altitudes. 7. avoid over controlling due to the hysteresis in the airspeed indicator.

Miscellaneous as desired. 2.4.01 M. 7.0. Keep turns to a minimum and use less than 10 degrees bank to keep nz near No more than 30 degrees heading change. 2.5 Airspeed ± 5 kn or 0.1 SAWTOOTH CLIMB The sawtooth climb data is reduced similar to the acceleration runs. engine torque and engine shaft horsepower (ESHP) are adjusted in the climb. DATA REDUCTION 7.2. but there are some additional correction factors necessitated by this test method.2. nz ± 0. 4. Fuel remaining (Wf).CLIMB PERFORMANCE The test for a turboprop aircraft is identical to the jet test. 7. TEST CRITERIA Maintain coordinated wings level flight. 3.4. The engine controls have to be managed to ensure optimum climb power is maintained. 7. Distance (d).1 g.3 DATA REQUIREMENTS 1. 1. 7. or start and end fuel weight. 5.2 1.4. 7. Temperature (OAT or Ta).2. 2.1 DATA REQUIRED Record the following data at each climb increment which should be as often as possible but no greater than each 5000 ft or 2 minutes for hand held data: 1. 7. Observed pressure altitude (HPo). Observed airspeed (Vo). 6. In this case however.5. 3. Time (t).37 .

In a similar way. Substituting these values into Eq 7.20 yields: ( dh ) dt Where: Eh EhTest g h hTest Ps = Ps Test Test ( 1 V 1+ T ref dV T g dh ) ft ft ft/s2 ft ft ft/s (Eq 7.20 expresses test day rate of climb in terms of Ps (which is independent of the climb path) and dVT/dh (which defines the climb path).2) Eh for the end points of each sawtooth climb segment are determined from: V E h 2 T =h Test Test + Test 2g (Eq 7.20) Recall: V dV dE T T h = dh + g dt dt dt Ps = (Eq 7. the average slope is defined by Eh(end) . dVT/dh is computed from VT(end) .VT(start) divided by altitude change. In practice.30) The slope of Eh versus time as the climb passes through the reference altitude (HPref) is P s(Test).FIXED WING PERFORMANCE Eq 7.Eh(start) divided by elapsed time.38 . since a small altitude band is chosen. Rate of Climb = Ps ( 1 dV T 1+ V g dh ) (Eq 7.31) Energy height Test energy height Gravitational acceleration Tapeline altitude Test tapeline altitude Specific excess power 7. True airspeed is obtained at the reference altitude (VTRef) by linear interpolation between the end points.

SPECIFIC EXCESS POWER CORRECTION PsTest is next corrected to standard conditions.∆D) (Eq 7. The drag correction used in the level acceleration data reduction is as follows: 2 W ∆D = D Std -D Test = ( 2 2 -W Std Test ) 2 π e AR S γ Pa M (Eq 7.39 .1 Test specific excess power Time Velocity True airspeed Reference true airspeed Test true airspeed ft/s s ft/s ft/s ft/s ft/s.1.1. The correction is carried out exactly as it was for the level acceleration data with the exception of the correction for the change in induced drag: W Ps Std V Std = Ps Test T V + Std T Std Test W V T W (∆T Test Std Nx .2 Standard drag minus test drag Standard net thrust parallel flight path minus test net thrust Standard specific excess energy Test specific excess energy Standard true airspeed Test true airspeed Standard weight Test weight DRAG CORRECTION lb lb ft/s ft/s ft/s ft/s lb lb.32) Where: ∆D ∆TNx PsStd PsTest VTStd VTTest WStd WTest 7.5.33) 7.5. standard weight and temperature at HP ref.CLIMB PERFORMANCE PsTest t V VT VTref VTTest 7.

3.2 shows in a climb. since: L = nz W For straight flight. Summing the vertical forces: L .35) (Eq 7. the normal load factor is the cosine of the climb angle: nz = cos γ (Eq 7.W cos2γ Std Std Test Test 2 π e AR ρ Ve S ssl ) (Eq 7. nz = 1 (level flight).34) (Eq 7.36) Or: 7. as: 2 ∆D = (W 2 2 cos2γ .8) The drag correction for a climb can now be written.10) (Eq 7. and zero acceleration: L = W cos γ Also.40 . even if the thrust vector is aligned with the flight path (TNx sin αj = 0) the lift is not equal to the weight. T sin αj = 0 (no thrust lift). 2.W cos γ + T sin α = W az g G j For TG sin αj = 0. assuming a parabolic drag polar.FIXED WING PERFORMANCE The following assumptions are made: 1. Figure 7. L = W.

37) In applying either Eq 7. which is in turn substituted in Eq 7. In other words. the standard rate of climb is a function of itself. For the first approximation set γStd = γTest.38 to give the first iteration value of rate of climb and the first iteration of standard day climb angle. in applying Eq 7.41 . the corrected rate of climb is implicit in the γStd (standard flight path angle) term of the equation. Therefore.36. γStd in Eq 7. an iterative method is necessary to solve Eq 7.36 or Eq 7.38) (Eq 7.37. The induced drag correction obtained is substituted in Eq 7. the requirement is to find the drag correction in order to compute the corrected rate of climb.39: ( dh ) dt = Ps Std Std γ Where: αj AR az D DStd DTest e γ g Std = sin -1 ( ) ( ) 1 V dV T 1 + gT dh dh dt V T (Eq 7. However. where γTest is computed from the test results. and calculate the induced drag correction from Eq 7.32 to yield the first iteration of PsStd.CLIMB PERFORMANCE 2 ∆D = ( W 2 2 2 n -W n2 Std z Std Test z Test 2 π e AR ρ Ve S ssl ) (Eq 7.39) deg ft/s2 lb lb lb deg ft/s2 Thrust angle Aspect ratio Acceleration perpendicular to flight path Drag Standard drag Test drag Oswald’s efficiency factor Flight path angle Ratio of specific heats Gravitational acceleration 7.36.36.

8 yields: 7.1. However. thrust lift must be taken into consideration. For steep climb angles the situation is different and as γ approaches 90˚ the iteration may become unstable. For airplanes with modest climb capabilities. this situation is not likely to occur under the conditions in which sawtooth climbs test techniques are chosen. though the errors introduced by this assumption are small enough to be neglected for most cases. Eq 7. at low speed and high angle of attack. This condition is not generally true.3 THRUST LIFT CORRECTION All the previous corrections assumed no contribution to lift from the inclination of the thrust line to the flight path. 7.0023769 slug/ft3 ft2 lb ft/s ft/s lb lb lb.2.FIXED WING PERFORMANCE γStd γTest L M nz nzStd nzTest π Pa ρssl S TG Ve VT W WStd WTest Standard flight path angle Test flight path angle Lift Mach number Normal acceleration Standard normal acceleration Test normal acceleration Constant Ambient pressure Standard sea level air density Wing area Gross thrust Equivalent airspeed True airspeed Weight Standard weight Test weight deg deg lb g g g psf 0.5. However. γ is small and the iteration closes quickly. This value of γ then becomes γStd in the induced drag correction and the iteration is repeated until γStd is no longer changing.42 . as shown in figure 7.

42) The equation for the sum of the forces in the horizontal direction is affected since: T Nx = T cos α .CLIMB PERFORMANCE L = W cos γ .40) Since induced drag depends on normal acceleration: nz = L W T (Eq 7.32.∆D) (Eq 7.T sin α G j (Eq 7.T G j R (Eq 7.12) In Eq 7.43 . both the ∆TNx and ∆D terms are affected by thrust lift. W Ps Std V Std = Ps Test T V + Std T Std Test W V T W (∆T Test Std Nx .32) Where: αj ∆D ∆TNx γ L nz PsStd PsTest TG TNx TR VTStd VTTest Thrust angle Standard drag minus test drag Standard net thrust parallel flight path minus test net thrust Flight path angle Lift Normal acceleration Standard specific excess power Test specific excess power Gross thrust Net thrust parallel flight path Ram drag Standard true airspeed Test true airspeed deg lb lb deg lb g ft/s ft/s lb lb lb ft/s ft/s 7.41) sin α nz = cos γ - G W j (Eq 7.

and the thrust angle. 7. and the iterative corrections to drag.44 . An engine thrust model is used to calculate the change in net thrust due to changing altitude and temperature at constant Ve. which will in turn affect the induced drag. ∆T a N P ( ) lb ft ˚C. can be minimized by performing the tests as close to the reference altitude as safety and operational restrictions permit. the α j variation from test day to standard day is needed. This will again involve the climb angle iteration since the changes in rate of climb and true airspeed will change the climb angle. It may be necessary to refer these results to a new altitude. Constant weight and constant Ve correction are used to minimize the change in drag.FIXED WING PERFORMANCE W WStd WTest Weight Standard weight Test weight lb lb lb.5. To simplify things. ∆Τ = f ∆H .1.e rate of climb corrected for increasing true airspeed) to be plotted for standard conditions. γ. both vary during the iteration process of determining standard day rate of climb.43) Where: TN HP Ta Net thrust Pressure altitude Ambient temperature The rate of climb is computed for the new altitude using this thrust correction. These analytical corrections to thrust. For example single-engine climb or waveoff performance at 5000 ft can be used to compute data for standard conditions at sea level. The climb angle. α j is assumed to be small enough to neglect its effect. in the form of rate of climb potential (i. (Eq 7.23. The corrected results are presented as shown in figure 7. 7.4 ALTITUDE CORRECTION The foregoing corrections allow Ps. To apply this correction. α j.

1 ENERGY ANALYSIS The purpose of the computer data reduction from energy analysis for climbs is to automatically calculate fuel.2 COMPUTER DATA REDUCTION Various computer programs are in existence to assist in reduction of performance data.23 STANDARD DAY RATE OF CLIMB 7.5. standard gross weight.45 .CLIMB PERFORMANCE Rate of Climb .ft/min ROC Sea Level STD Weight STD Day 5000' True Airspeed . energy analysis pertaining to climbs is reviewed. In any event. The treatment is purposefully generic as programs change over time or new ones are acquired or developed. time and distance. etc. the operating system is invisible to the user.2. 7. Basic data such as aircraft type.5. Time to climb is calculated as follows: 7. Data reduction from Ps level flight acceleration runs are in Chapter 5. however.kn VT Figure 7. This program is a subset to an energy analysis program which also calculates Ps from level acceleration runs. Detailed instructions on the use of the particular computer or program are assumed to be available for the computer program. This section contains a brief summary of the assumptions and logic which might be used. are entered.

03 .24.06 Inverse of Specific Excess Power .FIXED WING PERFORMANCE E h Time to Climb = ∫ E h 2 1 dE Ps h (Eq 7.44.24 ENERGY RELATIONSHIP TO CLIMB Distance flown in the climb is found by integration of the no wind ground speed with respect to time as in Eq 7. The curve appears similar to figure 7.01 5000 10000 15000 2000 25000 30000 35000 Energy Height . t t 2 Distance = ∫ V cos γ dt T 1 (Eq 7.ft E h Figure 7.46 .25) 1 1 The program must know P as a function of Eh.05 . therefore the program plots the s function and asks for a curve fit.04 .s/ft 1 Ps .44) 7. .02 .

s t 200 250 300 Figure 7. Fuel Used = ∫ W dt f 1 (Eq 7.47 .ft/s 560 520 400 440 0 50 100 150 Time .45) ft ft ft deg Where: Eh E h1 E h2 γ Energy height Energy height at start of climb Energy height at end of climb Flight path angle 7. t t 2 .CLIMB PERFORMANCE To perform the integration.45. the program must integrate standard day fuel flow with respect to time as in Eq 7.25 INTEGRATION RESULTS FOR DISTANCE To calculate fuel used. the program must know VT cosγ.25 540 600 True Airspeed * cos γ . The plot should appear similar to figure 7.

the program calculates standard day fuel flow and plots it versus time.26 REFERRED FUEL USED From figure 7. 7200 6800 Referred Fuel Flow .26.˚C OAT Figure 7.26.FIXED WING PERFORMANCE Ps t VT ˙ Wf Specific excess power Time True airspeed Fuel flow ft/s s ft/s lb/h. The program first models the engine using referred fuel flow versus OAT. Wf 6400 δ θ 6000 5600 5200 -30 -25 -20 -15 -10 -5 0 Outside Air Temperature .lb/h . as in figure 7. 7. as in figure 7.48 .27.

time and distance in the climb.s t 200 250 300 Figure 7. 7. and plots altitude versus fuel used. One possible example is shown in figure 7. W 4000 f 3600 3200 2000 0 50 100 150 Time .CLIMB PERFORMANCE 4400 Std Day Fuel Flow .27 STANDARD DAY FUEL USED The program then performs the three integrations using the curve fits determined.28.49 .lb/h .

5. altitude and temperature. c. based on flight test data. Data entry requirements for the program are as follows: 1.2 SAWTOOTH CLIMB The purpose of the sawtooth climb data reduction program is to calculate rate and climb angle for any given gross weight. Pilot’s name.28 FUEL USED IN CLIMB 7. Type of aircraft. e. Target altitude. Basic data: a. Date of tests. Miscellaneous as allowed by the program. g. From a menu selection.lb f Figure 7. Bureau number.2.ft H P 0 80 160 W 240 320 400 Fuel Weight . 7. f.50 .FIXED WING PERFORMANCE 30000 25000 20000 15000 10000 5000 0 Pressure Altitude . d. b. the appropriate choices are made to enter the sawtooth climb program. Standard gross weight.

51 . Gross weight (lb). Optional data as allowed by the program. Time required (s ). e. OAT (˚C) or ambient temp (˚K). c.CLIMB PERFORMANCE 2. For each data point: a. Fuel flow (lb/h). h. 2800 2400 Rate of Climb . Indicated airspeed (kn). Final indicated pressure altitude (ft). b.30.kn Vc Figure 7. as in figures 7.29 and 7. f.29 RATE OF CLIMB FROM SAWTOOTH CLIMBS 7. The program plots rate of climb and climb angle for the given altitude versus Vc. g. d.ft/min ROC 2000 1600 1200 800 150 160 170 180 190 200 210 220 Calibrated Airspeed . Initial indicated pressure altitude (ft).

Obtain calibrated altitude (HPc) and calibrated airspeed (Vc) as in Chapter 2.FIXED WING PERFORMANCE 9 8 Climb Angle .47) 7. If ambient temperature (˚K) was entered: ˚C = ˚K .15 OAT = f Ta.46) ( ) (Eq 7.30 CLIMB ANGLE FROM SAWTOOTH CLIMBS The following equations are used for the computer data reduction. M If OAT (˚C) was entered: Ta = f ( OAT.kn Vc Figure 7. M ) (Eq 7.52 .48) (Eq 7.deg γ 7 6 5 4 3 2 150 160 170 180 190 200 210 220 Calibrated Airspeed .273.

2) V Std = Ps Test T V + Std T Std Test W V T W (∆T Test Std Nx .50) Energy height: V E =h+ h 2 T 2g (Eq 7.53 lb lb lb ft ft ft ft .1) Test day Ps: V dV T Ps = dE h = dh + gT dt dt dt Standard day Ps: W Ps Std (Eq 7.∆D) (Eq 7.CLIMB PERFORMANCE True airspeed: V = f OAT. M T ( T ) (Eq 7.32) Where: D ∆D ∆TNx Eh h H Pc HPc ref M Drag Standard drag minus test drag Standard net thrust parallel flight path minus test net thrust Energy height Tapeline altitude Calibrated pressure altitude Reference calibrated pressure altitude Mach number 7.49) Altitude: h=H P +∆ H c ref Pc ( ) Ta T std (Eq 7.

the climb schedules are flight-tested and the results. Finally. are compared with predictions. by joining the points of maximum Ps (for a “minimum time” schedule) or points of maximum Eh (for a “maximum energy” schedule). corrected to standard conditions. The best climb speeds for the landing or single-engine wave-off configurations are unlikely to have much application above a few thousand feet.3. The analysis of Ps data is directed towards determining the airplane optimum climb schedules. though they should certainly be determined for high elevation airports and should cover possible emergency diversion with the landing gear stuck down. The airspeed and Mach number schedules represented by these paths are then evaluated to determine whether they can be flown without undue difficulty.54 .FIXED WING PERFORMANCE MT OAT PsStd PsTest Ta TNx TStd VT VTStd VTTest WStd WTest 7. A peaked curve implies small inaccuracies in airspeed result in large performance penalties. The shape of these curves indicate the sensitivity of achieving the desired performance to airspeed errors. The data from the sawtooth climb tests are intended to provide information for use in a far more restricted portion of the flight envelope than from level accelerations. and are modified if necessary to make them flyable with the least penalty in climb performance. The theoretical optimum climb schedules are determined as described in section 7. 7.6 True Mach number Outside air temperature Standard specific excess energy Test specific excess energy Ambient temperature Net thrust parallel flight path Standard temperature True airspeed Standard true airspeed Test true airspeed Standard weight Test weight DATA ANALYSIS ˚C ft/s ft/s ˚K lb ˚K ft/s ft/s ft/s lb lb.

the mission of the airplane and specifically the mission of the flight to be flown determines the optimum condition for the climb. An interceptor launching to intercept an incoming raid is primarily interested in arriving at the attack altitude with the best fighting speed and in the minimum time. Mission suitability conclusions include the flying qualities associated with attaining specific airspeed schedules to climb. 7. Mission profile or requirements. They are important in determining whether or not to continue the acquisition process at various stages of aircraft development. Flight path stability.55 . Compatibility of airspeeds / altitudes with the mission and location Performance sensitivities for schedule or airspeed deviations. As stated in the beginning of the chapter.7 MISSION SUITABILITY The mission requirements are the ultimate standard for climb performance. the test results in sawtooth climbs can develop the appropriate climb speeds to maximize obstacle clearance.CLIMB PERFORMANCE 7. the pure numbers cannot be the only determinant to acceptance of the aircraft. Still other types of mission may require. 3. Climb attitudes. 7. restrictions. 5. Field of view. optimization of other factors during the climb. An interceptor is primarily interested in climbing to altitude with the minimum fuel if headed to a CAP station. or desire. Overall performance including climbing flight. As in all performance testing. 4. Consideration of the following items is worthwhile when recommending climb schedules or climb airspeeds: 1. The specifications set desired performance in the production aircraft. These specifications are important as measures for contract performance. 2. 6. An attack aircraft launching on a strike mission is primarily interested in climbing on a schedule of maximum range covered per pound of fuel burned. In the case of single engine climb for multi engine aircraft or for wave-off.

The type of climb is specified. deployment. a. g.56 . Instantaneous single engine climb in a given configuration. The detail specification provides mission profiles to be expected and performance guarantees generically as follows: 1. Mach number 0. intermediate. b.72 constant to level off). The effect of weight reduction during the 7. and methods of.72. Wave-off rate of climb in a specific configuration. Mission requirements. presenting characteristics and performance data for Naval piloted aircraft. transit. Low level navigation. Deviation from this specification are permissible. but in all cases must be approved by the procuring activity. Performance guarantees are based on: type of day.8 SPECIFICATION COMPLIANCE Climb performance guarantees are stated in the detailed specification for the model and in Naval Air System Command Specification. Land or sea based. 2 KIAS/1000 ft decrease to Mach number 0. c. 2. and configuration. for example: Climb on course to optimum cruise altitude with military power (320 KIAS at sea level. drag index. Generally climb performance is presented as a function of altitude. Type of air combat maneuvering. Ferry capable. Guarantees for climb likely include: 1. standard gross weight. Carrier suitability. engine(s) type. AS-5263 further defines requirements for. or normal thrust (power). Air to air combat (offensive and/or defensive) including weapons f. AS-5263. empty gross weight. d. fuel quantity and type at engine start. 3.FIXED WING PERFORMANCE 7. loading. Rates of climb for alternate loadings are presented to show the effects of drag changes with various external stores and/or weight changes. A defined ceiling such as combat ceiling. Instrument departure. 2. e. plotting rate of climb at basic mission combat weight with maximum. and recovery.

CLIMB PERFORMANCE climb is not considered. thrust (power) and weight. 8. and engine thrust (power). 7. Weight reduction as a result of fuel consumed is applied. attack. weight. Combat climb is the instantaneous maximum vertical speed capability in ft/min at combat conditions. 12. 5. Service ceiling is that altitude at which the rate of climb is 100 ft/min at a stated loading. weight. and engine thrust (power). Climb speed is the airspeed at which the optimum rate of climb is attained for the given configuration. Mach number for jets. Propeller aircraft (patrol. Combat ceiling for supersonic vehicles is the highest altitude at which the vehicle can fly supersonically and have a 500 ft/min rate of climb at the stated loading. 3. weight. and power. and engine thrust (power). Cruise altitude is the altitude at which the cruise portion of the mission is computed. 6. altitude. VT for propeller aircraft. 4. 7.57 . transport) use maximum continuous power. Combat ceiling for subsonic vehicles is that altitude at which the rate of climb is 500 ft/min at the stated loading. Enroute climb data is based on the appropriate configuration. The aircraft has the landing gear and flaps retracted and the airspeed for best climb for the applicable condition is presented. 13. 9. Cruise ceiling for subsonic cruise vehicles is that altitude at which the rate of climb is 300 ft/min at normal (maximum continuous) engine ratting at stated weight and loading. 2. Enroute climb power for jet aircraft (fighter. 10. trainers) to cruise altitude is at intermediate (military) thrust. configuration. Cruise ceiling for supersonic cruise vehicles is that altitude at which the rate of climb is 300 ft/min at normal (maximum continuous) engine ratting at stated weight and loading. General provisions for the presentation of climb performance are as follows: 1. and thrust (power). 11. Optimum cruise altitude is the altitude at which the aircraft attains the maximum nautical miles per pound of fuel for the momentary weight and configuration. Performance is based on the latest approved standard atmospheric tables as specified by the Navy. The time to climb to a specified altitude is expressed in minutes from start of enroute climb. Combat altitude is the altitude at the target for the specific mission given. weight. altitude. weight. All speeds are presented as true airspeed in kn and Mach number.

In addition. 15.9.9 GLOSSARY 7.1 NOTATIONS AR ax az CAP CCF CD CL D d ∆D dh/dt DStd DTest ∆TNx e Eh Eh1 Eh2 EhTest ESHP g h h1 h2 Aspect ratio Acceleration parallel flight path Acceleration perpendicular to flight path Combat air patrol Climb correction factor Drag coefficient Lift coefficient Drag Distance Standard drag minus test drag Rate of climb Standard drag Test drag Standard net thrust parallel flight path minus test net thrust Oswald’s efficiency factor Energy height Energy height at start of climb Energy height at end of climb Test energy height Engine shaft horsepower Gravitational acceleration Tapeline altitude Tapeline altitude start of climb Tapeline altitude end of climb ft/s2 ft/s2 lb ft lb ft/s lb lb lb ft ft ft ft hp ft/s2 ft ft ft 7. unless authorized otherwise. ducts. is increased by 5 % for all engine thrust (power) conditions as a service tolerance to allow for practical operation. 7. corrections or allowances to engine fuel flow is made for all power plant installation losses such as accessory drives.FIXED WING PERFORMANCE 14.58 . regardless of source. All fuel consumption data. or fans. The term thrust (power) is used to mean thrust (jet engine) and/or brake horsepower (shaft engines).

CLIMB PERFORMANCE HP H Pc HPc ref H Po hTest L M MT nz nzStd nzTest OAT PA Pa Preq Ps PsStd PsTest ROC S t Ta TN TNx TStd V Ve VH Vhor Vi Vmc Vo Vs VT VTref VTStd Pressure altitude Calibrated pressure altitude Reference calibrated pressure altitude Observed pressure altitude Test tapeline altitude Lift Mach number True Mach number Normal acceleration Standard normal acceleration Test normal acceleration Outside air temperature Power available Ambient pressure Power required Specific excess power Standard specific excess power Test specific excess power Rate of climb Wing area Time Ambient temperature Net thrust Net thrust parallel flight path Standard temperature Velocity Equivalent airspeed Maximum level flight airspeed Horizontal velocity Indicated airspeed Airspeed for minimum control Observed airspeed Stall speed True airspeed Reference true airspeed Standard true airspeed 7.59 ft ft ft ft ft lb g g g ˚C ft-lb/s psf ft-lb/s ft/s ft/s ft/s ft/s ft2 s ˚C lb lb ˚C ft/s ft/s kn ft/s kn kn kn kn ft/s ft/s ft/s .

Fixed Wing Performance.0023769 slug/ft3 7. MD. Naval Test Pilot School. 7. Guidelines For Preparation Of Standard Aircraft Characteristics Charts And Performance Data Piloted Aircraft (Fixed Wing). S.10 REFERENCES 1. 2.2 GREEK SYMBOLS ft/s ft/s kn kn lb lb lb lb lb/h α (alpha) αj δ (delta) γ (gamma) γStd γTest π (pi) θ (theta) ρssl (rho) Angle of attack Thrust angle Pressure ratio Flight path angle Ratio of specific heats Standard flight path angle Test flight path angle Constant Temperature ratio Standard sea level air density deg deg deg deg deg 0. 104. 23 October. 1986.60 . July 1977. Naval Test Pilot School Flight Test Manual.9. Patuxent River. U. Theory and Flight Test Techniques. AS-5263. USNTPS-FTM-No.FIXED WING PERFORMANCE VTTest Vv Vx Vy W Wf WStd WTest ˙ Wf Test true airspeed Vertical velocity Speed for maximum climb angle Speed for maximum rate of climb Weight Fuel weight Standard weight Test weight Fuel flow 7. Naval Air System Command Specification.

Performance Flight Test Phase.. 7.S.W. Edwards AFB. USAF Test Pilot School. July 1987. Aircraft and Engine Performance. CA.. March 1954. Petersen. CA. Edwards AFB. Volume I. MD. USAF Test Pilot School. 1958. MD. Patuxent River. Airplane Performance.CLIMB PERFORMANCE 3. USNTPS Patuxent River. Powell.61 . 6. USNTPS Classroom Notes. No 3. J. USAF Test Pilot School. Naval Air Test Center. Vol 21. Performance Planning Guide. 7. 5. F. 4. E. Chapter 9. “Energy Approach to the General Aircraft Maneuverability Problem”. August 1991. Rutowski.S.. Journal of the Aeronautical Sciences. USAF Test Pilot School.

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