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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

58 7.56 7.FIXED WING PERFORMANCE 7.1 NOTATIONS 7.ii .7 7.2 GREEK SYMBOLS REFERENCES 7.9.9 MISSION SUITABILITY SPECIFICATION COMPLIANCE GLOSSARY 7.60 7.60 7.8 7.9.10 7.55 7.58 7.

10 7.7 7.9 7.17 7.14 7.1 7.34 7.11 7.21 7.4 7.9 7.4 7.44 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 7.6 7.23 7.30 7.8 7.5 7.27 7.13 7.18 7.iii .20 7.CLIMB PERFORMANCE CHAPTER 7 FIGURES PAGE 7.15 7.15 7.19 7.3 7.27 7.18 7.12 7.29 7.17 7.28 7.7 7.8 7.19 7.5 7.13 7.11 7.16 7.22 7.24 7.14 7.2 7.31 7.22 7.

49 7.25 7.FIXED WING PERFORMANCE 7.50 7.27 7.24 7.51 7.29 7.30 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 7.47 7.iv .28 7.52 7.48 7.26 7.46 7.

v .5 7.3 CCF = 1 V dV 1 + gT dh (Eq 7.12) 7.2 7.W sin γ = W ax g G j R L = W cos γ dV W T T cos α .CLIMB PERFORMANCE CHAPTER 7 EQUATIONS PAGE V E =h+ h 2 T 2g (Eq 7.3 L .6) 7.3 dh = Ps dt (Eq 7.10) 7.2) (Eq 7.7) 7.T G j R 7.6 7.6 = T cos α .3 (Eq 7.W sin γ = g =0 G j R dt T Nx (Eq 7.11) (Eq 7.4) 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.T .5 (Eq 7.9) (Eq 7.T .W cos γ + T sin α = W az g G j T cos α .D .5) 7.8) 7.1) 7.D .3) (Eq 7.2 7.5 (Eq 7.

15) V-DV W = P .14) -D V = dh = Vv dt Nx W T Nx 7.21 7.17) (Eq 7.13) -1 Nx 7.21 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 7.21 Ps (Eq 7.19) 7.20) 7.20 dh + V dV g T dt = Ps dE = dh + V dV g h dE dt = h (Eq 7.21) 7.20 h Time to Climb = ∫ h 2 1 (Eq 7.16) 7.D = W sin γ (Eq 7.22) (Eq 7.Preq A W 7.6 T γ = sin Nx -D (Eq 7.10 h 1 dh = h 1 t= ∫ dh ∫ 0 dh 0 ROC dt (Eq 7.12 7.14 7.6 -D V= T ROC = dh = dt Nx W (Eq 7.vi .6 V sin γ = W T (Eq 7.18) (Eq 7.24) 7.23) 7.FIXED WING PERFORMANCE T .

27) 7.26) 7.dW = .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.dW dt = f dE dE dt dE Ps h h h dW E h 2 W .31) . f Ps 1 dE = ∫ h E h 1 dE Ps h W .38 W Std = Ps Test Std T Std Std Test W V T W Test Std 7.33) 7.25 .30) 7.CLIMB PERFORMANCE E h Time to Climb = ∫ E h 2 1 dE Ps h (Eq 7.25) V dV dh T T = + g dW dW E h 1 = d dW dW h dE ( ) V h+ 2 T 7.37 (Eq 7.28) E h 2 7.21 2g (Eq 7. f 1 (Eq 7.1 = .38 2 W ∆D = D Std -D Test = ( 2 2 -W Std Test ) 2 π e AR S γ Pa M (Eq 7.∫ 1 2 2 E 1 dE dE h h h 1 dW (Eq 7.vii .25 Fuel to Climb = ∫ E h W .29) 7. (Eq 7.∆D) (Eq 7.32) 7.39 7.25 W W Fuel to Climb = ∫ dW = .

46 Fuel Used = ∫ W dt f 1 (Eq 7.T nz = L W nz = cos γ T G G sin α (Eq 7.38) 7.273.34) (Eq 7.41 7. 7.35) 2 2 cos2γ .44) t t 2 .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 7.44 ∆Τ = f ∆H .43) 7.52 ˚C = ˚K .40 7.FIXED WING PERFORMANCE L = nz W nz = cos γ 2 ∆D = (Eq 7.41 dh dt V T (Eq 7. ∆T a N t t 2 ( ) Distance = ∫ V cos γ dt T 1 (Eq 7.40 ( dh ) dt γ Std = Ps Std = sin -1 ( ( ) Std 1 V dV T 1 + gT dh ) (Eq 7.42 7.15 7.45) (Eq 7.39) j 7.40 (W ) (Eq 7.46) 7.41) W P sin α j (Eq 7.42 7.36) 7.42) (Eq 7.47 7.40) (Eq 7.40 2 ∆D = ( W ) (Eq 7.viii .37) 7.42 L = W cos γ .

48) 7.47) (Eq 7.ix .52 7.52 7.50) 7.CLIMB PERFORMANCE OAT = f Ta. M ( ) (Eq 7.49) (Eq 7. M ) V = f OAT. M T ( T ) h=H P +∆ H c ref Pc ( ) Ta T std (Eq 7.53 Ta = f ( OAT.53 7.

.

Climb schedules for the above conditions.2 PURPOSE OF TEST The purpose of this test is to determine the following climb performance characteristics: 1. Conditions for best climb angle. However.1 INTRODUCTION Climb performance is evaluated in various ways depending on the aircraft mission. Different missions may require optimization of other factors during the climb. If launching on an intercept. Evaluate the requirements of pertinent military specifications. 3. 7. 6. 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. 2. Conditions for the shortest time to climb. 5.CHAPTER 7 CLIMB PERFORMANCE 7. 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. This chapter also discusses the sawtooth climb as an alternate test method of determining specific excess power. Conditions for best climb rate. 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. the desire is to reach intercept altitude with the best fighting speed or energy in the minimum time. 4.1 . Conditions for minimum fuel used to climb. 7.

dV/dt can be expressed as in Eq 7.2) The only time P s is equal to rate of climb is when the climb is done at a constant true airspeed. From the chain rule. dV dV dh = dt dh dt (Eq 7.1 SAWTOOTH CLIMBS The primary method of determining specific excess power (Ps) is the level acceleration. then dVT/dt in Eq 7.FIXED WING PERFORMANCE 7.3 and substituted into Eq 7. If true airspeed is constant. The sawtooth climb is more time consuming than the level acceleration run.5. Climbing at constant Mach number is not constant VT either.3 THEORY 7. timed climbs through the same altitude band. Sawtooth climb is a secondary method of determining Ps.1 to derive Eq 7. Ps is calculated by measuring energy height as in Eq 7. The test provides limited information on overall climb performance but does establish the best airspeed at which to climb at a specific altitude. The results of tests are derived from a series of short. especially in determining single engine wave-off for multiengine airplanes or climb in the approach configuration for a jet.4 and Eq 7. V E =h+ h 2 T 2g (Eq 7. except when climbing in the stratosphere on a standard day. Climbing at constant indicated airspeed is not constant VT. true airspeed (VT) must be evaluated in the climb.3.1) V dV T Ps = dE h = dh + gT dt dt dt (Eq 7. which is rarely the case.3) 7. To express rate of climb potential in terms of P s.2.1 then taking the time derivative as in Eq 7. The sawtooth climb is one method of obtaining the airspeed schedule for maximum rate of climb. There are conditions where the sawtooth climb is more applicable.2 .2 is zero.

3 . the rate of climb potential is: dh = Ps dt 1 V dV 1 + gT dh (Eq 7. 1.CLIMB PERFORMANCE dV dh Ps = dh + V g dh dt dt dh 1 + V dV g dh dt (Eq 7.5) Knowing Ps and the climb schedule.4) Ps = (Eq 7. CCF < 1 and rate of climb is less than Ps.6) Specific excess power is nearly independent of the climb or acceleration path for modest climb angles. ft ft/s2 ft ft/s2 s ft/s ft/s. If the aircraft is accelerating during the climb as in a constant indicated airspeed schedule. CCF is defined as follows: CCF = 1 V dV 1 + gT dh (Eq 7. but the actual rate of climb is adjusted by the velocity change along the climb path (dVT/dh). 7.6 and is useful in evaluating rate of climb. A term called the climb correction factor (CCF) represents the values within the brackets of 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.

If the aircraft is decelerating while climbing.5 h = 20.0 Constant V . 7.000 ft 0 .5 1. the influence of the CCF on rate of climb is significant. 3.5 0 i Constant M h < 35. CCF =1 and rate of climb equals Ps.FIXED WING PERFORMANCE 2. This approach was derived before the total energy theory was developed.2 STEADY STATE APPROACH TO CLIMB PERFORMANCE The classical approach to aircraft climb performance problems was to use the static or steady state case.1 illustrates CCF as a function of Mach number. True airspeed had to be held constant.4 .3. Figure 7.1 CLIMB CORRECTION FACTOR 7.000 ft 1. For a low speed aircraft the factor does not have much significance. If the aircraft is climbing at a constant true airspeed. For supersonic aircraft however. CCF > 1 and rate of climb is greater than Ps.0 Mach Number M 1.5 Climb Correction Factor CCF 2.0 Figure 7. The following paragraphs are intended to present a quick overview of the classical approach. One major assumption was the aircraft had no acceleration along the flight path. as in a constant Mach number through decreasing temperature.5 2. 2.0 1. and is inadequate for analyzing climb profiles of supersonic aircraft where both true airspeed and altitude change rapidly.

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 7.8) (Eq 7.2 for review and can be resolved perpendicular and parallel to the flight path. the equations reduce to: L = W cos γ (Eq 7.D .5 .2.3. and the aircraft is in a steady climb where acceleration parallel flight path (ax) is zero.9) By assuming angle of attack (α) is small. or at a constant true airspeed.W cos γ + T sin α = W az g G j Forces parallel to the flight path are: T cos α . the engines are closely aligned with the fuselage reference line.2 FORCES IN CLIMBING FLIGHT Forces perpendicular to the flight path are: L .T .W sin γ = W ax g G j R (Eq 7.1 FORCES IN FLIGHT The forces acting on an aircraft in a climb are presented in figure 7.10) 7.CLIMB PERFORMANCE 7.

13 are multiplied by V an expression for rate of climb is developed.15. By maximizing specific excess thrust.T G j (Eq 7.11) Nx R (Eq 7.13) With true airspeed held constant.D .T . the climb angle is greatest.12) T Nx .W sin γ = g =0 G j R dt T = T cos α . as Eq 7. If both sides of Eq 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. a useful expression for γ can be found: T -D (Eq 7. and is graphically shown in figure 7.3. (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.D = W sin γ (Eq 7.FIXED WING PERFORMANCE dV W T T cos α .6 .14) γ = sin -1 Nx W The term in brackets is specific excess thrust.

the climb angle.2. 7. Since climb angle is inversely proportional to weight.15 shows if net thrust is greater than drag. However.14. There is an absolute ceiling where TNx = D and γ = 0. The effect of increasing weight on climb angle can be evaluated from Eq 7. depends on specific excess thrust (TNx D)/W. The prime reason for optimizing climb angle might be to gain obstacle clearance during some portion of the flight.14.3. 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. the maximum climb angle must give the most altitude gained for horizontal distance covered.2 CLIMB ANGLE hor As seen in Eq 7. Drag remains essentially constant. γ. the propulsive thrust decreases. 7. climb angle decreases as weight increases. Increasing altitude decreases specific excess thrust and the climb angle. Winds do affect this distance and give apparent changes in γ as depicted in figure 7.4. dh/dt is positive and a climb results. As the aircraft climbs.7 . Wind is also a factor.3 CLIMB VECTORS Eq 7.

thrust available varies with airspeed and γmax occurs at other airspeeds. In general.D.5. But. With thrust augmentation. is a function of airspeed. This is a classical result and leads to the assumption γmax occurs at VL/Dmax.4 WIND EFFECT ON CLIMB ANGLE Excess thrust. A jet lacking thrust augmentation usually climbs at the velocity for minimum drag or minimum thrust required to achieve the maximum climb angle. the same can be said for a turbofan. 7. In figure 7. TNx .8 . The aircraft must be flown at the velocity where maximum excess thrust occurs to achieve the maximum climb angle. The net thrust available from a pure turbojet varies little with airspeed at a given altitude. γmax may occur over an airspeed band.FIXED WING PERFORMANCE V γ Head Wind No Wind Tail Wind Figure 7. the maximum excess thrust at military thrust occurs close to VL/Dmax.

3 by dividing Vv by Vhor or by measuring tan γ.3.kn V T 500 600 Figure 7.2.CLIMB PERFORMANCE 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 L D 1 max TN max Thrust or Drag . whether specific excess thrust is measured directly or calculated from independent estimates of thrust. or tan γ = 1 (45 deg). drag. 7.lb x 10 T or D 3 TN Buffet Limit mil 100 200 300 400 True Airspeed .5 THRUST AND DRAG Specific excess thrust determines climb angle.9 . and weight. The gradient can be determined from figure 7.3 CLIMB GRADIENT Climb gradient is the altitude gained for the distance traveled. The gradient is usually expressed in percent where 100% occurs when Vv = Vhor. 7.

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). Then Eq 7.16) 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. T ROC = dh = dt Where: D dh/dt TNx PA Preq ROC V W -D V= T V-DV W = P . kn lb.15 can be rewritten as Eq 7.4 RATE OF CLIMB Eq 7. This is similar to excess thrust. dh/dt is rate of climb at constant airspeed. 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.3. depends upon specific excess power. 7.Preq A W Nx Nx W (Eq 7.10 .FIXED WING PERFORMANCE 7. dh/dt.2. which was defined as the difference between net thrust available and drag (thrust required) at a specific weight. Figure 7.16. In specific excess power.2 shows rate of climb.6 depicts a typical curve of power available and required.

The power available curve is derived by multiplying V by the thrust at that speed.kn V T Figure 7.6. Propeller efficiencies also account for part 7. The slope of the curve is directly proportional to the magnitude of thrust.11 P R Bo t h . For the military power turbojet.6 POWER AVAILABLE AND REQUIRED The power required curve is derived by multiplying V by the drag at that speed. For the turboprop. the thrust is nearly constant so power available is a straight line originating at V=0. Depending on the exact shape of the turboprop thrust curve. 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. the thrust tends to decrease with an increase in velocity as also seen in figure 7.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 .

True airspeed strongly affects rate of climb performance since thrust and drag are functions of velocity. Wind affects rate of climb negligibly unless gradient and direction changes are large within the air mass. are also finite altitudes. 7. h h t = ∫ 1 dh = ∫ 1 dh 0 dh 0 ROC dt (Eq 7. Weight affects rate of climb directly and in the same manner as it does climb angle.15. Increasing weight with no change in excess power reduces rate of climb. 7. That value pertains only to the corresponding altitude.17) Where: h ROC t Tapeline altitude Rate of climb Time ft ft/s s. there is one velocity which yields maximum rate of climb.5 TIME TO CLIMB The rates of climb discussed are instantaneous values.FIXED WING PERFORMANCE of the curve shape.17. Maximum rate of climb for the jet occurs at much higher true airspeed than that for L/Dmax. Altitude has an effect on rate of climb similar to its effect upon climb angle. At each altitude. defined as the altitudes where 100 ft/min and 500 ft/min rates of climb can be maintained. Rate of climb at the absolute ceiling goes to zero when TNx = D and excess power is minimum. The service ceiling and combat ceiling.12 . Continuous variations in rate of climb must be attained through integration as in Eq 7.3. and specific excess power directly depends upon true airspeed according to Eq 7.2. The slope of the curve for power available changes as the true airspeed changes.

A more accurate method to determine time to climb is discussed in section 7. 7.3.3 7. Both altitude and airspeed must be specified.3.CLIMB PERFORMANCE The term dh/dt in Eq 7. 1 dh/dt ∆h Tapeline Altitude .13 .6 SUMMARY OF STEADY STATE CLIMB A curve of vertical velocity versus horizontal velocity can be used to summarize the steady state performance.7 TIME TO CLIMB INTEGRATION The method is limited by the fact that more information is needed than just the altitude change with time.2.17 is not usually available as an analytical function of altitude.8.7. as well as the climb path itself and actual rate of climb at every point.ft h Figure 7. The determination of time to climb then can only be determined graphically as in figure 7. A rate of climb curve is shown in figure 7.

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

10 THRUST EFFECTS FOR JETS For the propeller aircraft. 7. does not change with increasing power.ft/s V T Figure 7.11 shows the result.CLIMB PERFORMANCE C C L D max Vx Vy Rate of Climb . The speed for maximum climb angle.ft/s ROC Vy Vx Min Drag True Airspeed . Figure 7. Vy. Vx decreases with the increased power setting as the climb progresses. the best rate of climb speed.17 .

FIXED WING PERFORMANCE 3 C 2 L D max C Vy Vx Rate of Climb .ft/s ROC Vy Vx True Airspeed . 7. There are more scientific approaches and this section uses the information attained from the excess power chapter to determine climb performance. Schedules based on less information would yield poor results.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. the results could be quite good.ft/s V T Figure 7.18 . and specifically climb schedules.3. Each flight requires a climb and if a schedule is selected based on measured Ps data.11 THRUST EFFECTS FOR PROPS 7. The treatment starts with the subsonic jet and advances to supersonic speeds.

ft h Max Rate Maximum Energy Constant Ps Constant Eh Max Rate Tapeline Altitude . Each peak is also the speed for maximum instantaneous rate of climb at that altitude for an aircraft flying at constant true airspeed. 7. or other methods can be worked up on a cross-plot of altitude and Mach number. thus. which is seen as an increase in total energy as shown in Eq 7.19 .ft h Constant E h True Airspeed .3.12 SUBSONIC CLIMB SCHEDULE The peaks of the curves represent the speed at which the maximum specific excess power occurs at each altitude. sawtooth climbs. with lines of constant energy height as shown in figure 7.ft/s V T Specific Kinetic Energy .12.1 TIME BASED CLIMB SCHEDULE Ps data taken from acceleration runs. Excess power must be divided between the requirements of climbing and acceleration. acceleration is required along the flight path.ft 2 V 2g Figure 7. The maximum points occur at increasing airspeed. Maximum Energy Constant Ps Tapeline Altitude .1.CLIMB PERFORMANCE 7. or true airspeed.3. as altitude increases.

12. The integration requires determining the actual rate of climb at every point. is developed as the optimum energy climb schedule.17 in more useful terms the following equations are used: V dV dE T T h = dh + g dt dt dt Ps = (Eq 7.21) 7. To put Eq 7.FIXED WING PERFORMANCE 2 T V E =h+ h 2g (Eq 7.20) h Time to Climb = ∫ h 2 ( 1 dV T 1+ V g dh Ps ) (Eq 7. The integration will not work for any portion of the schedule where altitude is not increasing.3.1 SPECIFIC ENERGY VERSUS TOTAL ENERGY Time to climb is given in Eq 7. This curve may be useful if the points of tangency are not well 2g defined.1) Where: Eh g h VT Energy height Gravitational acceleration Tapeline altitude True airspeed ft ft/s2 ft ft/s.1. or maximum rate of total energy addition. a schedule for the minimum time to achieve an energy state. By flying the points where the Ps contours are tangent to the lines of constant energy height. The plot is also shown as a function of specific potential energy (h) and specific V2 kinetic energy ( ). 7.20 .17. which cannot be easily obtained from figure 7.2) Rate of Climb = Ps ( 1 dV T 1+ V g dh ) dh (Eq 7.3.

time to climb can be expressed in terms which can be graphically integrated from figure 7. 7. dE = dh + V dV g h dE dt = (Eq 7.CLIMB PERFORMANCE dh + V dV g T dt = Ps (Eq 7. Results for both the maximum rate of climb schedule and the maximum energy climb schedule are shown in figure 7.1 and substituting it into equation 7.13.22) Using the differential form of Eq 7.24) Time to Climb = ∫ E h 2 1 dE Ps h (Eq 7.23) h Ps E h (Eq 7.12.21 .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.21.

The climb schedule actually recommended is often a compromise between the theoretical maximum rate and maximum energy schedules. the maximum energy climb schedule is nearly optimal and is recommended for jets climbing to high altitude. The ideal model works well when the end points of the energy climb are near the maximum energy climb schedule. particularly if the energy levels are close together.ft E h E h2 Figure 7.22 .s/ft 1 Ps Climb te Of a um R Maxim Climb nergy um E Maxim Time To Climb E h1 Energy Height . the potential gains by flying this schedule can be negated by the real process of exchanging kinetic and potential energies.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. Theoretical treatments usually assume an ideal model in which the airplane can translate instantaneously. However. however. and without loss. 7. The maximum energy climb schedule will give the minimum time between two energy levels.FIXED WING PERFORMANCE Inverse of Specific Excess Power . the potential energy is lower than in the maximum rate of climb with kinetic energy making up the difference. For transitions between widely separated energy levels. but breaks down when they are not. 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. along lines of constant energy height. and may be further modified by considerations such as providing an airspeed or Mach number profile which is easy to fly.

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

0 2. one in a subsonic region and the other in the supersonic region.4 0.15 TYPICAL ENERGY LEVEL CLIMB PATH 7.8 1.FIXED WING PERFORMANCE segments BC and DE pass through points on Ps contours which are tangent to lines of constant Eh.6 1. Constant E h 70 Tapeline Altitude .14 illustrates a typical transition using this idea. The assumption implies the climb should be subsonic until intercepting an Eh level tangent to two Ps contours of equal value. Path CD in figure 7. Perhaps the most expeditious path is the one toward the highest Ps contour available without decreasing Eh.2 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.24 . Figure 7. However. the conventional schedule may still be useful if a profile is desired to reach maximum range airspeed at altitude.6 0.4 1.2 0.ft x 10 3 h 60 50 40 30 20 10 Constant Ps Optimum Energy Climb Path 0. There is no complete agreement on when to start the pushover. 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.0 1.15 illustrates the difficulty in choosing the transition paths when Ps contours become irregular in the transonic region.8 2.2 Mach Number M Figure 7.

∫ 1 2 E 1 dE dE h h h 1 dW (Eq 7. real transitions as opposed to ideal zooms and dives.26 as was done in determining time to climb.15. result in a climb path with the corners rounded off.dW = . W W E 2 h Fuel to Climb = ∫ dW = . (Eq 7. This requires specific energy to be differentiated with respect to the change in aircraft gross weight due to fuel used.2 FUEL BASED CLIMB SCHEDULE The aircraft mission may require the expenditure of minimum fuel to achieve a given energy level. The sum of both terms equals the change in specific energy with respect to fuel used as in Eq 7.25 .28) 7. dE = d dW dW h ( ) V h+ 2 T 2g V dV T = dh + gT dW dW (Eq 7.26) 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.3.27) A relationship of fuel flow to specific excess power can be written as Eq 7. The energy approach to climb performance can also be used to determine how much total energy is added per pound of fuel consumed. 7. .28.dW dt = f dE dE dt dE Ps h h h dW W .CLIMB PERFORMANCE Notice in figure 7.26. The abrupt discontinuities in angle of attack and attitude are avoided in the actual climb.3. where transitions are assumed to be instantaneous.1 = . and the change in airspeed per pound of fuel in accelerations is dV/dW.

17.29) 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. can be generated. Evaluating Eq 7. the Ps curve similar to the solid line in figure 7. Ratio of Specific Excess Power . similar to figure 7.FIXED WING PERFORMANCE Eq 7.ft/s lb/h to Fuel Flow Ps Mach Number M Specific Excess Power .27 can be rewritten as follows: E h Fuel to Climb = ∫ E h 2 W . f 1 (Eq 7.29 requires combining P s and fuel flow data from other tests. f .26 W . and referred fuel flow curve.16 7. From acceleration run data.ft/s Ps Figure 7. E h f Ps 1 dE = ∫ h E h 2 1 dE Ps h W .16.

18.lb/h . the outside air temperature (OAT) and referred fuel flow can be determined versus Mach number. the actual fuel flow for standard conditions can be determined as shown in figure 7. W f δ T θ T Outside Air Temperature OAT Figure 7.27 .CLIMB PERFORMANCE SPECIFIC EXCESS POWER CURVE Fuel Flow Referred To Total Conditions .17 REFERRED FUEL FLOW For a given altitude (δ) and temperature (θ). 7. For the same acceleration run.

the peak of P the s curve occurs at a slower speed than the peak of the Ps curve in figure 7.19.16 by P the corresponding points on figure 7.18 and plotting s versus Mach number as the ˙ Wf dashed curve in figure 7. Since fuel flow increases with increasing speed.18 ACTUAL FUEL FLOW ˙ The ratio of Ps to Wf can be determined by dividing each point on figure 7.28 . The results are cross-plotted as shown in figure 7. ˙ Wf P To develop the minimum fuel climb schedule. all the s curves for each altitude are ˙ Wf determined.16.FIXED WING PERFORMANCE Fuel Flow .16. W f Mach Number M Figure 7. 7.lb/h .

1 TIME VERSUS FUEL BASED CLIMB The climb path based on minimum fuel in figure 7.20 depicts a typical result given the same aircraft following an optimal time climb and an optimal fuel climb.3.3.19 MINIMUM FUEL CLIMB SCHEDULE 7.2. 7.29 . Figure 7.CLIMB PERFORMANCE Tapeline Altitude .ft h Constant E h P Constant .14.19 appears very much like the time based climb in figure 7. s W f Minimum Fuel Climb Path Mach Number M Figure 7.

if the cruise speed is near the climb speed for an energy minimum fuel climb. the minimum fuel climb approximates the no-wind maximum range per pound of fuel.FIXED WING PERFORMANCE 60 Tapeline Altitude . The initial point of the cruise leg is defined by an altitude and an airspeed for a particular gross weight. but roughly parallel. In reality.30 . the optimal minimum time climb path. However.20 OPTIMAL TIME AND FUEL CLIMBS The optimal minimum fuel climb path lies above.0 1. 7. In practice. and an ideal zoom to reach the end point. The schedule which gets to that energy level with minimum fuel used.2.3.4 1. actual down range distance traveled 7.ft x 10 h 3 50 40 30 20 10 Minimum Fuel Minimum Time 0. 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.6 1. the optimal fuel path is easier to achieve since the optimal time case requires an ideal climb. There are sophisticated mathematical techniques which can be used to determine a theoretical solution.3. is close to the optimal time schedule.8 Mach Number M Figure 7.

21. For a head wind. rather than altitude gain. which ever is less. Normally.4. becomes the test criterion.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. are not characteristic provided the peaks of the ˙ Wf too sharp. with respect to energy height. an incremental increase in speed for the climb schedule slightly improves the range Ps curves. The same altitude band is used for each climb.4. choose the climb band symmetrically about the target altitude. As in the cruise phase. Speeds are chosen to bracket the expected best climb speed of the aircraft. or a height change attainable in two minutes. Target Vo Vo Initial HP Final HP ∆t Fuel OAT Misc Figure 7. The altitude increment is about 1000 ft either side of a target altitude.31 .4 TEST METHODS AND TECHNIQUES 7. 7.3). 7. full power is used.21 SAWTOOTH DATA CARD Climbs are performed at the same power setting and aircraft configuration as used in the check climb (paragraph 7. an incremental decrease in speed increases range over that obtained from the no-wind schedule.CLIMB PERFORMANCE in the climb is considered when optimizing the overall range problem which also includes cruise and descent. Power setting is defined by the scope of the test but is the same for each run. until Ps decreases and time. wind affects the range in a climb. A typical flight data card is shown in figure 7. For a tail wind. When time is the criterion.

If Ps is negative and the airplane is descending. etc. In addition. see paragraph 8. The exact time of entering and leaving the altitude band is recorded by a stopwatch or an instrumentation system. engine RPM. keep a running plot of observed time to climb versus Vo and before leaving the test altitude. then the same flight test technique applies. Once through the altitude increment.21 with the target indicated airspeed included for each point. and a descending turn is initialized to get the aircraft below the altitude band for another run. or two minutes whichever comes first. 7. examine the plot for points which need repeating.FIXED WING PERFORMANCE The aircraft is first trimmed in the configuration desired while still well below the nominal altitude.4. 7.1 DATA REQUIRED 1. Power is applied and final trim adjustments are made before reaching the lower limit of the altitude band being measured. Altitude: Record the observed pressure altitude HPo band for each point. The description above is only applicable when Ps is determined to be positive. a full power unaccelerated minimum speed point. fuel counts or fuel remaining. and a maximum speed point are obtained at the test altitude in order to complete the curve. 2. time. Time: Record elapsed time from the beginning of the altitude band to the end. On the back of the data card. The card can be expanded to record other parameters such as angle of attack. Record actual in-flight Vo.32 . a standard data card is prepared similar to figure 7. W. As many points as possible are flown at each altitude. 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. data are recorded.1. For each altitude. and either outside air temperature or time of day so temperature can be obtained by other meteorological methods.1. Climb perpendicular to the prevailing winds to minimize the effects of wind shear. torque. except in reverse.4. For a description of the sawtooth descent flight test technique.

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. OAT or Ta: Record ambient air temperature from on-board instrumentation at target altitude. and torque for a turboprop. angle of attack. Vo ± 1 kn with smooth corrections.4 SAFETY CONSIDERATIONS There are no unique hazards or safety precautions associated with sawtooth climbs. Velocity: Record observed airspeed. it is better to maintain the incorrect speed as accurately as possible. 3. 7. DATA REQUIREMENTS Test altitude band ± 1000 ft about a target altitude. Observe airspeed limits when in the powered approach configuration and engine limits at the selected thrust setting.1. 6. 2.1 g. Vo. If a small airspeed error is made while setting the airplane up. Miscellaneous: Record other information desired such as RPM. Consider low altitude stall potential in slow speed climb tests and Vmc for multi-engine aircraft. Fuel weight: Record the fuel remaining to determine aircraft gross weight. 7.1. 5.1. Smoothness is just as important as in acceleration runs and for the same reasons. 7.CLIMB PERFORMANCE 3. rather than try to correct it and risk aborting the entire run.4.3 1. (May be obtained from direct observation).4. Normal acceleration ± 0.33 . 7. 4.4.

This schedule may be a best climb schedule as obtained by flight test. or some other schedule for which climb performance is of interest. data may be obtained on various engine parameters such as engine speed.FIXED WING PERFORMANCE 7. speed. engine pressure ratio.34 . Fuel used. a schedule recommended by the manufacturer. 7. and any other desired parameters. Time to climb. 2. The three main areas of investigation are: 1. angle of attack. Distance traveled. exhaust gas temperature. gross thrust. data cards are prepared to record the climb data as in figure 7. These are useful to the analyst but are secondary to the three main parameters.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. etc. a mechanical recording means is necessary to obtain simultaneous reading of the many parameters of interest. In addition.4.22. fuel flow. For most jet aircraft. Specify the schedule flown on each climb performance chart. Record data at approximately equal increments of altitude and include time. After the schedule to be flown is determined. temperature. 3. The general method is to climb the aircraft to just below the maximum ceiling while maintaining precisely a predetermined climb schedule.

7. and acceleration to climb schedule whenever conditions permit.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. taxi.22 CHECK CLIMB Adjust target points for instrument error and position error for both the airspeed indicator and altimeter. Plan the flight to climb perpendicular to the wind direction. fuel and weigh the aircraft prior to commencement of tests.35 . Since gross weight. Fuel samples are taken and tested for temperature and density. data are recorded every 1000 to 2000 ft. If the anticipated rate of climb is low. light winds. and stable temperature gradients from ground level to the aircraft’s maximum ceiling is desirable. every 5000 ft is sufficient. The interval is adjusted as the rate of climb decreases with altitude. fuel weight. takeoff. An area of smooth air. 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. and fuel density are extremely important to climb tests. If the rate of climb is high.

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

Observed airspeed (Vo). 3.1 g. Fuel remaining (Wf). TEST CRITERIA Maintain coordinated wings level flight. In this case however. engine torque and engine shaft horsepower (ESHP) are adjusted in the climb.5 Airspeed ± 5 kn or 0.1 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. 7.5. Temperature (OAT or Ta). or start and end fuel weight. Distance (d). 7. 7. 2. 2.2.CLIMB PERFORMANCE The test for a turboprop aircraft is identical to the jet test.1 SAWTOOTH CLIMB The sawtooth climb data is reduced similar to the acceleration runs. 3.2. 5. but there are some additional correction factors necessitated by this test method. nz ± 0. Time (t).0. Observed pressure altitude (HPo). Keep turns to a minimum and use less than 10 degrees bank to keep nz near No more than 30 degrees heading change.4. DATA REDUCTION 7.2. 7. 2.4.4. 6. 1.2 1.3 DATA REQUIREMENTS 1.01 M.37 . 4. 7. Miscellaneous as desired. The engine controls have to be managed to ensure optimum climb power is maintained.

since a small altitude band is chosen.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).31) Energy height Test energy height Gravitational acceleration Tapeline altitude Test tapeline altitude Specific excess power 7.20) Recall: V dV dE T T h = dh + g dt dt dt Ps = (Eq 7.VT(start) divided by altitude change. the average slope is defined by Eh(end) .38 . In practice.Eh(start) divided by elapsed time.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 7.30) The slope of Eh versus time as the climb passes through the reference altitude (HPref) is P s(Test). Rate of Climb = Ps ( 1 dV T 1+ V g dh ) (Eq 7.2) 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. Substituting these values into Eq 7. dVT/dh is computed from VT(end) .FIXED WING PERFORMANCE Eq 7. True airspeed is obtained at the reference altitude (VTRef) by linear interpolation between the end points. In a similar way.

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.1. standard weight and temperature at HP ref.39 .5.5.∆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. SPECIFIC EXCESS POWER CORRECTION PsTest is next corrected to standard conditions.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 .CLIMB PERFORMANCE PsTest t V VT VTref VTTest 7.32) Where: ∆D ∆TNx PsStd PsTest VTStd VTTest WStd WTest 7.33) 7.1 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.

Summing the vertical forces: L . L = W. 3. 2.W cos γ + T sin α = W az g G j For TG sin αj = 0. the normal load factor is the cosine of the climb angle: nz = cos γ (Eq 7.10) (Eq 7.34) (Eq 7.2 shows in a climb.W cos2γ Std Std Test Test 2 π e AR ρ Ve S ssl ) (Eq 7. since: L = nz W For straight flight.35) (Eq 7.40 . Figure 7. and zero acceleration: L = W cos γ Also.36) Or: 7. 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). nz = 1 (level flight).8) The drag correction for a climb can now be written. assuming a parabolic drag polar.FIXED WING PERFORMANCE The following assumptions are made: 1. as: 2 ∆D = (W 2 2 cos2γ .

The induced drag correction obtained is substituted in Eq 7.39: ( 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. an iterative method is necessary to solve Eq 7. Therefore. For the first approximation set γStd = γTest. the corrected rate of climb is implicit in the γStd (standard flight path angle) term of the equation.36. the standard rate of climb is a function of itself.36. and calculate the induced drag correction from Eq 7.37) In applying either Eq 7.36 or Eq 7. in applying Eq 7. the requirement is to find the drag correction in order to compute the corrected rate of climb. which is in turn substituted in Eq 7.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 7.41 .36. where γTest is computed from the test results. γStd in Eq 7.38) (Eq 7.38 to give the first iteration value of rate of climb and the first iteration of standard day climb angle. In other words. However.32 to yield the first iteration of PsStd.37.39) 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.

thrust lift must be taken into consideration. Eq 7. 7. For steep climb angles the situation is different and as γ approaches 90˚ the iteration may become unstable. at low speed and high angle of attack. this situation is not likely to occur under the conditions in which sawtooth climbs test techniques are chosen. as shown in figure 7.3 THRUST LIFT CORRECTION All the previous corrections assumed no contribution to lift from the inclination of the thrust line to the flight path.8 yields: 7. For airplanes with modest climb capabilities. This condition is not generally true. γ is small and the iteration closes quickly. However. This value of γ then becomes γStd in the induced drag correction and the iteration is repeated until γStd is no longer changing. though the errors introduced by this assumption are small enough to be neglected for most cases.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 0.2.0023769 slug/ft3 ft2 lb ft/s ft/s lb lb lb.42 .1.5. However.

42) The equation for the sum of the forces in the horizontal direction is affected since: T Nx = T cos α .T sin α G j (Eq 7.32.CLIMB PERFORMANCE L = W cos γ .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.∆D) (Eq 7.12) In Eq 7. W Ps Std V Std = Ps Test T V + Std T Std Test W V T W (∆T Test Std Nx .T G j R (Eq 7.43 .41) sin α nz = cos γ - G W j (Eq 7. both the ∆TNx and ∆D terms are affected by thrust lift.40) Since induced drag depends on normal acceleration: nz = L W T (Eq 7.

44 .1. ∆Τ = f ∆H . Constant weight and constant Ve correction are used to minimize the change in drag.23. both vary during the iteration process of determining standard day rate of climb. which will in turn affect the induced drag.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. An engine thrust model is used to calculate the change in net thrust due to changing altitude and temperature at constant Ve. γ. The corrected results are presented as shown in figure 7. α j is assumed to be small enough to neglect its effect.e rate of climb corrected for increasing true airspeed) to be plotted for standard conditions. For example single-engine climb or waveoff performance at 5000 ft can be used to compute data for standard conditions at sea level. can be minimized by performing the tests as close to the reference altitude as safety and operational restrictions permit. (Eq 7. It may be necessary to refer these results to a new altitude. This will again involve the climb angle iteration since the changes in rate of climb and true airspeed will change the climb angle.4 ALTITUDE CORRECTION The foregoing corrections allow Ps. 7. and the iterative corrections to drag. the α j variation from test day to standard day is needed. and the thrust angle. To simplify things. ∆T a N P ( ) lb ft ˚C.FIXED WING PERFORMANCE W WStd WTest Weight Standard weight Test weight lb lb lb. α j. These analytical corrections to thrust. To apply this correction. The climb angle.5. in the form of rate of climb potential (i. 7.

In any event. This section contains a brief summary of the assumptions and logic which might be used. Detailed instructions on the use of the particular computer or program are assumed to be available for the computer program.ft/min ROC Sea Level STD Weight STD Day 5000' True Airspeed . Time to climb is calculated as follows: 7. however.2 COMPUTER DATA REDUCTION Various computer programs are in existence to assist in reduction of performance data. 7.2.kn VT Figure 7. This program is a subset to an energy analysis program which also calculates Ps from level acceleration runs. standard gross weight. energy analysis pertaining to climbs is reviewed.5.5. Data reduction from Ps level flight acceleration runs are in Chapter 5.1 ENERGY ANALYSIS The purpose of the computer data reduction from energy analysis for climbs is to automatically calculate fuel. time and distance. etc.23 STANDARD DAY RATE OF CLIMB 7. Basic data such as aircraft type. the operating system is invisible to the user.CLIMB PERFORMANCE Rate of Climb .45 . The treatment is purposefully generic as programs change over time or new ones are acquired or developed. are entered.

t t 2 Distance = ∫ V cos γ dt T 1 (Eq 7.44.ft E h Figure 7. The curve appears similar to figure 7.24. therefore the program plots the s function and asks for a curve fit.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 7.46 .04 .05 . .44) 7.01 5000 10000 15000 2000 25000 30000 35000 Energy Height .s/ft 1 Ps .06 Inverse of Specific Excess Power .02 .FIXED WING PERFORMANCE E h Time to Climb = ∫ E h 2 1 dE Ps h (Eq 7.03 .25) 1 1 The program must know P as a function of Eh.

45. the program must know VT cosγ. the program must integrate standard day fuel flow with respect to time as in Eq 7.s t 200 250 300 Figure 7.45) 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.CLIMB PERFORMANCE To perform the integration.25 540 600 True Airspeed * cos γ .47 . t t 2 .ft/s 560 520 400 440 0 50 100 150 Time . Fuel Used = ∫ W dt f 1 (Eq 7.25 INTEGRATION RESULTS FOR DISTANCE To calculate fuel used. The plot should appear similar to figure 7.

26. 7200 6800 Referred Fuel Flow .lb/h .˚C OAT Figure 7. The program first models the engine using referred fuel flow versus OAT.FIXED WING PERFORMANCE Ps t VT ˙ Wf Specific excess power Time True airspeed Fuel flow ft/s s ft/s lb/h.48 . as in figure 7. Wf 6400 δ θ 6000 5600 5200 -30 -25 -20 -15 -10 -5 0 Outside Air Temperature . 7.27.26 REFERRED FUEL USED From figure 7. the program calculates standard day fuel flow and plots it versus time.26. as in figure 7.

49 .CLIMB PERFORMANCE 4400 Std Day Fuel Flow .27 STANDARD DAY FUEL USED The program then performs the three integrations using the curve fits determined.s t 200 250 300 Figure 7.28.lb/h . 7. time and distance in the climb. and plots altitude versus fuel used. W 4000 f 3600 3200 2000 0 50 100 150 Time . One possible example is shown in figure 7.

28 FUEL USED IN CLIMB 7. f. Bureau number. c. Data entry requirements for the program are as follows: 1. altitude and temperature. Type of aircraft. b. Miscellaneous as allowed by the program.lb f Figure 7.2. based on flight test data. 7.50 .ft H P 0 80 160 W 240 320 400 Fuel Weight .FIXED WING PERFORMANCE 30000 25000 20000 15000 10000 5000 0 Pressure Altitude . Date of tests. e. the appropriate choices are made to enter the sawtooth climb program. Target altitude. Pilot’s name. Standard gross weight. d. From a menu selection. Basic data: a.2 SAWTOOTH CLIMB The purpose of the sawtooth climb data reduction program is to calculate rate and climb angle for any given gross weight. g.5.

OAT (˚C) or ambient temp (˚K). g. Final indicated pressure altitude (ft).29 and 7. as in figures 7. 2800 2400 Rate of Climb . The program plots rate of climb and climb angle for the given altitude versus Vc. Optional data as allowed by the program. Initial indicated pressure altitude (ft).30.51 . h. Time required (s ). For each data point: a. Fuel flow (lb/h).29 RATE OF CLIMB FROM SAWTOOTH CLIMBS 7. d. f. e. Indicated airspeed (kn).ft/min ROC 2000 1600 1200 800 150 160 170 180 190 200 210 220 Calibrated Airspeed .kn Vc Figure 7. b.CLIMB PERFORMANCE 2. Gross weight (lb). c.

52 .273.46) ( ) (Eq 7.48) (Eq 7.FIXED WING PERFORMANCE 9 8 Climb Angle .deg γ 7 6 5 4 3 2 150 160 170 180 190 200 210 220 Calibrated Airspeed . M ) (Eq 7. M If OAT (˚C) was entered: Ta = f ( OAT.15 OAT = f Ta. If ambient temperature (˚K) was entered: ˚C = ˚K .47) 7.kn Vc Figure 7. Obtain calibrated altitude (HPc) and calibrated airspeed (Vc) as in Chapter 2.30 CLIMB ANGLE FROM SAWTOOTH CLIMBS The following equations are used for the computer data reduction.

∆D) (Eq 7.49) Altitude: h=H P +∆ H c ref Pc ( ) Ta T std (Eq 7.50) Energy height: V E =h+ h 2 T 2g (Eq 7.CLIMB PERFORMANCE True airspeed: V = f OAT.53 lb lb lb ft ft ft ft .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 7.1) Test day Ps: V dV T Ps = dE h = dh + gT dt dt dt Standard day Ps: W Ps Std (Eq 7.2) V Std = Ps Test T V + Std T Std Test W V T W (∆T Test Std Nx . M T ( T ) (Eq 7.

The best climb speeds for the landing or single-engine wave-off configurations are unlikely to have much application above a few thousand feet. though they should certainly be determined for high elevation airports and should cover possible emergency diversion with the landing gear stuck down. 7. The airspeed and Mach number schedules represented by these paths are then evaluated to determine whether they can be flown without undue difficulty. The theoretical optimum climb schedules are determined as described in section 7. and are modified if necessary to make them flyable with the least penalty in climb performance. 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 analysis of Ps data is directed towards determining the airplane optimum climb schedules.3. 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.54 .FIXED WING PERFORMANCE MT OAT PsStd PsTest Ta TNx TStd VT VTStd VTTest WStd WTest 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. by joining the points of maximum Ps (for a “minimum time” schedule) or points of maximum Eh (for a “maximum energy” schedule). Finally. corrected to standard conditions. the climb schedules are flight-tested and the results. are compared with predictions.

The specifications set desired performance in the production aircraft.CLIMB PERFORMANCE 7. Overall performance including climbing flight. 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. Flight path stability. An interceptor is primarily interested in climbing to altitude with the minimum fuel if headed to a CAP station. In the case of single engine climb for multi engine aircraft or for wave-off. optimization of other factors during the climb. 5. 6. 7. Still other types of mission may require. Field of view. Mission profile or requirements. Consideration of the following items is worthwhile when recommending climb schedules or climb airspeeds: 1. As stated in the beginning of the chapter. 7. 3. the pure numbers cannot be the only determinant to acceptance of the aircraft. These specifications are important as measures for contract performance.7 MISSION SUITABILITY The mission requirements are the ultimate standard for climb performance. Compatibility of airspeeds / altitudes with the mission and location Performance sensitivities for schedule or airspeed deviations. Mission suitability conclusions include the flying qualities associated with attaining specific airspeed schedules to climb. Climb attitudes. As in all performance testing. or desire. 2. restrictions. the test results in sawtooth climbs can develop the appropriate climb speeds to maximize obstacle clearance. the mission of the airplane and specifically the mission of the flight to be flown determines the optimum condition for the climb. 4.55 . 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. They are important in determining whether or not to continue the acquisition process at various stages of aircraft development.

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

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

All fuel consumption data.9. 7. In addition. or fans. 15. is increased by 5 % for all engine thrust (power) conditions as a service tolerance to allow for practical operation.9 GLOSSARY 7. corrections or allowances to engine fuel flow is made for all power plant installation losses such as accessory drives.58 .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.FIXED WING PERFORMANCE 14. unless authorized otherwise. The term thrust (power) is used to mean thrust (jet engine) and/or brake horsepower (shaft engines). regardless of source. ducts.

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 .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.

Naval Test Pilot School. Naval Air System Command Specification. 1986. U. AS-5263. Patuxent River.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. Naval Test Pilot School Flight Test Manual.0023769 slug/ft3 7.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. 7. MD. Guidelines For Preparation Of Standard Aircraft Characteristics Charts And Performance Data Piloted Aircraft (Fixed Wing). S. 23 October. July 1977. 2.10 REFERENCES 1. Fixed Wing Performance. 104. Theory and Flight Test Techniques.9. USNTPS-FTM-No.60 .

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

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