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CLIMB PERFORMANCE

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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

9 MISSION SUITABILITY SPECIFICATION COMPLIANCE GLOSSARY 7.56 7.8 7.58 7.ii .9.1 NOTATIONS 7.58 7.FIXED WING PERFORMANCE 7.7 7.60 7.60 7.10 7.2 GREEK SYMBOLS REFERENCES 7.55 7.9.

5 7.24 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 7.8 7.14 7.13 7.4 7.23 7.28 7.34 7.14 7.3 7.29 7.iii .19 7.20 7.8 7.9 7.11 7.30 7.16 7.18 7.15 7.6 7.31 7.4 7.21 7.22 7.1 7.7 7.CLIMB PERFORMANCE CHAPTER 7 FIGURES PAGE 7.11 7.13 7.7 7.18 7.44 7.2 7.22 7.17 7.27 7.9 7.10 7.17 7.12 7.19 7.27 7.15 7.

29 7.28 7.26 7.FIXED WING PERFORMANCE 7.49 7.47 7.27 7.25 7.24 7.52 7.iv .51 7.48 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 7.50 7.46 7.

2 7.T G j R 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 7.11) (Eq 7.CLIMB PERFORMANCE CHAPTER 7 EQUATIONS PAGE V E =h+ h 2 T 2g (Eq 7.10) 7.D .7) 7.3 CCF = 1 V dV 1 + gT dh (Eq 7.T .5 (Eq 7.6) 7.5 (Eq 7.6 7.1) 7.2 7.3) (Eq 7.T .W sin γ = g =0 G j R dt T Nx (Eq 7.5) 7.v .W sin γ = W ax g G j R L = W cos γ dV W T T cos α .W cos γ + T sin α = W az g G j T cos α .5 7.4) 7.3 dh = Ps dt (Eq 7.8) 7.3 L .3 (Eq 7.D .2) (Eq 7.9) (Eq 7.6 = T cos α .12) 7.

19) 7.14) -D V = dh = Vv dt Nx W T Nx 7.21 Ps (Eq 7.18) (Eq 7.20 h Time to Climb = ∫ h 2 1 (Eq 7.10 h 1 dh = h 1 t= ∫ dh ∫ 0 dh 0 ROC dt (Eq 7.13) -1 Nx 7.17) (Eq 7.21 7.14 7.22) (Eq 7.23) 7.6 T γ = sin Nx -D (Eq 7.15) V-DV W = P .20) 7.12 7.vi .D = W sin γ (Eq 7.6 V sin γ = W T (Eq 7.21 7.24) 7.FIXED WING PERFORMANCE T .16) 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) 7.20 dh + V dV g T dt = Ps dE = dh + V dV g h dE dt = h (Eq 7.6 -D V= T ROC = dh = dt Nx W (Eq 7.Preq A W 7.

21 2g (Eq 7.25 .32) 7.25) V dV dh T T = + g dW dW E h 1 = d dW dW h dE ( ) V h+ 2 T 7.25 Fuel to Climb = ∫ E h W . f Ps 1 dE = ∫ h E h 1 dE Ps h W .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 = .28) E h 2 7.29) 7.27) 7.31) .38 2 W ∆D = D Std -D Test = ( 2 2 -W Std Test ) 2 π e AR S γ Pa M (Eq 7.∆D) (Eq 7.25 W W Fuel to Climb = ∫ dW = .37 (Eq 7.38 W Std = Ps Test Std T Std Std Test W V T W Test Std 7.33) 7.1 = . f 1 (Eq 7.30) 7.dW dt = f dE dE dt dE Ps h h h dW E h 2 W .∫ 1 2 2 E 1 dE dE h h h 1 dW (Eq 7. (Eq 7.CLIMB PERFORMANCE E h Time to Climb = ∫ E h 2 1 dE Ps h (Eq 7.39 7.vii .26) 7.

35) 2 2 cos2γ .42 7.45) (Eq 7.39) j 7. ∆T a N t t 2 ( ) Distance = ∫ V cos γ dt T 1 (Eq 7.46 Fuel Used = ∫ W dt f 1 (Eq 7.40 ( dh ) dt γ Std = Ps Std = sin -1 ( ( ) Std 1 V dV T 1 + gT dh ) (Eq 7.viii . 7.38) 7.42 L = W cos γ .40 (W ) (Eq 7.36) 7.40 7.42 7.40) (Eq 7.44 ∆Τ = f ∆H .40 2 ∆D = ( W ) (Eq 7.34) (Eq 7.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.T nz = L W nz = cos γ T G G sin α (Eq 7.FIXED WING PERFORMANCE L = nz W nz = cos γ 2 ∆D = (Eq 7.46) 7.42) (Eq 7.37) 7.41 dh dt V T (Eq 7.15 7.43) 7.273.41) W P sin α j (Eq 7.47 7.41 7.52 ˚C = ˚K .44) t t 2 .

53 Ta = f ( OAT. M ( ) (Eq 7.48) 7.ix .50) 7.47) (Eq 7. M ) V = f OAT.49) (Eq 7.52 7. M T ( T ) h=H P +∆ H c ref Pc ( ) Ta T std (Eq 7.53 7.CLIMB PERFORMANCE OAT = f Ta.52 7.

.

2. 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. the desire is to reach intercept altitude with the best fighting speed or energy in the minimum time.CHAPTER 7 CLIMB PERFORMANCE 7. 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. However. 6. Conditions for best climb rate. Different missions may require optimization of other factors during the climb. 3. Conditions for minimum fuel used to climb.1 INTRODUCTION Climb performance is evaluated in various ways depending on the aircraft mission. Evaluate the requirements of pertinent military specifications. 4. If launching on an intercept. 5. An attack aircraft launching on a strike mission is primarily interested in climbing on a schedule of maximum range per pound of fuel used. Conditions for best climb angle. 7. Climb schedules for the above conditions. 7. Conditions for the shortest time to climb.2 PURPOSE OF TEST The purpose of this test is to determine the following climb performance characteristics: 1. This chapter also discusses the sawtooth climb as an alternate test method of determining specific excess power. 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.1 .

The results of tests are derived from a series of short. There are conditions where the sawtooth climb is more applicable.2 is zero. The sawtooth climb is more time consuming than the level acceleration run.2.5. especially in determining single engine wave-off for multiengine airplanes or climb in the approach configuration for a jet.1 then taking the time derivative as in Eq 7.1) V dV T Ps = dE h = dh + gT dt dt dt (Eq 7. dV/dt can be expressed as in Eq 7. Sawtooth climb is a secondary method of determining Ps.1 to derive Eq 7. Climbing at constant Mach number is not constant VT either. then dVT/dt in Eq 7. V E =h+ h 2 T 2g (Eq 7.3 and substituted into Eq 7. From the chain rule.2 . dV dV dh = dt dh dt (Eq 7. To express rate of climb potential in terms of P s. If true airspeed is constant.4 and 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. Climbing at constant indicated airspeed is not constant VT.1 SAWTOOTH CLIMBS The primary method of determining specific excess power (Ps) is the level acceleration. true airspeed (VT) must be evaluated in the climb.FIXED WING PERFORMANCE 7.3 THEORY 7. timed climbs through the same altitude band.3. The sawtooth climb is one method of obtaining the airspeed schedule for maximum rate of climb. except when climbing in the stratosphere on a standard day.2) The only time P s is equal to rate of climb is when the climb is done at a constant true airspeed.3) 7. which is rarely the case.

3 . the rate of climb potential is: dh = Ps dt 1 V dV 1 + gT dh (Eq 7. CCF < 1 and rate of climb is less than Ps. but the actual rate of climb is adjusted by the velocity change along the climb path (dVT/dh). 1.7) 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. 7.6) Specific excess power is nearly independent of the climb or acceleration path for modest climb angles. A term called the climb correction factor (CCF) represents the values within the brackets of Eq 7.5) Knowing Ps and the climb schedule.CLIMB PERFORMANCE dV dh Ps = dh + V g dh dt dt dh 1 + V dV g dh dt (Eq 7. If the aircraft is accelerating during the climb as in a constant indicated airspeed schedule.6 and is useful in evaluating rate of climb.4) Ps = (Eq 7. ft ft/s2 ft ft/s2 s ft/s ft/s. CCF is defined as follows: CCF = 1 V dV 1 + gT dh (Eq 7.

1 illustrates CCF as a function of Mach number.FIXED WING PERFORMANCE 2.4 .0 Mach Number M 1.5 2. CCF =1 and rate of climb equals Ps. One major assumption was the aircraft had no acceleration along the flight path. If the aircraft is climbing at a constant true airspeed. This approach was derived before the total energy theory was developed.5 Climb Correction Factor CCF 2. CCF > 1 and rate of climb is greater than Ps.5 h = 20. True airspeed had to be held constant. For supersonic aircraft however.3. For a low speed aircraft the factor does not have much significance.0 1.5 1.5 0 i Constant M h < 35. If the aircraft is decelerating while climbing. The following paragraphs are intended to present a quick overview of the classical approach. Figure 7.2 STEADY STATE APPROACH TO CLIMB PERFORMANCE The classical approach to aircraft climb performance problems was to use the static or steady state case.0 Constant V . 7.000 ft 1.000 ft 0 . the influence of the CCF on rate of climb is significant. and is inadequate for analyzing climb profiles of supersonic aircraft where both true airspeed and altitude change rapidly.1 CLIMB CORRECTION FACTOR 7. 3. as in a constant Mach number through decreasing temperature.0 Figure 7. 2.

or at a constant true airspeed.1 FORCES IN FLIGHT The forces acting on an aircraft in a climb are presented in figure 7.8) (Eq 7.D .10) 7.W cos γ + T sin α = W az g G j Forces parallel to the flight path are: T cos α .T .9) By assuming angle of attack (α) is small.2. 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. the engines are closely aligned with the fuselage reference line.CLIMB PERFORMANCE 7.5 . and the aircraft is in a steady climb where acceleration parallel flight path (ax) is zero.2 for review and can be resolved perpendicular and parallel to the flight path.W sin γ = W ax g G j R (Eq 7.2 FORCES IN CLIMBING FLIGHT Forces perpendicular to the flight path are: L .3. the equations reduce to: L = W cos γ (Eq 7.

T . 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 .14) γ = sin -1 Nx W The term in brackets is specific excess thrust.13 are multiplied by V an expression for rate of climb is developed.T G j (Eq 7.13) With true airspeed held constant.15.W sin γ = g =0 G j R dt T = T cos α .3. the climb angle is greatest. as Eq 7.12) T Nx . (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 7.11) Nx R (Eq 7.FIXED WING PERFORMANCE dV W T T cos α . By maximizing specific excess thrust.6 . a useful expression for γ can be found: T -D (Eq 7. and is graphically shown in figure 7.D = W sin γ (Eq 7. If both sides of Eq 7.

2. Winds do affect this distance and give apparent changes in γ as depicted in figure 7. There is an absolute ceiling where TNx = D and γ = 0. Since climb angle is inversely proportional to weight.CLIMB PERFORMANCE V Vv γ V Figure 7. As the aircraft climbs.2 CLIMB ANGLE hor As seen in Eq 7. the propulsive thrust decreases. climb angle decreases as weight increases.7 . However. The effect of increasing weight on climb angle can be evaluated from Eq 7.3.14. Increasing altitude decreases specific excess thrust and the climb angle.14. γ. A steady wind has no effect on the climb angle of the aircraft relative to the moving air mass. the maximum climb angle must give the most altitude gained for horizontal distance covered. Drag remains essentially constant. 7.4. 7. Wind is also a factor.3 CLIMB VECTORS Eq 7. the climb angle. 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.15 shows if net thrust is greater than drag. dh/dt is positive and a climb results.

thrust available varies with airspeed and γmax occurs at other airspeeds. the same can be said for a turbofan. the maximum excess thrust at military thrust occurs close to VL/Dmax. The aircraft must be flown at the velocity where maximum excess thrust occurs to achieve the maximum climb angle. is a function of airspeed. In general.8 .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 net thrust available from a pure turbojet varies little with airspeed at a given altitude. This is a classical result and leads to the assumption γmax occurs at VL/Dmax. 7. But.D.FIXED WING PERFORMANCE V γ Head Wind No Wind Tail Wind Figure 7.5. In figure 7. γmax may occur over an airspeed band. With thrust augmentation. TNx .

3 CLIMB GRADIENT Climb gradient is the altitude gained for the distance traveled. or tan γ = 1 (45 deg). The gradient is usually expressed in percent where 100% occurs when Vv = Vhor.lb x 10 T or D 3 TN Buffet Limit mil 100 200 300 400 True Airspeed .2. 7.5 THRUST AND DRAG Specific excess thrust determines climb angle.CLIMB PERFORMANCE 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 L D 1 max TN max Thrust or Drag .9 .3. The gradient can be determined from figure 7. whether specific excess thrust is measured directly or calculated from independent estimates of thrust.3 by dividing Vv by Vhor or by measuring tan γ.kn V T 500 600 Figure 7. drag. and weight. 7.

10 .4 RATE OF CLIMB Eq 7.6 depicts a typical curve of power available and required. Then Eq 7.3. This is similar to excess thrust. dh/dt is rate of climb at constant airspeed. depends upon specific excess power. 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). Figure 7.16. 7. T ROC = dh = dt Where: D dh/dt TNx PA Preq ROC V W -D V= T V-DV W = P .Preq A W Nx Nx W (Eq 7. In specific excess power. kn lb.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.FIXED WING PERFORMANCE 7.2 shows rate of climb. dh/dt.15 can be rewritten as Eq 7.2. which was defined as the difference between net thrust available and drag (thrust required) at a specific weight. 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.

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

Altitude has an effect on rate of climb similar to its effect upon climb angle.15.3.2. At each altitude. h h t = ∫ 1 dh = ∫ 1 dh 0 dh 0 ROC dt (Eq 7. Wind affects rate of climb negligibly unless gradient and direction changes are large within the air mass. That value pertains only to the corresponding altitude. there is one velocity which yields maximum rate of climb. Rate of climb at the absolute ceiling goes to zero when TNx = D and excess power is minimum. 7. defined as the altitudes where 100 ft/min and 500 ft/min rates of climb can be maintained. and specific excess power directly depends upon true airspeed according to Eq 7. are also finite altitudes. The service ceiling and combat ceiling.17) Where: h ROC t Tapeline altitude Rate of climb Time ft ft/s s. Increasing weight with no change in excess power reduces rate of climb. The slope of the curve for power available changes as the true airspeed changes.5 TIME TO CLIMB The rates of climb discussed are instantaneous values. Weight affects rate of climb directly and in the same manner as it does climb angle. Continuous variations in rate of climb must be attained through integration as in Eq 7.12 .17. Maximum rate of climb for the jet occurs at much higher true airspeed than that for L/Dmax. True airspeed strongly affects rate of climb performance since thrust and drag are functions of velocity. 7.FIXED WING PERFORMANCE of the curve shape.

A more accurate method to determine time to climb is discussed in section 7. as well as the climb path itself and actual rate of climb at every point.8.CLIMB PERFORMANCE The term dh/dt in Eq 7. The determination of time to climb then can only be determined graphically as in figure 7.7. 7.ft h Figure 7. Both altitude and airspeed must be specified.2.3 7. 1 dh/dt ∆h Tapeline Altitude . A rate of climb curve is shown in figure 7.3.13 .7 TIME TO CLIMB INTEGRATION The method is limited by the fact that more information is needed than just the altitude change with time.3.17 is not usually available as an analytical function of altitude.6 SUMMARY OF STEADY STATE CLIMB A curve of vertical velocity versus horizontal velocity can be used to summarize the steady state performance.

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

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

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

which is seen as an increase in total energy as shown in Eq 7. thus.1. Maximum Energy Constant Ps Tapeline Altitude .ft h Constant E h True Airspeed . The maximum points occur at increasing airspeed.ft h Max Rate Maximum Energy Constant Ps Constant Eh Max Rate Tapeline Altitude . or other methods can be worked up on a cross-plot of altitude and Mach number.3.19 . Excess power must be divided between the requirements of climbing and acceleration.1 TIME BASED CLIMB SCHEDULE Ps data taken from acceleration runs.ft 2 V 2g Figure 7. with lines of constant energy height as shown in figure 7.3. sawtooth climbs. acceleration is required along the flight path. as altitude increases.ft/s V T Specific Kinetic Energy . or true airspeed. Each peak is also the speed for maximum instantaneous rate of climb at that altitude for an aircraft flying at constant true airspeed.12.12 SUBSONIC CLIMB SCHEDULE The peaks of the curves represent the speed at which the maximum specific excess power occurs at each altitude.CLIMB PERFORMANCE 7. 7.

This curve may be useful if the points of tangency are not well 2g defined.FIXED WING PERFORMANCE 2 T V E =h+ h 2g (Eq 7. The plot is also shown as a function of specific potential energy (h) and specific V2 kinetic energy ( ). 7. The integration will not work for any portion of the schedule where altitude is not increasing.1) Where: Eh g h VT Energy height Gravitational acceleration Tapeline altitude True airspeed ft ft/s2 ft ft/s.20) h Time to Climb = ∫ h 2 ( 1 dV T 1+ V g dh Ps ) (Eq 7. is developed as the optimum energy climb schedule.2) Rate of Climb = Ps ( 1 dV T 1+ V g dh ) dh (Eq 7.3.1 SPECIFIC ENERGY VERSUS TOTAL ENERGY Time to climb is given in Eq 7. To put Eq 7.3.20 .1. which cannot be easily obtained from figure 7.21) 7.17. a schedule for the minimum time to achieve an energy state.17 in more useful terms the following equations are used: V dV dE T T h = dh + g dt dt dt Ps = (Eq 7. or maximum rate of total energy addition. The integration requires determining the actual rate of climb at every point.12. By flying the points where the Ps contours are tangent to the lines of constant energy height.

12. time to climb can be expressed in terms which can be graphically integrated from figure 7.21. dE = dh + V dV g h dE dt = (Eq 7.21 .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.24) Time to Climb = ∫ E h 2 1 dE Ps h (Eq 7.22) Using the differential form of Eq 7.1 and substituting it into equation 7.23) h Ps E h (Eq 7. 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 7.13.

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

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

2 Mach Number M Figure 7.8 2.0 1.6 0.24 . 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.6 1.FIXED WING PERFORMANCE segments BC and DE pass through points on Ps contours which are tangent to lines of constant Eh.15 TYPICAL ENERGY LEVEL CLIMB PATH 7.ft x 10 3 h 60 50 40 30 20 10 Constant Ps Optimum Energy Climb Path 0.8 1. Perhaps the most expeditious path is the one toward the highest Ps contour available without decreasing Eh.4 1.0 2. the conventional schedule may still be useful if a profile is desired to reach maximum range airspeed at altitude.2 0. The assumption implies the climb should be subsonic until intercepting an Eh level tangent to two Ps contours of equal value.4 0. Constant E h 70 Tapeline Altitude . one in a subsonic region and the other in the supersonic region.14 illustrates a typical transition using this idea. There is no complete agreement on when to start the pushover.2 1. Figure 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.15 illustrates the difficulty in choosing the transition paths when Ps contours become irregular in the transonic region. Path CD in figure 7. However.

1 = . real transitions as opposed to ideal zooms and dives. (Eq 7. dE = d dW dW h ( ) V h+ 2 T 2g V dV T = dh + gT dW dW (Eq 7.27) A relationship of fuel flow to specific excess power can be written as Eq 7.26) Fuel burned in a climb can be determined by integrating Eq 7. W W E 2 h Fuel to Climb = ∫ dW = .3.dW = .28.25 . result in a climb path with the corners rounded off.3. The sum of both terms equals the change in specific energy with respect to fuel used as in Eq 7.28) 7. The energy approach to climb performance can also be used to determine how much total energy is added per pound of fuel consumed.15.2 FUEL BASED CLIMB SCHEDULE The aircraft mission may require the expenditure of minimum fuel to achieve a given energy level.26 as was done in determining time to climb. where transitions are assumed to be instantaneous. This requires specific energy to be differentiated with respect to the change in aircraft gross weight due to fuel used. and the change in airspeed per pound of fuel in accelerations is dV/dW. 7.∫ 1 2 E 1 dE dE h h h 1 dW (Eq 7. .26. The abrupt discontinuities in angle of attack and attitude are avoided in the actual climb.dW dt = f dE dE dt dE Ps h h h dW W .CLIMB PERFORMANCE Notice in figure 7. Change in altitude per pound of fuel used is dh/dW in climbs.

can be generated. Evaluating Eq 7.27 can be rewritten as follows: E h Fuel to Climb = ∫ E h 2 W . similar to figure 7. E h f Ps 1 dE = ∫ h E h 2 1 dE Ps h W .29 requires combining P s and fuel flow data from other tests.ft/s Ps Figure 7. 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. Ratio of Specific Excess Power . f . and referred fuel flow curve.16.16 7.26 W .ft/s lb/h to Fuel Flow Ps Mach Number M Specific Excess Power . f 1 (Eq 7. From acceleration run data.FIXED WING PERFORMANCE Eq 7.17.

18. the outside air temperature (OAT) and referred fuel flow can be determined versus Mach number.CLIMB PERFORMANCE SPECIFIC EXCESS POWER CURVE Fuel Flow Referred To Total Conditions . 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. the actual fuel flow for standard conditions can be determined as shown in figure 7. For the same acceleration run.

7.28 .16. The results are cross-plotted as shown in figure 7. W f Mach Number M Figure 7.19. ˙ Wf P To develop the minimum fuel climb schedule. all the s curves for each altitude are ˙ Wf determined.18 ACTUAL FUEL FLOW ˙ The ratio of Ps to Wf can be determined by dividing each point on figure 7.16. Since fuel flow increases with increasing speed.18 and plotting s versus Mach number as the ˙ Wf dashed curve in figure 7.lb/h .16 by P the corresponding points on figure 7. the peak of P the s curve occurs at a slower speed than the peak of the Ps curve in figure 7.FIXED WING PERFORMANCE Fuel Flow .

ft h Constant E h P Constant .14.CLIMB PERFORMANCE Tapeline Altitude .1 TIME VERSUS FUEL BASED CLIMB The climb path based on minimum fuel in figure 7.19 MINIMUM FUEL CLIMB SCHEDULE 7.3.20 depicts a typical result given the same aircraft following an optimal time climb and an optimal fuel climb.2. 7.3. s W f Minimum Fuel Climb Path Mach Number M Figure 7.29 .19 appears very much like the time based climb in figure 7. Figure 7.

the optimal fuel path is easier to achieve since the optimal time case requires an ideal climb.0 1.3. actual down range distance traveled 7.2.30 .ft x 10 h 3 50 40 30 20 10 Minimum Fuel Minimum Time 0.2 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. 7. and an ideal zoom to reach the end point.3. 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. an ideal dive. In reality.8 Mach Number M Figure 7. is close to the optimal time schedule. the minimum fuel climb approximates the no-wind maximum range per pound of fuel.6 1.4 1. the optimal minimum time climb path. However. There are sophisticated mathematical techniques which can be used to determine a theoretical solution. but roughly parallel. if the cruise speed is near the climb speed for an energy minimum fuel climb. The schedule which gets to that energy level with minimum fuel used.FIXED WING PERFORMANCE 60 Tapeline Altitude . In practice.

7. The altitude increment is about 1000 ft either side of a target altitude.4 TEST METHODS AND TECHNIQUES 7. rather than altitude gain. Speeds are chosen to bracket the expected best climb speed of the aircraft. until Ps decreases and time.21 SAWTOOTH DATA CARD Climbs are performed at the same power setting and aircraft configuration as used in the check climb (paragraph 7. with respect to energy height. an incremental decrease in speed increases range over that obtained from the no-wind schedule. The same altitude band is used for each climb. When time is the criterion. choose the climb band symmetrically about the target altitude.3). wind affects the range in a climb.4.CLIMB PERFORMANCE in the climb is considered when optimizing the overall range problem which also includes cruise and descent. are not characteristic provided the peaks of the ˙ Wf too sharp. 7. Normally. A typical flight data card is shown in figure 7. Power setting is defined by the scope of the test but is the same for each run. full power is used. or a height change attainable in two minutes. For a tail wind. For a head wind.21.4. which ever is less. Target Vo Vo Initial HP Final HP ∆t Fuel OAT Misc Figure 7.1 SAWTOOTH CLIMB A series of timed climbs are made at different speeds from a point below the test altitude to a point above it. an incremental increase in speed for the climb schedule slightly improves the range Ps curves.31 . As in the cruise phase. becomes the test criterion.

32 . data are recorded. Time: Record elapsed time from the beginning of the altitude band to the end. 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. W. or two minutes whichever comes first. fuel counts or fuel remaining. Power is applied and final trim adjustments are made before reaching the lower limit of the altitude band being measured. and a maximum speed point are obtained at the test altitude in order to complete the curve. engine RPM. 7. and a descending turn is initialized to get the aircraft below the altitude band for another run. examine the plot for points which need repeating. The description above is only applicable when Ps is determined to be positive.1.4. If Ps is negative and the airplane is descending.1. On the back of the data card. For a description of the sawtooth descent flight test technique. 7. Climb perpendicular to the prevailing winds to minimize the effects of wind shear. and either outside air temperature or time of day so temperature can be obtained by other meteorological methods. time. Once through the altitude increment. The exact time of entering and leaving the altitude band is recorded by a stopwatch or an instrumentation system. etc. In addition. For each altitude. Altitude: Record the observed pressure altitude HPo band for each point. Record actual in-flight Vo. see paragraph 8.21 with the target indicated airspeed included for each point.FIXED WING PERFORMANCE The aircraft is first trimmed in the configuration desired while still well below the nominal altitude. a standard data card is prepared similar to figure 7.1 DATA REQUIRED 1. keep a running plot of observed time to climb versus Vo and before leaving the test altitude. then the same flight test technique applies. The card can be expanded to record other parameters such as angle of attack. As many points as possible are flown at each altitude. torque. a full power unaccelerated minimum speed point. 2.4. except in reverse.

If a small airspeed error is made while setting the airplane up.4. Smoothness is just as important as in acceleration runs and for the same reasons. 7. angle of attack.1.4. 2.4.1 g. 3. rather than try to correct it and risk aborting the entire run. 4. Vo ± 1 kn with smooth corrections. 7. Observe airspeed limits when in the powered approach configuration and engine limits at the selected thrust setting. 6. Vo. Normal acceleration ± 0. Velocity: Record observed airspeed. DATA REQUIREMENTS Test altitude band ± 1000 ft about a target altitude. 7.3 1. it is better to maintain the incorrect speed as accurately as possible. and torque for a turboprop.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. Fuel weight: Record the fuel remaining to determine aircraft gross weight.CLIMB PERFORMANCE 3.33 .1.1. 5. 7. OAT or Ta: Record ambient air temperature from on-board instrumentation at target altitude. Miscellaneous: Record other information desired such as RPM. (May be obtained from direct observation).4 SAFETY CONSIDERATIONS There are no unique hazards or safety precautions associated with sawtooth climbs. Consider low altitude stall potential in slow speed climb tests and Vmc for multi-engine aircraft.

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.22. Distance traveled. In addition. speed. This schedule may be a best climb schedule as obtained by flight test. 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. exhaust gas temperature. Specify the schedule flown on each climb performance chart. data may be obtained on various engine parameters such as engine speed. fuel flow. These are useful to the analyst but are secondary to the three main parameters.34 . angle of attack. For most jet aircraft. engine pressure ratio. The three main areas of investigation are: 1. etc. gross thrust. Fuel used. a mechanical recording means is necessary to obtain simultaneous reading of the many parameters of interest.FIXED WING PERFORMANCE 7. and any other desired parameters. 7. 3. temperature. Record data at approximately equal increments of altitude and include time. a schedule recommended by the manufacturer. 2. or some other schedule for which climb performance is of interest. Time to climb.4. data cards are prepared to record the climb data as in figure 7.

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

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

1.37 . Time (t).2. 7.5. 2. 7. Fuel remaining (Wf).5 Airspeed ± 5 kn or 0.3 DATA REQUIREMENTS 1.4.4.1 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. Temperature (OAT or Ta). 4.CLIMB PERFORMANCE The test for a turboprop aircraft is identical to the jet test.0.2.1 g. 5. Miscellaneous as desired. engine torque and engine shaft horsepower (ESHP) are adjusted in the climb.4. 7. nz ± 0. 7.2 1. 3. but there are some additional correction factors necessitated by this test method. 6. 7.1 SAWTOOTH CLIMB The sawtooth climb data is reduced similar to the acceleration runs. or start and end fuel weight.01 M. Distance (d). The engine controls have to be managed to ensure optimum climb power is maintained. Observed pressure altitude (HPo). In this case however. 3. 7.2. 2. DATA REDUCTION 7. Observed airspeed (Vo). Keep turns to a minimum and use less than 10 degrees bank to keep nz near No more than 30 degrees heading change. 2. TEST CRITERIA Maintain coordinated wings level flight.

Eh(start) divided by elapsed time.30) The slope of Eh versus time as the climb passes through the reference altitude (HPref) is P s(Test).38 .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.FIXED WING PERFORMANCE Eq 7.VT(start) divided by altitude change.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. Substituting these values into Eq 7. Rate of Climb = Ps ( 1 dV T 1+ V g dh ) (Eq 7. In practice. the average slope is defined by Eh(end) .20) Recall: V dV dE T T h = dh + g dt dt dt Ps = (Eq 7.31) Energy height Test energy height Gravitational acceleration Tapeline altitude Test tapeline altitude Specific excess power 7. since a small altitude band is chosen. dVT/dh is computed from VT(end) . True airspeed is obtained at the reference altitude (VTRef) by linear interpolation between the end points. In a similar way.

39 .5.33) 7.1.2 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.CLIMB PERFORMANCE PsTest t V VT VTref VTTest 7. 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 .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. SPECIFIC EXCESS POWER CORRECTION PsTest is next corrected to standard conditions. standard weight and temperature at HP ref.32) Where: ∆D ∆TNx PsStd PsTest VTStd VTTest WStd WTest 7.∆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 7.5.

W cos γ + T sin α = W az g G j For TG sin αj = 0. assuming a parabolic drag polar. T sin αj = 0 (no thrust lift). 3.FIXED WING PERFORMANCE The following assumptions are made: 1.10) (Eq 7. the normal load factor is the cosine of the climb angle: nz = cos γ (Eq 7. Summing the vertical forces: L .8) The drag correction for a climb can now be written.W cos2γ Std Std Test Test 2 π e AR ρ Ve S ssl ) (Eq 7. since: L = nz W For straight flight. and zero acceleration: L = W cos γ Also.2 shows in a climb.40 . even if the thrust vector is aligned with the flight path (TNx sin αj = 0) the lift is not equal to the weight.34) (Eq 7. Figure 7.35) (Eq 7. nz = 1 (level flight). L = W.36) Or: 7. as: 2 ∆D = (W 2 2 cos2γ . 2.

the standard rate of climb is a function of itself. γStd 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 7.36 or Eq 7.37.41 .38) (Eq 7. In other words. and calculate the induced drag correction from Eq 7. an iterative method is necessary to solve Eq 7.36.36.37) In applying either Eq 7. For the first approximation set γStd = γTest. in applying Eq 7. where γTest is computed from the test results.38 to give the first iteration value of rate of climb and the first iteration of standard day climb angle. The induced drag correction obtained is substituted in 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. the corrected rate of climb is implicit in the γStd (standard flight path angle) term of the equation.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 7.32 to yield the first iteration of PsStd. Therefore. However. which is in turn substituted in Eq 7.36. the requirement is to find the drag correction in order to compute the corrected rate of climb.

For steep climb angles the situation is different and as γ approaches 90˚ the iteration may become unstable. γ is small and the iteration closes quickly. 7. though the errors introduced by this assumption are small enough to be neglected for most cases. This value of γ then becomes γStd in the induced drag correction and the iteration is repeated until γStd is no longer changing. However. at low speed and high angle of attack.0023769 slug/ft3 ft2 lb ft/s ft/s lb lb lb.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 0.8 yields: 7. However. Eq 7. This condition is not generally true.2. as shown in figure 7. this situation is not likely to occur under the conditions in which sawtooth climbs test techniques are chosen.3 THRUST LIFT CORRECTION All the previous corrections assumed no contribution to lift from the inclination of the thrust line to the flight path. For airplanes with modest climb capabilities.5. thrust lift must be taken into consideration.1.42 .

12) In Eq 7. both the ∆TNx and ∆D terms are affected by thrust lift.∆D) (Eq 7.32.43 . 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 7.42) 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 .T G j R (Eq 7.T sin α G j (Eq 7.40) Since induced drag depends on normal acceleration: nz = L W T (Eq 7.41) sin α nz = cos γ - G W j (Eq 7.

44 .5. It may be necessary to refer these results to a new altitude. The climb angle.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. α j is assumed to be small enough to neglect its effect. γ. This will again involve the climb angle iteration since the changes in rate of climb and true airspeed will change the climb angle. in the form of rate of climb potential (i. (Eq 7. These analytical corrections to thrust. The corrected results are presented as shown in figure 7. To simplify things. 7.e rate of climb corrected for increasing true airspeed) to be plotted for standard conditions.1.23. 7.4 ALTITUDE CORRECTION The foregoing corrections allow Ps. and the iterative corrections to drag. can be minimized by performing the tests as close to the reference altitude as safety and operational restrictions permit. Constant weight and constant Ve correction are used to minimize the change in drag. For example single-engine climb or waveoff performance at 5000 ft can be used to compute data for standard conditions at sea level. To apply this correction. ∆T a N P ( ) lb ft ˚C. and the thrust angle. both vary during the iteration process of determining standard day rate of climb. α j.FIXED WING PERFORMANCE W WStd WTest Weight Standard weight Test weight lb lb lb. ∆Τ = f ∆H . the α j variation from test day to standard day is needed. 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.

Data reduction from Ps level flight acceleration runs are in Chapter 5. 7.45 .2 COMPUTER DATA REDUCTION Various computer programs are in existence to assist in reduction of performance data.5. This section contains a brief summary of the assumptions and logic which might be used.ft/min ROC Sea Level STD Weight STD Day 5000' True Airspeed . The treatment is purposefully generic as programs change over time or new ones are acquired or developed.2.kn VT Figure 7. Time to climb is calculated as follows: 7.5.1 ENERGY ANALYSIS The purpose of the computer data reduction from energy analysis for climbs is to automatically calculate fuel. Detailed instructions on the use of the particular computer or program are assumed to be available for the computer program. This program is a subset to an energy analysis program which also calculates Ps from level acceleration runs. In any event. are entered. Basic data such as aircraft type.CLIMB PERFORMANCE Rate of Climb . energy analysis pertaining to climbs is reviewed. the operating system is invisible to the user. time and distance. however.23 STANDARD DAY RATE OF CLIMB 7. standard gross weight. etc.

06 Inverse of Specific Excess Power . therefore the program plots the s function and asks for a curve fit.25) 1 1 The program must know P as a function of Eh.24.24 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 7.03 .ft E h Figure 7. t t 2 Distance = ∫ V cos γ dt T 1 (Eq 7.46 .02 .04 . .s/ft 1 Ps . The curve appears similar to figure 7.FIXED WING PERFORMANCE E h Time to Climb = ∫ E h 2 1 dE Ps h (Eq 7.05 .01 5000 10000 15000 2000 25000 30000 35000 Energy Height .44) 7.44.

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

26 REFERRED FUEL USED From figure 7. 7. The program first models the engine using referred fuel flow versus OAT.lb/h .26.26. Wf 6400 δ θ 6000 5600 5200 -30 -25 -20 -15 -10 -5 0 Outside Air Temperature . as in figure 7. as in figure 7. the program calculates standard day fuel flow and plots it versus time.48 .FIXED WING PERFORMANCE Ps t VT ˙ Wf Specific excess power Time True airspeed Fuel flow ft/s s ft/s lb/h.27.˚C OAT Figure 7. 7200 6800 Referred Fuel Flow .

and plots altitude versus fuel used.lb/h .CLIMB PERFORMANCE 4400 Std Day Fuel Flow . time and distance in the climb. W 4000 f 3600 3200 2000 0 50 100 150 Time .28.s t 200 250 300 Figure 7.49 .27 STANDARD DAY FUEL USED The program then performs the three integrations using the curve fits determined. One possible example is shown in figure 7. 7.

28 FUEL USED IN CLIMB 7. based on flight test data. Pilot’s name.lb f Figure 7. Target altitude. Type of aircraft. the appropriate choices are made to enter the sawtooth climb program. e.ft H P 0 80 160 W 240 320 400 Fuel Weight . Standard gross weight. 7.2. Basic data: a. c.2 SAWTOOTH CLIMB The purpose of the sawtooth climb data reduction program is to calculate rate and climb angle for any given gross weight. b. Bureau number. altitude and temperature. f. d.50 .FIXED WING PERFORMANCE 30000 25000 20000 15000 10000 5000 0 Pressure Altitude .5. Miscellaneous as allowed by the program. From a menu selection. Data entry requirements for the program are as follows: 1. g. Date of tests.

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

Obtain calibrated altitude (HPc) and calibrated airspeed (Vc) as in Chapter 2. M ) (Eq 7.deg γ 7 6 5 4 3 2 150 160 170 180 190 200 210 220 Calibrated Airspeed .46) ( ) (Eq 7. If ambient temperature (˚K) was entered: ˚C = ˚K .kn Vc Figure 7.30 CLIMB ANGLE FROM SAWTOOTH CLIMBS The following equations are used for the computer data reduction.48) (Eq 7.47) 7.52 .15 OAT = f Ta.FIXED WING PERFORMANCE 9 8 Climb Angle . M If OAT (˚C) was entered: Ta = f ( OAT.273.

1) Test day Ps: V dV T Ps = dE h = dh + gT dt dt dt Standard day Ps: W Ps Std (Eq 7.49) Altitude: h=H P +∆ H c ref Pc ( ) Ta T std (Eq 7.53 lb lb lb ft ft ft ft .∆D) (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.CLIMB PERFORMANCE True airspeed: V = f OAT. M T ( T ) (Eq 7.50) Energy height: V E =h+ h 2 T 2g (Eq 7.2) V Std = Ps Test T V + Std T Std Test W V T W (∆T Test Std Nx .

by joining the points of maximum Ps (for a “minimum time” schedule) or points of maximum Eh (for a “maximum energy” schedule). The best climb speeds for the landing or single-engine wave-off configurations are unlikely to have much application above a few thousand feet. 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.3. The theoretical optimum climb schedules are determined as described in section 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 analysis of Ps data is directed towards determining the airplane optimum climb schedules. are compared with predictions. though they should certainly be determined for high elevation airports and should cover possible emergency diversion with the landing gear stuck down. Finally.54 .FIXED WING PERFORMANCE MT OAT PsStd PsTest Ta TNx TStd VT VTStd VTTest WStd WTest 7. the climb schedules are flight-tested and the results. corrected to standard conditions.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 shape of these curves indicate the sensitivity of achieving the desired performance to airspeed errors. A peaked curve implies small inaccuracies in airspeed result in large performance penalties. and are modified if necessary to make them flyable with the least penalty in climb performance. 7.

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

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

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

FIXED WING PERFORMANCE 14. In addition. ducts. unless authorized otherwise. or fans.9 GLOSSARY 7. 15. The term thrust (power) is used to mean thrust (jet engine) and/or brake horsepower (shaft engines). 7. is increased by 5 % for all engine thrust (power) conditions as a service tolerance to allow for practical operation.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 7.9. regardless of source. All fuel consumption data. corrections or allowances to engine fuel flow is made for all power plant installation losses such as accessory drives.58 .

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 .

60 . Theory and Flight Test Techniques. Naval Test Pilot School Flight Test Manual. 104. July 1977. U. 1986.2 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. Patuxent River. MD. 23 October.0023769 slug/ft3 7. 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. 2. S. Guidelines For Preparation Of Standard Aircraft Characteristics Charts And Performance Data Piloted Aircraft (Fixed Wing). Naval Test Pilot School. Fixed Wing Performance.10 REFERENCES 1. 7.9. Naval Air System Command Specification. AS-5263.

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

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