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Straight and Level

The Flight Training Manual - Section 6


Objectives
• To establish and maintain straight and level
flight at:
a constant airspeed;
constant altitude;
in a constant direction; and,
in balance.
• To regain straight and level flight; and,
• To maintain straight and level flight at
selected airspeeds or power settings.
Principles of Flight
• Straight and Level - Definition
• Flying Attitude
• The Four Forces
• Lift
• Performance
Straight and Level - Definition
For Straight and Level Flight, the aircraft is travelling:
in a Constant Direction (straight),
at a Constant Altitude (level) and
at a Constant Speed
i.e. not climbing or descending, and not accelerating.
The aircraft is in a state of Equilibrium.
Therefore the opposing forces acting on the aircraft
must be equal to, and opposite to each other.
Flying Attitude
The Horizon
All VFR flight references the aircraft’s nose to
the horizon

The apparent line where the sky meets the sea


The Four Forces
LIFT (L) acts upwards
THRUST (T) acts forwards through the Centre Of
through the longitudinal Pressure (CP),
axis, and is a result of the perpendicular to the
engine pulling/pushing the Relative Airflow. LIFT is
aircraft forwards. equal to, and opposite
WEIGHT.

WEIGHT (W) acts towards DRAG (D) acts rearwards


the centre of the earth, through the longitudinal
through the Centre Of axis and is equal to and
Gravity (CoG). opposite THRUST.
The Four Forces

In comparison:
Lift = Weight Lift and Weight are
about 10 times greater
than Thrust and Drag

Thrust = Drag
The Four Forces
Centre of Pressure (CP) is usually rearward of CofG.
This creates a ‘Pitch Down’ couple.
Drag is normally designed to be above
LIFT
the engine Thrust line.
This creates a ‘Pitch Up’ couple.
Desirable: Any decrease in power will
DRAG create a pitch down

THRUST
The tailplane is used to balance
out any difference in the pitching
couples.
WEIGHT
Usually a small Downward force
Lift
Pressure Distribution and Total Resultant

Drag
Lift
Chord
Line
AOA

RAF
Lift
L = CL½ρV2S
CL Coefficient of Lift
For a given wing shape and AoA
ρ Rho
The density of the air
V Speed
True Airspeed (TAS)
S Wing Area - generally constant
A change in CL, ρ, or V = a change in Lift
Lift
L = CL½ρV2S

CL equates to AoA () ½ρV2 equates to IAS


Elevator

L  AoA x IAS

In Straight and Level for Lift to remain constant:


Any change in AoA will have to be counted with a
change in IAS, and vice versa.
Performance

Power + Attitude = Performance


2300 RPM 2/3:1/3 Straight and
4 Fingers Level (90kt)
Fist
Airmanship
LOOKOUT
• Left to Right (2 seconds per 20°) (90% Outside)
VFR (Visual Flight Rules)
Class G Airspace, below 3000ft AMSL/1000ft AGL
• In sight of land / water
• Remain clear of cloud
• Visibility 5000m or more
Orientation
• Look for landmarks
Training Area boundaries, Airfield?
Aeroplane Management
Throttle
• Positive and smooth movements
Mixture
• Full Rich (significant power changes)
• Lean below 75% Power
Carburettor (Carb) Heat
• Used for Carburettor Icing – drop in RPM
• Apply when needed – RPM below 2000RPM
• Causes a further drop in RPM
Temperatures and Pressures (T’s & P’s )
• In the Normal Range (Green)
Aeroplane Management
Carburettor Icing

Evaporation
Temperature
Pressure
Temperature
Aeroplane Management
Flight Instruments
Used to confirm Performance

Airspeed Indicator Artificial Horizon Altimeter

Turn Coordinator Direction Indicator Vertical Speed Indicator


Human Factors
Lookout:
Blind spots
• Pillars,
• Door frames,
• Instructor, etc.
Lesson Structure:
• A lot of information
• Mastery of skills with time and practice
Air Exercise – Horizon

Level with: Equidistant with


The nose, and The wingtips
Instrument Panel
Air Exercise – Establish S & L
LOOKOUT
• Select reference point
• Nominate altitude
• Nominate power setting
Air Exercise – Establish S & L

P A T
Power Attitude Trim
Cruise Elevator Relieve Pressure
C152/PA38 Level attitude Trim is Your Friend
(2300 RPM) Ailerons
Wings level
Rudder
Balance

Check Power, Attitude, Trim


Air Exercise – Maintain S &L
L A I
Lookout Left to Right

Attitude Correct

Instruments Right to Left

Confirmation

Change – Hold – Trim – Check


Air Exercise – Regaining S & L
Variables Cause Correction
Changing Incorrect Correct Power
Altitude Power/Attitude Setting and
Correct Attitude
Incorrect Speed Incorrect Correct Power
Power/Attitude Setting & small
change to
attitude
Changing Wings not Level Wings Level plus
Direction Out of Balance Constant
Direction = In
Balance
Air Exercise – Regaining S & L
Check Airspeed and Power Setting
Set Correct Power
Airspeed Decreasing = Increase Power & vice versa
Check Nose Attitude
Set for Straight and Level
Check Wings Level and Balance Ball Centred
Level Wings
Stand on the Ball
Reset Power
Check PAT
Small altitude adjustment (150ft) use Elevator
Air Exercise – Different Power/Airspeed
Power + Attitude = Performance
Power Attitude Performance
2300 RPM Normal AoA (4°) 90 knots
1800 RPM High AoA (8°) 70 knots
2500 RPM Low AoA (2°) 110 knots
When Changing Power – Counteract Pitch and Yaw