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PPL » Aircraft Tech Knowledge (A) » Climbing Flight

12.62 Climbing Flight

12.62.2 Using a diagram, show and name the forces acting in a steady climb.

When an airplane is in a steady climb, there are four forces acting on it: 1. Lift: This is the force that opposes the weight of the airplane and keeps it in the air. The lift force is generated by the wings and is directed perpendicular to the flight path. 2. Weight: This is the force that is caused by the gravity acting on the airplane. The weight force is directed vertically downwards. 3. Thrust: This is the force that propels the airplane forward. The thrust force is generated by the engines and is directed in the direction of flight. 4. Drag: This is the force that opposes the motion of the airplane through the air. The drag force is caused by the friction between the airplane and the air and is directed opposite to the direction of flight. In a steady climb, the lift force is greater than the weight force, which causes the airplane to climb. The thrust force is greater than the drag force, which allows the airplane to maintain its speed.


12.62.4 Distinguish between:

(a) maximum angle of climb;


The maximum angle of climb is the steepest angle at which an aircraft can climb while maintaining a specified minimum climb rate. It is the angle at which the aircraft can gain the most altitude per unit of horizontal distance traveled. This angle is usually determined by the aircraft's maximum lift-to-drag ratio, which is the ratio of the lift produced by the wings to the drag produced by the aircraft.

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