View Full Version : Climb Rate Attitude

05-08-2004, 12:14 AM
When looking at various climb rate figures by either the aircraft manufacturer or NACA the rates are usually expressed in speed eg knots, mph or kph.

What I would like to know is what is the angle of climb. Is that ever shown in print?

05-08-2004, 12:14 AM
When looking at various climb rate figures by either the aircraft manufacturer or NACA the rates are usually expressed in speed eg knots, mph or kph.

What I would like to know is what is the angle of climb. Is that ever shown in print?

05-08-2004, 12:33 AM
Hardly ever - if ever.

With regards to US planes, a best "climb speed" at a given power setting is given. The angle of the climb is incidental to these parameters.


05-08-2004, 01:59 AM
Most cockpit flight manuals will give you two speeds. One is the Best Rate of Climb speed, and the other is the Best Angle of Climb speed. What they (the manufacturers) are telling you, is that, for any given power setting, if you trim the nose up to fly at this speed, you will climb at the best rate, or the best angle. The difference between the two is, the best rate will yield the most altitude in the least time, and the other will give you the most altitude in the least distance. Generally, the best rate of climb speed is higher than the best angle, and is usually close to the best glide speed (which is also pretty close to the best Lift Over Drag speed).

Your angle of climb, if you were at your best rate of climb speed, would depend entirely upon your weight, and power setting (throttle, mixture, prop, blower, etc, etc).

I hope this all makes sense to you. I've had a few glasses of wine tonight. http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

IV/JG51 Intelligence Officer
www.jg51.net (http://www.jg51.net)

"Good judgement comes from experience, and experience comes from poor judgement"

05-08-2004, 02:21 AM
Oh it all makes sense. http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Now in combat climb rate (speed) is all well and good, but climb attitude (angle) is also very important. Both the FW and the A6M could maintain a very high attitude in climb, maintaing a resonable speed as well. The result being that both these aircraft could gain an appreciable height advantage more quickly than their opponents.

The reason why I was asking about published climb attitude was due to a couple of autobiographies I had recently read. In Al Deere's book "Nine Lives", he several times mentioned the extremely high angel of climb the Fw had over his Spit V, causing him many problems in dogfights. And in Lundstrom's excellent "The First Team" the impossibly high angle of climb by the A6M2 Zero is also mentioned many times by various USN pilots.

A high angle of climb coupled with a reasonable forward speed would be a decided advantage in tight fights. Knowing what the angle is would be a decided help in online battles. Hence wondering if there have been any published figures in angle.

Guess I'll just have to wait until the game is out and then do some experimenting. http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

05-08-2004, 05:02 AM
you'll never be given the actual angle, or be able to fly it. Razor is right, you may find a speed, lower than the best rate speed, givng a better angle, and you'll trim for that speed. Usually it won't be much lower, maybe 20-30 kph, or you'll be on the back of the drag curve, struggling to stay in the air.

05-08-2004, 08:47 AM
They really don't need to print the best attitude settings....pitch controls airspeed, not throttle. So if you wanted to climb at x knots and you where going faster than that, pull up a bit more and maintain that airspeed. That will be your best climb.

"Son, never ask a man if he is a fighter pilot. If he is, he'll let you know. If he isn't, don't embarrass him."
Badges!? We don't needs no stinkin' badges!

05-08-2004, 09:04 AM
I agree. Again, angle of climb is incidental to power setting and speed.


05-08-2004, 05:34 PM
Anyone wanting to know way too much about this subject, consult "Aerodynamics for Naval Aviators" by H.H. Hurd.

The best rate of climb will be at a speed and power loading that will maximize lift over drag. This will vary with altitude, weight and temperature. Best angle is maximum altitude gain per foot of advance and will occur at a lower airspeed. At the maximum ceiling these values will converge as climb rate approaches zero.

The F4U had a good climb rate, but one which occured at a high airspeed. If used properly this could be an advantage as one could both outrun and outclimb ones opponent when extending away, only to return with a considerable advantage.

Choose the fight that suits your aircraft. A fast airplane allows you to do this!

05-10-2004, 12:07 PM
All good remarks here - I'd like to add one about turn rates as well. The best turn rate achieved is a product of speed as well. The Zero had a great turn rate - at lower speed. As the Zero approached 300 mph, its turn rate decreased significantly, especially turns against engine torque. Many US pilots knoe the Zeke could not turn against torque at high speed, and f4U and f6F pilots would take advantage of this to get a Zero of its tail. The US pilots would go into a dive, roll to the right, and simply pull up, the Zero could not follow. One of the Black Sheep pilots was asked if the Zero could out turn the Corsair at high speeds and his reply was possibly - if he wanted to tear his wings off!

05-11-2004, 10:13 AM
The "problem" the the Zero had at high speed was related to the effectiveveness of the ailerons. Especially in the Corsair, a lot of engineering and flight test effort went into perfecting ailerons that worked well through a wide range of airspeeds, including high speed. this was done through various combinations of spring tabs, weights etc. Control surface design can be very complicated!

The zero pilot simply could not push hard enough on the stick to effect a brisk turn at high speed, whereas the F4U jock had the aerodynamic forces assisting him.