View Full Version : max rate of climb vs max level speed- what factors affect them?

07-11-2005, 12:51 PM
Just an aeronautic question to help me understand plane performance:

What factors determine max rate of climb, and how (if?) are they different from max level speed?

IE the "fastest" planes (max speed) are not always the fastest climbers. Why not?

How can I judge which planes are the fastest climbers?

07-11-2005, 04:02 PM
A number of factors come into play: gross weight, aerodynamic drag, maximum engine horsepower, propeller efficiency, and no doubt, karma.

For instance, a lighter aircraft with a powerful engine will probably climb better than a heavy aircraft with similar horsepower. However, the heavier aircraft may have a much more efficient wing or supercharger at some altitudes, and it may have a higher top speed.

Generally, aircraft in this (WWII) era that had superior climb also usually had superior accelleration.

Your mileage may vary, however (Do not attempt this at home-all tests were completed by professional pilots on a closed course).