AIRCRAFT PERFORMANCE


Definition and Introduction: Under Performance, we analyze issues including:
a) How long can the aircraft stay in the air (endurance)?
b) How far can it fly (range)?
c) How much payload can it carry on a given mission?
d) How long will it take to reach altitude (climb performance)?
e) What fast can it fly?
f) How slowly can it fly?
f) How long a runway does it need to take off?
g) How long a runway does it need to land?
h) How quickly can it turn, pitch, and roll?
i) What is its minimum turning radius while flying?
j) What are the boundaries of its flight envelope?

Primary cases considered are those of steady level flight, steady climb or sink, coordinated turn at constant speed and altitude, takeoff and landing. The steady flight envelope defines the conditions for maximum and speed at a given altitude. The ceiling for a given speed and weight is defined as the altitude where the maximum rate of steady climb falls below a specified minimum. The rate of turn is seen to be limited by the thrust and by the structural or human limits on load factor.


Advanced


Supersets: Dynamics, Aerodynamics, Propulsion
Subsets: Range, Endurance, Speed for Minimum Drag, Ceiling, Stall Speed, Flight Envelope, Load Factor.
Other fields: Rocket performance, Mass ratio and specific impulse
Notes:  
Komerath, N., “Performance”. Introduction to Aerospace Engineering, Aerospace Digital Library, http://www.adl.gatech.edu
References used:
[1] NASA Thesaurus, Washington, DC: National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
[2] Aircraft Performance - - making use of the airplane's capabilities and limitations Free Online private Pilot Ground School. http://www.free-online-private-pilot-ground-school.com/aircraft_performance.html
[3] Aircraft Performance Database. Rising Up Aviation  http://www.risingup.com/planespecs/
Texts:
Shevelle?
Nelson?

Aircraft Design
Essays:
Centennial of Flight series?
Calculators/Applets
Analytical Codes:
Byline: Narayanan Komerath