Climb Factors

Climb Factors

Before explaining the climb factors we should rewrite : 

The way to calculate the Vx and Vy is the result of drawing the R/c curve. The the top of the curve is VY and the tangent from the origin to R/c curve is Vx.


  • Weight: The heavier the plane is,  the less angle and rate of climb it has . Remember that the weight is dividing . 

           If we see the graphic of the rate of climb curve we notice that Vx and Vy increases. On the other hand it is easy to suppose because if weight increases we required more lift,and for getting                  more amount of lift the speed must increase.


  • Flap Setting : the higher flap setting, the less rate and angle of climb , because off the required power increases. On the other hand with higher wing surface  the speed we need to get the same amount of lift decreases that´s why Vy and Vx decreases.

  • Altitude: As we know the higher we fly, the higher density altitude we have. That leads on an increase of power required, decrease of power available, and increase of True Air Speed (TAS, this concept we will see it in a principles of flight post).

  • Load Factor : The load factor is also known as a G force. When we make a turn our weight increases due to the G force, so the effect is similar to the increase of weight shown above.  
  • Wind : As we know the wind does not have any effect on the power curves, so the Angle and rate of climb should be the the same. But unfortunately this statement is only true with the rate of climb. The Angle of climb is defined as a path between ground and the trayectory of the plane , If the rate of climb  mantains the same and the Ground speed changes that leads on a change of the angle of climb ( see the picture bellow)


All planes have a maximun altitude they can climb, that altitude it is called Cealing. 


  • Absolute Ceiling: ocurrs when we do not have this excess of power . So Vx=Vy

  • Service Ceiling : Altitude where the aircraft can mantain a rate of climb of 100 feet/min.
  • Cruise Ceiling: Altitud where the aircraft can mantain a rate of climb of 300 feet/min


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