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Cruise performance Charts

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Private Pilot, Student Pilot

What do the altitudes on the cruise performance charts represent?  When I'm planing a cross country how do I use them? Would I select a cruise altitude (say 5,500) then do I look at the 5,500 cruise performance chart to get my numbers?  Sorry I'm in a self study. 

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1 Answers

  1. Mark Kolber on Dec 30, 2013

    That’s exactly right.

    If you are self-studying, you are hopefully learning about how altitude (more particularly density altitude) affects aircraft performance. What the numbers in the chart are telling you for example (I’m looking at a Cessna 172S chart) is that, in order to produce approximately 65%power at 2000′ pressure altitude on a day when the temperature is standard, you will need 2400 engine RPM and your TAS will be 110 KTS. But at 8000′ pressure altitude on a day when the temperature up there is 20° above standard, you will need a little better than 2600 RPM to produce the same power and that this will result in a 117 KT TAS.

    I bolded some terms for a reason. If they, or any of this explanation are confusing, it means there are gaps in your self-study program and you may want to sit down with a CFI al least to work on a more directed approach.

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