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5 Answers

Performance of a Cessna 172

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General Aviation

In general, based on standard conditions, does performance usually decrease as altitude increases? Less pressure, colder temps...less dense air?

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5 Answers

  1. Best Answer

    Gary Moore on Nov 03, 2010

    in general – yes.  Performance definitly decreases with altitude.  Some additional info here – http://bit.ly/ag0IBK

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  2. Jason Schappert on Nov 03, 2010

    Three things increase density altitude which decreases performance
    high temps
    high humidity
    high altitudes (think airports at high elevations)

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  3. Jason Schappert on Nov 05, 2010

    You can also check out this quick post for calculating Density altitude
    Calculating Density Altitude

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  4. Flying Ace on Nov 19, 2010

    I agree that performance generally decreases with altitude.
    However, a passage taken from Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowlege states: “Aircraft are flow at high altitudes because they consume less fuel for a given airspeed than they do for the same speed at a lower altitude because the aircraft is more efficient at a high altitude.”
    Performance is decreased…but the airplane is more efficient?  Please clarify if possible…

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  5. Flying Ace on Nov 19, 2010

    By the way, the passage I quoted from the Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge was referring to pressurized aircraft.
    Perhaps that’s the difference?  PRESSURIZED aircraft (jets) are more efficient at higher altitudes as compared to unpressurized aircraft (basic prop planes).

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