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3 Answers

At What Point Does Vy Overtake Vx in Altitude Gained?

Asked by: 835 views Aerodynamics

Vx allows an aircraft to climb quicker than Vy initially to clear obstacles. Vy allows an aircraft to climb the quickest in a given amount of time. Is there a way to figure out the point in time at which the altitude gained using Vy is equal to Vx?

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3 Answers



  1. Russ Roslewski on Aug 18, 2016

    Either I’m misunderstanding your question or we need to clarify Vx and Vy here.

    Vx doesn’t climb “quicker” than Vy. Vx climbs at a steeper ANGLE than Vy.

    So, 1 minute of climb at Vy might equal 500 feet for example, where 1 minute of climb at Vx will only equal 400 feet. However, the climb at Vx will be at a steeper angle, allowing you to clear obstacles off the end of the runway. You just won’t climb as quickly.

    So there is no point where the altitude gained by Vy equals the altitude gained by Vx (a sort of “crossover point” I think is what you’re asking about), because the altitude gained by Vy is ALWAYS greater than the altitude gained by Vx over a given period of time.

    That’s why once any obstacles are cleared, there is no reason to maintain Vx. In fact, there are many good reasons NOT to maintain Vx, including buffer above a stall, easier recovery from engine failure, improved visibility and engine cooling, etc.

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  2. Drew on Aug 18, 2016

    Thinking about it, I see where my thinking was wrong. Thank you.

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  3. Chris Carlson on Aug 24, 2016

    Technically there is a point where the 2 meet…that is at your absolute ceiling. To save a bunch of typing here…check out this link

    http://www.boldmethod.com/learn-to-fly/performance/vx-vy-altitude/

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