Welcome Guest. Sign in or Signup

2 Answers

Cruise Performance – Where to start?

Asked by: 3019 views , , , ,
General Aviation, Private Pilot, Student Pilot


I'm struggling with the cruise performance piece of my POH for some mock cross country planning. Let's say I'm flying at 5500 and don't have a "target" speed or GPH in mind... do I just pick a power setting that sounds good and then start interpolating between 4000 and 6000? :) Like trying to aim for 65% power and then go from there? (Image should be below)



Ace Any FAA Written Test!
Actual FAA Questions / Free Lifetime Updates
The best explanations in the business
Fast, efficient study.
Pass Your Checkride With Confidence!
FAA Practical Test prep that reflects actual checkrides.
Any checkride: Airplane, Helicopter, Glider, etc.
Written and maintained by actual pilot examiners and master CFIs.
The World's Most Trusted eLogbook
Be Organized, Current, Professional, and Safe.
Highly customizable - for student pilots through pros.
Free Transition Service for users of other eLogs.
Our sincere thanks to pilots such as yourself who support AskACFI while helping themselves by using the awesome PC, Mac, iPhone/iPad, and Android aviation apps of our sponsors.

2 Answers

  1. Jim Foley on Jul 09, 2012

    Choose an RPM setting, not a %MCP.  If you look at the chart, the %MCP is a variable and changes with altitude.  Ie, you can easily get 65% at 4,000′ but it would take a lot more work to find 65% at 6,000′.  I generally choose an RPM setting based on what I’m paying for.  If I’m renting the aircraft by the hour on a wet rate, I’d choose a higher RPM to get there the fastest.  If I’m flying somebody’s private aircraft and only paying for fuel, and not renting by the hour, I’d choose a setting that would get me the best fuel economy.  Once again, that’s just how I do it, and other people may have other methods.  Also, it’s not unheard of the have a CFI give you a constraint to work with, such a best fuel economy, or fastest time, just to get the student used to different methods of planning.  This might be something to practice as well on your own.  Since you said it’s just a mock plan, just choose any setting you want.

    +2 Votes Thumb up 2 Votes Thumb down 0 Votes

  2. Aleks Udris on Jul 09, 2012

    Keep in mind that lower RPM’s reduce noise and make the ride more comfortable.  If I need the speed on a short hop, I may pick the higher RPM and endure the noise.  If I’m on a 3 hour cross country, I’m definately running a lower RPM and saving my ears (and making a medical renewal easier 🙂 .  Keep in mind, at 4000′ PA, 2600 RPM only adds 10 knots over the 2400 RPM setting.  On a 360 NM trip, that’s a difference of 16 minutes.  Not that bad for a quiet ride…

    0 Votes Thumb up 0 Votes Thumb down 0 Votes

The following terms have been auto-detected the question above and any answers or discussion provided. Click on a term to see its definition from the Dauntless Aviation JargonBuster Glossary.

Answer Question

Our sincere thanks to all who contribute constructively to this forum in answering flight training questions. If you are a flight instructor or represent a flight school / FBO offering flight instruction, you are welcome to include links to your site and related contact information as it pertains to offering local flight instruction in a specific geographic area. Additionally, direct links to FAA and related official government sources of information are welcome. However we thank you for your understanding that links to other sites or text that may be construed as explicit or implicit advertising of other business, sites, or goods/services are not permitted even if such links nominally are relevant to the question asked.