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# altitude vs. distance

Tags:
• Games
• Microsoft
• Video Games
Last response: in PC Gaming
July 15, 2005 2:25:32 PM

hello all,

i know this subject was brought up before a couple months ago ,but i can't
find it.

is there a simple formula to calculate your cruising altitude for the
distance you need to travel?

let's say the aircraft is capable of cruising at fl400 , no wind, 29.92 ,
and we're not worried about weight , just to make things simple.

craig

Anonymous
July 15, 2005 2:31:03 PM

not sure I understand, aircraft weight, wind, type, etc. all affect cruising
altitude, as you burn more fuel you'll have a tendancy to increase cruise
altitude

"me" <me@comcast> wrote in message
news Fny1IWiFHA.2156@TK2MSFTNGP14.phx.gbl...
> hello all,
>
> i know this subject was brought up before a couple months ago ,but i can't
> find it.
>
> is there a simple formula to calculate your cruising altitude for the
> distance you need to travel?
>
> let's say the aircraft is capable of cruising at fl400 , no wind, 29.92 ,
> and we're not worried about weight , just to make things simple.
>
>
> craig
>
July 15, 2005 2:37:08 PM

hello rob,

lets say i have a distance of 250nm by looking at the flight planner.
what altitude should i use to fly that trip? let's use a lear.

thanks

"Rob R. Ainscough" <robains@pacbell.net> wrote in message
news tI46LWiFHA.500@TK2MSFTNGP09.phx.gbl...
> not sure I understand, aircraft weight, wind, type, etc. all affect
> cruising altitude, as you burn more fuel you'll have a tendancy to
> increase cruise altitude
>
> "me" <me@comcast> wrote in message
> news Fny1IWiFHA.2156@TK2MSFTNGP14.phx.gbl...
>> hello all,
>>
>> i know this subject was brought up before a couple months ago ,but i
>> can't find it.
>>
>> is there a simple formula to calculate your cruising altitude for the
>> distance you need to travel?
>>
>> let's say the aircraft is capable of cruising at fl400 , no wind, 29.92 ,
>> and we're not worried about weight , just to make things simple.
>>
>>
>> craig
>>
>
>
Related resources
Anonymous
July 15, 2005 3:05:59 PM

I see, not looking at optimal cruise alt. Lear has a pretty good climb rate
so for that distance you can use just about any cruise alt you like.
Definitely want above FL100 if you want to go above 250 knots. But the
route you take will determine your airway -- i.e. when I fly SFO to LAX, I
get a higher alt airway vs. going LAX to SFO which is lower alt airway. ATC
manage the airways, but I don't know what rules they apply -- I'd imagine
they vary based on weather, volume of traffic, etc. etc.

But if you want to apply a rule, use the Lear's standard climbrate, assuming
a 250 knot speed below FL100 and 300 knot above FL100 -- I think the lear's
standard climbrate is 1800 ft/min (but I'm sure it can do 4000 ft/min
without breaking a sweat). So, if my calcs are correct, you should be able
to hit FL400 within the 250nm distance. But if you want optimal fuel usage,
then you'll need to factor other aspects.

But I'm not aware of any "standard" formula?

"me" <me@comcast> wrote in message
news:%23L%233UPWiFHA.500@TK2MSFTNGP09.phx.gbl...
> hello rob,
>
> lets say i have a distance of 250nm by looking at the flight planner.
> what altitude should i use to fly that trip? let's use a lear.
>
> thanks
>
> "Rob R. Ainscough" <robains@pacbell.net> wrote in message
> news tI46LWiFHA.500@TK2MSFTNGP09.phx.gbl...
>> not sure I understand, aircraft weight, wind, type, etc. all affect
>> cruising altitude, as you burn more fuel you'll have a tendancy to
>> increase cruise altitude
>>
>> "me" <me@comcast> wrote in message
>> news Fny1IWiFHA.2156@TK2MSFTNGP14.phx.gbl...
>>> hello all,
>>>
>>> i know this subject was brought up before a couple months ago ,but i
>>> can't find it.
>>>
>>> is there a simple formula to calculate your cruising altitude for the
>>> distance you need to travel?
>>>
>>> let's say the aircraft is capable of cruising at fl400 , no wind, 29.92
>>> , and we're not worried about weight , just to make things simple.
>>>
>>>
>>> craig
>>>
>>
>>
>
>
July 15, 2005 6:13:33 PM

rob,

i thought there might be a simple formula like 250nm x 1.23 = fl307 or
something like.

thanks again,
craig

"Rob R. Ainscough" <robains@pacbell.net> wrote in message
news OfxbfWiFHA.576@TK2MSFTNGP15.phx.gbl...
>I see, not looking at optimal cruise alt. Lear has a pretty good climb
>rate so for that distance you can use just about any cruise alt you like.
>Definitely want above FL100 if you want to go above 250 knots. But the
>route you take will determine your airway -- i.e. when I fly SFO to LAX, I
>get a higher alt airway vs. going LAX to SFO which is lower alt airway.
>ATC manage the airways, but I don't know what rules they apply -- I'd
>imagine they vary based on weather, volume of traffic, etc. etc.
>
> But if you want to apply a rule, use the Lear's standard climbrate,
> assuming a 250 knot speed below FL100 and 300 knot above FL100 -- I think
> the lear's standard climbrate is 1800 ft/min (but I'm sure it can do 4000
> ft/min without breaking a sweat). So, if my calcs are correct, you should
> be able to hit FL400 within the 250nm distance. But if you want optimal
> fuel usage, then you'll need to factor other aspects.
>
> But I'm not aware of any "standard" formula?
>
>
> "me" <me@comcast> wrote in message
> news:%23L%233UPWiFHA.500@TK2MSFTNGP09.phx.gbl...
>> hello rob,
>>
>> lets say i have a distance of 250nm by looking at the flight planner.
>> what altitude should i use to fly that trip? let's use a lear.
>>
>> thanks
>>
>> "Rob R. Ainscough" <robains@pacbell.net> wrote in message
>> news tI46LWiFHA.500@TK2MSFTNGP09.phx.gbl...
>>> not sure I understand, aircraft weight, wind, type, etc. all affect
>>> cruising altitude, as you burn more fuel you'll have a tendancy to
>>> increase cruise altitude
>>>
>>> "me" <me@comcast> wrote in message
>>> news Fny1IWiFHA.2156@TK2MSFTNGP14.phx.gbl...
>>>> hello all,
>>>>
>>>> i know this subject was brought up before a couple months ago ,but i
>>>> can't find it.
>>>>
>>>> is there a simple formula to calculate your cruising altitude for the
>>>> distance you need to travel?
>>>>
>>>> let's say the aircraft is capable of cruising at fl400 , no wind, 29.92
>>>> , and we're not worried about weight , just to make things simple.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> craig
>>>>
>>>
>>>
>>
>>
>
>
Anonymous
July 15, 2005 7:19:44 PM

Could be, but that formula will be specific to an aircraft. In your case
the 1.23 will vary by aircraft (cause a Cessna 172 could never maintain a
1800ft/min rate of climb). But in the real world I'd be surprised if any
cruise altitudes use hundreds (i.e. FL307) it would round up or down 1000ft
i.e. FL300 or FL310.

There are formulas for calculating

http://aemes.mae.ufl.edu/~sforza/EAS4700/Climb%20and%20...

This will contain everything you need to know but the formulas are not as
simple as what you have described.

Rob

"me" <me@comcast> wrote in message
news psFRIYiFHA.3960@TK2MSFTNGP12.phx.gbl...
> rob,
>
>
> i thought there might be a simple formula like 250nm x 1.23 = fl307 or
> something like.
>
> thanks again,
> craig
>
>
> "Rob R. Ainscough" <robains@pacbell.net> wrote in message
> news OfxbfWiFHA.576@TK2MSFTNGP15.phx.gbl...
>>I see, not looking at optimal cruise alt. Lear has a pretty good climb
>>rate so for that distance you can use just about any cruise alt you like.
>>Definitely want above FL100 if you want to go above 250 knots. But the
>>route you take will determine your airway -- i.e. when I fly SFO to LAX, I
>>get a higher alt airway vs. going LAX to SFO which is lower alt airway.
>>ATC manage the airways, but I don't know what rules they apply -- I'd
>>imagine they vary based on weather, volume of traffic, etc. etc.
>>
>> But if you want to apply a rule, use the Lear's standard climbrate,
>> assuming a 250 knot speed below FL100 and 300 knot above FL100 -- I think
>> the lear's standard climbrate is 1800 ft/min (but I'm sure it can do 4000
>> ft/min without breaking a sweat). So, if my calcs are correct, you
>> should be able to hit FL400 within the 250nm distance. But if you want
>> optimal fuel usage, then you'll need to factor other aspects.
>>
>> But I'm not aware of any "standard" formula?
>>
>>
>> "me" <me@comcast> wrote in message
>> news:%23L%233UPWiFHA.500@TK2MSFTNGP09.phx.gbl...
>>> hello rob,
>>>
>>> lets say i have a distance of 250nm by looking at the flight planner.
>>> what altitude should i use to fly that trip? let's use a lear.
>>>
>>> thanks
>>>
>>> "Rob R. Ainscough" <robains@pacbell.net> wrote in message
>>> news tI46LWiFHA.500@TK2MSFTNGP09.phx.gbl...
>>>> not sure I understand, aircraft weight, wind, type, etc. all affect
>>>> cruising altitude, as you burn more fuel you'll have a tendancy to
>>>> increase cruise altitude
>>>>
>>>> "me" <me@comcast> wrote in message
>>>> news Fny1IWiFHA.2156@TK2MSFTNGP14.phx.gbl...
>>>>> hello all,
>>>>>
>>>>> i know this subject was brought up before a couple months ago ,but i
>>>>> can't find it.
>>>>>
>>>>> is there a simple formula to calculate your cruising altitude for the
>>>>> distance you need to travel?
>>>>>
>>>>> let's say the aircraft is capable of cruising at fl400 , no wind,
>>>>> 29.92 , and we're not worried about weight , just to make things
>>>>> simple.
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> craig
>>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>
>>>
>>
>>
>
>
July 15, 2005 8:13:33 PM

thanks rob and robert va ,

i realize that there are a number of factors in the real world to
calculate rate of climb and descent.
i was looking for a simple solution in fs2004 multiplayer when a hop has
certain distance to decide what altitude i would load for the ap.
i will do some research and get back when i find a doable answer that
applies to fs2004.

thanks again,
craig

"Rob R. Ainscough" <robains@pacbell.net> wrote in message
news:eopAPtYiFHA.320@TK2MSFTNGP09.phx.gbl...
> Could be, but that formula will be specific to an aircraft. In your case
> the 1.23 will vary by aircraft (cause a Cessna 172 could never maintain a
> 1800ft/min rate of climb). But in the real world I'd be surprised if any
> cruise altitudes use hundreds (i.e. FL307) it would round up or down
> 1000ft i.e. FL300 or FL310.
>
> There are formulas for calculating
>
> http://aemes.mae.ufl.edu/~sforza/EAS4700/Climb%20and%20...
>
> This will contain everything you need to know but the formulas are not as
> simple as what you have described.
>
> Rob
>
>
> "me" <me@comcast> wrote in message
> news psFRIYiFHA.3960@TK2MSFTNGP12.phx.gbl...
>> rob,
>>
>>
>> i thought there might be a simple formula like 250nm x 1.23 = fl307 or
>> something like.
>>
>> thanks again,
>> craig
>>
>>
>> "Rob R. Ainscough" <robains@pacbell.net> wrote in message
>> news OfxbfWiFHA.576@TK2MSFTNGP15.phx.gbl...
>>>I see, not looking at optimal cruise alt. Lear has a pretty good climb
>>>rate so for that distance you can use just about any cruise alt you like.
>>>Definitely want above FL100 if you want to go above 250 knots. But the
>>>route you take will determine your airway -- i.e. when I fly SFO to LAX,
>>>I get a higher alt airway vs. going LAX to SFO which is lower alt airway.
>>>ATC manage the airways, but I don't know what rules they apply -- I'd
>>>imagine they vary based on weather, volume of traffic, etc. etc.
>>>
>>> But if you want to apply a rule, use the Lear's standard climbrate,
>>> assuming a 250 knot speed below FL100 and 300 knot above FL100 -- I
>>> think the lear's standard climbrate is 1800 ft/min (but I'm sure it can
>>> do 4000 ft/min without breaking a sweat). So, if my calcs are correct,
>>> you should be able to hit FL400 within the 250nm distance. But if you
>>> want optimal fuel usage, then you'll need to factor other aspects.
>>>
>>> But I'm not aware of any "standard" formula?
>>>
>>>
>>> "me" <me@comcast> wrote in message
>>> news:%23L%233UPWiFHA.500@TK2MSFTNGP09.phx.gbl...
>>>> hello rob,
>>>>
>>>> lets say i have a distance of 250nm by looking at the flight planner.
>>>> what altitude should i use to fly that trip? let's use a lear.
>>>>
>>>> thanks
>>>>
>>>> "Rob R. Ainscough" <robains@pacbell.net> wrote in message
>>>> news tI46LWiFHA.500@TK2MSFTNGP09.phx.gbl...
>>>>> not sure I understand, aircraft weight, wind, type, etc. all affect
>>>>> cruising altitude, as you burn more fuel you'll have a tendancy to
>>>>> increase cruise altitude
>>>>>
>>>>> "me" <me@comcast> wrote in message
>>>>> news Fny1IWiFHA.2156@TK2MSFTNGP14.phx.gbl...
>>>>>> hello all,
>>>>>>
>>>>>> i know this subject was brought up before a couple months ago ,but i
>>>>>> can't find it.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> is there a simple formula to calculate your cruising altitude for the
>>>>>> distance you need to travel?
>>>>>>
>>>>>> let's say the aircraft is capable of cruising at fl400 , no wind,
>>>>>> 29.92 , and we're not worried about weight , just to make things
>>>>>> simple.
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>> craig
>>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>
>>>
>>
>>
>
>
July 15, 2005 9:28:34 PM

after doing some flight planning in fs2004 here's what i came up with.

on a 155nm trip flight planner assigned my an altitude of 15,000' .

on a 123nm trip flight planner assigned me an altitude of 13,000'. Both
IFR

so 15000 / by 155 = 96.774

so 13000 / by 123= 105.691

so for a quick calculation we'll round of 96.774 and 105.691 to 100 for an
average.

so if i'm in multiplayer and my hop tell me it's 293nm. i'm going to plan to
cruise at fl290 or 29,000' using the first two digits of distance to plan my
altitude.

if it's a 1000nm hop or above service ceiling of aircraft, i quit ! LOL
!!!

done deal, thanks

"me" <me@comcast> wrote in message
news 4CFVLZiFHA.3448@TK2MSFTNGP12.phx.gbl...
> thanks rob and robert va ,
>
> i realize that there are a number of factors in the real world to
> calculate rate of climb and descent.
> i was looking for a simple solution in fs2004 multiplayer when a hop has
> certain distance to decide what altitude i would load for the ap.
> i will do some research and get back when i find a doable answer that
> applies to fs2004.
>
> thanks again,
> craig
>
> "Rob R. Ainscough" <robains@pacbell.net> wrote in message
> news:eopAPtYiFHA.320@TK2MSFTNGP09.phx.gbl...
>> Could be, but that formula will be specific to an aircraft. In your case
>> the 1.23 will vary by aircraft (cause a Cessna 172 could never maintain a
>> 1800ft/min rate of climb). But in the real world I'd be surprised if any
>> cruise altitudes use hundreds (i.e. FL307) it would round up or down
>> 1000ft i.e. FL300 or FL310.
>>
>> There are formulas for calculating
>>
>> http://aemes.mae.ufl.edu/~sforza/EAS4700/Climb%20and%20...
>>
>> This will contain everything you need to know but the formulas are not as
>> simple as what you have described.
>>
>> Rob
>>
>>
>> "me" <me@comcast> wrote in message
>> news psFRIYiFHA.3960@TK2MSFTNGP12.phx.gbl...
>>> rob,
>>>
>>>
>>> i thought there might be a simple formula like 250nm x 1.23 = fl307 or
>>> something like.
>>>
>>> thanks again,
>>> craig
>>>
>>>
>>> "Rob R. Ainscough" <robains@pacbell.net> wrote in message
>>> news OfxbfWiFHA.576@TK2MSFTNGP15.phx.gbl...
>>>>I see, not looking at optimal cruise alt. Lear has a pretty good climb
>>>>rate so for that distance you can use just about any cruise alt you
>>>>like. Definitely want above FL100 if you want to go above 250 knots.
>>>>But the route you take will determine your airway -- i.e. when I fly SFO
>>>>to LAX, I get a higher alt airway vs. going LAX to SFO which is lower
>>>>alt airway. ATC manage the airways, but I don't know what rules they
>>>>apply -- I'd imagine they vary based on weather, volume of traffic, etc.
>>>>etc.
>>>>
>>>> But if you want to apply a rule, use the Lear's standard climbrate,
>>>> assuming a 250 knot speed below FL100 and 300 knot above FL100 -- I
>>>> think the lear's standard climbrate is 1800 ft/min (but I'm sure it can
>>>> do 4000 ft/min without breaking a sweat). So, if my calcs are correct,
>>>> you should be able to hit FL400 within the 250nm distance. But if you
>>>> want optimal fuel usage, then you'll need to factor other aspects.
>>>>
>>>> But I'm not aware of any "standard" formula?
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> "me" <me@comcast> wrote in message
>>>> news:%23L%233UPWiFHA.500@TK2MSFTNGP09.phx.gbl...
>>>>> hello rob,
>>>>>
>>>>> lets say i have a distance of 250nm by looking at the flight
>>>>> planner.
>>>>> what altitude should i use to fly that trip? let's use a lear.
>>>>>
>>>>> thanks
>>>>>
>>>>> "Rob R. Ainscough" <robains@pacbell.net> wrote in message
>>>>> news tI46LWiFHA.500@TK2MSFTNGP09.phx.gbl...
>>>>>> not sure I understand, aircraft weight, wind, type, etc. all affect
>>>>>> cruising altitude, as you burn more fuel you'll have a tendancy to
>>>>>> increase cruise altitude
>>>>>>
>>>>>> "me" <me@comcast> wrote in message
>>>>>> news Fny1IWiFHA.2156@TK2MSFTNGP14.phx.gbl...
>>>>>>> hello all,
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> i know this subject was brought up before a couple months ago ,but i
>>>>>>> can't find it.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> is there a simple formula to calculate your cruising altitude for
>>>>>>> the distance you need to travel?
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> let's say the aircraft is capable of cruising at fl400 , no wind,
>>>>>>> 29.92 , and we're not worried about weight , just to make things
>>>>>>> simple.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> craig
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>
>>>
>>
>>
>
>
Anonymous
July 15, 2005 10:56:17 PM

me wrote:

> hello all,
>
> i know this subject was brought up before a couple months ago ,but i can't
> find it.
>
> is there a simple formula to calculate your cruising altitude for the
> distance you need to travel?
>
> let's say the aircraft is capable of cruising at fl400 , no wind, 29.92 ,
> and we're not worried about weight , just to make things simple.
>
>
> craig

The first consideration should be getting back down to a landing at your
destination. For many aircraft you should allow three nautical miles
distance for each 3,000 feet you need to descend. If you attempt to make
a steeper descent, you may have dificulty keeping your airspeed under
control. Another factor would be regulatory limitations on airspeed at
lower altitudes. The US normally limits airspeed to 250 kts below 10,000
ft (military aircraft in special operating areas are a notable
exception). A Learjet cruiseing at 40,000 feet would need 120 nm, much
of that with engines throttled down to a LOW RPM, to get down too a sea
level airport.

Note that many jets cannot maintain the same climb rates all the way to
maximum cruise altitude. With the thinner air, climb rates of more than
a couple of hundred feet per minute aren't possible near a jet's maximum
cruise altitude. Climb rates are also affected by gross aircraft weight.
A heavy load of cargo, passengers and or fuel will reduce the maximum
climb rate at any altitude, even to the point of reducing the altitude
the aircraft can reach. MANY jet transports have to cruise at a reduced
altitude for a few hours to consume some of their fuel weight in the
early stages of flights approaching their maximum range.

Traffic controllers usually assign aircraft traveling in opposite
directions alternating flight levels. For all but short flights an
aircraft able to operate at a highe cruise altitude, like the Lear 45,
could benefit from having the higher levels to itself.

Unless you can get hold of some distance to altitude tables, with
different gross weights factored in, you will probably have to make a
few flights with a plane to see how it performs. By now you may be
realizing why real world transport pilots need seperate certifications
for each model of aircraft they fly.
August 14, 2009 6:05:16 AM

Basic rule of thumb for flight level you should be at according to the distance.

Does not apply to any distance over 400 miles.

distance x 100 = FL (230 miles x 100 = FL230) of course will vary due to flight direction and odd distance like 222 or 237 miles, just round up the Flight Level. The higher the safer unless you don't have the proper pressurization and oxygen equipment...LOL

August 14, 2009 2:39:35 PM

Oscarg, can I ask you some questions?
1. How did you find this thread?
2. Did you notice that it's over 4 years old, and archived?