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Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge
Aircraft Performance
Transport Category Airplane Performance

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Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge



Table of Contents

Chapter 1, Introduction To Flying
Chapter 2, Aircraft Structure
Chapter 3, Principles of Flight
Chapter 4, Aerodynamics of Flight
Chapter 5, Flight Controls
Chapter 6, Aircraft Systems
Chapter 7, Flight Instruments
Chapter 8, Flight Manuals and Other Documents
Chapter 9, Weight and Balance
Chapter 10, Aircraft Performance
Chapter 11, Weather Theory
Chapter 12, Aviation Weather Services
Chapter 13, Airport Operation
Chapter 14, Airspace
Chapter 15, Navigation
Chapter 16, Aeromedical Factors
Chapter 17, Aeronautical Decision Making




Major Differences in Transport Category
Versus Non-Transport Category Performance

• Full temperature accountability—all of the performance
charts for the transport category aircraft require that
takeoff and climb performance be computed with the
full effects of temperature considered.
• Climb performance expressed as percent gradient
of climb—the transport category aircraft's climb
performance is expressed as a percent gradient of
climb rather than a figure calculated in fpm of climb.
This percent gradient of climb is a much more practical
expression of performance since it is the aircraft's
angle of climb that is critical in an obstacle clearance
• Change in lift-off technique—lift-off technique in
transport category aircraft allows the reaching of V2
(takeoff safety speed) after the aircraft is airborne.
This is possible because of the excellent acceleration
and reliability characteristics of the engines on these
aircraft and due to the larger surplus of power.
• Performance requirements applicable to all segments
of aviation—all aircraft certificated by the FAA in the
transport category, whatever the size, must be operated
in accordance with the same performance criteria.
This applies to both commercial and non-commercial

Performance Requirements
The performance requirements that the transport category
aircraft must meet are:
• Takeoff speeds
• Takeoff runway required
• Takeoff climb required
• Obstacle clearance requirements
• Landing speeds
• Landing runway required
• Landing climb required

Takeoff Planning
Listed below are the speeds that affect the transport category
aircraft's takeoff performance. The flight crew must be
thoroughly familiar with each of these speeds and how they
are used in takeoff planning.

• Vs—stalling speed or the minimum steady flight speed
at which the aircraft is controllable.
• Vmcg—minimum control speed on the ground, with
one engine inoperative, (critical engine on two-engine
airplanes) takeoff power on other engine(s), using
aerodynamic controls only for directional control
(must be less than V1).
• Vmca—minimum control speed in the air, with one
engine inoperative, (critical engine on two-engine
aircraft) operating engine(s) at takeoff power,
maximum of 5° bank into the good engine(s).
• V1—critical engine failure speed or decision speed.
Engine failure below this speed shall result in an
aborted takeoff; above this speed the takeoff run
should be continued.
• Vr—speed at which the rotation of the aircraft is
initiated to takeoff attitude. The speed cannot be less
than V1 or less than 1.05 times VMC. With an engine
failure, it must also allow for the acceleration to V2
at the 35-foot height at the end of the runway.
• Vlof—lift-off speed. The speed at which the aircraft
first becomes airborne.
• V2—the takeoff safety speed which must be attained
at the 35-foot height at the end of the required runway
distance. This is essentially the best one-engine
operative angle of climb speed for the aircraft and
should be held until clearing obstacles after takeoff,
or until at least 400 feet above the ground.
• Vfs—final segment climb speed, which is based upon
one-engine inoperative climb, clean configuration, and
maximum continuos power setting.

All of the V speeds should be considered during every
takeoff. The V1, VR, V2, and VFS speeds should be visibly
posted in the flight deck for reference during the takeoff.
Takeoff speeds vary with aircraft weight. Before takeoff
speeds can be computed, the pilot must first determine the
maximum allowable takeoff weight. The three items that can
limit takeoff weight are runway requirements, takeoff climb
requirements, and obstacle clearance requirements.