Cruise Flight Characteristics of Propeller Aircraft V2

by admin in , , on April 23, 2019

This is the second version of ‘Cruise Flight Characteristics of Propeller Aircraft’ and is about a GUI program that calculates the cruise flight Range and Endurance (Flight-Time) characteristics of a propeller aircraft:

  • Endurance (Flight Time) for Fixed Altitude
  • Endurance (Flight Time) for Fixed Speed
  • Flight Velocity that forces the Endurance at Fixed Altitude
  • Flight Velocity that forces the Endurance at Fixed Speed
  • Flight Range

In addition to the usual performance characteristics that are calculated in the past version includes:

  • Maximum Level Flight Speed
  • Minimum Level Flight Speed
  • Stall Speed
  • Speed Corresponding to Minimum Power
  • Lift to Drag Ratio for Minimum Power
  • Lift Coefficient for Minimum Power
  • Chart presents Induced Power, Zero-Lift Power, Total Power and position of Vmin, Vmax and VPmin.

Input Requirements:

To run the program you need to insert the following values:

  • Flight Altitude
  • Reference Area
  • Airplane Weight
  • Fuel Weight
  • Specific Fuel Consumption
  • Engine Power
  • Zero-Lift Drag Coefficient CDo
  • K constant of CL^2 in the drag polar equation
  • Maximum Lift Coefficient.

The code based on Pamadi[1] and Saarlas[2] equations of performance of jet engine aircraft in cruise flight.

Examples you can try with this program:

A propeller airplane weighs 45000 N, fuel weight 10000 N, and has a reference area S of 31 m2. The drag polar is given by CD = 0.014 + 0.038CL^2, CLmax = 1.5, and the engine power P = 840 KW and propulsive efficiency (Eta) 0.85 with specific fuel consumption 2 N/KW/h . Determine the maximum and minimum speeds in level flight at sea level and at an altitude of 10 Km, and what is the Speed and Minimum Power at the maximum height.

Used Terms:

  • L: Lift
  • D: Drag
  • Em: Maximum E(L/D)
  • mp: Minimum power
  • Emp: E for Minimum Required Power
  • CD0: Zero-Lift Drag Coefficient
  • K: Weight of CL^2 in Drag Polar (CD = CD0 + K*CL^2)
  • Vmp: Velocity at Minimum Required Power
  • CLmp: Lift Coefficient for Minimum Required Power
  • eta: Propulsive Efficiency

Program Interface:


[1] Bandu N. Pamadi, Performance, Stability, Dynamics, and Control of Airplanes, Second Edition,  at NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia.

[2] Maido Saarlas, Aircraft Performance, Department of Aeronautics Engineering at U.S. Naval Academy.


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