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View Diary: How Airliners Work - Weight and Balance (160 comments)

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  •  I assume, then, that the computer systems of (1+ / 0-)
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    modern jetliners continuously adjust the thrust and angle of attack to maintain a constant altitude.  Otherwise it seems that the aircraft would accelerate upward until the reduced air pressure reduced the lift to equal the plane's weight.

    •  You are correct (1+ / 0-)
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      At cruise we're normally on autopilot and have the auto-throttles engaged.

      We dial in what speed and altitude we want it to hold and it does the rest.

      On long flights we will sometimes "step climb" up to a higher altitude after we burn some fuel off.

      Going higher gets you better fuel economy, once you're light enough to get up there.

      I plan on devoting a diary to the auto flight systems  sometime in the future.

      If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

      by Major Kong on Fri May 10, 2013 at 04:50:14 PM PDT

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