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Formula for calculating Descent distance and Rate :: Archived
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RCAF_Wingnut
Power User

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Joined: Jan 29, 2005
Posts: 786
Location: Omaha, Ne.
PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2007 9:11 pm
Post subject: Formula for calculating Descent distance and Rate

Here are the formulas that I use to calculate the distances from destination to begin descent and the rate at which that descent should be accomplished.

Distance for Descent

(((Alt - (Field Alt + Approach Alt)) divide by 1000) * 3) + 20 miles = Distance from destination to begin descent

ie. (((20,000 - (2500 + 10)) / 1000) * 3) +20 = 72.47 nm from destination.

Descent Rate

Ground Speed * 3 = Descent Rate @ Foot Per Minute

ie. 430 * 3 = 1,290 fpm Descent rate

I always add the extra 20+ miles in the distance to give me plenty of time to get flaps, gear, and lights set for landing. That can be altered by your own personal choices. This will give you a 3% angle on the descent, which is typical of a commercial passenger plane. If you are in a Military fighter, the descent rate can be higher or lower depending on the crew comfort requirements. These formulas are also what real pilots use.

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Uhu_Fledermaus
Aircraft Demolition Expert

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Joined: Nov 28, 2004
Posts: 4369
Location: Blaricum, The Netherlands ~GMT+1
PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2007 5:00 am
Post subject: Re: Formula for calculating Descent distance and Rate

Thankx Wing!


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JG300_Hunt
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Joined: Mar 08, 2006
Posts: 750
Location: WA State
PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2007 3:44 pm
Post subject: Re: Formula for calculating Descent distance and Rate

Thanks Wingnut, this will come in real handy. I usually give a good bit of room with that Sabre though, can be a bugger to slow on descent and maintain a good speed! Bit of a headache juggling speed brake on and off.

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