Climbing To Initial Cruise

I know what it is.

What vertical speeds do you use to get to initial cruising altitude?

I believe there is only one way to step climb but you can prove me wrong.

If you are talking about which altitudes i like to start at, then that would be around FL320 to FL360 (depending on heading) and then depending on the aicraft i will climb to a higher altitude (if a 787 or 777 for instance then i would go to FL380-FL410) when most of the fuel has burnt away.

My climb to initial cruise altitude in an airliner:

Up to 10,000 - 3000 feet per min
10,000 - 20,000 - 2200 feet per min
20,000 - 25,000 - 1500 feet per min
to 30,000 or 32,000 - 800 feet per min

After that, maintain altitude and burn fuel for a while.

When I’m not fully loaded, I keep climbing to 35,000 feet and hold there.


3000 fpm seems a lot

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There are many planes that ranging from Short Haul to Long Haul, both light and heavy aircraft that many times climb at 3000fpm or even 3200-3400fpm. Many short haul flight with light aircraft lie A320 and B737 on 30min to 1h flights may even climb for a very short brief moment at up to a staggering 4800-5800fpm.

So climbing 3000fpm in a heavy plane that is in for a 12h long flight, isn’t rare and won’t cause you to necessarily stall unless your plane is like waaay to heavy, more than what the IRL one is then maybe because of miscalculations things can go wrong but in reality shouldn’t.

I just now in Expert Server in IF, took off a 777-300ER 72% load, and was at few times during climb at 2800-3200fpm, going a bit back and forth till I lowered it 2200fpm at FL220. It all depends of various factors but the primary one being weight. My plane was not heavy enough o not be able to climb at 3200fpm so I took it that high to get to a certain altitude to later adjust and manage the flight as I left the airspace :)


But wouldn’t that basically chew a big chunk of your fuel out?

That’s why you bring extra fuel with you, which also primarily serves reserve in case of a diversion from destination airport or in case of being put in a holding pattern.

I haven’t noticed any “big chunk” of fuel disappearing, for every flight I do, steep climbs often times are a part of it and I still have enough fuel as well as when you step climb and fly at higher altitudes gradually throughout your flight, your plane will conserve fuel so having that extra fuel for in case I have to divert helps out (without me even noticing) when climbing steeply.

Technically more fuel is used as you fly steeper, the engines need to use more power, more fuel is needed to fuel the engines to even fly 2800fpm+ but after hundreds of flight and have flown for more than 5000hrs on IF, I have never had any issue where a significant amount of fuel is used for climbing, no amount of fuel has been used so that my plane is in any danger of running out of fuel and eventually falling from the sky.

I usually only add 1-1.5hrs extra fuel and that gets me though. For short hauls that are 30mins to 2.5 hours, I only pack an extra 30-45min fuel and those climbs, some of them can go 4000 to 4600fpm

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3000f/m till 15000
Speed 300-320 at 10000
2500vs from 15000 to FL200
2000vs FL200 to FL250
1500vs FL250 to FL280
1000vs till cruise.

Vertical speed means nothing you should be focusing on a specific KIAS or Mach speed. Whatever vertical speed you get with the indicated speed is what you get.

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I usually go from 2000 - 2500 FPM when ascending.

i usually do 1000 fpm to cruise. Thats my comfort speed

I say that my thing works every time

Works every time without the power settings changing between every altitude gain?

No, the power goes down as I gain altitude. I garentee you that your power changes as you climb.

So your power decreases let’s say from 15,000 to FL200 maintaining a set airspeed and set VS of 2500 fpm? I don’t think so your power is going to increase in this case since the engine needs more thrust to maintain that airspeed and vertical rate as it climbs. Have you ever flown on an airliner that is constantly moving the throttles back and forth as it climbs? I’m guessing you probably haven’t since that’s not how they get to a cruise altitude. You may hear the throttle decrease from TO power after the initial departure, but after that the engine speed stays consistent until you level off. The reason for this is they are changing pitch to maintain airspeed. The only time you will care about your VS is on approach, or you have an obstacle to go over after takeoff.

So if you want to maintain a certain power setting in your climb you need to leave the IAS disengaged during the climb and change the VS in incriminate of 100 ft to maintain your desired airspeed until you reach cruise altitude. At this point I will engage IAS even though I still don’t like its application as it drops the throttle then builds it back up.

I’m sure your way works but it’s not without a lot of unnecessary power changes as you increase altitude then eventually reduce VS. In real life you aren’t aiming for a specific vertical speed you aim for a specific airspeed. Whatever vertical speed you get is what you get.

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I usually fly SWA. So i dont do step climbs. But i use 80%power till 1000ft agl then cut power to 75% and hold 180 till 5000 above airport, then once I hit that i speed up to 250 at 80% and set ap. Then I adjust v speed so that when I see throttles start hitting 76% I drop rate 500 rpm. I do that till cruise. Then ajust to cruise speed.

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