Flight profile

Im flying and MD-11F from KLAX to KRNO which is farely short. Should my ascent profile be to get up to economic cruise quickly or do i not go that high because of the short distance? Also any MD flyers out there have some good tips for realistic speed vs altitude climb outs?

I am not an MD pilot IRL.
However, this flight is long enough to get up to over FL300, so I would suggest doing so. You will likely only be cruising for about 15 minutes or so.

You should be able to make it up to 30,000 feet and considering you won’t need much fuel so you’ll be pretty light, and you don’t need to worry about passenger comfort, you can climb steeply with a high VS, just don’t stall

You should definitely have adequate time to reach a “normal” cruise level of FL300 to FL400. There are at least two ways to look into this in the future that may be helpful:

  1. Check FlightAware to see what real life flights on the route are cruising at: https://flightaware.com/live/findflight?origin=KLAX&destination=KRNO

  2. Create a flight plan using Simbrief. FPLtoIF is a nice easy tool to use, and allows you to select the aircraft you plan to use: https://fpltoif.com/simbrief

You can also use either of those to see the actual / recommended VS used for ascent and descent.

Hello! On some real life flights aircraft go all the way up to FL400. There won’t be a ton of fuel needed for this flight, so an MD-11 would climb like a rocket — I’m talking like a solid 4000-6000 FPM initially. Therefore, you should have no problem climbing up to an economical cruise altitude.

I am not an MD pilot, however I have several airline pilots on speed-dial 😛. I would recommend you climb out at V2+15 initially, and then build up speed once you pass 1,000 to 1,500 feet AGL. The actual climb, cruise, and descent speeds depend on the flight’s cost index, aka “do you want to be more efficient or get there faster?”. I would recommend a speed profile along the lines of 250/300/M.83. I don’t know the MD-11’s exact fuel burn at different speeds, but you might be able to go a little slower since it is such a short flight.

If you have any more questions I’d be happy to help!

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Ok thats fantastic. I will do that. I usually run pretty loaded so i will see what the effects are of a higher vs. Thanks everyone.

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