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Thread: Boeing 747 cruises with nose 5 degrees up (normal?)

  1. #1
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    Default Boeing 747 cruises with nose 5 degrees up (normal?)

    Hi, I am just learning the 737 and 747 aircraft, so yes, this will be a newbie-ish question. I am using the aircraft that came with FSX when I bought it.

    Both of these aircraft tend to cruise with nose 5% up. I don't personally care if the plane likes to fly that attitude. But, I began trying to reduce the pitch angle, because it seemed to me, it was steep enough to be uncomfortable to passengers and crew on a long flight.

    Viewing the aircraft from external camera (while not exactly a scientific test) quickly shows the rear windows quite a bit lower than those further toward the front.

    So far, I have not found a way to reduce that attitude to "level" without descending.
    My question is simple - is that pitch normal?

    747 might be the most successful money maker in aviation history- so if they say 5% is fine -- who am I to disagree.
    Seems to steep to me.

  2. #2
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    Yes, it's normal. When any aircraft flies at a slow Indicated Airspeed (IAS) it will, in level flight, be somewhat nose up. With the thin air at higher altitudes, the (IAS) is a relatively low reading for the actual speed it's traveling through the air, and it needs a higher pitch attitude to attain the higher angle of attack needed for slow speed flying.

    For more thorough treatment of these two subjects, see the Wikipedia articles:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indicated_airspeed

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angle_of_attack

    Larry N.

    As Skylab would say:
    Remember: Aviation is NOT an exact Science!

  3. #3

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    In real life aircraft do pitch up ever so slightly at cruising altitude but the default FSX aircraft tend to be rather unrealistic and exaggerated in their performance; take the default 747's issue you have for example. I've had flights where the pitch sometimes went above 5 degrees which was simply unrealistic. So the answer is a yes and a no.

    The cruise speed for an aircraft like the 747 is usually 490-500 knots, have you tried flying it at that speed above FL300? Weight also plays a factor. You'll want to keep the aircraft's center of gravity within the confines of the aircraft's torso in the Fuel and Weight box. Don't let it go too far back or too far front.

    And welcome to FSX! Hope you have many years ahead of fun flying in the sim, I know I did and still am!

  4. #4
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    The cruise speed for an aircraft like the 747 is usually 490-500 knots
    That's True AirSpeed. The airspeed indicator won't show near that, perhaps closer to 250 kts, depending on conditions and altitude. I don't know the actual nose up amount, since I've never tried to measure it, but nose high is normal.

    Larry N.

    As Skylab would say:
    Remember: Aviation is NOT an exact Science!

  5. #5

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    With a given cg position, cruise attitude/ angle of attack required for level flight is a function of gross weight and indicated airspeed / Mach. Do some digging regarding optimum cruise altitude/ speed combinations versus weight. I do not have FS2020 so I am not familiar with that particular model.

    If you try to fly at excessive altitude at any given gross weight, the engines are having to put out too much thrust to maintain a given speed, thus really decreasing range.
    Last edited by mikeandpatty; 06-28-2021 at 06:26 AM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeandpatty View Post
    With a given cg position, cruise attitude/ angle of attack required for level flight is a function of gross weight and indicated airspeed / Mach. Do some digging regarding optimum cruise altitude/ speed combinations versus weight. I do not have FS2020 so I am not familiar with that particular model.
    Thanks for the reply. Yes, lots of digging. I'm through worrying about the "stews" horsing the food cart up a 5 degree incline. I got worse problems, such as keeping the nose down while trying to land. 747 does not seem to like to slow down.

    I'm a little confused about the information on the "flap placard." I have historically thought that information to be the IAS at which it is safe to put the flaps in a particular position. Thinking about it that way has worked for me so far on other planes. However, so far with 737/747 my experience has been- if you wait to slow down to placard speed before moving the flaps - that nose will be pointing at the stars before you get a chance to move the flaps. (with or without speed brake)

    LOTS of digging.
    But its fun digging :-)

  7. #7
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    Well I figured out how to land it .... sort of.
    pillow soft touchdown but I couldn't stop it.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	747 overshoot.JPG 
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  8. #8
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    Make sure the a/p and a/t are off before touchdown. Did you engage the spoilers? You can use the spoilers for a few seconds while descending to help slow your jet aircraft while you are prepping for a landing.
    Mr Zippy Sent from my keyboard using "Whackamole", NudgeAKey + 2 Fingers

    No flight Sim installed until I get a new computer.

  9. #9

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    Again, I do not have 2020 or this 747-8, BUT - is it possible you have a kg vs lbs weight confusion?? Hard to believe, but I see many planes where weight can be in Kilos/ metric tonnes or lbs as options.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeandpatty View Post
    Again, I do not have 2020 or this 747-8, BUT - is it possible you have a kg vs lbs weight confusion?? Hard to believe, but I see many planes where weight can be in Kilos/ metric tonnes or lbs as options.
    What's MSFS 2020 got to do with this thread? This is in the FSX forum.

    Rebrecs: The default aircraft do cruise at 5 degrees nose up. Some 3rd Party aircraft will cruise fairly level.
    Last edited by mrzippy; 06-28-2021 at 11:21 AM.
    Mr Zippy Sent from my keyboard using "Whackamole", NudgeAKey + 2 Fingers

    No flight Sim installed until I get a new computer.

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