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Thread: Difference between initial climb and enroute climb?

  1. #1

    Question Difference between initial climb and enroute climb?

    Hello,

    I'm new to Flight Sim and I was wondering what is the difference between initial climb speed (just after take-off) and enroute climb speed?

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2

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    One is rate-defined, the other is change of flight level (or altitude) which is about customer comfort (or compliance with local legislation).

  3. #3
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    While mallcott has the general idea right, more specific information is:

    In light aircraft, the initial climb is the climb until you are out of the pattern, then (on a trip) in so many aircraft you ease the nose down to a higher airspeed climb, which reduces the rate of climb but provides for better engine cooling (not a big deal on a C-172), as well as better over-the-nose visibility. You would typically maintain this enroute climb until reaching cruising altitude, barring additional restrictions.

    When on an IFR flight plan, there may be some differences at times, due to ATC instructions, but in general it's the same.

    In typical bizjets and airliners, initial is as above, then it depends, but generally (in the U.S. -- other places may be different), there is an intermediate climb to get above 10,000 MSL, when they can go to a more normal enroute climb rate. Sometimes there are step climbs* and when those are above 10,000 MSL they are typically done as enroute, unless the pilot has a reason to do something different.

    ==============================================
    * A step climb is when an aircraft is cleared to a certain altitude that is below his intended cruise altitude (usually done for traffic conflicts), then after some period of time is cleared for further climb, maybe to another intermediate altitude or maybe to cruise altitude, depending on the traffic conflicts that ATC sees.

    The reason I specify 10,000 MSL in the U.S. is that there is a 250 knot speed limit below 10,000, and once they get above it they are free to use a higher climb airspeed, which often is advantageous in one or more ways, either cooling, travel time or other things.

    Larry N.

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

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by lnuss View Post
    While mallcott has the general idea right, more specific information is:

    In light aircraft, the initial climb is the climb until you are out of the pattern, then (on a trip) in so many aircraft you ease the nose down to a higher airspeed climb, which reduces the rate of climb but provides for better engine cooling (not a big deal on a C-172), as well as better over-the-nose visibility. You would typically maintain this enroute climb until reaching cruising altitude, barring additional restrictions.

    When on an IFR flight plan, there may be some differences at times, due to ATC instructions, but in general it's the same.

    In typical bizjets and airliners, initial is as above, then it depends, but generally (in the U.S. -- other places may be different), there is an intermediate climb to get above 10,000 MSL, when they can go to a more normal enroute climb rate. Sometimes there are step climbs* and when those are above 10,000 MSL they are typically done as enroute, unless the pilot has a reason to do something different.

    ==============================================
    * A step climb is when an aircraft is cleared to a certain altitude that is below his intended cruise altitude (usually done for traffic conflicts), then after some period of time is cleared for further climb, maybe to another intermediate altitude or maybe to cruise altitude, depending on the traffic conflicts that ATC sees.

    The reason I specify 10,000 MSL in the U.S. is that there is a 250 knot speed limit below 10,000, and once they get above it they are free to use a higher climb airspeed, which often is advantageous in one or more ways, either cooling, travel time or other things.
    The complex answer is, technically, correct. But mine was definitely an answer to what was a basic question. If our OP needed more detail he only had to ask. But thanks for the complex reply.

    If there are further questions, I leave it to you... I ignored the detail unless/until the OP expanded on his question by inlcuding greater detail on the type and nature of the aircraft. The `250 knot` limit may or may not be relevant.

  5. #5
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    Judging by your screen name captarnaud, I would venture a guess that this question pertains to flying a commercial jet as opposed to a GA aircraft. Like Larry, I like to elaborate on simple questions to give a little more info than was requested.

    A typical commercial jet flight, for me, would be KSFO to KSAN (this was done in real life many times). Typical cruise altitude would be FLT380 for the near 500 mile flight. I always flew IFR and depended on ATC for turns and for altitude adjustments. I would set the A/P and and A/T just after takeoff and wheels up.

    Flying a Southwest 737-800, climb rate of 1,800 FPM and speed set to 250KIAS until passing 10,000 feet.
    After that, setting climb rate down to about 1500-1600FPM and adjust speed to 280KIAS. After reaching each altitude given by ATC, I would reduce slightly, the climb rate and would then switch to MACH instead of using KIAS eventually reaching the cruise altitude.

    ATC is rather notorious for not giving you descent orders soon enough to prepare for your landing, so I would request my own descent about 150 miles from destination.

    Good luck on your flights and happy landings!
    Mr Zippy Sent from my keyboard using "Whackamole", NudgeAKey + 2 Fingers

    No flight Sim installed until I get a new computer.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrzippy View Post
    Judging by your screen name captarnaud, I would venture a guess that this question pertains to flying a commercial jet as opposed to a GA aircraft. Like Larry, I like to elaborate on simple questions to give a little more info than was requested.

    A typical commercial jet flight, for me, would be KSFO to KSAN (this was done in real life many times). Typical cruise altitude would be FLT380 for the near 500 mile flight. I always flew IFR and depended on ATC for turns and for altitude adjustments. I would set the A/P and and A/T just after takeoff and wheels up.

    Flying a Southwest 737-800, climb rate of 1,800 FPM and speed set to 250KIAS until passing 10,000 feet.
    After that, setting climb rate down to about 1500-1600FPM and adjust speed to 280KIAS. After reaching each altitude given by ATC, I would reduce slightly, the climb rate and would then switch to MACH instead of using KIAS eventually reaching the cruise altitude.

    ATC is rather notorious for not giving you descent orders soon enough to prepare for your landing, so I would request my own descent about 150 miles from destination.

    Good luck on your flights and happy landings!
    I'd be inclined NOT to make such an assumption. But assuming a jet I'd need to add something about NOISE reduction after take off, as all airports share NOISE issues unless they're in the middle of nowhere.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mallcott View Post
    The complex answer is, technically, correct. But mine was definitely an answer to what was a basic question. If our OP needed more detail he only had to ask. But thanks for the complex reply.
    It was definitely a basic answer answer to a basic question, and I was going to not say more about your answer, but it was too basic and I felt it might mislead him a bit, since enroute covers a lot more than the time after reaching cruise altitude, including most of the time until reaching cruise altitude, whether you're a C-182 going from 500 MSL to a cruise altitude of 9500 or a jet climbing into the flight levels.

    Quote Originally Posted by mallcott View Post
    If there are further questions, I leave it to you... I ignored the detail unless/until the OP expanded on his question by inlcuding greater detail on the type and nature of the aircraft. The `250 knot` limit may or may not be relevant.
    I felt that in this case the OP didn't know enough to know what to ask, as so many don't, but it felt as if he really wanted more.

    So we obviously differ in our approaches to answering questions, which is fine with me, and so often I feel your responses are quite good, but this one seemed a bit sparse. Maybe it's just the CFI in me coming out, because this is the approach that was needed for real life students, and it became a habit. I certainly didn't expect to upset you though, so I'm sorry that I did.
    Last edited by lnuss; 01-19-2022 at 08:38 AM.

    Larry N.

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

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    IMO Inuss gave the most informed reply..... Stop fighting lol All these questions can be demonstrated on Youtube, your free flight school...... Youtube is very aviation friendly.....
    Last edited by daspinall; 01-19-2022 at 09:08 AM.
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    All the answers given here were informative, but since my life has taken a turn in flying, now sim only, I fly "whatever toots my horn!" In a flight sim environment, the airplane may many times give you the feel of what makes it happy! Sounds bizarre from a RW pilot's point-of-view, but with aircraft there is no "one size fits all!"

    Most definitely, YouTube is a very valuable source, not only for learning, but also from an entertainment platform. Also, this forum and many other site's forums are great sources of information! Unless, the OP is using this flight sim platform as a source for learning and wants to do things by the numbers, then, by all means, do what's best for you and enjoy it for what it is! If you want RW, find a good flight instructor and let him/her not only tell you, but also show you "the right way!"

    I respect Larry's POV from an instructor's knowledge, Mr Z's & Malcott's POV from RW flying experiences, BUT, take them all in and see what works best for you! Your research isn't over here, there are a lot of RW pilots out there that do things differently, but, all have one goal in common and that is to return to earth Safe and Sound!

    Flight sim is no place for "splitting hairs" amongst each other!

    JMHO

    Rick

  10. #10

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    Thanks a lot for complex and light replies, it's always appreciated.

    And I'm only intesrested in light aircraft (let's say up to something like the beechcraft baron) even if my avatar name is captarnaud

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