Airplane Takeoff Video -
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Takeoff is the phase of flight in which an aircraft goes through a transition from moving along the ground (taxiing) to flying in the air, usually starting on a runway. For balloons, helicopters and some specialized fixed-wing aircraft (VTOL aircraft such as the Harrier), no runway is needed. Takeoff is the opposite of landing.
For light aircraft, usually full power is used during takeoff. Large transport category (airliner) aircraft may use a reduced power for takeoff, where less than full power is applied, in order to increase passenger comfort, increase engine life or maintenance intervals or avoid VMC limitation. In some emergency cases, the power used can then be increased to increase the aircraft's performance. Before takeoff, the engines, particularly piston engines, are routinely run up at high power to check for engine-related problems. The aircraft is permitted to accelerate to rotation speed (often referred to as Vr). The term rotation is used because the aircraft pivots around the axis of its main landing gear while still on the ground, usually due to manipulation of the flight controls to make this change in aircraft attitude.
The nose is raised to a nominal 5°–20° nose up pitch attitude to increase lift from the wings and effect liftoff. For most aircraft, attempting a takeoff without a pitch-up would require cruise speeds while still on the runway.
Fixed-wing aircraft designed for high-speed operation (such as commercial jet aircraft) have difficulty generating enough lift at the low speeds encountered during takeoff. These are therefore fitted with high-lift devices, often including slats and usually flaps, which increase the camber of the wing, making it more effective at low speed, thus creating more lift. These are deployed from the wing prior to takeoff, and retracted during the climb. They can also be deployed at other times, such as prior to landing.
The speeds needed for takeoff are relative to the motion of the air (indicated airspeed). A headwind will reduce the ground speed needed for takeoff, as there is a greater flow of air over the wings. Typical takeoff air speeds for jetliners are in the 130–155 knot range (150–180 mph, 240–285 km/h). Light aircraft, such as a Cessna 150, take off at around 55 knots (63 mph, 100 km/h). Ultralights have even lower takeoff speeds. For a given aircraft, the takeoff speed is usually directly proportional to the aircraft weight; the heavier the weight, the greater the speed needed. Some aircraft specifically designed for short takeoff and landing can take off at speeds below 40 knots (74 km/h), and can even become airborne from a standing start when pointed into a sufficiently strong wind.
The takeoff speed required varies with air density, aircraft gross weight, and aircraft configuration (flap and/or slat position, as applicable). Air density is affected by factors such as field elevation and air temperature. This relationship between temperature, altitude, and air density can be expressed as a density altitude, or the altitude in the International Standard Atmosphere at which the air density would be equal to the actual air density.
Operations with transport category aircraft employ the concept of the takeoff V-Speeds, V1, VR and V2. These speeds are determined not only by the above factors affecting takeoff performance, but also by the length and slope of the runway and any peculiar conditions, such as obstacles off the end of the runway. Below V1, in case of critical failures, the takeoff should be aborted; above V1 the pilot continues the takeoff and returns for landing. After the co-pilot calls V1, he/she will call Vr or "rotate," marking speed at which to rotate the aircraft. The VR for transport category aircraft is calculated such as to allow the aircraft to reach the regulatory screen height at V2 with one engine failed. Then, V2 (the safe takeoff speed) is called. This speed must be maintained after an engine failure to meet performance targets for rate of climb and angle of climb.
In a single-engine or light twin-engine aircraft, the pilot calculates the length of runway required to take off and clear any obstacles, to ensure sufficient runway to use for takeoff. A safety margin can be added to provide the option to stop on the runway in case of a rejected takeoff. In most such aircraft, any engine failure results in a rejected takeoff as a matter of course, since even overrunning the end of the runway is preferable to lifting off with insufficient power to maintain flight.
If an obstacle needs to be cleared, the pilot climbs at the speed for maximum climb angle (Vx), which results in the greatest altitude gain per unit of horizontal distance travelled. If no obstacle needs to be cleared, or after an obstacle is cleared, the pilot can accelerate to the best rate of climb speed (Vy), where the aircraft will gain the most altitude in the least amount of time. Generally speaking, Vx is a lower speed than Vy, and requires a higher pitch attitude to achieve.
Balanced field takeoff
In aviation, the balanced field takeoff is the theoretical principle whereby the critical engine failure recognition speed, or V1, is used as a decision speed below which the pilot elects whether to continue the takeoff. The concept at play is that the distance required to complete the takeoff with a failed engine equals the distance required to reject the takeoff and come to a standstill. To achieve this, V1 can be selected within a range, higher V1s leading to increased accelerate-stop distances and lower takeoff distances with one engine inoperative.
Depending on aircraft limitations, it is not always possible to have a balanced field length. If it is possible, however, it results in the highest amount of allowed takeoff weight for the available runway, thus providing operational benefits.
Airworthiness regulations, especially FAR 25 and CS-25 (for large passenger aircraft) require the takeoff distance and the accelerate-stop distance
to be less than or equal to the available runway length, both with and without an engine failure assumed. While upper and lower bounds for V1 exist,
in some cases a range of values exists for which it is possible to fulfill the requirements for a given runway length.
Landing and Takeoff Performance Monitoring Systems are devices aimed at providing to the pilot information on the validity of the performance computation, and averting runway overruns that occur in situations not adequately addressed by the takeoff V-speeds concept.
Using the balanced field takeoff concept, V1 is the maximum speed in the takeoff at which the pilot must take the first action (e.g. reduce thrust, apply brakes, deploy speed brakes) to stop the airplane within the accelerate-stop distance and the minimum speed at which the takeoff can be continued and achieve the required height above the takeoff surface within the takeoff distance.
STOL is an initialism for short take-off and landing, a term used to describe aircraft with very short runway requirements.
The formal NATO definition (since 1964) is:
Short Take-Off and Landing (décollage et atterrissage courts) is the ability of an aircraft to clear a 15 m (50 ft) obstacle within 450 m (1,500 ft) of commencing take-off or, in landing, to stop within 450 m (1,500 ft) after passing over a 15 m obstacle.
Many fixed-wing STOL aircraft are bush planes, though some, like the de Havilland Dash-7, are designed for use on prepared airstrips; likewise, many STOL aircraft are taildraggers, though there are exceptions like the de Havilland Twin Otter, the Cessna 208, and the Peterson 260SE. Autogyros also have STOL capability, needing a short ground roll to get airborne, but capable of a near-zero ground roll when landing.
Runway length requirement is a function of the square of the minimum flying speed (stall speed), and most design effort is spent on reducing this number. For takeoff, large power/weight ratios and low drag help the plane to accelerate for flight. The landing run is minimized by strong brakes, low landing speed, thrust reversers or spoilers (less common). Overall STOL performance is set by the length of runway needed to land or take off, whichever is longer.
Of equal importance to short ground run is the ability to clear obstacles, such as trees, on both take off and landing. For takeoff, large power/weight ratios and low drag result in a high rate of climb required to clear obstacles. For landing, high drag allows the aeroplane to descend steeply to the runway without building excess speed resulting in a longer ground run. Drag is increased by use of flaps (devices on the wings) and by a forward slip (causing the aeroplane to fly somewhat sideways though the air to increase drag).
Normally, a STOL aircraft will have a large wing for its weight. These wings often use aerodynamic devices like flaps, slots, slats, and vortex generators. Typically, designing an aircraft for excellent STOL performance reduces maximum speed, but does not reduce payload lifting ability. The payload is critical, because many small, isolated communities rely on STOL aircraft as their only transportation link to the outside world for passengers or cargo; examples include many communities in the Canadian north and Alaska.
Most STOL aircraft can land either on- or off-airport. Typical off-airport landing areas include snow or ice (using skis), fields or gravel riverbanks (often using special fat, low-pressure tundra tires), and water (using floats): these areas are often extremely short and obstructed by tall trees or hills. Wheel skis and amphibious floats combine wheels with skis or floats, allowing the choice of landing on snow/water or a prepared runway. A STOLport is an airport designed with STOL operations in mind, normally having a short single runway. These are not common but can be found, for example, at London City Airport in England.