I've been searching on the internet about this question and all say you are not able to climb with no excess thrust. But I am wondering that if I have no excess thrust, can I still climb in exchange for slower airspeed?

Like I'm flying 150kts while having no excess thrust (idk if this is possible). Can I climb higher in exchange for 50kts?

"If you have no excess thrust, you cannot climb with constant airspeed. Speed will decrease if you climb. You will be trading speed for altitude." Is the above statement correct? If not, correct me please.

  • $\begingroup$ To misquote (I expect) Trevor Thom, fuel will keep you aloft for hours, altitude for minutes and airspeed for seconds. If you have excess airspeed (I.e. you’re above stall) then you can cash some kinetic energy in for altitude but it’s not going to get you very far. $\endgroup$
    – Frog
    Commented Aug 11, 2023 at 9:19

1 Answer 1


Yes you can. By doing so, you are sacrificing the aircraft's kinetic energy (speed) to gain potential energy (height).


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