I have some open questions regarding best glide in a descent:
- I understood, that there is a best glide speed. This best glide airspeed occurs at the highest lift-to-drag ratio (L/D). This best glide speed is normally given in the operator's manual of the aircraft.
Is it true, that this best glide speed is given in terms of indicated airspeed IAS and hence is independent of the elevation?
- What about the sink rate when flying at best glide speed? I have seen hodographs where the sink rate is given over airspeed. (Diagram taken fom Taken from: Coombes, Reachability analysis of landing sites for forced landing of a UAS)
Is this again inidcated airspeed IAS?
As we all know, the TAS decreases with decreasing elevation when maintaining a constant IAS. For navigation with respect to earth's surface I need ground speed GS which is directly related to TAS via the wind speed (which we can assume to be zero for the moment)
To determine the glide path angle I suppose, that the ground speed and the sink rate is relevant.
Supposing, the best glide speed is IAS contrary to true airspeed TAS, how can I determine the glide range?
What is the resulting flight path angle when maintaining best glide speed? Does it change with decreasing elevation?
- My intuition tells me, that when flying at constant IAS, the flight path angle should get steeper with decreasing elevation.
Is this assumption true?
Every reference to clarify these questions is welcome.
Currently I try to implement an autopilot for an emergency landing assistant that maintains a constant flight path angle during gliding descent. This enables me to exactly determine the distance traveled when I know the starting and the end elevation which in turn allows to do a proper path planning. My gut feeling tells me, that in this case I don't make use of the maximum possible gliding range as I have to start with a too steep flight path angle at high elevation to maintain this constant till the ground.
Is there any good idea how to predict the distance traveled when only knowing the start and target elevation?
Thanks a lot and Cheers,