I am trying to determine how far an A319, A320, and A321 travel horizontally while climbing to / descending from cruise altitude? Would anybody be able to help me calculate this?

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ This question is unanswerable due to angle of attack, airspeed, air-brakes, pilot technique, throttle settings, gross weight, density altitude, etc. $\endgroup$
    – jwzumwalt
    Sep 26, 2018 at 21:03
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ @jwzumwalt… and yet it already has an answer and that answer already has 7 upvotes. $\endgroup$
    – Jan Hudec
    Apr 5, 2020 at 0:55
  • $\begingroup$ Are you asking for V/S in open climb or open descend mode? $\endgroup$
    – Manu H
    Apr 6, 2020 at 5:39

1 Answer 1


Of the main variables are the weight at brake release, and how high the cruise FL is. Luckily the manufacturers publish this data for flight planning (actual mileage will vary).

The climb distance you are looking for is the lower-left value in each box in the example below, which is applicable to the 320-family:

enter image description here

You can find it in the FCOM under Performance > Climb. A similar table exists for descents. Of course the values do not include the wind correction. For climbing other tables exist for the various deviations from ISA (lapse rate).

If you want to calculate it from scratch, then you need to have more data before you begin, I recommend these posts:

  • $\begingroup$ For how far a plane travels during descent see this question $\endgroup$
    – TomMcW
    Sep 27, 2018 at 1:03

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