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How are V speeds spoken? --Research for my novel.

Is it the V and the number or letter notation or is there something more to it?

The Wikipedia Page on V Speeds does not delve into the subject matter. I did search the search box, prior to submitting, but nothing has come up.

Please don't get angry by my question or restrict my learning. I can always go to a better source--I got a message some of my past questions were not well received.

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  • $\begingroup$ Related: What do jet pilots say during the takeoff as they are speeding down the runway? $\endgroup$ – fooot Mar 20 at 18:48
  • $\begingroup$ If you are researching for a story, you probably have a scene or plot point in mind. It would improve the question if you outlined it—the question would be easier to understand and we could focus on the aspects relevant to that scene or plot and possibly point out other aspects you should mind. $\endgroup$ – Jan Hudec Mar 20 at 20:01
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It Depends on the speed, and in some cases the context it is being announced or discussed, different pilots may also call things out differently depending on op specs or simply the way they are trained.

V1 is typically announced as "V One"

I typically announce V4 as "Trimming for XXX Knots"

Vfe for me is typically "in the white arc, deploying flaps"

Vr is typically announced as just "rotate"

Vx and Vy are usually discussed as such or some times as "pitch for best angle" or "pitch for best rate"


Some of the V speeds are never really announced but important to know. V speed numbers help define the operational envelope of an aircraft but are not always announced or even relevant to announce. For example unless you are in a really bad situation its unlikely you are ever going to announce Vne out loud but its a very important speed to know (and avoid).

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    $\begingroup$ Curious to learn what aircraft it is you fly - I would have naively assumed there can’t be many where V1 is calculated (my mind associates: big multi-engine) but where a single white arc is sufficient for all flap settings (my mind associates: light aircraft). Standing by to learn something! $\endgroup$ – Cpt Reynolds Mar 20 at 19:16
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    $\begingroup$ @CptReynolds I fly a lowly Piper Archer. All of these are call outs for me accept V1 that note is on things I have seen for bigger operations as you note. All the other call outs are things I announce. However I generally call out every 10 knots on takeoff roll up to my rotation speed of ~65 Kts. It saved me just last weekend, an inop ASI lead to an aborted takeoff which was a first for me. $\endgroup$ – Dave Mar 20 at 20:11
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks very much for the explanation. Good job on catching the ASI! $\endgroup$ – Cpt Reynolds Mar 21 at 5:08
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There are quite a few V-Speeds, not all are spoken during takeoff though

You do say:

(In some companies: "80 knots" - To inform the PF about the speed)

V1 - The speed above which you are not allowed to abort the takeoff under no circumstances.

Vr (Spoken "Rotate") - The speed at which the pilot pushes the nose upwards in order to generate lift

(In most companies: "positive climb" - To inform the PF that the aircraft is climbing with a positive speed and it is secure to retract the gear)

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These are the standard calls you use on the RJ. Pilot Not Flying is pilot monitoring and Pilot Flying is pilot on the controls. Typical of jets:

PNF: "80 kts" (or 90 or 100 depending on jet - the low energy/high energy braking threshold for rejects) PF says "check".

PNF: "V1" (passing decision speed)

PNF: "Rotate" (passing Vr. Often V1 and Vr are the same, or so close together and the jet accelerating so fast, you pretty much say them as one word, "Veeonerotate")

PNF: "Positive rate" (when the vertical speed indicator comes off zero - PF calls "gear up")

PF: "Speed mode" (When passing V2 + 10 or 20 kt - PNF selects speed mode on flight director which gives pitch commands to maintain the set speed)

PF: "Heading mode" (if ATC has provided a departure heading - PNF selects HDG on flight director, which gives bank commands to maintain the set heading) OR

PF: "Nav mode" (if the departure clearance involves flying routing that is programmed into the FMS - PNF selects NAV in the flight director)

Passing 400 ft:

PF: "Autopilot on" (PNF engages autopilot; you're not allowed to engage autopilot below that). Hands off the controls.

Passing 1000 ft, the PF dials up the speed bug on the flight director, typically 200 kt, and lets the airplane accelerate and calls "Flaps X", and/or "Flaps up" as the retraction speeds are passed.

You then continue to 3000 ft and dial the speed up to the normal departure climb speed, usually 230 to 250kt and off you go.

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