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30

Not storms, but there is a concept called "Pressure Pattern Flying" where you plan routing to stay in favourable circulation around Highs and Lows, to the extent that deviations to follow the circulation flow and stay in tailwinds can get you there sooner than going straight. To take advantage of this you need to be going fast enough and with the ...


14

What size aircraft are we talking about? The FAA recommends staying at least 20 miles from any thunderstorm activity for GA aircraft. I can only imagine that they would double, triple, or quadruple that for something as bad as a hurricane. Convective activity a lot weaker than that would keep most GA pilots from flying. My CFI had an old saying when looking ...


1

To approach this with some napkin math / intuition... In general, you want to maximize time gliding and minimizing time climbing, as that'd minimize fuel burn. Lets say you had a O-320 that burned 12gph in climb at max power. And for your plane Vy was 75kts w/ 500fpm climb rate and a 100kt cruise was 8gph, and coincidentally best glide was 75kts w/ a 800fpm ...


2

No. Thermal activity in an area can be predicted in a general way based on atmospheric conditions, but not beyond that. The only way to detect thermals in real time is to stumble into them, and/or locate them by the clouds that form their tops. In any case, the only conditions for which that sort of thing would work would be on one of those lovely soaring ...


24

This approach of using an engine is called pulse and glide. It generally works because each engine has an optimal power setting at which it converts fuel into power most efficiently. If the most efficient power is higher than is required, something should be done to accumulate and later use the excess energy. Raising the vehicle up looks like a solution, ...


5

Your question should emphasize "still air" conditions and not get into exploiting vertical air motion, which is a separate issue completely. For normal airplanes, the basic issue is, you want to spend the enroute phase of the flight at the end of an optimal climb profile, with an optimal cruising altitude (which will depend on winds) for as long as ...


4

Remember when Major Gant (Clint Eastwood) stole one of the Firefoxes and was running out of fuel? There was a climb, a glide, and a dramatic landing on the ice floe (it was a movie). Was that the best way? Perhaps so. One might imagine (for greatest distance), climbing at Vy, then gliding at Vbg. There would be some TAS benefit by getting as high as possible ...


16

Here is one thing that WILL save fuel-- where possible-- such as when flying VFR. Note that this strategy only applies within the layer where thermal convection or orographic uplift are significant, not at higher altitudes where the air is generally not rising or sinking to any significant degree (apart from wave lift in which case the strategy will still ...


4

Keep in mind that no mechanical, power producing system can operate with 100% lossless efficiency. In heat engines, like those in aircraft, the Carnot model describes the theoretical maximum efficiency (power produced vs lost) in any given design. Another way of asking your question would be, "Can I save fuel by taking my foot off the accelerator in my ...


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