October 2008 Issue

Maximizing Aircraft Efficiency

Spending some extra time and effort to minimize drag and weight while changing the way you fly can pay real dividends.

Are you getting the most performance from your airplane? The fact is a considerable amount of unused performance gets overlooked by the average owner/operator. Both performance and range can be improved through common operational techniques, performing regular maintenance procedures and careful planning. Most of this "hidden performance" can be gained back from wasted fuel and increases in the airplane’s useful range. In turn, you can reduce the annual operating costs. And with average aviation fuel prices nudging $6 a gallon in the U.S., who wouldn’t want to enhance their airplane’s efficiency? Thankfully, it’s not as complicated as it may seem. You just need to make the machinery work the way it was designed to work. One method is to ensure the airplane is as mechanically sound as it can be. Then, we’ll look at improving its basic aerodynamics, followed by some smarter flight planning. Finally, we’ll look at ways to save fuel while airborne.

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