May 2011 Issue

VNE Revisited

A recent article on never-exceed speed and aerodynamic flutter may have confused readers. We shouldn’t have stated VNE is an indicated airspeed.

In our January issue, we ran an article, "Slow Down, You Move Too Fast," which focused on aerodynamic flutter, how high speeds can cause it and what can be done to minimize it. One aspect of the article drew comments and criticism from readers, some of which were published in the Unicom section in our March issue, involved that article’s statements referencing a fixed-wing aircraft’s never-exceed speed (VNE) as a true airspeed. Many readers rightly took us to task for those statements, pointing out VNE is an indicated airspeed—at least when published for the airplanes they fly—expressing skepticism and questioning our veracity. This article is an attempt to both respond to those valid criticisms and set straight the record associated with never-exceed speeds and our original statements.

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