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Beginner's Guide to Propulsion
Forces in a Climb
If so instructed by your teacher, print out a worksheet page for these problems.

Before you begin:

Open the Beginner's Guide to Propulsion. Under Aircraft Motion, open the slide entitled Forces in a Climb. Use the information available in the slide to help you complete he activity.

A Boeing 737-600 takes off from a major airport at a speed of 160 knots. At 15,946 feet from the liftoff point this plane must be 2812 feet (about 1/2 mile) high.

  1. Assuming the angle of ascent is a constant, find the angle the plane must use to achieve this height at this distance --to the nearest degree. Make a diagram and explain how you arrived at your answer.
    (Open the Beginner's Guide to Propulsion and open the slide Forces in a Climb under Aircraft Motion.)
    Note: Don't forget to change radians to degrees.

  2. We are going to use this information to find vertical and horizontal net forces.

    a. Find the thrust for a Boeing 737-600 airplane.
    To find the thrust of the airplane go to Boeing 737-600 ( page.

    Thrust =____________

    b. What is the take off weight of the plane?
    Change this weight to Newtons

    Weight in lbs. = ___________ Weight in Newtons =___________

    c. Use the first equation on the Forces In A Climb page to find vertical net force.
    Use 700,000 N as the lift and 35,000 N as the drag.

    Show the original equation and then show the substitutions with your answer. Label answer with correct units.

    d. Use the second equation to find the horizontal net force, use lift and drag from part c above.

    Show the original equation and then show the substitutions with your answer. Label answer with correct units.

  3. Divide your net force from 2c and 2d by the weight of the airplane to get the vertical and horizontal acceleration in "g's" (ratioed to gravitational acceleration).

    a. Vertical acceleration = _________________g's

    b. Horizontal acceleration = _______________g's

Related Pages:
Aerodynamics Activity Index
Aerodynamics Index
Propulsion Activity Index
Propulsion Index


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Editor: Tom Benson
NASA Official: Tom Benson
Last Updated: Thu, May 13 02:38:39 PM EDT 2021

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