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#4549884 - 12/27/20 04:20 PM Best Glide Speed  
Joined: Dec 2013
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Sailor Offline
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Sailor  Offline
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Hello All, quick question, what is the best glide speed for a Pup and a Camel? I have been using 60 mph IAS for both. Is there a better option? Thanks for your help.

#4549902 - 12/27/20 07:42 PM Re: Best Glide Speed [Re: Sailor]  
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Burning_Beard Online content
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Burning_Beard  Online Content
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Red Bluff, CA
I think it depends on how far you have to glide. If your engine dies when you are on the wrong side of the line, nurse it for all you got to get back past the line. If however you are close to your base you can speed up a little as long as you have enough air under you to land safely. Those two (especially the Pup) will glide a long way at 60 or below.


More Scotch and Stogies for my Wingman!
#4549907 - 12/27/20 07:59 PM Re: Best Glide Speed [Re: Sailor]  
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VonS Offline
WWI Flight Sims on a Mac
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Lots of possibilities and factors at play so don't quote me on my estimates - depends if gliding into the wind, having a tail wind, etc., also if the prop. is windmilling, has stopped entirely, engine at idle, and so on. Stall speed for a Bentley-powered Camel is about 48 mph (77 kph) - possibly lower for the LeRhone and Clerget-powered ones (oh let's say about 45 mph). The general rule of thumb is that glide speed is determined by weight of the aircraft (more weight requiring a bit more glide speed...).

Better to aim for the "minimum sink speed" as it's sometimes called, when trying to determine the best glide speed (min. sink speeds, as far as I know, are not published even in modern flight manuals - and require experimentation to figure out).

Based on my tinkerings with flight models in FE2 (and also in WOFF) - try gliding about 2-5 mph (about 5-10 kph) faster than when you start feeling that the airplane is beginning to stall. For the Camel, this puts us somewhere into the 55-59 mph range for glide speed (Bentley), about 52-57 mph on 110 and 130 hp Camels, and - taking a "guesstimate" here - about 50-53 mph on the Pup (since it should be somewhat lighter than Camels of any engine mount).

There are complicated formulas out there to figure out best glide speeds in relation to air density, wing loading, weight, drag, etc., - but it largely requires experimentation to figure out minimal sink speed.

Non-mathematical rule of thumb: to clear as many bushes and trees as possible before setting down - hopefully not in more bushes and trees. Aim for farmers' fields, meadows, or maybe a road - I should try out some dead-stick landings in WOFF one of these days as a rough experiment for glide speeds. Have had to dead-stick the Eindecker (E.II) a couple of times in my casual campaigns - the monoplanes tend to wallow and stall abruptly. Biplanes should be better at gliding. Will maybe experiment with how the Dr.1 and Tripehound behave when gliding with engine off.

Happy flying all and a Happy New Year as well,
Von S smile2

Last edited by VonS; 12/27/20 08:02 PM. Reason: Edited info.

// FE2 on a Mac (https://tinyurl.com/FE2onMac) // WOFF on a Mac (https://tinyurl.com/WOFFonMac) // FE2 FMs (https://tinyurl.com/FE2fms) // WOFF FMs (https://tinyurl.com/WOFFfms) // WOTR FMs (https://tinyurl.com/WOTRfms) // WOFF GPU Tuner (https://tinyurl.com/WOFFgputuner) // WOTR GPU Tuner (https://tinyurl.com/WOTRgputuner) // All VonS WOFF/WOTR mods. are tweaks of files that are © OBD Software. //
#4549911 - 12/27/20 09:19 PM Re: Best Glide Speed [Re: Sailor]  
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Sailor Offline
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Sailor  Offline
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Thanks to both of you. This will come in very handy the next time I am flying BEL and some rude person puts a bullet through my fuel tank . Thanks again, happy flying!

#4550415 - 01/01/21 07:51 PM Re: Best Glide Speed [Re: Sailor]  
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busdriver Online content
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busdriver  Online Content
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Originally Posted by Sailor
Hello All, quick question, what is the best glide speed for a Pup and a Camel? I have been using 60 mph IAS for both. Is there a better option? Thanks for your help.


Best glide speed gives you the most distance traveled. For a fixed gear light airplane, a Cessna 152 for example, a good rule of thumb is your best glide speed is 1.3 times the stall speed. In your example of using 60 mph IAS, that would be a good approximate airspeed for an airplane that stalls at ~45 mph. This formula gets you to your approximate best L/D (Lift over Drag) airspeed. This speed does vary with aircraft weight, but not significantly with small airplanes, the glide distance stays the same. Meaning if you have two Pups side by side, one has a skinny pilot and is out of gas while the other flown by Fat B@stard has a normal amount, they will glide the same distance but the one with no fuel will get there after the first.

Minimum sink airspeed will be a bit slower, and it results in less distance traveled. For my money, if my Pup's engine was out, I'm trying to make it back across our lines rather than log flight time, 😉


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