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5 Ways To Improve Your Aircraft's Performance

Get to your destination faster...

1) Reduce the weight

Reducing unnecessary weight can help in a lot of ways. You'll have a shorter takeoff roll, greater climb rate, faster cruise speed, and a lower stall speed. Packing a little lighter for a trip can really save you time and money.

The U.S. Army

2) Move the center of gravity aft

Having an aft center of gravity will reduce your tail down force (but remember, you need to stay within CG limits). Doing this will reduce induced drag, and increase your range and cruise airspeed.

Aero Icarus

3) Lean the mixture

Leaning the mixture at cruise altitude will save you a lot of fuel that would otherwise be wasted at altitude.

Jim Sher

4) Choose the right altitude

Choosing the right altitude has a significant effect on aircraft performance. Normally aspirated engines lose power as they climb, due to the reduction in atmospheric pressure. The higher you climb, the more time it takes, and the more fuel you burn. Finding a cruise altitude that hits the sweet spot between winds aloft and time-to-climb is the key.

Chris Happel

5) Incorporate drag reducing devices

Adding drag reducing devices like wheel fairings can speed you up by as much as 10 knots. When you reduce parasite drag, you can get where you're going a lot faster.

Andrij Bulba

Corey Komarec

Corey is an Embraer 175 First Officer for a regional airline. He graduated as an aviation major from the University of North Dakota, and he's been flying since he was 16. You can reach him at

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