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Old 6th Sep 2010, 21:18
  #238 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 257

Following the excellent explanation given by ChristiaanJ about the relationships between OAT, Mach number, TAS and IAS (which I have now copied and shall shamelessly pass off as my own work in future ) if you wish to see how these relationships work in practice you might look back at the photo posted at reply #66.

You will see that at FL600 the aircraft had a GS of 1,139 kts whilst flying at M2.00 and an IAS of 429 kts.

We dont know what the wind was, nor what the TAS or OAT were, but we can easily deduce that:
  • If the OAT was standard at FL600, at -56.5C, then, as at that temperature M2.00 equates to 1,147 kts TAS, in order to have a GS of 1,139 kts, she must have been flying into an 8 kt headwind.
  • If the wind at that altitude was calm, then her GS of 1,139 kts must have been the same as her TAS. For M2.00 to be 1,139 kts TAS, then the temperature at FL600 must have been 3C colder than standard, at -59.5C.
  • If, as was typical on a LHR-BGI sector, the OAT at FL600 was 10C colder than standard, at -66.5C, then M2.00 would equate to 1,120 kts TAS, so to have a GS of 1,139 kts, she must have been flying in a 19 kt tailwind.

For obtaining Mach/TAS/Temp values quickly and easily, as well as other useful information on the atmosphere, this Standard Atmosphere Calculator website is extremely useful.

Best Regards

Bellerophon is offline