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Old 6th Nov 2008, 20:54   #1 (permalink)
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Galway, Ireland
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Airbus Landing Speeds

A question for all the Airbus pilots out there. What is the landing speed of an Airbus?

The reason I ask this is because I use the feelThere Airbus A320-series add-on for MS Flight Simulator.

For a long time I was under the (presumably wrong) impression that the landing speed in an Airbus was the "F-Speed", which I'm aware stands for flap-extension speed for approach, but something I also believed was the correct touchdown IAS.

When I used the speed for final approach with my feelThere Airbuses, the aircraft tended to approach at a nose-down angle and was often, at times, substantially above the Glide Slope, telling me from experience that I was going too fast to maintain a steady glide.

What is actually the correct landing approach speed in an Airbus aircraft and how is it calculated?

Thanking you,
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Old 6th Nov 2008, 22:46   #2 (permalink)
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Cosmic Frog

It depends on the type of Airbus and it's landing weight (the heavier the faster). Other factors are the amount of flaps used (the more flap the slower the speed) and the elevation of the airfield.

For an Airbus A320 it will typically be in the region of 130kt to140kt
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Old 7th Nov 2008, 22:45   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks DtA.

Anyone else have any insight?
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Old 7th Nov 2008, 23:03   #4 (permalink)
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Typically anywhere between 120-140 should be ok depending on weight,weather or fly vls+5Kt
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Old 7th Nov 2008, 23:08   #5 (permalink)
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A321 landing at around 70 tonnes, V App of around 140 kts.
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Old 8th Nov 2008, 05:50   #6 (permalink)
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Landing speed


The correct landing speed for any transport category jet varies depending on landing weight, flap selection and airport conditions. There isn’t a number we can give you that will always work. It is not like giving you a correct phone number. The flap extension speed you mentioned is an airspeed limitation so as not to put excessive stress loads on the flap attach points and drive mechanisms. The faster the jet is travelling the more mechanical stress is exerted on those components when the flaps are extended into the airstream.
The landing gear will have similar limitation speeds associated with them; extension, retraction and operation with them extended.
As others have mentioned, try 140 knots with maximum flap extension and zero surface wind on the airport. On the jet I fly I end up with about 55% N1 (power setting on the engines) for a stable approach. You do not “chop the power” on these things and glide in-you fly it onto the ground gradually reducing the power during the last few seconds of flight.


Last edited by Northbeach; 8th Nov 2008 at 06:01.
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Old 8th Nov 2008, 08:26   #7 (permalink)
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Landing speed of Airbus 320:

GW minus 30 = vls

example: GW = 58000: 58 - 30 = 28 from that: 128 is vls

no wind: vls + 5 = 133 is approach speed
if wind: 133 + 1/3 of headwind component = approach speed corrected for headwind (ground speed mini) to keep minimum ground speed

The GW calculation is my own rule of thumb, but if you check the manuals it is working perfectly allright, it is just little bit conservative at high weights
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Old 10th Nov 2008, 00:31   #8 (permalink)
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Thank you Northbeach and PBY!
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Old 10th Nov 2008, 01:13   #9 (permalink)
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Hello Fog.

Not sure what that add on is like for FS but does it include a Flight Mangement Computer?

Not famiilar with Airbus FMCs but on Boeings it has the VREF page which displays the various landing speeds for each flap setting.


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Old 10th Nov 2008, 01:36   #10 (permalink)
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The absolute minimum speed on approach is Vls (lowest selectable speed), which is the top of the amber strip on the speed scale. It is the absolute minimum speed you can fly for any given configuartion. It a multiple of the stall speed of the aircraft in the current configuration, the multiple varies according to whether the flaps are extended or not, and if they are, which setting exists.
When a landing flap configuration is selected (i.e. either full flap or flap 3), the Vls is equal to 1.23 Vs (stall speed). In this case, Vls = Vref.
The target fly speed on approach is the magenta arrow on the speed scale, which represents Vapp. Vapp = Vls + (5 knots or 1/3 of the headwind component, whichever value is greater). If 1/3 of the headwind component > 5 knots, you add the actual value up to a maximum of 15 knots.
An A320 at 64 tonnes (MLW = 66t): Vref, flap full, is 134 knots and Vref, flap 3, is 139 knots, so the normal approach speed is 139 knots and 143 knots respectively.
F speed: Minimum speed at which the flaps may be retracted at takeoff.
In approach, used as a target speed when the aircraft is in CONF 2 or CONF 3.
Represented by "F" on the PFD speed scale. Equal to about 1.18 VS to 1.22 VS of CONF 1 + F.
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