Fuel Weight versus Initial Cruise Altitude

From:         lmassaro@manta.nosc.mil (Larry Massaro)
Date:         30 Sep 94 02:25:22 
Followups:    1 2 3
Next article
View raw article
  or MIME structure

On a couple of transcon flights, I have noticed that that pilot has
sometimes spoken about leveling off at an intermediate FL to burn
off fuel.  Is it really more efficient to burn fuel first at lower
cruise altitudes then climb to a final?  Does anyone have any
data/equations etc. which indicate this is true.  My first impression
would be that winds aloft would be the more probable reason 
for flying at the lower "less eficient" altutude initially.

Lawrence Massaro
Data Link Research
San Diego, CA 92124