Re: Flaps and aircraft climb performance

Date:         05 Nov 99 00:04:22 
From:         Don Stauffer <>
References:   1
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The problem with leaving flaps down is that, while they do increase the
maximum lift coefficient, they increase the drag coefficient even more.
When the plane is already at a high angle of attack (and hence high drag
state), the extra drag from the flaps may mean the aircraft is either unable
to accelerate at all, or only VERY slowly.  Since immediate retraction of
flaps decreases the maximum lift, most planes require a judicious decrease
in flap setting, a few notches at a time.

Particularly the last few degrees of flaps cause LOTS of drag, so it is very
important to get to the next-to-last notch as soon as possible, then slowly
retract from there.

Don Stauffer in Minneapolis