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Measurement of Aircraft Speed and AltitudeProblems involved in measuring speed and altitude with pressure-actuated instruments (altimeter, airspeed indicator, true-airspeed indicator, Machmeter, and vertical-speed indicator) are examined. Equations relating total pressure and static pressure to the five flight quantities are presented, and criteria for the design of total and static pressure tubes are given. Calibrations of typical static pressure installations (fuselage nose, wing tip, vertical fin, and fuselage vent) are presented, various methods for flight calibration of these installations are described, and the calibration of a particular installation by two of the methods is described in detail. Equations are given for estimating the effects of pressure lag and leaks. Test procedures for the laboratory calibration of the five instruments are described, and accuracies of mechanical and electrical instruments are presented. Operational use of the altimeter for terrain clearance and vertical separation of aircraft is discussed, along with flight technical errors and overall altitude errors of aircraft in cruise operations. Altitude-measuring techniques based on a variety of properties of the Earth and the atmosphere are included. Two appendixes present airspeed and altitude tables and sample calculations for determining the various flight parameters from measured total and static pressures.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Legacy CDMS
Document Type
Other - NASA Reference Publication (RP)
Gracey, W.
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Date Acquired
September 4, 2013
Publication Date
May 1, 1980
Subject Category
Aircraft Design, Testing And Performance
Report/Patent Number
Accession Number
Funding Number(s)
PROJECT: RTOP 505-41-13-01
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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