Domestic Boeing 747 operating around the World

Boeing domestic airplanes operating taking off and landing around the world is governed by certain calculated values that ensure safe and efficient performance of an aircraft. Of these standardized values, is the take-off speed, calculated by aerospace engineers for a specific type/category of aircraft.

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Although these recommended operational speeds associated with take-offs, are given names such as the “Minimum control speed” and “Maximum tire speed,” their values obviously vary with respect to the specific jet airplanes taken into consideration for calculating these values.

As detailed in the Airplane Flying Handbook, by the FAA, a jet airplane taking-off in normal conditions would go through the following three steps sequentially:

  1. First, the airplane conducts the take-off roll.
  2. Second, the jet initiates lift-off.
  3. Finally, the plane begins the initial climb.

The above listed steps are merely a sub-division of a maneuver referred to as the “take-off.” To understand take-off speeds, one must first understand how jet airplanes take-off.

Understanding the Take-off of Jet Airplanes

The take-off procedure may seem complex, but when broken down, it becomes a lot more simple. Here is how a jet plane takes-off:

  1. It starts with an aircraft at rest, on a runway, awaiting its clearance for departure from the control tower.
  2. When cleared, the aircraft accelerates and speeds-up as it travels down the runway.
  3. As the airplane accelerates, the pilot maintains the aircraft’s attitude and its angle of incidence.
  4. At a certain speed, referred to as the rotation speed, the pilot uses the elevators to pitch-up the airplane (nose wheel lifts off the ground).
  5. When the nose wheel leaves the ground, it increases the angle of attack, which consequently increases the plane’s lifting ability.
  6. As soon as the rapidly developing lift overpowers the airplane’s weight, the main wheels of the aircraft leave the ground.

The take-off maneuver is basically a result of an imbalance between the forces of lift, weight, thrust and drag.

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