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PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:54 am 
Staff Sergeant

Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2010 6:13 am
Posts: 447
Does anyone have any thoughts or information about deviating from the power charts in cruise for the Stratocruiser and Connie?
Modern jets have Cost Index settings and increase or decrease power depending on the required fuel savings, time to make up etc.

On a 10 hour flight wind 40 knots of tailwind/headwind is a major factor.
Was the accepted procedure of the day to set and forget and let the flight time be the result? Or did they push harder into a headwind and back of on a tailwind?


PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 6:06 pm 
A2A Aviation Consultant
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Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2008 12:06 pm
Posts: 2131
Location: Wichita Falls, Texas, USA
Even today, pilots don't just "push up the throttle" to keep the schedule. You fly what you're scheduled to fly for speed because today fuel economy is the driving factor. What the dispatchers then and now did in coordination with the pilots, was simply plan different altitudes to minimize the impact of winds. Especially with piston-engined aircraft, flying higher doesn't necessarily save you that much fuel. As such, it was not unusual for propliners like the Connie and B377 to fly at altitudes well below their service ceiling if precipitation and clouds weren't a factor to get the most favorable winds for the route. While the winds between 30,000 feet and 40,000 feet may only vary by 5 knots or so and not be as much of a benefit to crews today, the difference in wind speeds between 10,000 feet and 20,000 feet can be massively different. As such, it may make sense to take the increase in fuel consumption because it's offset by the ground speed being sufficiently higher.

It's all a matter of trade-offs.


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