Density Altitude and Legal Eagle performance

Density here at T25 today

Something low time pilots and lots of Ultralite flyers have little or no knowledge of is Density Altitude. Where we used to fly, Oakdale California, density altitude did not play much difference in day to day flying but here in East Texas at T25 it is a big difference. Our field elevation is 450 ft, this morning density altitude is already 2231 ft. This means to go flying in my Legal Eagle it is seeing takeoff at 2231 ft, not 450 ft. Longer takeoff run, slower climb, higher stall speed, slower cruise speed, less engine hp, less dense air for wings to lift with. During middle of hot humid days density altitude can approach 4,000 ft, on those days low hp eagles may not even leave the ground and the higher hp ones my only climb 150 fpm in place of 500 fpm. Remember if you start off with density altitude of 2231 and climb 1000 ft your density alt will be 3231, not 450 plus 1000 or 1,450 ft.

If you have flown on a cold winter day and noticed your machine flying like a rocket and then flown on a hot summer day and wondered why it is so sluggish, you are experiencing changes in Density Altitude. Learn everything you can about this Density Altitude thing because it affects every aspect of your flying.

2 thoughts on “Density Altitude and Legal Eagle performance

  1. Tom Potter July 3, 2022 / 10:06 pm

    That’s one advantage I can see in electric powered flight. The airframe will behave the same, but the motor isn’t affected by air density.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s