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Ckeatin

Altitude planning?

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Hi guys,Are there any guidelines for what altitude to fly at in a flight plan (other than the odd thousands for eastern headings and even thousands for western headings).I ask this because sometimes I like to do short hops (less than 100 miles) in the 737NG (I know, not realistic). Sometimes I don't have time for a full blown flight and just want to enjoy the NG for a half hour or so. If you plan too high I imagine you'll be initiating descent as soon as you get to top of climb....Thanks for any help.

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Hello Craig,I have looked into this a little myself although I am nowhere near the real flyboys out there I am made to understand that:"The best cruise performance for the Boeing 737 is between FL310 to FL350, unless the flight is less than one hour. Normal cruise speed is 0.74 Mach". (this I picked up from a bookmark I have on from a VA - how accurate it is remains to be stated by other pilots on this forum - but it works for me.)http://www.geocities.com/VirtualAloha/737ops.htmFor any flights near an hour (+or minus 20mins) hour I usually fly at between FL 210 and FL 250http://ronnie.vandelaak.com/baw644.gif

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From what I've seen, show about Sterling, they showed a flight from EKCH to ENGM, about an hour and 15 min. They go up to FL370, because it will always be more economical to go as high as possible even for short hops. When they reached FL370, they flew only for a short while at that level and were then told to descend. I read at pprune that the 737 cruises at .79 and descends .79 also./Mikkel

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In still air, go as high as possible, subject to getting about a 10 minute cruise. If you have to go down before you got up, this is a bore because you can't read your paper, and you have to sort out the pressurisation.In real life, we choose the level that gives the smallest fuel burn (from the CFP). The FMC shows its idea of the optimum level, and it also sets the optimum speed. This tends to be fast into a headwind and slower with a tail wind.Hope this helps,Andrew

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