reaching cruising altitude!

KatieJohnson Guest


I am a female FS2004 addict but was hoping someone might be able to offer me some advice!

Let me tell you how I reach my cruising altitude and speed then maybe someone can tell me if I am doing it right!

I am in a 747-400, shortly after take off I hit the autopilot which I have set with the autothrottle set to 250 with the speed button on, altitude set straight to 40,000 ft at a climb rate of 1,800 ft per minute.

I let the plane climb all the way to 40,000 at which point we are usually moving at about 400knts ground speed. I then increase the autothrottle speed settings up by about 5knts each time, (like 250, to 260, to 270, to 275) until it reaches around 295 knts. At this point I am sometimes at about 508knts groundspeed though I have reached 540 once.

Is this the correct way of doing things?? Or am I doing it completely wrong Sad

thanks for your help

Katie, 21yr old Boeing 747 pilot from London!!

4 Responses

Pro Member Captain
nottobe Captain

i think its a perfect way to cruise with VFR.......
for IFR, you have to follow ATC vectoring and altitude instruction.

Pro Member First Officer
leadfoot First Officer

When I set up my climb profile. I climb at 250 kts. ias, initially, then at 10000' I lower the nose for a 270-280kt. climb. My climb rate is around 3500 fpm at 10000'. I maintain speed by slowly reducing climb rate as I get higher. By the time I reach cruise alt. I'm within 15 kts. of target cruise speed, only then do I engage the A/T. At 2000' short of my cruise alt. my climb rate is down to 1200-1500 fpm. I start tapering my climb from 1200 to 500 fpm for cruise alt entry. This makes the transition from climb to cruise a smooth one.

Pro Member Chief Captain
Alex (Fire_Emblem_Master) Chief Captain

Do what leadfoot suggests, let the climb rate slowly dwindle off, this provides a more economic fuel burn because the engines don't have to try so hard to keep the plane at 250KIAS


The normal procedure (real- UK) is climb to 10K at 250kts then climb at the climb speed indicated on the FMC for econ climb. In the default 744 there is no FMC but I would have guessed at about 300KIAS. Note disregard GS as this does not mean too much other than how quickly you get home...or not! We fly by IAS

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