top of page

Flight Mechanics of a Typical Aircraft Flight

Updated: Nov 14, 2022

This article will give a brief overview of a typical flight of an aircraft, discussing the different stages within a typical flight and link this to some of the topics in flight mechanics.

Figure 1 - Phases within a typical flight

Figure 1 has split a typical flight into various phases. The phases that w shall discuss are the Take-off, Climb, Cruise, Descent, and Landing phases.

Take Off

Take-off is the phase of flight in which an aircraft goes through a transition from moving along the ground to flying in the air. Usually, the engines are operated at full power during take-off. Following the taxi motion, the aircraft stops at the starting line of the runway. Before take-off, the engines, particularly piston engines, are routinely run up at high power to check for engine related problems. When the pilot releases the brakes, the aircraft starts accelerating rapidly until the necessary speed for take-off is achieved. The increase in velocity dramatically increases the lift force generated from the wings.

The take-off speed required varies with air density (and hence the altitude of the runway relative to sea-level), aircraft weight, and aircraft configuration. During take-o