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28 Nov 2022, 07:41 [ UTC - 5; DST ]


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 Post subject: EMB 195 Pilots: what is a typical cruise altitude?
PostPosted: 06 Jan 2022, 05:42 
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I’ve taken a couple of flights on an Embraer 195 regional jet recently and ForeFlight showed us cruising at 16,500 feet on one and 20,000 feet on the other. That seemed low to me, but I’m not familiar with how they are typically flown. We were cruising with about 360-400 knots ground speed (according to ForeFlight) on both flights.
What is a typical mission profile?

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 Post subject: Re: EMB 195 Pilots: what is a typical cruise altitude?
PostPosted: 06 Jan 2022, 06:58 
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Can't say for 195, I only fly 170/190, std and LR.
Depends on the distance you have to fly.

My average flight is around 1h30 airborne for about 500NM.
We're usually filing at FL330. If we're a bit behind schedule we'll stick around 290/300.
If we have more time, we'll look at the wx/perf depending on weight, and climb to 360 up to 390. Above 390 it gets a bit unstable, feels like it's balanced on the tip of a needle...

On longer routes we'll most definitely climb to 360. Shorter route (we have some which are 25' airborne) 200/250.

Speed wise...Anything from .68 to .80

Our standard profile is:
climb 280/.76
cruise 310/.8
descent 290/.76
if it's turbulent, we'll stick to 270/.76
Then above FL100 we decide what cost index/which speeds we're going to run, depending on turbulences, weight, altitude (coffin corner/1.3g-1.5g margins), and of course schedule. It's easy to slow down quite a bit, from .80 to say .76, lose one minute and save 100 to 200kg.

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Last edited on 06 Jan 2022, 12:44, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: EMB 195 Pilots: what is a typical cruise altitude?
PostPosted: 06 Jan 2022, 07:26 
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Username Protected wrote:
I’ve taken a couple of flights on an Embraer 195 regional jet recently and ForeFlight showed us cruising at 16,500 feet on one and 20,000 feet on the other. That seemed low to me, but I’m not familiar with how they are typically flown. We were cruising with about 360-400 knots ground speed (according to ForeFlight) on both flights.
What is a typical mission profile?


Could have been because of the winds recently. I've seen Boeings and Airbuses recently in the low 20s and high teens while flying over westbound due to 100+ kt headwinds this winter.


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 Post subject: Re: EMB 195 Pilots: what is a typical cruise altitude?
PostPosted: 06 Jan 2022, 07:55 
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Username Protected wrote:

Could have been because of the winds recently. I've seen Boeings and Airbuses recently in the low 20s and high teens while flying over westbound due to 100+ kt headwinds this winter.


Rule of thumb on the ejet is 3% extra fuel per 1000ft.

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 Post subject: Re: EMB 195 Pilots: what is a typical cruise altitude?
PostPosted: 06 Jan 2022, 10:14 
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Username Protected wrote:

Could have been because of the winds recently. I've seen Boeings and Airbuses recently in the low 20s and high teens while flying over westbound due to 100+ kt headwinds this winter.


Rule of thumb on the ejet is 3% extra fuel per 1000ft.


Fabien:

Out of curiosity, can you offer the same rule of thumb for speed increase.

I fly the Phenom 300 and Praetor 500/600 and, while the fuel burns go up as you stay lower, the TAS comes up as well. In both of these airplanes (and other business jets that have flown as well) 290 - 310 is usually the best TAS, but they don't always make up for the extra fuel burns.

Thx

Brad

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 Post subject: Re: EMB 195 Pilots: what is a typical cruise altitude?
PostPosted: 06 Jan 2022, 10:52 
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Sorry, I looked a bit in our docs, we don't have that. We just use the Embraer tables in our Part B with the distance/fuel/tas per FL for a given cost index.

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 Post subject: Re: EMB 195 Pilots: what is a typical cruise altitude?
PostPosted: 06 Jan 2022, 11:43 
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Username Protected wrote:
Sorry, I looked a bit in our docs, we don't have that. We just use the Embraer tables in our Part B with the distance/fuel/tas per FL for a given cost index.


Thanks for looking, it was a curiosity as much as anything. I appreciate you taking the time to look for me.

Brad


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 Post subject: Re: EMB 195 Pilots: what is a typical cruise altitude?
PostPosted: 06 Jan 2022, 12:30 
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Username Protected wrote:
I’ve taken a couple of flights on an Embraer 195 regional jet recently and ForeFlight showed us cruising at 16,500 feet on one and 20,000 feet on the other. That seemed low to me, but I’m not familiar with how they are typically flown. We were cruising with about 360-400 knots ground speed (according to ForeFlight) on both flights.
What is a typical mission profile?


How long were the legs? Also, where were they? Jets going between the BOS area and NYC are normally restricted to 16,000.


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 Post subject: Re: EMB 195 Pilots: what is a typical cruise altitude?
PostPosted: 06 Jan 2022, 14:50 
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Username Protected wrote:
I’ve taken a couple of flights on an Embraer 195 regional jet recently and ForeFlight showed us cruising at 16,500 feet on one and 20,000 feet on the other. That seemed low to me, but I’m not familiar with how they are typically flown. We were cruising with about 360-400 knots ground speed (according to ForeFlight) on both flights.
What is a typical mission profile?


How long were the legs? Also, where were they? Jets going between the BOS area and NYC are normally restricted to 16,000.

They were flying in and out of Gatwick (London). Both short legs (about 250 miles). There was about 15 knots of wind on Sunday, but not much yesterday as far as I could tell (I was using the in-built phone accelerometers/GPS so the data was limited).
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 Post subject: Re: EMB 195 Pilots: what is a typical cruise altitude?
PostPosted: 06 Jan 2022, 19:03 
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Username Protected wrote:

Thanks for looking, it was a curiosity as much as anything. I appreciate you taking the time to look for me.

Brad


Not sure if that will help, but since you mention winds and different altitudes. We have a nice chart which we can use to compare what wind tradeoff is ok per FL. Called wind altitude trade table, found in the AOM?
They are quite handy because all you need is to consider you will still fly .78.
I would imagine you have the same in your embraer manuals?

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Screenshot 2022-01-06 at 23.59.39.png


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 Post subject: Re: EMB 195 Pilots: what is a typical cruise altitude?
PostPosted: 06 Jan 2022, 19:13 
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Hmm. Not that I'm flying jets. Was wondering if I could calculate a similar table for my Columbia 400, since it has quite a range of altitudes available (certified to FL250) where it performs well.


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 Post subject: Re: EMB 195 Pilots: what is a typical cruise altitude?
PostPosted: 06 Jan 2022, 19:19 
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If I remember correctly, jeppesen flitemap had something similar. It would download the winds for your route, and there would be an option called "optimise route" or something similar.
It presented you with a table, where for every 1000ft you would read the TAS, wind, GS, time to complete the flight, fuel consumption and if you had provided it with the data, the cost of the flight.

This way you could simply click on the level that offered the speed/fuel savings you were looking for and it would update.

You also often get on your airline flight plan (PPS is very good for that) the data for the level above and below. Say your flight is filed at 290, all the data in the log is for that level, BUT! You get a little table somewhere in that log that gives you all the relevant info (time/fuel/speed/winds/etc) for 270 and 310. Pretty good.

On the ejet that table is included in the latest load of the FMS.
You can play around with it in different ways. Let me illustrate.
On the ground, you'll enter a few data, incl. the cruise FL, the ZFW and MAC, the expected wind at cruising altitude, which speeds you want to use for the flight.
The FMS has access to a log of all the previous flights, with all the data, the engine performance (and how much they have reduced over time, etc.).

Once you are airborne, it gives you the ETA to the next waypoint and destination, along with remaining fuel. It constantly updates those info by checking what the actual wind is, how well the plane performs on that day, etc. It's REALLY precise.

Where it is even more fun. You can set a step increment. Tell it that you want to be able to climb 2000ft for instance. It will compare it to its data, the optimum cruise level it calculated, etc. Then it will show a position at which it estimates that you should climb. It can be that performances will be better, or you're too heavy at the moment (that, YOU need to check).
So you know that it winds are stronger at your level before you reach that point...perharps it's a good idea to climb?

Otherwise you can simply set up a secondary flight plan, tell it what the winds are like above (based on the briefing wx charts, or what I like doing, asking ATC to check with the traffics above and report), you enter all that and it tells you the result.

We're very VERY spoilt.

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Last edited on 07 Jan 2022, 08:52, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: EMB 195 Pilots: what is a typical cruise altitude?
PostPosted: 06 Jan 2022, 19:39 
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Yeah, I use Garmin Pilot for flight planning, it has the winds/fuel/time optimization and calculations.

However, when in flight, the winds are sometimes (hah!) not as predicted during planning. It would be handy to know what the wind optimization would be for say, dropping lower or climbing higher for the duration of the remaining leg(s) of the flight.


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 Post subject: Re: EMB 195 Pilots: what is a typical cruise altitude?
PostPosted: 06 Jan 2022, 19:47 
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Yes, that's a very useful table.
Embraer can be VERY cheap about their products*...But the amount of data for flight planning/perf in the AOM is outstanding!


*After all, the 145 at my previous airline was nicknamed Barbie plane. It looks like a real plane, it feels like a real plane...But it isn't. Carbon brakes with electronic pedals, but no autobrakes (very stupid). Great A/P but no A/T so no VNAV. Speedbrakes are just for style and vibrations. FMC can be found in 3 different locations, depending on model/reg.

Same with the Ejet. Autobrake? Check! Speedbrakes? They now actually slow down the plane, not just shake it. VNAV? Yep! FMS? Intuitive. Awesome wing, with great FBW? Ahhhhh no sorry, ran out of budget. So you get FBW spoilers, but cable ailerons...

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 Post subject: Re: EMB 195 Pilots: what is a typical cruise altitude?
PostPosted: 06 Jan 2022, 20:06 
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Username Protected wrote:
They were flying in and out of Gatwick (London). Both short legs (about 250 miles). There was about 15 knots of wind on Sunday, but not much yesterday as far as I could tell (I was using the in-built phone accelerometers/GPS so the data was limited).


This chart may be useful to your question:
this table allows for a quick determination of the FL for minimum fuel consumption, with at least 5 min in cruise.
Attachment:
Screenshot 2022-01-07 at 01.04.54.png


Please login or Register for a free account via the link in the red bar above to download files.

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