Absolute ceiling is the uppermost altitude at which a luxury jet charter can sustain level flight. In terms of jet engine capability, absolute ceiling is the altitude where maximum power is equal to the minimum thrust needed to keep the aircraft flying at a steady height and speed. When an aircraft reaches the absolute ceiling, it can no longer accelerate or climb, even with maximum power engaged.
When determining an aircraft’s absolute ceiling, the air temperature and aircraft weight must be taken into consideration. As a point of reference, based on their size, most commercial private jets have an absolute ceiling of 42, 000 to 52,000 feet.
The Ceiling’s the Limit
A luxury jet charter has reached its absolute ceiling when it can no longer climb in altitude; however, there are two different ways to reach this point.
The best angle of climb (Vx) – This technique allows the operator to capture the greatest altitude gain in the shortest horizontal distance. This method works best for shorter runways.
The best rate of climb (Vy) – This method gives the operator the ability to gain the greatest altitude in the shortest amount of time.
Traditionally, most aircraft operators combine these two methods for maximum potential. Vx is used immediately after take-off to clear obstacles and quickly leave the runway, followed by Vy to reach cruising altitude as quickly as possible.