True Airspeed

Private King Air 90GTI Flight

The true airspeed of an aircraft is calculated relative to the air mass in which it’s flying. However, when speaking of private jet speed, there are many different factors that can affect the true airspeed of an aircraft. Some of these factors include:

  • Wind
  • Temperature
  • Altitude
  • Density

If not for these factors, the true airspeed of a jet would be the equivalent of a jet’s ground speed.

True Airspeed vs. Indicated Speed

When it comes to private jet speed, there are a few different ways to describe the speed of the aircraft. Indicated speed is the more common measurement, and it’s a much more reliable indicator of power used and lift available. It’s also used for controlling the jet during landing, approach, takeoff, climb, descent, and taxiing.

True airspeed is used in conjunction with indicated airspeed since indicated speed only shows the true airspeed when atmospheric conditions are ideal (at sea level pressure and temperature). However, neither produces accurate speed over the ground measurements.

The Measure of Aircraft Performance

The true airspeed of any aircraft is an accurate measurement of that aircraft’s performance while cruising. Because of this, the true airspeed is listed in:

  • Aircraft manuals
  • Specifications
  • Performance comparisions
  • Pilot reports
  • Flight plans

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