Lexicon for flying “on the step” – Part 2

Could the origin to flying “on the step” have been drawn from water craft? Barry Schiff and another fellow pilot I know suggest it is a probable fountainhead for the term. But I have not located an original source document making this connection.  Continue reading “Lexicon for flying “on the step” – Part 2″

What’s the lexicon for the term flying an airplane “on the step”?

"Flying the step" B-24 Pilot Training Manual for the Liberator, published 1945, page 68.
Flying “on the step,” B-24 Pilot Training Manual for the Liberator, published by Headquarters, AAF, Office of Flying Safety, Winston-Salem, NC, Revised May 1, 1945, p68.

What is the origin for the term “on the step?” The earliest reference I could find was from a 1945 Air Force training manual.

The B-24 Liberator operating manual has only one approved method for establishing best performance in level cruise flight. The pilot is to climb above the selected altitude and then descend into level cruise flight.

The manual states to “always level off for cruising from the top in both speed and altitude. The purpose is to let the airplane build up full momentum for cruising. If you go directly from a climb to level flight with a B-24, and reduce power, it will mush along at a high angle of attack and in a high drag attitude while trying to gain speed. It will fly sluggishly and inefficiently. The heavier your load, the more important it is to level off properly.”
Continue reading “What’s the lexicon for the term flying an airplane “on the step”?”

There’s a right and wrong way to fly an airplane onto the step

We’re continuing a review of several articles written about flying an airplane on the step. These articles, from the past decade and current year, are valuable contributions to help us better understand flying – in level cruise flight. Simple right? Continue reading “There’s a right and wrong way to fly an airplane onto the step”