absolute ceiling

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absolute ceiling

[′ab·sə‚lüt ′sēl·iŋ]
(aerospace engineering)
The greatest altitude at which an aircraft can maintain level flight in a standard atmosphere and under specified conditions.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Absolute Ceiling


the maximum altitude above sea level at which aircraft flight is possible.

Absolute ceiling is usually expressed in terms of the international standard atmosphere and the design weight of the aircraft. A distinction is made between the static and the dynamic ceiling of an aircraft. Static ceiling is the altitude at which the aircraft can fly for a prolonged period of time at a steady speed. Dynamic ceiling, which is higher than static ceiling, is the altitude that can be attained for a short period of time in a decelerated flight.

Absolute records for flight altitude (without load) as of Jan. 1, 1974, according to the International Aeronautical Federation (FAI) are, for static ceiling, 24,463 m, set in 1965 by R. Stephens of the USA; dynamic ceiling for an aircraft starting from the earth’s surface, 36,240 m, achieved in 1973 by A. V. Fedotov of the USSR; and dynamic ceiling for an aircraft launched from a carrier airplane, 95,936 m, set in 1962 by R. White of the USA.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

absolute ceiling

The maximum altitude at which a sustained rate of climb is no longer possible (i.e., the rate of climb is zero). At this altitude, the maximum power available curve just about touches the power-required curve, meaning there is no reserve of power available to permit any climb. Also called absolute aerodynamic ceiling
An Illustrated Dictionary of Aviation Copyright © 2005 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
References in periodicals archive ?
The chart here details these changes, as well as how they converge to become equal at the airplane's absolute ceiling. of saying you must give yourself a greater margin for safety at high density altitudes, because the POH usually doesn't tell everything you need to know to get maximum available performance.
Only two years ago, pounds 300,000 was almost the absolute ceiling. Now it is becoming the average for a managing partner of a middle-tier firm.
There have been some exceptional weight-carrying performances in the past, but the first thing a rating check shows us is that Cyfor Malta's 154 gives us an absolute ceiling for the modern day.