Lift is less than weight in a steady climb

Believe it or not, but in a steady climb you do have less lift than weight. Why? This is because there is a (small) vertical component to the thrust vector and this, together with lift opposes the weight.

We noticed in Feb 07 that about 40% of the time people were getting this one wrong - it dips in and out of the 'top 5 worst questions'!


There is a nice link on an Australian site which explains this in much more detail if you are interested.

See for general information on the basic forces, and see if you are interested in the 'lift is less then weight in a climb' phenomenon.

Atmospheric Picture

FL45, English Channel.