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'!

References:

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

See http://www.recreationalflying.net/tutorials/groundschool/index.html for general information on the basic forces, and see http://www.recreationalflying.net/tutorials/groundschool/umodule1b.html#climb_forces if you are interested in the 'lift is less then weight in a climb' phenomenon.

Atmospheric Picture

FL45, English Channel.