Calculating G-Forces in a Turn
A while back I posed the question “Does an airplane in 45° bank experience more G forces than a slower one?”
The quick answer: No. The G forces (or load factor) on the aircraft does not change based on the speed you are flying.
The equation to calculate load factor (n) is as follows:
Where Theta is the angle of bank.
Since the angle of bank determines the load factor and not speed, a faster aircraft at 45° will experience the same load factor of a slower aircraft at the same angle of bank.
The only thing that is different is the radius of the turn. A faster moving aircraft will have a larger turn radius at the same angle of bank than a slower aircraft.
In all instances we’re talking about true air speed (TAS).
So lets use two aircraft. A Cessna 172, and a Piper Seminole. Both are excecuting a 45° bank turn. The 172 at 90KTAS and the Seminole at 130KTAS:
This is important information to know, especially if you are flying in canyons or other places with limited area to maneuver. If you need to turn 180° in the smallest amount of distance, its best to slow down before executing the turn (see comments).
Don’t forget! Your stall speed increases as the angle of bank increases.
I was never good at math, so please correct me if iIm wrong. The formula states “velocity” and not speed. So I’m unsure if I can use KTAS or if I need to convert that into feet per second.
Oh and where did I get 11.29? See the bottom of this page.