Worst Climb Performance


Anyone have any input on airplanes with just outright terrible climb performance?

Keep in mind, I’m not trying to compare a 737 to a Skyhawk. I’m looking for something more like, “Of the single engine pistons, ___ has terrible climb performance” or “Of the heavy transports, ___ has terrible climb performance.” Basically, airplanes that when you pass over that 50 foot treeline at the end of the runway, you feel a little lower than usual.

Any ideas?


Do you want conversions in there (ex, Malibu vs. Malibu w/JetProp conversion)?


Any J-3 with me on board!

Back in the day my CAP squadron used several NJ Wing owned ex. L-4 J-3s for primary flight training at TEB.

This was fine for the “average” 16YO cadet who probably weighed 100lbs soaking weight with a brick in each hand.

But I’ve always been the “large, economy size” and by 16 had reached my ultimate height of 6’6" and weighed in the neighborhood of 225!

Add in an adult, ex. military FI of unknown size and there’s no doubt in my mind that there were more than a few occasions when we were well over max. as we struggled into the air on a hot NJ summer day.

The FIs must have shared my concerns about mixing me with that aircraft as, shortly into my training, I was “upgraded” to one of the Wing’s Stearman PT-17s, in which I eventually soloed.

Probably the source of my deep and abiding love of radial engines in general and taildraggers in particular.


Yea, conversions are fine. I didn’t mean to get too technical or picky. I just didn’t want someone to say Boeing 707 (hypothetical, i don’t have any clue if this is true) has terrible climb performance and then have someone else say, well the 707 isn’t as bad a Cessna Skyhawk. Obviously we are talking about two different kinds of airplanes. Just looking for airplanes, given what they are designed to do, have poor climb performance as compared to others in the similar class.




Just the 200/300 with those CFMI hairdryers… the 500/600 can climb decently.


I’ll concede that, but seeing a widebody trying to climb out on APU’s is still a sight to behold. :wink:


An airliner you WON’T see on this list is the 757. What a rocket!! Those SOBs sport a couple of turbofans that Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor would be proud of.


Any flight with an Acey callsign.


I flew a 1967 C150 for primary… I was around 180lb, and my instructor was a 240lb South African rugby player… and we were flying in the middle of a Georgia summer… we’d be lucky to see 250ft/min during climb.