What does it mean?

If you've ever seen a documentary on TV that contained a take off scene, you'll probably have heard V1...rotate. What does that mean?

When the pilot applies full throttle and the airplane accelerates towards the end of the runway there is a speed at which the pilot decides wether or not the plane will take off. This speed is the decision speed which is called V1. This speed is determined during preflight, because it depends on the airpressure, the temperature, the wind's speed and direction and not least of course the take off weight of the plane. The pilot keeps his hands on the throttle until V1 is reached, so that he can yank it to idle immediately and abort the take off when something serious happens before V1. After V1 the plane MUST take off.

When the planes reaches this speed the pilot says "V1" shortly followed by the word "Rotate", this is VR. VR, obviously, is the speed at which the pilot pulls the controls so that the plane will rotate and lift off. After which V2 is reached (the speed at which the plane can still climb to a safe altitude in the event of an engine failure), but this speed is usually not called. They usually say "positive climb" followed by "gear up", depending wether or not the plane has a retractable landing gear.

So now that you know what V1 means and why I've chosen V1 as a domain name, I hope you'll enjoy your stay at 'V1-Rotate.com'.