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strider

Pre-planning MD-11 step climbs?

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After searching the manuals and these forums, I'm still a bit unsure about MD-11 step climbs (or 747, for that matter). I know, now, how the 747 and MD-11 FMC/FMS and the autoflight is used to perform these step climbs. What I'm unsure of is how to pre-plan for them. I've read about the copyright issues with fuel planning documents and Boeing (which seems wacky but...it's their proprietary info so...). So, the first issue , to me, is there seems to be no actual way to pre-plan a flight in the areas of fuel planning and step climbs...without actually being in FS9 and having the MD-11 loaded. Not a major issue. But, how does one know how many steps to enter in the MD-11 FMS? I imagine that, at some point, further step climbs start to defeat the entire purpose? If you are 200nm from your descent point, it seems there is little purpose in another 2,000ft step climb. Does the FMS realize this kind of info and not "allow" (for lack of a better term) another step climb when it defeats the idea of saving fuel? Along those lines, if I just fill every available FL entry in the FMS...with 2,000 ft level increases...will it just ignore uneeded step climbs or will it still indicate the next "SC" even though it may not be feasable, fuel efficiency wise? Victor Buck

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Fair questions. The first one puzzeled me too for a short time... how many steps do I enter?? The FMS will not step climb within a certain distance of the TOD (MD11 & 744), so you don't have to worry about too many steps. I think the distance is 300 nm but not sure. I've gotten used to spending a little preflight time with the MD11 FMS doing trial and error with the CDU, for example entering three steps then reviewing the path and maybe adding or subtracting one, etc. Same for fuel. I'll use the load manager to set initial load and fuel but tune the final UFOB based on the amount of extra lbs/Time that I feel comfortable.After a couple of NATS flights you start to see a pattern and the planning becomes quicker because you need less trial and error. Then I guess it is time to fly to Australia, why not?

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Dan, thanks for your reply. I am currently planning a flight from LFPG to ZBAA. My planned route is 4,493 nm with a fully loaded MD-11F (PW). I am planning on loading full fuel to Max TOGA (170.7 lbs. of fuel). I load up the MD-11 in FS9 and my "optimum" is FL300 with a max of FL317. So...I'm going with FL310 as initial cruise level (since I'm going east), with 4 steps of 2,000 ft. each entered into the FMS. I may not need this much fuel, but I haven't gotten that far yet. I am running into a bit of a problem with the MD-11 load configurator. This may be due to my not understanding it correctly. I set up the MD-11F for "Full cargo", I then slide the fuel to max (170,702 lbs.) and "save". I get the message that fuel will not be applied to saved flights. I create a NEW FS9 flight with the MD-11...and my 170,702 lbs. of fuel are not applied. Am I misunderstanding the part about "fuel not being applied to saved flights"? I took that to mean that if I created a NEW flight, 170,702 lbs. of fuel would be loaded. If I opened a "saved" flight then this fuel would not be loaded. So somewhere around 300 nm the MD-11 FMS will stop asking for the next step climb. It sounds like I can fill every FL space, in the FMS, and only those which make sense will show up along my route in the ND "map". After this it's ZBAA to PHNL, in either a 747 or 767, then a 767 to KOAK and I've completed my VA's Cargo World Tour + the 4 long range bonus flights. WooHoo! Thanks again, Dan. Victor Buck

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Nice thing about FSX is the load master communicates with the airplane already loaded in the simulation. FS9 only works with the cfg file, but it should work with a newly created flight. If you have Vista make sure admin rights are assigned to the pmdg folders and files so it has permission to change the cfg file.

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Nice thing about FSX is the load master communicates with the airplane already loaded in the simulation. FS9 only works with the cfg file, but it should work with a newly created flight. If you have Vista make sure admin rights are assigned to the pmdg folders and files so it has permission to change the cfg file.
No Vista here, I'm on the ol' reliable XP pro sp2 (32 bit). I'll start a new thread with this issue. thanks Dan. Victor Buck

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