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Arklight1

The best Flightplannig Software?

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I have been considering picking up one of the Flight Planing Tools but am not sure which one to go with. It looks like FS Commander and FS Build are the two most prevelant.Any recommendations + Pros/Cons and opinions?Thanks!*EDIT* And I just noticed there is thread about this in the FSX forum. Doh :(

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I use FSBuild for my heavy iron trips. Bit of a steep learning curve, but once you get the hang of it she's pretty useful. I haven't used FSCommander, but I hear good things about it.For my GA flights, I use FSNav. Still can't believe you can't buy this one anymore.

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Used FSC for a cupla years, and still havent used half of the features. Allows addition or creation of Sids/Stars. Runs well networked and exports plans to pretty much eveything.I also use vRouteinfo Premium, more limited in its scope and provides only realworld plans that are currently in use by airlines. Has a built-in fuel planner with calculations for many payware and generic aircraft that most of the time matches up pretty well with the fuel tools provided with payware airliners. Exports to many payware aircraft.The best? That which you like using. For tech-heads I understand its FSBuild.

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I have FSNavigator, FS Commander, FSBuild and Vroute Premium. Earlier FSBuild and FSNavigator were my main tools (FSBuild for creating routes and FS Navigator as a moving map) but these days I stick with Vroute Premium and let it create and export flightplans to different formats (Squawkbox 3, PMDG, LevelD, FS9, FS Commander and what else I might need). FSCommander I use solely as a moving map. Actually I prefer the interface of FSNavigator, but FSCommander can be run from a networked computer using Widefs which to me is a huge benefit.I always use either real world routes that I import into Vroute or the ones Vroute offers. It has some very neat features but really mainly aimed at those flying online - weather download and integration into the flightplan, what atc is online and the probability of them being online based on on historic data, it checks what real world airlines are currently flying the route you have selected and much more. You can even play Blue Sky radio with it!I was using FSBuild for a long time but started being yelled at by online controllers who claimed the routes I filed were invalid. But it is a very capable planner that also can integrate weather data along the route that you have downloaded with active sky.Then of course you have FOC published by Aerosoft but it's a bit daunting and you really need charts to plan the route. You can't just ask the program to automatically create a route between point A and B - you have to insert the airways and waypoints yourself - but I think it's written by a real world dispatcher (or at least got input from one) so it looks very professional.

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FOC is the most complete, but the navdata hasn't been updated since mid 2009, which makes it pretty much useless now. FSBuild is what I use in it's place. Bryn.

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I still use FSNav and I endlessly love it. The truth is you can't buy it anymore (I guess).However, just for some fun and to check if you like it, you can use it 20 or 30 (I'm not sure) times for free.Just get it anywhere in the web (it has always been a commonly available shareware), install, update your navdata (if you subscribe) and test it for all these flights.FSNav flightplans are not very popular around, so you probably won't find many ready ones (unlike FSB or, above all, vroute - which rules in this aspect).I'd say It is more for guys who love building their own plans (I do). On the other hand, you can automatically export these plans into FS9, PMDG or Level-D.You can also display on-line traffic on the (excellent) moving map. But offline (AI) - not. I guess FSCommander can do it.I've never used FSBuild but I must say I heard a lot of good words about it.I have tested FSCommander (you can legally test it as a demo, recommended!) and it seems very nice. Not as nice as FSNav though.And the main reason I didn't decide to go for it is (and that must be mentioned here) you cannot use it from within FS. It is a separate application.So if you fly in full screen (like I do) and use only one monitor (like I do), that's a miss. But try it, anyway!Some people here recommend vroute. I have not bought it and only have the standard version (it is free again, no cost to try for yourself!).I must say it is a great programme and Michal Rok has done an excellent job with it. Although, like mentioned above, it was made with VATSIM pilots in mind, it can well be used for offline flying too.One of its main jewels seems the huge database of flightplans (and addon links), developed all the time (I have contributed myself).They are VATSIM approved so, naturally, they will also be very fine for your offline flights.Plus you can use it to precisely calculate fuel for some (in the free version) or most available (in the paid version) aircraft.I'm not sure about FSBuild, but all the other planners I, and others, mentioned here can be tested as demos.And it seems the best way to check if what we write here is true! :(

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My go-to planning tool is FSBuild. That having been said, I've also heard good things about FSCommander. Of course, if you really want a higher-end tool, consider Dispatch Planner X or, better yet, Flight Operations Center (FOC) which apparently can handle ETOPS/EROPS/STOPS, trunk routes, minimum time track routes, re-dispatch planning. The "downside" to FOC is that it requires an annual navdata subscription.

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FsNav is great for something visual you can refer to in Fs9. But for PLANNING a standard route, I always use vRoute with updated airac cycle. It has most of the commonly used routes and can access charts, as well as give route distance, help with fuel planning, suggest scenery for the airports, provide current weather metars, and alot of other information regarding the 'planning' of the flight... Yes its usually a tool used for Vatsim folks, using a Vatsim sign-on, but its free and thats the best in its pricerange ;)I use vroute daily for planning, and use FSNav inside FS9 for info regarding navaids, and numbers quickly.... charts can be pulled up from vroute, and/or from myaiplane.com directly.

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The "downside" to FOC is that it requires an annual navdata subscription.
Frustratingly, FOC no longer has a navdata subscription service. The data updates stopped mid last year. Hence my statement above about it being mostly useless now,I was a fan,Bryn.

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I like FlightAware and Vroute. Whats nice about FlightAware is it is free and it provides real time routes. Select an aircraft type or an airport, select a real time flight and copy the flight plan. Or, develop your own flight plan print it out, but don't file the flight plan. The only draw back with FlightAware is that it is limited to the USA and some limited countries. It also is a very good source for airport diagrams, approach and departure data. Vroute is similair and if you purchase its premium package it has a number of features including a puel planner for many of the major sim aircraft models. It also is a very good source for airport diagrams, approach and departure data.Tom

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Thanks for the feedback all. I like how FSBuild is supposed to work with the iFly 737 (sort of), but I also like how vRoute premium lets you export to the PMDG J41. The map for FSC is not that important to me, but exporting ability is. In this regard, I am not sure which is best. The vRoute premium looks interestig but I heard it doesn't provide SIDS/STARs.Ugh...why can't there be a "Do it all"? :(

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But Vroute provides to you the data elements to fly a SIDS or STARSTom

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But Vroute provides to you the data elements to fly a SIDS or STARSTom
What do you mean? Also, does vRoute premium allow for runway selection as well?Lastly, what are the benefits of vRoute premium over something like FSBuild and vice versa?Thanks! :(

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Frustratingly, FOC no longer has a navdata subscription service. The data updates stopped mid last year. Hence my statement above about it being mostly useless now,I was a fan,Bryn.
I guess somebody better tell them to update their website then, no, since it makes no mention of that fact.Of course, FOC is really more horsepower than most people need, but I'd love something that'll handle the ETOPS/EROPS/STOPS and redispatch planning tasks.My current method is as follows:1. After deciding on a city pair, go onto Flightaware.com or vroute to grab a quick route.2. Throw the plan in FSBuild and start gaming it to make sure that it makes sense (I'll modify the NATS/PACOTS track to a current one, for example). I'll also then use it to calculate flight time for later use.3. Using the appropriate fuel planner, figure out the amount of fuel needed for a "bare" fight. I'll then go back into FSBuild and start manually picking redispatch points and intermediate destinations. This can be quite time-consuming, but well worth it as an academic exercise.4. Once I've got an accurate fuel load, I'll go into TOPCAT to calculate takeoff performance numbers (I have to use TPC or UTOPIA for some of the aircraft instead, but it isn't quite as accurate.)5. The only thing I currently rely on FSNAV for is for ground taxi for those airports where the scenery doesn't have signage, but it still makes for a nice quick peek on those long-haul flights.

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I just checked out FSC and it looks pretty darn good! I have two monitors (I fly on my 30" dell and put anythinng else I use on the 23" Acer).I created a route in vRoute (Standard Edition), copy and pasted it in FSC and whammo! It's all right there. The graphical interface sure made choosing a SID/STAR easier as well. Of course, this is just the demo so I am unable to save the route and use it in FS, but the functionality looks pretty darn good.I am still trying to decide, but I am impressed with FSC so far.

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I use FSBuild...the plans it produces are pretty darned close to the professional grade stuff I used in the real world.RegardsBob ScottColonel, USAF (ret)ATP IMEL Gulfstream II-III-IV-VColorado Springs, CO

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FSBuild has a couple of tricks that can give you poor routes in minor cases using its autorouter.The developer frequently provides free AIRAC updates on FSBuild.com. Cycle 1009 is the current download. About he invalid routes -- It is delivered with a library of stored old routes. You just when autorouting disable the Stored Route ("SR" button) so it will not look through this library for an existing route. There is a statement you put in its .cfg file that limits the search radius in autoroute so non-unique labeled "soft" local waypoints don't get confused in the waypoint database. A "soft: waypoint is created in digital databases (used in RNAV charts) that mark the non-intersection labeled points such as a vor radial dme point which is not labeled except with this non-ICAO registered name. These are used for changes in heading and get you going on the right heading to and from these soft waypoints just like navaid labels or labeled intersections. You can also have this problem with NDB labels not being unique in some cases.If a recent AIRAC is not used and the SR button is not disabled that could generate possibly a plan that a VATSIM or IVAO controller might refuse.FSBuild uses standard syntax to describe the route if you want to paste in your own route such as from flightaware.com. Sometimes a SID-STAR version might need a slight change in label, easily seen with a dropdown for the suggested runway. Once corrected SID/STAR waypoints will show in its route grid and get exported that way to FS and FMCs. If you wish to edit those waypoints you turn on (each time except the first) "Build from Grid" and it will build the export plan from that. I use the FS9 and PMDG FMC exports.FSBuild connects to some versions of Active Sky (FS need not run) so winds aloft and temperatures are used in its fuel planning and both track and headings are given it its printable NAVLOG.I have a document to paste in based on my experience with it if anyone is interested. It also has a link to an exe update not on simmarket.com and the .cfg change I mentioned.

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