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derianc

PMDG and FSBuild

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Hey everyone, just thought i'd say that i'm enjoying the 737 very much and I just printed my charts for MIA-JFK flight tonight :) I wanted to ask how ever, how you guys get the fuel calculations correct and what not with the 737 using FSBuild. Also, when I look at a route on flightaware, I then try and find it on fsbuild and some of the SIDS and/or STARS are not there in the database at all. Then when I finally decide on a plan, I put it into the FMC and it doesn't make sense/messed up route etc. I do have 1109 AIRAC cycle for PMDG and FSBuild... (they really need to make those things free)...

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I've been having problems with FS Build routes in the NGX FMC. When I import a route from FS Build it takes it but a 500nm route is then a 5000nm route. I'm guessing that one of the waypoints is fubared. It may be using a waypoint of the same name from another part of the world. It happens mostly with US routes. If I use vRoute, it doesn't happen.


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Hey. I don't have all of the answers, but I'll share what I do for realism and maybe that will help a bit (I hope). I use FSBuild but I also use Active Sky Evolution. If you have that addon, there is a way you can setup FSBuild to look at the most current ASE (ASA too I think) weather file for wind calculations. So what I do is:

  • Boot ASE and refresh the weather
  • Go to Simroutes.com and input my prospective route (For example KDEN to KSFO gives TRUEL RUMPS OAL MOD3)
  • I take the route line and place it in FSBuild's (KDEN TRUEL RUMPS OAL KSFO)
  • I note the SID/STAR FSBuild gives me, then clear those fields out along with the runway (I do this b/c if you save it is your route will have a SID, STAR or Runway built into the save file. With WX info FSBuild's SID STAR info is usually the one to follow anyway)
  • Export (Save as) the route to FSX, PMDG and any other addon I might want to try
  • Input the FSBuild's FSX save file into ASE (for accurate wind data along the specified route)

So now you have accurate weather and an accurate (Real world US) route. I'm sure you can do the above with the site you referenced. The problem now is fuel calculation. I have not nailed this but I'm guessing:

  • Get TOPCAT for takeoff data
  • Get an accurate file/date set to use for the NGX within FSBuild (I think there is a topic about this in the NGX forums) OR
  • Get a fuel program (I'm personally looking for a fuel plan program similar to the one used in the MD11 tutorials)
  • Have the same program create airline dispatch type of file to compare fuel usage along the route (FSBuild has one, but meh)

The largest problem I have had to date is that I wanted to land at RJBB and picked an approach for a runway that wasn't in FSX... In IMC no less...


"I am the Master of the Fist!" -Akuma
 

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Hey. I don't have all of the answers, but I'll share what I do for realism and maybe that will help a bit (I hope). I use FSBuild but I also use Active Sky Evolution. If you have that addon, there is a way you can setup FSBuild to look at the most current ASE (ASA too I think) weather file for wind calculations. So what I do is:
  • Boot ASE and refresh the weather
  • Go to Simroutes.com and input my prospective route (For example KDEN to KSFO gives TRUEL RUMPS OAL MOD3)
  • I take the route line and place it in FSBuild's (KDEN TRUEL RUMPS OAL KSFO)
  • I note the SID/STAR FSBuild gives me, then clear those fields out along with the runway (I do this b/c if you save it is your route will have a SID, STAR or Runway built into the save file. With WX info FSBuild's SID STAR info is usually the one to follow anyway)
  • Export (Save as) the route to FSX, PMDG and any other addon I might want to try
  • Input the FSBuild's FSX save file into ASE (for accurate wind data along the specified route)

So now you have accurate weather and an accurate (Real world US) route. I'm sure you can do the above with the site you referenced. The problem now is fuel calculation. I have not nailed this but I'm guessing:

  • Get TOPCAT for takeoff data
  • Get an accurate file/date set to use for the NGX within FSBuild (I think there is a topic about this in the NGX forums) OR
  • Get a fuel program (I'm personally looking for a fuel plan program similar to the one used in the MD11 tutorials)
  • Have the same program create airline dispatch type of file to compare fuel usage along the route (FSBuild has one, but meh)

The largest problem I have had to date is that I wanted to land at RJBB and picked an approach for a runway that wasn't in FSX... In IMC no less...

Well, thank you for the post but it seems to me that my problem has to do with the AFCAD files in FSX that are outdated when i'm using current day charts... So I guess I need to find some AFCAD's for the airports I fly to or buy some airport scenary. As for fuel, I have been simply finding the distance and calcing winds and then following some tables to find it. I was just hoping there was something better. But I didn't really make the OP clear. The problem I was having was when I was landing, things like STARS wouldn't match up ETC...

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Maybe my tip sheet will help for FSBuild. Note number number one for reducing instances of out of route local waypoints and number six to edit and build from the route grid table to get rid of errant waypoints: ------------------------------------------- FSB tips:1. Include this line in FSbuild.cfg:NAVCHKDUPDIST=100This decreases the chance of using the wrong duplicate named local (to the airport) waypiont from a nearby airport. Local waypoint names are not exclusive. It decreases the database search when it is named in the route to within a 100 nm radius of your airport. You will find these in terminal procedures such as "D" number something within a SID or STAR to define a merge or turning point.2. When doing a Auto Generate (Route) be sure the SR (Stored Route) button next to it is "up" that is not highlighted. Auto Generate will use a stored route if found by default and most are out of date with old waypoints and terminal procedures. Having Stored Routes off forces it to search a path with fresh data. (Now off by default in version 2.4.)**REVISED 6/16/11** 3. FS Build database updates will be exclusively released through navigraph.com. It should be part of the FMC data line. For those not familiar with Navigraph each subscription term (cycle) includes multiple format downloads at no additional cost. This is very convenient for aligning FMC/navigation equipment databases with the flightplanner so among other things ATC data and your nav equipment data should match as you send a plan to ATC and then load it including terminal procedures into your FMC. The 2.4 upgrade includes the thirteenth cycle of 2010. The FSB upgrade is free to 2.x version users and is available via your order history on simmarket.com.4. Where an airport uses specific runways for different terminal procedures select the runway using an estimate based on weather and if the runway fits your aircraft requirements before doing the Auto Generate. This helps select the correct SID and STAR for the runway and direction of departure and arrival.5. After the Auto Generate and/or first build look at the map created to spot any obvious errors. In the route grid look for any sudden non-sensible changes in direction or extremely long legs not in the correct direction creating a zig-zag in the map. (See item 6 following to correct).6. Be aware there is an option you can set for each session titled "Build Route from Grid Table". It does not stick between sessions. This lets you build from an edited route grid that you may have modified without recreating the table with the same error on your next build/export. For example you might wish to drop an errant waypoint when proofing the map and rebuilding.7. Sometimes the name of a procedure (SID/STAR) does not match the name exactly in a published route and the procedure will not expand into its plan waypoints in the grid table. You can click on the arrow in the SID/STAR box to see what close name is in the FSB database. (Another reason to keep up with AIRACS.) For example KMSP has a current real such as this one:http://flightaware.com/resources/airport/KMSP/DP/WAUKON+THREEbut the FSB database only has UKN2. (It does have UKN3 now with the latest available AIRAC update). If so in the route line just change UKN3 to UKN2 so it will expand. Here's a real route from flightaware.com for KMSP to KMDW:KMSP UKN3 DBQ CVA MOTIF3 KMDWthat can be pasted into the FSB route line. If UKN3 or MOTIF3 does not expand in the route grid to individual way points look in the upper part of FSB in the airport section dropping down the SID or STAR box to get the available version and substitute that label in the route line and rebuild. Note that the SID and STAR dropdowns may follow the chosen runway in certain areas.8. Sometimes it takes a second build to get the map to move and/or magnify. The mouse scroll wheel lets you magnify. Just click on the portion of the map you want to center on and scroll to magnify.9. If you click on a line in the route grid table to highlight it, the waypoint on the map will turn red. This is useful for finding errant waypoints that cause an error in the path. That line can then be edited or deleted and a rebuild accomplished with the build option to build from the route grid table.10. If you are running a weather program such as active sky, first build the route in FSB exporting to FS9 using an anticipated cruise altitude and specify the nearest aircraft profile. In AS get the weather you wish to use. (I always get the weather for the zulu time of the departure in FS since time of day affects weather characteristics). Import the plan into AS via the new route button, check the altitude and choose an appropriate true airspeed in knots (this is your no wind ground speed). Process the route. When it is finished click the button to print a hard copy of all. Use this AS navlog for METAR data at both ends and winds aloft and temperature aloft that can be used for FMC data. (You'll also get your estimated average wind at your specified altitude - handy for FMC data.) Leave AS running. Now go back to FSB and your chosen aircraft profile. Enter the surface temperature from your departure METAR, then estimated total taxi time, hold time, and extra time (sometimes called discretionary fuel). Now turn on again your FS9 export along with any FMC export you might use. Rebuild and you'll see the messages regarding the export completion. On the route selection on the left which brings up your route window select the navlog tab and click the .pdf to save the navlog in a file or the print button to get a hard copy so you can easily reference the estimated fuel and other data. This estimated fuel has now taken into account your winds aloft data - no need to enter it in FSB. Now that you have the hard copy and exported your route, you can first optionally save the plan by selecting flightplan window, then clicking the category tab, then select user category. Now click file, save from the menu bar. The name you might want to embellish. Click Save Route To User Flight Plans. For another session, you can recall this working plan and just build.11. If you are using an aircraft with nav equipment that has its own terminal data procedures in its nav equipment (think FMC) you might wish to use step 6 above to take out the waypoints of the terminal procedures keeping just the transition points and build and export with just them. This easily in most cases lets you select the SID and STAR assigned by ATC on your nav equipment by providing a clean legs list in your nav equipment. If you need ATC to monitor the waypoints of the terminal procedure than just export all. To keep ATC and you nav equipment in sync, you might consider importing the full plan into your nav equipment and not using your nav equipment procedure database.This is kind of long but through experience I've described some tricks I've used watching out for any pitfalls.Be sure to check the FSBuild forum for updates. --------------------------------------------------------- Sometimes the version of a SID or STAR changes. If your FMC and FSBuild AIRACs are synced, then Navigraph may not have kept up with the changes. After loading the route from flightaware in FSB 's route line, under your departure and destination airport names, use the SID/STAR dropdown to list the procedures in the AIRAC. For some areas these are runway specific. You can also decrease the SID/STAR version number in its label by one. See section 7 above. Sometimes are longer SID or STAR name is too long to match labels in FSB so the dropdowns will show the abbreviated labels. BTW, I use archived weather Z time matched to the local time of my flight loaded into AS65 that FSB reads. I use the FS time, not system time, for a saved flight so no matter what global area I start from I have the correct weather effects for time of day and season no matter the difference of time zones where my pc is located. I also found out there are some SIDs in the FAA areas that are not in FSB because they are vectors all the way to the transition point or destination. Here is one example:http://flightaware.com/resources/airport/KMSP/DP/MINNEAPOLIS+FOUR

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Thank you very much for taking the time to write all this out. I see it becomes a little more complicated the more add-ons you get... I am currently using REX weather and plan to get ASE soon. Now with the exporting FPL to ATC, is this for VATSIM or Radar Contact or what's the case here? I haven't tried either but I plan to sometime when I get a communications panel and learn about some basic stuff... There's just too much to learn.

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First you can save the plan in FSB format to use that route again. Exports are used for any FS9 or FSX functions or add-ons that need those formats. For example, ASE will need your route to work more efficiently and provide you with an enroute weather situation plus parameters for your FMC performance data. For example here is an AS65 full report sample: Note the average winds, aloft temperatures, etc., that the FMC requests for performance parameters to calculate things such as Vspeeds and fuel burn, plus optimum altitude. RC4 uses the FSX or FS9 format if you want to use its ATC instead of VATSIM or FS. FSBuild also exports proprietary formats used by various FMC/FMS modeled aircraft for import into them. Here is a partial current list: It is best to nail down aircraft operations and become proficient before tackling off-line or on-line ATC. You need to know how to use your navigation equipment as an aid and modify its data to comply with ATC commands. Often on the RC support forum (here on AVSIM) some users complain about how RC ATC breaks off from the FMC parameters to which I reply ATC sets the rules, not the FMC. This comes up with departing from the flight plan to accept approach vectors or initiating levels in the descent path. Know how to do direct-to's in the FMC for skipping waypoints or going from your present position to a commanded waypoint, Things like that occur. So you are correct in tasking small steps. Use a regional flight for training such as KMSP to KMDW, a typical 737NG shorter route. That's what I use for beta testing RC wasting little training time in constant cruise.

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Ronzie, Thanks for that FS Build primer. I've been using it for quite a while but there are still some things there that I was not aware of. One thing I didn't say in my post is that when I build the flight plan in FSB the distance is correct. It's nut until I import it into the NGX FMC that I get the distance discrepancy. I'm sure it has to do with the Airac in use. The only way around it is to load the flight plan manually.


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How far off is the distance discrepancy? Is it just in the terminal procedures or throughout the entire flight. If the same AIRAC data is in FSB and the NGX FMC, the distances should match. If it is on extremely long legs there may be a discrepancy of great circle navigation v.s. linear navigation trigonometry. Good topic for the NGX and FSB forums.

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The distance is significant. 5000nm, it should be 500. It seems to happen more with routes in the US as opposed to Europe.


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First look at the map display in FSBuild looking for any out of place legs in the route. Print out the FSB Navlog with all of the information. Next be sure your origin location is correct in RTE Page 1. Now with the EFIS set in PLN mode, Scroll through your plan checking the path on the ND. On the right side in Plan mode on the LEGS page you can display on the ND pages using the next soft key. If any heading is out of whack check the coordinates of the waypoints against your FSB Navlog along with the leg differences. I seem to recall seeing that the import format of the NGX is different from previous builds so check on the NGX forum after determining the symptoms. The reason I mentioned local waypoints is because they are not globally unique in name just existing in a local airport area for departure or arrival to mark such things as turning limits or simplifying waypoint location expressed in complicated location format.

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