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rfresh737

Q400 Fuel Planning

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I'd like to make some detailed notes on how to manually calculate a Dash 8 Q400 fuel load. I've spent about a week searching around the internet for information on how to manually calculate the fuel load for a given flight, but I have not found much.

 

How are you Dash 8 folks figuring out your fuel loads?

 

Thanks...

 

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SimBreif for me....not sure how accurate it is but I arrive with enough :)

 

I'd be interested. Is there nothing in the manual?

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2500lbs of fuel for the first hour of flight and 2000lbs per hour after that. Rough calculation, but I remember reading somewhere that's it's not too far off the real Q4's figures. I couldn't tell you where I got that tidbit though. 

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I don't have the Dash 8 yet, it's on back order...so I'm trying to get a leg up on how to do the fuel planning...from what I've seen on the internet, fuel planning for the Dash 8 seems to be a mystery...I've read a lot of methods from different sources and they are all a little bit different in the numbers that they use.

 

I also looked at YouTube to see if anyone has made a detailed FMS tutorial on fuel planning but all I could find was incomplete CDU fuel steps...no one has really gone into the details on how to do fuel planning on the FMS yet. I might be the first to do that.

 

I found a retired Captain who flew the Dash 8 for 14 years and has 14,000+ hours in it and he is giving me some good information but what fuel numbers he received (when he flew) was from his airline dispatchers, so the detailed steps of how you arrive at each fuel load amount is missing.

 

I posted this to see what other flight simmers are doing for fuel planning and how they are doing it, just to see.

 

I want to document a detailed, organized and comprehensive fuel planning guide for the Dash 8. This will include not only the process of how to do fuel planning but how to program all of this into the FMS.

 

I'll get there but it looks like it's going to take some more time and more research.

 

I have also contacted Majestic Software (twice now) but I have not got any response from them.

 

I have also contacted Bombardier they manufacturer to see what information they can provide me. They have not responded either.

 

Thanks for the replies.

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In terms of fuel numbers the simbrief website is within spitting distance of the real aircraft flight briefing packages. We checked these against those of real airlines for our Q400 Cadet course. You can't manually do fuel plans without the tools available to the airlines so I wouldn't even try, to be honest.

When it comes to filling the FMS out, in the FUEL page -

Enter the ZFW first, ignore pax numbers.
Then enter the alternate fuel under ALT.
Then enter the final reserve fuel under HOLD
Finally enter your block fuel MINUS the expected taxi fuel in the left and right tanks. This will give you your gross weight for take off which should be double checked against your flight briefing. Now change your block fuel in the left and right tanks to the actual fuel aboard before engine start.

That's it. You are all good to go - as covered in lesson four of the Q400 training.

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Hi Ben

 

Thanks for this information but it raises a few more questions that it answers  :P

 

For eaxmple, you say "Then enter the alternate fuel under ALT" -- but where do you get this value from? From SimBrief it sounds like. I was hoping to be able to determine ALT Fuel by knowing the average fuel burn and distance and thus applying a manual calculation. But it sounds like SimBrief is doing all of this for you. That's not what I was looking for. I am aware of SimBrief and in fact I have an account with them.

 

I have the burn rates for the 737NGX and am able to manually calculate all of the fuel loading values and then add them all up to get the final dispatch fuel load. I was hoping to do the same kind of thing for the Dash 8. My 737NGX fuel numbers come from Boeing and not any specific carrier BTW.

 

Then, you say to "Then enter the final reserve fuel under HOLD" but again, how do you determine this value? SimBrief again I am assuming?

 

So, in summary, your telling me to use SimBrief to do my Q400 flight planning and then I can get my dispatch fuel loads, but that's not what I was looking to do.

 

I was looking for information on how I can calculate my own fuel loads without having to use a flight planning tool. Again, I do this now for the 737NGX and want to apply the same formulas to the Dash 8 and run my fuel planning program for both aircraft.

 

I have all the steps and all the formulas to calculate dispatch fuel loads for the Dash 8 (same steps and process as the 737NGX) but, as I previously stated, in researching how to do fuel planning for the Dash 8 online, I found that many people are using slightly different fuel burn numbers and I was hoping to see what folks here are using.

 

I received an email late last night from Majestic Software (the makers of the Dash 8 sim product) and was told detailed fuel planning information would be coming my way soon. So, I think once I receive that information, I'll finally be all set to finish my Dash 8 fuel planning process and add it to my program.

 

And thank you for the FMS information Ben!! That was helpful.

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You're welcome Ralph. Yes, all the info is taken from Simbrief and plugged into the FMS without too much further thought save for weather or operational considerations, just as they would do it on the line. I appreciate a part of the charm of simming is to put this stuff together yourself for the satisfaction of getting it right. If I was better a maths, I'd have a go myself  :P

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Update: I spoke to Bombardier Aerospace technical support today up in Canada. I told them I was looking for fuel dispatch information, burn rates, etc. I told them what I was up to and how great the Majestic Q400 sim is, which they never heard of, but were interested in hearing about. Anyway, they are going to pull together some reference material and send it to me for the Q400.

 

So, I'm sure with that info and what I get from Majestic, I'll be able to add fuel planning to my program that will be accurate.

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Ha, that's the spirit. Calling the plane manufacturer and requesting some documents. Keep us posted on what you receive, that sounds like some awesome service, especially since you were clear about the sim aspect.

 

Maybe they now list you as a potential buyer of the real thing? :o :P Don't buy without a checkride!

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