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DanW

TOPCAT - just calculate in the OFP or "Send To"

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Hi All,

 

Just got TOPCAT in advance of the 777 release (P3D), and looking at the 2 different integrations.

 

Do you guys use the "Send To" function, or do you find it's sufficient just to run the takeoff and landing calculate and append it into the OFP?

 

Would I be missing much to just use the OFP based calculated data and not opening TOPCAT?

Also I noticed this seems to work without requiring creation of all the aircraft in TOPCAT, I think it just uses the PFPX data in this case is that correct?

 

Thanks

 

 

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Do you guys use the "Send To" function

 

No. And you shouldn't. The only function approved to change the weights and fuel for the 777 are the internal FUEL/PAYLOAD menus in the plane. Do not use anything else.

 

 

 


Would I be missing much to just use the OFP based calculated data and not opening TOPCAT?
Also I noticed this seems to work without requiring creation of all the aircraft in TOPCAT, I think it just uses the PFPX data in this case is that correct?

 

By default, PFPX doesn't calculate any takeoff performance unless you have connected the TOPCAT performance module to it. So, regardless of where you run the calculation, it's using the TOPCAT data to do so. I usually use that method just to save time.

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Don't use TopCat to automatically change the weights of any PMDG bird, but the TopCat PMDG 777 TO performance calculations are still good.  Landing calculations are not up to par yet in the current beta version of the TopCat PMDG 777 performance file; we've been waiting ages for the TopCat devs to finalize it.

 

Obtaining the TO and LNDG performance data for inclusion in the OFP is optional (sometimes I include it, but most times I don't).  I always use the 'Send To' (TopCat) feature for not only the TO performance data, updated with ASN data, but I use the payload layout functionality and total fuel information to manually update the payload and fuel in my PMDG FMC options as one of my first duties after initializing the aircraft in a FSX session.

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That profile is NOT a TOPCAT profile it's just a PFPX profile. It won't calculate TO or Landing performance.

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I looked at that too and decided to not install it in my PFPX... author gave no hint of how he derived that data and noticed DOW didn't match the PMDG aircraft so....

 

So far my PFPX fuel/time predictions have been very close, most variation is due to normal variance in wind.

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I've been using TOPCAT for payload distribution. Is there a suggested alternative to balancing cargo or an ideal CoG to aim for?

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I've been using TOPCAT for payload distribution. Is there a suggested alternative to balancing cargo or an ideal CoG to aim for?

 

It's okay to use it to come up with numbers. We're only saying that it's not okay to use external programs to edit the aircraft.cfg to load these values into the sim. Too many programs out there could mess the load stations up, which could have very undesirable effects.

 

In other words, if you're:

  1. Coming up with your loads in TOPCAT
  2. Starting/loading the sim; and
  3. Manually entering the load values into the PAYLOAD / FUEL pages of the FMC

...you're fine.

 

If you're using TOPCAT to send these values to the aircraft config, you may see problems.

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Thanks guys and thanks Kyle you did answer another assumption I made that I can't send to FSX with complex planes, even the Airbus doesn't allow for that either.

 

Small clarification of my question though - when I meant "Send To" I was talking about the "Send to -> TOPCAT" that happens after releasing the flight plan.

 

Not sending from TOPCAT to FSX.

 

I'm asking are you happy with the calculations added into the OFP before the plan is released (when you click the calculate takeoff/landing buttons after compute) - or do you have to go all the way into topcat by using the Send To as well?

 

The reason I ask is because the calculate and add to OFP functions work without creating registrations in TOPCAT (whereas the Send To doesn't), my thinking is if I can do it this way only, then I don't need to go through all the work of setting up every livery in TOPCAT. But I want to know am I missing out on anything doing it this way only, or if my thinking is missing something here.


Obtaining the TO and LNDG performance data for inclusion in the OFP is optional (sometimes I include it, but most times I don't).  I always use the 'Send To' (TopCat) feature for not only the TO performance data, updated with ASN data, but I use the payload layout functionality and total fuel information to manually update the payload and fuel in my PMDG FMC options as one of my first duties after initializing the aircraft in a FSX session.

 

Ahh missed this, thanks so it seems the OFP part would be missing this information, and we have to use the Send To Topcat to get the complete set of information?

 

One question though - why use the total fuel from TOPCAT instead of PFPX? Or does it work out being the same?


By default, PFPX doesn't calculate any takeoff performance unless you have connected the TOPCAT performance module to it. So, regardless of where you run the calculation, it's using the TOPCAT data to do so. I usually use that method just to save time.

 

I have the TOPCAT performance module against my PFPX aircraft, but I don't have a matching registration setup in TOPCAT (But the tutorials say that I should). Are you saying it's OK to do it this way? OFP method saves time instead of using send to topcat?

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I have the TOPCAT performance module against my PFPX aircraft, but I don't have a matching registration setup in TOPCAT (like the tutorials say that I should). Are you saying it's OK to do it this way? OFP method saves time instead of using send to topcat?

 

As long as neither program is altering the aircraft.cfg, you're fine.

 

Linking the TOPCAT perf module to have PFPX run the calculations only saves time, and I don't see why people wouldn't use it. My assumption is that the Send to TOPCAT function is preferred by those who take the extra time to balance the load, and manually reflect that when adjusting the entries on the PAYLOAD page of the CDU.

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As long as neither program is altering the aircraft.cfg, you're fine.

 

Linking the TOPCAT perf module to have PFPX run the calculations only saves time, and I don't see why people wouldn't use it. My assumption is that the Send to TOPCAT function is preferred by those who take the extra time to balance the load, and manually reflect that when adjusting the entries on the PAYLOAD page of the CDU.

 

Thanks, I think I'll do it with the linked OFP method.

 

I can't justify all the extra time needed to create every registration inside TOPCAT just to be able to balance the payload.

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It's okay to use it to come up with numbers. We're only saying that it's not okay to use external programs to edit the aircraft.cfg to load these values into the sim. Too many programs out there could mess the load stations up, which could have very undesirable effects.

 

In other words, if you're:

 

  • Coming up with your loads in TOPCAT
  • Starting/loading the sim; and
  • Manually entering the load values into the PAYLOAD / FUEL pages of the FMC
...you're fine.

 

If you're using TOPCAT to send these values to the aircraft config, you may see problems.

OK, thanks Kyle. I use PFPX to generate a random payload and then send to TOPCAT to get the distribution numbers, but enter them into the CDU manually when I'm opening doors for GSX. I got confused between the "send to" function in PFPX and TOPCAT, but I'll keep it the way I've been doing it.

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Thanks guys and thanks Kyle you did answer another assumption I made that I can't send to FSX with complex planes, even the Airbus doesn't allow for that either.

 

Small clarification of my question though - when I meant "Send To" I was talking about the "Send to -> TOPCAT" that happens after releasing the flight plan.

 

Not sending from TOPCAT to FSX.

 

I'm asking are you happy with the calculations added into the OFP before the plan is released (when you click the calculate takeoff/landing buttons after compute) - or do you have to go all the way into topcat by using the Send To as well?

 

The reason I ask is because the calculate and add to OFP functions work without creating registrations in TOPCAT (whereas the Send To doesn't), my thinking is if I can do it this way only, then I don't need to go through all the work of setting up every livery in TOPCAT. But I want to know am I missing out on anything doing it this way only, or if my thinking is missing something here.

 

 

Ahh missed this, thanks so it seems the OFP part would be missing this information, and we have to use the Send To Topcat to get the complete set of information?

 

One question though - why use the total fuel from TOPCAT instead of PFPX? Or does it work out being the same?

 

I have the TOPCAT performance module against my PFPX aircraft, but I don't have a matching registration setup in TOPCAT (But the tutorials say that I should). Are you saying it's OK to do it this way? OFP method saves time instead of using send to topcat?

 

Please realize guys, PFPX is a flight-planning tool, meaning in the end, its purpose is to evaluate in-flight performance, fuel-burn, and trip data. We can very quickly 'Send To' (TopCat) all the planned information to get Takeoff and Landing performance calculations and other airport-factors; they're two very different tools that are well linked via the 'Send To' (TopCat) button. You don't have to create a separate PFPX or TopCat profile for each livery, I only have one for each model - see my link below; it's the NGX, but the idea is the same for the T7 layout and linking of aircraft registrations between the two programs. Please also realize, PFPX and TopCat 'Profiles' are readily available. The TopCat peformance data for aircraft is not as abundant.  TopCat 2.74 beta 1 has the PMDG T7 takeoff data mostly there but the landing performance data is pretty weak. You can use the TopCat 772 performance profile for the PMDG 773, but it's slightly off as well.

 

TopCat + PFPX + 737NGX / Weights (How To)  Post # 68 (page 5).  http://forum.avsim.net/topic/417842-topcat-pfpx-737ngx-weights-how-to/page-5#entry3062467

 

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