Sign in to follow this  
rennman

Route Planning

Recommended Posts

Hi. Iv'e been programming a direct route from departure AP right to arrival AP ever since I first  flew the 747. It's always worked but I would like to get more realistic. I tried programming my own waypoints from KJFK to LFPG and it didn't work out for me. She stopped tracking a little bit over the ocean. How can I find out what a real route would be like?

Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Help AVSIM continue to serve you!
Please donate today!

You could start with a site like edi-gla.co.uk or rfinder.asalink.net

If you don't mind spending some money on a good planner, PFPX from flightsimsoft.com is one of the programs you can get that will do fuel calculations and a lot more as well.

 

Clayton

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have two greate resources for real world flight routes:

 

1- flightaware.com

2-simbrief.com

 

Flightaware is a real world flight tracking resource that anyone can login to track a given flight status.  on the main page you can type in the airline of choice, then the departure and destination airports.  once you've done so, it will take you to a page of scheduled and enroute flights. you can select any one of these flights by clicking on it.  You will get directed to a detailed page on the status of the flight.  You'll see a sizable google type map with the planned or actual flight route (if already en route).  To the right are the details with flight number, airline, departure time, ETA, current reported status ( ie air speed altitude, etc.).  At the bottom of the status box is the actual flight route.  This is the information you want. copy this information.

 

Now...goto simbrief.com. Here you will need to create an account. But from here you can create an entire flight profile.  Once you create an account, then you can build your own profile and populate your fleet of aircraft. doing this is fairly intuitive. Just select the aircraft type from the list and fill out the details accordingly.

 

Once you've finished fleshing out your profile, you can click on the "dispatch tab, and  select "dsipatch system" .  Now select "create flight" tab.  There you can type in the Airline code, flight number, departure and destination. Simroutes will automatically pull up the scheduled flight plan or the filed flight plan. and show it in the route details box as you scroll down.  You;ll need push the analyze button to see if the route is OK for the current AIRAC.  AIRACs are the published waypoints, airports, SIDS STARS, etc, which is updated approximately once a month.  Once it says your good, then you can fill out the aircraft profile to your desire or leave as auto and let Simroutes create a profile.  Once  a flight plan is created, you can print out the details as a PDF.  This will give you the empty weight, payload, block fuel (totat fuel on board),  and reserve fule and take off weight.  Good stuff!

 

At this point you can go to the top of the page where you can save the flight plan.  Its at the top of the route page just created.  This tab has a pull down menu that lets you save the flight in various formats including FSX, PMDG, etc.  Once you save the route, you can copy and paste it into the PMDG route file.  Now, on the CDU route page, you don't manaully add the waypoints. In the scratch pad, type in the route you just saved (Eg.  KEWREDDF001) You can keep the file name it was assigned or remname it if you wish.  Eitherway type the file name into the scratch pad, then copy it to the company route command line.  The route will load automatically with all the waypoints. Check your legs page, and you'll see it all there.  All you'll need to do is enter the SIDS and STARS.  be careful here...sometimes the SIDS and STARS are already in the flight plan.  So double check. You'll need to remove those legs and insert your desired SIDS and STARS if different.  From here...your're god to go.

 

Now...for AIRACS. They are updated monthy for the most part.  On the create flight page, you see a window about updating AIRACS.  as a default you will have an outdated airac to use. However, this airac will not match up with the waypoints on the flight plan you selected.  You will probably note that when you analyze your route,  you'll  get an invalid route message; and it will give you the waypoints that do compute. This is due to the out of date airac.  You can do two things: remove the "bad" waypoints from the flight plan then resubmit your route.  This will usually take care of the problem...but won't be a "real" route. Or, if you select update AIRACS, you will be directed to another page showing the most current AIRAC and recent AIRACs.  You'll see that they are x'd out. This is a purchased resource available through Navigraph.  If you click on the linke provided in the verbiage above the AIRAC list, it will direct you to Navigraph's webiste. Here you can create an account and purchase current AIRACs individually or in blocks of 4 or more.  It's only US $ 4.00 or so for an airac.  once purchased, you can download the appropriate navigraph resource for various flight sim software, including PMDG, Captain Sim, etc. you select as many of these sim resources that you need depending on how many add-on types you may have.  Once downloaded, I'd select to downloade navigraphs updater utility (its free). Create a short cut to your desktop, and run the program.  It will automatically detect what 3rd party add-ons you have, and list them. Check the box next PMDG for isntance and select update.  This will downlaod the most current AIRAC into PMDG's navigation database.  NOW...you have all the up to date real world waypoints, SIDS STARS, etc.  You might still get an unrecognized waypoint every now and again...but it can be deleted in the flight plan analyze box.  But this is as real world as it gets.

 

I know I gave you a lot here.  Read through a couple of times.  Check out the resources, and just play with them for a while. Once you get the hang of it; you'll have a blast!

 

Enjoy, and Cheers!

 

Tom S.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the info...however...once I have a series of waypoints that are "real world",  how do I then get them into flightsim so the ATC will match up with the FMC...the only way I know how is to enter the departure and arrival, hit IFR direct GPS, then find each waypoint and drag the red line onto them one at a time...If I get a dozen waypoints that I never heard of...it's next to impossible to find them visually on the map...?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you have a flight planner that can output a '.pln' file, you can load it straight into the sim flight planner dialog. However, SID/STAR and some newly added waypoints will not be included as the sim can't "see" them (FSX doesn't use updated AIRACs). Personally, I don't use FSX ATC much for the lack of SID/STAR instructions that should be issued by the ATC, and instead heading changes that incorrectly 'shortcut' the real world flight plan, or exclusion of waypoints the aircraft knows but the sim doesn't.

 

(Ps. I am not sure if .pln is the only type of file that can be imported to FSX- if you can't get to a planning program that'll make it for you)

 

Hope this helps a bit

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Outputting a pln file is good to know...thanks...however, isn't a "not totally real" ATC better than none at all?

Thanks again...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If at all you begin to find FSX ATC bothersome for its weaknesses then it may be a good idea to either fly online (VATSIM, IVAO etc) or to get an ATC add-on like VoxATC to deliver realistic clearances and support for SIDs/STARs etc.

Otherwise, keep using FSX ATC - and there's not much wrong with using it as a VFR aircraft when conditions permit, so that you can keep your specified route, and then simply not using it in IFR conditions :-)

 

Hope this helps

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you decide to work with the Simbrief.com resource I mentioned above, then you can save the flight plan as a PMDG ".rte" file as well as an FSX ".pln" file. The drop down menu gives you several format options for saving the flight plan.  I'd save the plan files in your download files.  Once you open up FSX you can click on the flight planner then select the load button. This will open a the folder within FSX that contains all of the flight plans you created within fsx.  Simply cut and past the "pln" file you saved into this folder.  You now can click on this option in the folder and it will load into the FSX flight planner.  press OK and the flight plan is loaded.  Your PMDG product has all of the up-to-date waypoint, SIDS/STARS and airport details (if you have purchased the current AIRACS).  So, the aircraft's resources will know where to go.  Really, waypoints are just  lat/long coordinates. So, FSX simply will acknowledge and reconcile the coordinates and plot accordingly. VOR's pretty much haven't changed ins years as far as I can tell.  So, if they are used with in your flight plan, then this shouldn't be a problem.

 

Next you can go ahead and load the PMDG .rte file into the CDU as described in my last post. FSX and PMDG routes now match up, and you shouldn't have any issues with the FSX ATC...save for ATC barking at  you to take a heading if it doesn't match the sid you selected.   Once you've completed your SID route and are on course for the first leg of your flight plan, FSX  ATC. will be happy with you!  :-).  You'll run into similar complaints with FSX ATC with STARS. Often, I just let ATC vector me in from altitude and forgo STARS.  I hand fly the aircraft anyway once I'm vectored to instersect the glide path on final.

 

Oh...one final thought....once you load your flight plan within the FSX flight planner and click OK...this will take you back to the flight planner main page.  Here, you should click on the departure airport to select your desired gate.  Don't try to select your gate in the flight planner edit or loading mode as this will prompt FSX to create its own flight plan. So, load and save your flight plan...click ok, then load your gate from the flight planner main page.

 

Hope this helps,

 

Tom S.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Outputting a pln file is good to know...thanks...however, isn't a "not totally real" ATC better than none at all?

Thanks again...

 

Full names in the forum, please.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sure to kick my self once someone points it out to me, but I cant see where you can save the file in various formats , in my case I want the plan to be in rte for the 747x.

 

Pete Markovic

 

 

At this point you can go to the top of the page where you can save the flight plan.  Its at the top of the route page just created.  This tab has a pull down menu that lets you save the flight in various formats including FSX, PMDG, etc. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sure to kick my self once someone points it out to me, but I cant see where you can save the file in various formats , in my case I want the plan to be in rte for the 747x.

 

Before clicking "Generate OFP" ensure you have the "detailed navlog" (over on the right side where you set the OFP format, LBS/KGS, etc) checked. After clicking "Generate OFP," scroll to the bottom of the page.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had the whole procedure wrong, thank you for setting me straight......at a glance this looks as good as site I have seen so far for flight planning ( I haven't done any simming since 2008 roughly :) )

 

Pete Markovic

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this