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Nick Dobda

TOPCAT

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All,

 

Sorry if my searching skills haven't been able to uncover this answer if indeed it is out there.

 

A simple question, can you get the fixed derate, assumed temp, and flaps setting from the TOPCAT free trial? I have been unable to find the answer to this question.

Alternatively, if you cannot.. is there a free tool out there to get the flaps, fixed derate, assumed temp?

Nick Dobda

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I don't know about the TOPCAT trial version but there is a dispatch performance spreadsheet, written specifically for the NGX by AVSIM member Lasse Kronborg, available in the AVSIM library:

 

http://library.avsim.net/download.php?DLID=188491

 

It's very comprehensive. All you need is a copy of MS Excel to run it.

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I don't believe TOPCAT has a free trial version. It can be purchased from this site - http://www.flightsimsoft.com/topcat/

 

You can still download the installer in download section. Without registration it will automatically become a trial version, although you can only use 747-400.

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Without registration it will automatically become a trial version
Thanks for the correction. Its not going to do Dobda much good with only the 744 since he has the NGX.

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Thank you for the answers. I will look into that Excel spreadsheet. It looks very impressive.

 

Nick Dobda

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FWIW -

 

I just spent about 30 mins playing with that spreadsheet by Lasse Kronborg, what a gem for free...

 

Reading the instructions and playing with the sheet took what was initally a bit cloudy and made it very clear (especailly with the flight mode, cost index, T/O performance dreates & assumed temps... also the auto brake / flap setting tools). I highly recommend for someone just getting into it a bit deeper then the default 737 & FSX standard flights.

 

On a side, since I pretty much always fly Southwest in real life, I am interested in SWA's standard cost index, acc height, red height assuming no AP restrictions... anyone know where to find this info?

 

Nick Dobda

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I am interested in SWA's standard cost index,

 

I am under the impression that no operator has a "standard cost index." This is a variable that changes with the external cost structure. I simply use 35 for SWA and run with it.

 

The FMS for the PMDG SWA liveries is configured to mimick SWA options at the time they were released. I've always assumed this included acceration height et.al..

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I spoke with a SWA captain on my last flight with them and he said that SWA is using a cost index of 40 on all flights currently.

 

Dave

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I am under the impression that no operator has a "standard cost index." This is a variable that changes with the external cost structure. I simply use 35 for SWA and run with it.

 

Some have a default or usual, but it should change if the airline wants to take advantage of the feature fully. This, of course, is widely misunderstood among the sim crowd as well, since I'm guessing someone sees a dispatch sheet with one value and assume that's what's always used and then blasts it all over the internet.

 

The thing that makes me scratch my head is that, if it was a set and standard value for each operator, why would the value be adjustable so readily? If it were supposed to be a set and standard value, then one would imagine that the setting would be like the company descent speed, or other company-chosen, hard coded values (that may or may not be overwritten). So, while I acknowledge that some operators only use the function at its most basic level, it still perplexes me that there's this widespread belief that there's such a thing as a "standard cost index."


I spoke with a SWA captain on my last flight with them and he said that SWA is using a cost index of 40 on all flights currently.

 

SWA is definitely an exception. Remember that this is the same operator that, until a few years ago, didn't use A/T or VNAV...

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Yes, I am completely aware, I was pointing it out as an example of a real world airline that does have a 'usual' cost index.

 

Dave

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it still perplexes me that there's this widespread belief that there's such a thing as a "standard cost index."

 

I understand the the cost value changes. You'll get this if you grasp the concept of cost index. However, I understand that the calcs are complex - and if I do understand, the pilot in the seat doesn't do the calculation, he has it handed to him when hes getting the flight ready... just wasn't sure where the number came from exactly.

 

From that dispatch spreadsheet I downloaded free it reads

 

"CI is entered in the FMC as a number between 0 and 500 (for Boeing 737NGs that is. Other aircraft may have different ranges for CI).What CI you would use is an economical figure, where airline dispatchers calculate the cheapest way to fly the route regarding to both the cost of fuel but also the cost of using more time.Optimal CI can differ from route to route, from company to company, and even from day to day. A CI between 6 and 30 is most common but it could be way higher."

 

"airline dispatchers" is where my original question came from. Knowing I am not (or even could not) do the calcs myself to come up with some sort of number, in general people (including myself) just want something to plug in there that is semi realistic. I guess I lucked out asking for SWA's number, as I got a solid answer from Dave - 40... Which is what I will use from now on with a lack of dispatcher doing the calcs for me.

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"airline dispatchers" is where my original question came from. Knowing I am not (or even could not) do the calcs myself to come up with some sort of number, in general people (including myself) just want something to plug in there that is semi realistic. I guess I lucked out asking for SWA's number, as I got a solid answer from Dave - 40... Which is what I will use from now on with a lack of dispatcher doing the calcs for me.

 

The calculation can be as simple and as complex as you want to make it, but the basics are pretty simple:

0 - all cost based - use the lowest amount of fuel for the flight

MAX - all time based - use whatever amount of fuel may be required to get there in the quickest time possible

 

Obviously, using that base, one could come up with any number of cost factors to drive a more informed number. Whereas one airline might base CI on the cost of fuel alone, another could base it off of the cost of: fuel, crew (remember, this varies with seniority, and increases with flight duration), the cost of the route (airports charge different service fees to use their facility, flights through international airspace carry higher fees as well), the number of high mileage members on the flight ("early" is perceived as better service), the opportunity cost of using the aircraft on a route (I can only fly so many legs with that aircraft in a day, so if I can fly one leg faster to fit in another leg, I'll fly a higher CI to bring in an extra leg of revenue), the cost of an arrival delay (a delay early in the day can cause some pretty nasty rippling effects through the rest of the day, and even to other flights - this could mean higher CIs for flights earlier in the day), or any combination of those. None of those metrics-based models would be right or wrong, so you can make it as simple or complex as you'd like.

 

I vary my own "airline's" (that is to say, regardless of the livery I'm flying, using my own overarching SOP of sorts) CI based on known factors. If I look on FlightAware and the flight is delayed, that CI is going up. If it is delayed for quite some time, the CI is going that much higher ("delay recovery" - which is also partially why we are moving toward RTA instead of ground stops/holds). If the cost of fuel increases (something I vaguely pay attention to because I see it fluctuate when I'm at the airport myself), then the CI goes down. All of this is just based off of my gut feeling of what it should be.

 

 

 

...and I know this is the first post in this thread where you've forgotten it, so thank you for minding the signature rule thus far, but keep it in mind for future posts.

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Nick Dobda

 

To have your full name appear on your posts do the following - Click on your User Name in the upper right corner of this page. Click on My Profile. Click on Edit My Profile. Click on Signature. Type your full name in My current Signature. Click on Save Changes. That's it. Now your full name will appear at the bottom of your posts.

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Seen as its labelled TOPCAT i'll ask a question :) why doesn't TOPCAT not account for -Reverse Thrust ADJ

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Seen as its labelled TOPCAT i'll ask a question :) why doesn't TOPCAT not account for -Reverse Thrust ADJ

The TOPCAT forum is the place to ask a technical question about TOPCAT. Also this thread is about not using TOPCAT.

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The TOPCAT forum is the place to ask a technical question about TOPCAT. Also this thread is about not using TOPCAT.

 

The TOPCAT forum is completely dead.... It's a great software, pity that it was completely abandoned by the developers...

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Yeh already looked at the forum and know about it, thats why i gave this a shot

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Yeh already looked at the forum and know about it, thats why i gave this a shot

Vernon

 

Maybe the best deal would be to submit a support ticket which is what is suggested in the link in my post.

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The TOPCAT forum is completely dead.... It's a great software, pity that it was completely abandoned by the developers...

 

 

The TOPCAT forum is read only since January 18, 2015 - http://www.topcatsim.com/forum/index.php?topic=2606.0. No posts can be made which makes it kind of impossible to ask a question.

 

Yeh already looked at the forum and know about it, thats why i gave this a shot

Fair enough, but you still won't find answers to why something isn't included in their software here. Only their devs could answer that.

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Seen as its labelled TOPCAT i'll ask a question :) why doesn't TOPCAT not account for -Reverse Thrust ADJ

I am not sure about this. But if one (or more) reverser is not avail, you should be able to choose a corresponding failure in landing perfomance calculation page.

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I am not sure about this. But if one (or more) reverser is not avail, you should be able to choose a corresponding failure in landing perfomance calculation page.

On the landing page if you click on edit for the inoperative items a message pops up saying "There are No Dispatch Malfunctions Available."

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On the landing page if you click on edit for the inoperative items a message pops up saying "There are No Dispatch Malfunctions Available."

 

Choose "Inflight" instead of "Dispatch" in calculation method, it works for me even in the trial version. AFAIK the dispatch option is for dispatchers to check whether the runway is long enough to land (hence deciding if the flight can be dispatched).

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Choose "Inflight" instead of "Dispatch" in calculation method

Same message as in post #23 except substitute inflight for dispatch. What version do you have? Mine is 2.74 Beta.

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