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Cruising altitude

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When you set your flight plan up in FSX SE the recommended cruising altitude is given. In PREPARED v4 it's zero in the cruising altitude box. How or where do we find the recommended cruising altitude in PREPARED v4? Setting up an altitude in that box is not easy, it's rather sensitive.

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Use flight planning tools, it is more realistic anyway.

I recommend the vroute application, it is free and have plenty of functionality and features.

There are others of course, just find one that you like.

Happy holidays,


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(In v4.1) the altitude field is set automatically, when the flight plan is calculated. Just proceed top to bottom through the left column (Departure -> Destination -> Type -> Routing). When the last radio button is selected (Routing) the route is calculated automatically, and when that is complete, the "cruising altitude" field shows a value. At least it does that for me...

Btw. you can highlight the contents of the "crusing altitude" field with the mouse (click&drag or doubleclick) and just type in your desired value. You don't have to use the "+/-" controls.

Best regards



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If you don't use a flight planner, some FMCs will calculate it for you based on your speed/economy preferences, but if you are flying something which won't do that, here's a good general rule of thumb for calculating a sensible cruise (note this is completely disregarding winds aloft, expected turbulence and icing conditions, quadrantal rule etc, so adjust as necessary):

If you know the maximum ceiling for a given weight of your aeroplane, subtract about 2,000-3,000 feet off that altitude, and that's your optimum cruise altitude. The reason for that working fairly well with almost every aeroplane, is that it is generally the last couple of thousand feet below the ceiling which are the slowest and hardest for an aeroplane to climb, so if you don't make that last bit of the climb, you'll go faster and have relatively modest throttle settings when cruising comfortably below your ceiling because the aeroplane will not require a high angle of attack to maintain altitude, nor will it require excessive thrust to do so either.

Notwithstanding all the fancy calculations flight planners and FMC can do, you'll be surprised how well this 'back of a cig packet' method actually works. I use it frequently in my Air Hauler flights because I actually have to pay for fuel on those!

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