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rfresh737

Free FPL to FMS conversion utility

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(I'm not sure this is the right forum for this post. If not, I respectfully ask the moderator to move it)

I wrote a converter utility that will convert ForeFlight FPL (flight plan) files into FMS files for Xplane aircraft that have GPS units: G1000, G3000, 530/430 and 737-800 CDUs.

There is a website with more information here fp2fms

I am making this utility available to anyone for free.

Thank you...

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Ralph Freshour

www.GMTPilots.com

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rfresh737,

Thank you so much for this gem. Not yet tried it but sounds fabulous.

Much appreciated.

Tony


Tony Chilcott.

 

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This is fantastic news!  I was just feeling the need for this today when I discovered that Little Navmap couldn’t seem to read .FPL files sent from ForeFlight.  I’d usually use LNP to read anything and then write out what I want, but your tool sounds like it will actually work, and is more streamlined for when all I want is to get it into X-Plane.  
 

(Oddly, though, LNM has no trouble reading the “Garmin” FPL files from Skyvector” ...)

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Posted (edited)

I use Little Nav Map myself. Great flight planning app. I create my flight plan in Little Nav Map, then I export it out to SkyVector.com, then I can use SkyVector to export an .fpl file. I use fp2fms to load in the fpl file then I save it and I've got my fms file for Xplane!!! BTW I fly a real C-172 and use ForeFlight.

Edited by rfresh737

Ralph Freshour

www.GMTPilots.com

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2 hours ago, rfresh737 said:

I use Little Nav Map myself. Great flight planning app. I create my flight plan in Little Nav Map, then I export it out to SkyVector.com, then I can use SkyVector to export an .fpl file. I use fp2fms to load in the fpl file then I save it and I've got my fms file for Xplane!!! BTW I fly a real C-172 and use ForeFlight.

Interesting ... and you found that none of LNM’s bazillion export formats actually generate a usable .fms file for X-Plane?  I thought that there were several suitable-sounding export options ...?

Regardless, I like how focused your tool is, particularly for my workflow, where I was ONLY using LNM as an (attempted) converter - I generally like to do all my planning in FF. 

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Posted (edited)

Oh yes, LNM can generate an Xplane fms file. However, you cannot change what that looks like before you export it. For example, you get the default waypoint names (WP1, WP2, etc). Not very pilot friendly. Also, you cannot add any leg altitudes in a pilot friendly manner.

If you export the way I do (LNM->SkyVector.com->*.fpl file) you have a great opportunity to load the fpl file into fp2fms, edit the waypoint names and optionally, add leg altitudes. As I show in my fp2fms video tutorial, my route has a waypoint just north of the Disneyland TFR. fp2fms gave this waypoint a default name such as WP150 or in the case coming from SkyVector.com, SV150. Inside fp2fms, I changed this waypoint name to WPDIS or SVDIS. The DIS reminds me this is the DISneyland waypoint. Much more pilot friendly. As long as a waypoint is 5 characters long, you're good to go. So I could have named it DISNY or DLAND. You get the idea. Another waypoint I have in the example route in the tutorial is at Prado Dam. I changed the default name in fp2fms to from SV152 to SVDAM.

I used to do all my flight planning in FF too but LMN has got the BEST airspace overlays I have ever found in a flight planning tool. Since I fly a real C-172 out of the Long Beach airport (near KLAX) I fly in the one of the most complex airspaces in the US. LNM is just beautiful at showing me the blocks of airspace all around my route. So I can select my leg altitudes to fly below or above the blocks, as necessary. When I can't do that then I just call up Flight Following.

Edited by rfresh737

Ralph Freshour

www.GMTPilots.com

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Understood, I watched your video and it does a great job of showing what your tool can do  to clean things up, it’s great!

I am also interested to hear that you use LNM for RL flight planning, I’d always wondered how much of that was happening, and for some reason I avoid using it much because I thought FF was “more real” ... but LNM does indeed have a ton of tools. 

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And ... that's unfortunate.  In the LNM support forum (here) I was separately trying to figure out why my .fpl files from ForeFlight won't open in LNM, and discovered that the encoding was wrong for some reason.  Turns out your tool won't open it either, though you helpfully provide an error message that says how to correct it - nice!  Now the real issue is why the heck they're not encoded correctly in the first place ... not sure if it's ForeFlight's doing, or if my mail client or something else downstream is mucking it up.  It's popping out as "UCS-2 LE BOM", which is frankly not something I'm familiar with ...

SkyVector - you know, the one that DOESN'T cost $100's per year! - works fine, the encoding is great, so your workflow described above works.  

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Posted (edited)

I provide some information on that Foreflight encoding error on my  fp2fms website. Near the bottom of the tutorial page. FF acknowledged to me it's a bug in their software. I dont know when they will fix it so I put how you can fix it inside my fp2fms app as you mentioned. 

I also reported to FF they've added some FF specific data to their XML data structure.  I had to add code to ignore it in order for fp2fms to work. During my research of the fpl file format I discovered there really isn't any standard for this format. What companies have done when they needed to add their own data is create a new XML tag. I suggested respectfully to FF they do the same.

You can read all about this on that fp2fms tutorial page.

 

Edited by rfresh737

Ralph Freshour

www.GMTPilots.com

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Posted (edited)

Ah, nice - saw your download page, and the tutorial video on YT, but didn’t see you had a third, separate thing that was a written tutorial with those notes.  Thanks much!  Good stuff.  

Edited by JeffChrisope
Typo

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For all those who have contacted me about the status of fp2fms running on Linux: I'm 90% finished with the Linux version. I hope to release it within the next 24 hours.

Thanks for your interest.


Ralph Freshour

www.GMTPilots.com

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The Linux version is now finished. There is a download link on the website (URL shown below). It is ver1.1. Please read the instructions on the website regarding the Linux version of fp2fms. The launch file is run.command. You will have set your file manager Preferences to be able to click on this file and have fp2fms open up. It's explained on the home page of the website.


Ralph Freshour

www.GMTPilots.com

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