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Ray Proudfoot

FSX Flight Planner - why it frustrates me!

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This is an open message to the ACES team as they read these pages. Messages to the team although they're read are never responded to and I'm sure others would like to join this discussion.There has been much discussion about alternative flight planners and moving maps for FSX. As FSX has no moving map I'll limit this to my comments about the flight planner.Whilst I like the overall concept of choosing a departure and arrival airport, the type of flight, cruise level and then pressing a button to generate a flight plan what does frustrate me are two basic failings.1. There is no search facility to find waypoints you wish to add to a modified route. Many of us like to do this to add the waypoints for a SID or STAR. Using the arrows and zoom feature is painfully slow with the added frustration that once you zoom out too far waypoints disappear from the map making them impossible to add to the route.2. The map window occupies a fraction of the total window area. It is no more useable at 1920*1200 than it is at 1024*768. This appears to be down to poor unimaginative design and as the basic design has been in place for the last 2 or 3 versions Microsoft clearly feel it gives users what they want. I'm sure many of us have views on that!If Microsoft took flight planning a bit more seriously in future versions there might not be a need for 3rd party solutions although I suspect they would still exist.When they go to such great lengths to improve the visuals what is really needed is for the flight planning element to be scrapped and redesigned from scratch using as much of the available screen space as possible.Hopefully this will be looked at for FS11.

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Yes, well, although I have to say the flight planner is good enough for my usage (meaning I do not really need payware for it), I was also quite surprised to see nothing has really changed since the previous versions. Yes, I know there are indeed changes (like adding custom waypoints), but the navigationmethod (arrows and such) is from the stone age. And (indeed) the size is quite small. I really wonder why no one apparently looked at his at Aces...! I cannot imagine they were happy with it.As far as moving maps are concerned, the GPS is good enough for me. Again, I wouldn't pay a single dollar for a moving map. You don't have them in real life either, so... ;)

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I agree with you on No. 1. I almost always use RW flight plans rather then accept the default given to you by the FSX planner.Locating VORs is not a problem but somtimes trying to find an intersection is difficult. It can take sometimes longer than a few minutes to find a particular intersection that I need to add to my flight plan.What the FSX planner needs is a way to type in the name of the intersection, for example, "PRINO" (which is the last waypoint on the KEPEC ONE Arrival to KLAS)and then have this added automatically to your plan.Bob

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;) >>The glass cockpit on the Boeing and Airbus aircraft is a form of aeronautical moving map not dissimilar to that on the GPS. I wasn't really expecting ACES to provide a conventional map as such but I'm pleased we're in agreement that the flight planning element is long overdue a revamp.

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Hi Bob,Spending a few minutes to find an intersection is testament to how poor the planning utility is. If only it could have been improved slightly it would probably have sufficed. :-(

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>The glass cockpit on the Boeing and Airbus aircraft is a form>of aeronautical moving map not dissimilar to that on the GPS.And don't forget about the beautiful G1000! Anyway, what I meant to say was that FSX DOES provide moving maps, although maybe not as people want or expect them. I personally think a GPS is a nicer solution than a moving map like FSNAV has (had) because a GPS is more like it is in the RW!>I wasn't really expecting ACES to provide a conventional map>as such but I'm pleased we're in agreement that the flight>planning element is long overdue a revamp.As said, I cannot imagine ANYONE disagreeing with you on this point ;) . However, I wouldn't expect any enhancements from MS/Aces until a next version of FS... unfortunately...P.S. It makes you wonder how much MS/Aces relies/trusts on (the devs and buyers of) third party addons to fill their gaps... I mean, they KNOW things can be made better, but of course it would be impossible for them to add EVERY great addon in any next version of FSX. We can't expect that to happen. Imagine they would have added all great FS9 addons which they liked to FSX... You might want to save some more money for any next version in that case. And spend some more time waiting for that version to arrive. :( All in all you could also say (come to think of it) we are pretty spoiled by all those magnificent addons. ;) We can't expect and blame it all on MS/Aces for not including them in FS right out of the box. But... the planner is one of those things that (as said) REALLY is of the stone age... It's one of the things that should and could have been improved with just a few simple changes (a search field and a little Photoshop-like handtool to move the (bigger) map would have helped a lot)!

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As I fly the 737NG the G1000 is not something I would consider. Please bear in mind I only made a passing reference to the moving map. My main concerns relate to the flight planning software.Clearly no changes will be made to it for FSX but if enough people comment negatively about the current one it may convince ACES to do something about it.

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Yes, the flight planner is poorly presented again. That's what you get when more time is spent on animals and birds than the flight experience.SDPS: Does anyone still look forward to seeing the animals and birds in FSX?

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You can always go to these sites and get their free planners for U.S. flights which is what I use for my RW flights...You of course will not be able to use the duats aspects of Golden Eagle unless a pilot but that should not be a problem.Freeflight:http://www.seattleavionics.com/Downloads.a...ocation=voyagerGolden Eagle:http://www.duats.com/cirrus.shtmlhttp://mywebpages.comcast.net/geofa/pages/rxp-pilot.jpgForum Moderatorhttp://geofageofa.spaces.live.com/

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"PS: Does anyone still look forward to seeing the animals and birds in FSX?"I do-as I see birds all the time when I fly (less deer but just saw one the other day on the runway). I just flew with my partner to Knoxville-and he headed down to Ls. after dropping me off. He ended up in a medium heavy downpour in imc at 11k feet and to his shock a big blob of bird poop hit the windshield. He couldn't believe a bird was that high-and obviously it must have been scared!When they start modelling this and bugs on the windshield it will be even more real....:-)http://flightaware.com/live/flight/N7345Rhttp://mywebpages.comcast.net/geofa/pages/rxp-pilot.jpgForum Moderatorhttp://geofageofa.spaces.live.com/

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Thanks Geoff, I tend to do most of my flying in Europe but I'll use that site for my US ones.Cheers,

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I'm with you Ray. As a matter of fact I really like the flight planner with FSX. I like the drag and click thing and as you suggested, it would not take that much to make it a ton better not to mention that we'd be using native components. Not all external flight planners have the same waypoint names as FSX or FS2004 before it.Randy Jura, KPDX

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Thanks Randy. Yes, the dragging of the flight line over a intersection, VOR etc. to add it to the plan is good but the viewable area of the plan is far too small. I'm surprised you enjoy using it. Perhaps you don't alter the basic plan much?It's so frustrating that with a 24" monitor it's still no easier for me to modify a plan than if I had a smaller monitor.I think it would be asking too much to expect SIDs and STARs in the database but please give us an easy way to find and add intersections manually.With the inclusion of so many extra jets in FSX, ACES have aimed this at those who want to fly real world routes so please give us the tools to create plans easily.Thanks.

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>It makes you wonder how much MS/Aces relies/trusts on>(the devs and buyers of) third party addons to fill their>gaps... Not to sound like I'm wearing a tinfoil hat, but I wonder if this isn't a conscious omission. One thing that makes MSFS what it is is the large community of add-on providers (and, yes, I do mean commercial/payware ones). One of the reasons people gravitate to MSFS instead of, say X-Plane or (in the past) Fly! is that very third-party support. I think Microsoft wants to cultivate a community of add-on developers, and cutting into their markets by releasing something equivalent to one of their products in FS for free is a sure way to alienate that community. If that became a trend, I could imagine, say, Level-D or PMDG saying to themselves "why should we bother to spend the time and energy on a realistic 787 if, as soon as we get it out, MS releases a not-quite-as-good-but-still-very-close competitor in FS11 for free?" Likewise, say, the developers of FSBuild or FS Navigator. There's a fine line between releasing an all-inclusive product and encouraging third parties to support your product, and I think MS has to realize there are some areas where spending more energy is going to hurt the market, not help it. (Of course, if MS got into the add-on business themselves, they might be inclined to take on the third-party developers with their own equivalent products, but those would be Microsoft's own for-profit add-ons, and certainly wouldn't come free with FS.)

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>Hi Bob,>>Spending a few minutes to find an intersection is testament to>how poor the planning utility is. If only it could have been>improved slightly it would probably have sufficed. :-(That's exactly my thoughts of FS+ planners.Good thread, Ray. Thanks.

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>If Microsoft took flight planning a bit more seriously in>future versions there might not be a need for 3rd party>solutions although I suspect they would still exist.I may be one of the few to disagree. Flight planning is beyond the 'core' functionality of a flight simulation. Flight planning can actually be as complicated as Jeppesen's professional flight planning tools developed for airlines or Part 135 operators - well beyond what we would expect from a $70 box. I would hope that MS sticks with core functionalities and don't try to waste time on something that can't even come close to what's available out there.Michael J.http://img142.imageshack.us/img142/9320/apollo17vf7.jpg

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>When they start modelling this and bugs on the windshield it>will be even more real....:-)Well, guess you haven't flown Digital Aviation's Dornier Do-27 yet, which I only recently discovered. It's got bugs on the windshield! (No poop though...) During flight your window will get dirty and a few black splats will become visible too. You even have to clean the window too in between flights! And that's just one small detail... If you want a realistic GA there is only ONE option: get the Do-27. It's the BEST plane addon I have ever bought. Period. And I own a few classics (DF A36, RA SF260, etc.) so I know what I'm talking about. ;)http://www.digital-aviation.de/crjsite/l_h..._do27_main.html>Not to sound like I'm wearing a tinfoil hat, but I wonder if>this isn't a conscious omission. One thing that makes MSFS>what it is is the large community of add-on providers (and,>yes, I do mean commercial/payware ones). Er... that's what I meant to say...! Somehow. ;) Guess I wasn't really clear, but I do agree with you.

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And now after 16 post's no reaction from the top?

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I side with those who like the planner, although I do agree that searching for waypoints and sizing should be added to the functionality.Regarding SIDS and STARS, I think it depends on how one flys. The default FS GPS has approaches, and all this is dependent on the weather and ATC anyway so having it set in stone via the flightplanner may not necessarily be a good thing since you most likely will need to change it anyway.Also, considering the above concerning weather and ATC, most FMC/CDU aircraft if modelled correctly have SIDS and STARS in the FMC database so you basically just need the high altitude jetways when flying the jets which I've found the FS planner does fairly well at providing although this may be location dependent.I will say I do edit the FS flightplan to remove any departure or arrival points and use fixes on the jetways so some editing has to be done, but finding the jetway is key. For GA it's a completely different animal.It would be nice to have a moving map and be able to see SIDS and STARS from a particular airport to make it easier to choose, especially when a specific runway has multiples of each depending on direction of flight, but using Airnav.com suffices for now.Ian.

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Just a bigger window will do.. nothing more is been asked.JohanA LITTLE LESS CONVERSATION, AND A LITTLE MORE ACTION PLEASE..

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I'd disagree as well. For the $60-$70 price tag you get quite a bit. If you are willing for the price to go up another $40-$50 (which I doubt MS would ever do) then maybe they could include those advanced features.I think this is why they have enhanced how the application will work with third party apps in order for the simmer to decide how realistic they want the system to be.For the casual simmer, the out of box options/features may suffice.For the more advanced simmer they make the system able to work with 3rd party apps to add realism and extra features (more enhanced mapping, etc...)

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Hi GeoffThanks for this link to what appears (Voyager- Free Flight) to be a very nice bit of kit. I have d/l same but I cannot get to use it because it needs me to input my DUATS reg details which being a mere FS guy, I do not have. How do I get round this? I realise that you are a qualified pp so I guess that you did not have a problem with this.

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One other note is that on a filed flightplan one doesn't seem to put a SID or STAR but airways, navaids etc.... not sure what the real world procedure is, but I would assume ATC assigns a specific departure or approach depending on runway/weather and traffic conditions prior to arrival or departure. Ian.

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