Fuel Planning Web Site

Archived from groups: alt.games.microsoft.flight-sim (More info?)

What applications or web sites give a good overvue of fuel
planning for specific models of GA aircraft? I am interested in
understanding better the altitude that gives the best overall
fuel efficiency for a given distance travel, assuming winds aloft
are zero. Seeing a table or chart that summarizes some basic
generalizations would be helpful.

--
Will
Internet: westes at earthbroadcast.com
11 answers Last reply
More about fuel planning site
  1. Archived from groups: alt.games.microsoft.flight-sim (More info?)

    Will <DELETE_westes@earthbroadcast.com> wrote:

    > What applications or web sites give a good overvue of fuel
    > planning for specific models of GA aircraft? I am interested in
    > understanding better the altitude that gives the best overall
    > fuel efficiency for a given distance travel, assuming winds aloft
    > are zero.

    Jeppesen's FLightStar is an excellent application that comes with many
    default aircraft profiles and does exactly what you ask. AOPA's Flight
    Planner, a freebee to those who belong to AOPA, is a somewhat scaled back
    version of this particular PC-based flight planner, but it still comes with
    many of the fuel planning features.

    FlightStar will take the aircraft's fuel efficiency and speed and (with or
    without winds aloft) calculate the most efficient altitude based on time to
    destination and total cost of flight. Sometimes the two altitudes don't
    necessarily coincide.

    Here is the link:

    http://www.sportys.com/acb/showdetl.cfm?DID=19&Product_ID=6181&CATID=175


    > Seeing a table or chart that summarizes some basic
    > generalizations would be helpful.

    The only tables I have seen are in the specific aircraft's pilot operating
    handbook (POH).

    --
    Peter


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  2. Archived from groups: alt.games.microsoft.flight-sim (More info?)

    I have Flitestar 8.5 but honestly it feels pretty loose. It is
    extremely strong on chart drawing tools and letting you change
    the waypoints in your flight plan. But for fuel planning
    frankly I'm pretty lost, and the documentation isn't helping me a
    whole lot. Where can I see the actual fuel consumed in each leg
    of the flight and keep track of fuel remaining? Probably this is
    buried away on some report?

    I was going to upgrade to release 9 of Flitemap IFR but then I
    found out they discontinued FliteMap and have yet some other
    product connected with Jeppview that does the moving map
    functions. Rather than integrating the important activities of
    Flight Planning, Moving Map, and enroute and approach charts
    together into one product, it feels like Jeppesen is moving these
    things further away from each other. You have to buy Flitestar
    for flight planning, Jeppview for approach charts, and still some
    other product for moving map. Frustrating.

    What did you use to learn the key features of Flitestar?
    Thanks for any help you can give in advance.

    --
    Will
    Internet: westes at earthbroadcast.com


    "Beech45Whiskey" <pjricc@gmail.com> wrote in message
    news:kznmq96kss5s$.dlg@ID-259643.user.individual.net...
    > Jeppesen's FLightStar is an excellent application that comes
    with many
    > default aircraft profiles and does exactly what you ask.
    AOPA's Flight
    > Planner, a freebee to those who belong to AOPA, is a somewhat
    scaled back
    > version of this particular PC-based flight planner, but it
    still comes with
    > many of the fuel planning features.
    >
    > FlightStar will take the aircraft's fuel efficiency and speed
    and (with or
    > without winds aloft) calculate the most efficient altitude
    based on time to
    > destination and total cost of flight. Sometimes the two
    altitudes don't
    > necessarily coincide.
    >
    > Here is the link:
    >
    >
    http://www.sportys.com/acb/showdetl.cfm?DID=19&Product_ID=6181&CATID=175
    >
    >
    > > Seeing a table or chart that summarizes some basic
    > > generalizations would be helpful.
    >
    > The only tables I have seen are in the specific aircraft's
    pilot operating
    > handbook (POH).
    >
    > --
    > Peter
  3. Archived from groups: alt.games.microsoft.flight-sim (More info?)

    Will <DELETE_westes@earthbroadcast.com> wrote:

    > I have Flitestar 8.5 but honestly it feels pretty loose.

    I cannot comment on 8.x as I came into FlightStar with version 9.0. It is
    very strong from the fuel planning aspect.

    <snip>
    > But for fuel planning
    > frankly I'm pretty lost, and the documentation isn't helping me a
    > whole lot. Where can I see the actual fuel consumed in each leg
    > of the flight and keep track of fuel remaining? Probably this is
    > buried away on some report?

    One of the strengths of the software is the detailed Nav Log report. In
    version 9.x (again, I do not know about 8.x - it might be the same, it
    might not), this report can seen by changing the view from "En Route
    Charts" to "Reports." In 9.x, changing the view is accomplished by
    clicking on one of four large tabs at the top of the main window. They are
    very obviously placed.

    After clicking the Reports tab, click the "Nav Log" button at the bottom of
    the main window. The Navigation Log should appear in the main window.

    In there you will find your route, broken down by waypoints, where there
    are Fuel (used and remaining), Time (leg and total to that way point),
    Distance (leg and total), and Ground speed columns. There are also a
    couple of empty blocks per waypoint where you can write your estimate
    arrival time based on last waypoint and actual arrival time. This will
    give you your actual versus estimated fuel burn.

    This report can also be printed from this view, or by going to
    File > Print (name of route), which is the first print option listed.

    > I was going to upgrade to release 9 of Flitemap IFR but then I
    > found out they discontinued FliteMap and have yet some other
    > product connected with Jeppview that does the moving map
    > functions. Rather than integrating the important activities of
    > Flight Planning, Moving Map, and enroute and approach charts
    > together into one product, it feels like Jeppesen is moving these
    > things further away from each other. You have to buy Flitestar
    > for flight planning, Jeppview for approach charts, and still some
    > other product for moving map. Frustrating.

    I agree that Jeppesen is expensive and somewhat frustrating as a company,
    given that there really is no major competitor outside of the US gov't
    charting service, at least in the US.

    > What did you use to learn the key features of Flitestar?

    The school of "hard knocks." :) I sat down and planned several routes,
    then began using it for real.


    --
    Peter


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  4. Archived from groups: alt.games.microsoft.flight-sim (More info?)

    Sure enough, I have this, and thanks.

    Now how do I change the altitude for the flight after I have
    already created it, to test the impact on fuel consumption? Is
    there any feature to automatically determine the optimium
    altitude to minimize fuel consumption?

    Is there any way to download winds aloft, and then have the plan
    automatically determine the correct altitudes at each segment to
    take advantage of the best winds? It would be awesome if you
    could update against new winds aloft data while in flight and
    have suggestions made for changes to the flight plan.

    --
    Will
    Internet: westes at earthbroadcast.com


    "Beech45Whiskey" <pjricc@gmail.com> wrote in message
    news:kkfzj0al0bq.dlg@ID-259643.user.individual.net...
    > One of the strengths of the software is the detailed Nav Log
    report. In
    > version 9.x (again, I do not know about 8.x - it might be the
    same, it
    > might not), this report can seen by changing the view from "En
    Route
    > Charts" to "Reports." In 9.x, changing the view is
    accomplished by
    > clicking on one of four large tabs at the top of the main
    window. They are
    > very obviously placed.
    >
    > After clicking the Reports tab, click the "Nav Log" button at
    the bottom of
    > the main window. The Navigation Log should appear in the main
    window.
    >
    > In there you will find your route, broken down by waypoints,
    where there
    > are Fuel (used and remaining), Time (leg and total to that way
    point),
    > Distance (leg and total), and Ground speed columns. There are
    also a
    > couple of empty blocks per waypoint where you can write your
    estimate
    > arrival time based on last waypoint and actual arrival time.
    This will
    > give you your actual versus estimated fuel burn.
  5. Archived from groups: alt.games.microsoft.flight-sim (More info?)

    Will <DELETE_westes@earthbroadcast.com> wrote:

    > Now how do I change the altitude for the flight after I have
    > already created it, to test the impact on fuel consumption? Is
    > there any feature to automatically determine the optimium
    > altitude to minimize fuel consumption?

    In version 9.x, there is an "Optimize Altitudes" feature. Assuming your
    aircraft profile is accurate, this feature will give you a no-wind optimal
    altitude (taking into account time-to-climb and -descend as well as true
    airspeed) and an imported winds aloft (from either keying in an estimate or
    downloading forecasted winds aloft) best altitude, which takes into account
    all no-wind information plus effects of winds and temperature at different
    altitudes.

    To access this feature, click: Preflight > Optimize Altitudes for {route}
    off the main menu.

    Once inside this window, you can see the optimal altitudes, as they are the
    ones where either cost or gallons used are colored BLUE. Click on the
    column of the altitude you desire and the software automatically uses that
    altitude for all calculations, including within the NavLog. FlightStar
    will even calculate TOC and BOD waypoints and fuel used based on whatever
    altitude you chose.

    Go back in that window to change to any altitude you want.

    > Is there any way to download winds aloft, and then have the plan
    > automatically determine the correct altitudes at each segment to
    > take advantage of the best winds?

    Based on my experience with FlightStar, the "Optimize Altitude" feature of
    this software will only give you the best altitude over the entire route.
    Thus, if you are crossing a cold front where the winds go from a strong
    tailwind to a strong headwind, you will only see the best altitude that
    gives you the best average groundspeed.

    However, based on your excellent weather planning and knowing that you are
    going to cross from a region of strong tailwinds to headwinds, you can set
    different altitudes between each leg of your route in the following menu
    choice:

    Preflight > Route Calculator for {route}

    Not exactly automated, but still it makes complex flight planning pretty
    easy.

    > It would be awesome if you
    > could update against new winds aloft data while in flight and
    > have suggestions made for changes to the flight plan.

    I only use the software for preflight planning, so I do not know about
    this.

    IMO, calculating headwinds/tailwinds while flying (something that should be
    done by any pilot flying out of the traffic pattern) makes it pretty easy
    to pick different cruise altitudes, no software needed. :)

    FYI, I used FlightStar to plan my across-the-US flight in a Bonanza last
    May 28th. It was accurate to within 5 gallons per leg across the entire US
    (central NY all the way to Palm Springs, CA).

    --
    Peter


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  6. Archived from groups: alt.games.microsoft.flight-sim (More info?)

    Thanks for all of that advice. I learned a lot more about the
    software from your short posts than I did from reading through
    the Jeppesen manual.

    Did you get a chance to checkout Big Biear Mountain while on the
    trip to Palm Springs? Airport code is L35. Try flying in
    there with MegaScenery Southern California. Really pretty area,
    and it is surprising to find high altitude pine forests and lakes
    sitting right next to desert in Palm Springs. Most of the
    commercial flights to locations north of LA have a clear view of
    this lake from the air, and it looks like a little oasis on top
    of a mountain.

    --
    Will
    Internet: westes at earthbroadcast.com


    "Beech45Whiskey" <pjricc@gmail.com> wrote in message
    news:1g64o7tmo14qj$.dlg@ID-259643.user.individual.net...
    > FYI, I used FlightStar to plan my across-the-US flight in a
    Bonanza last
    > May 28th. It was accurate to within 5 gallons per leg across
    the entire US
    > (central NY all the way to Palm Springs, CA).
    >
    > --
    > Peter
  7. Archived from groups: alt.games.microsoft.flight-sim (More info?)

    By the way, do you know about the Peter Dowson utility that will
    export Flitestar flight plans to the FS2004 GPS? It really
    works, although it a bit of a hassle. I always use it from a
    separate computer and link to the default FS2004 flightplan
    directory on the computer where FS2004 runs. Then you need to
    manually load the flight plan from inside FS2004 when you plan an
    IFR flight. I have not unfortunately found any way to load one
    of these flight plans into the Reality Garmin GPS.

    --
    Will
    Internet: westes at earthbroadcast.com


    "Beech45Whiskey" <pjricc@gmail.com> wrote in message
    news:1g64o7tmo14qj$.dlg@ID-259643.user.individual.net...
    > Will <DELETE_westes@earthbroadcast.com> wrote:
    > FYI, I used FlightStar to plan my across-the-US flight in a
    Bonanza last
    > May 28th. It was accurate to within 5 gallons per leg across
    the entire US
    > (central NY all the way to Palm Springs, CA).
    >
    > --
    > Peter
  8. Archived from groups: alt.games.microsoft.flight-sim (More info?)

    Will <DELETE_westes@earthbroadcast.com> wrote:

    > Did you get a chance to checkout Big Biear Mountain while on the
    > trip to Palm Springs?

    Not on this trip, but a couple of years ago I flew commercially to visit my
    relatives in Palm Springs. While there for the two weeks, I got checked
    out in one of The Palm Springs Flight School's C172SPs. One of the
    checkout tasks was to fly up to Big Bear for a high altitude airport
    checkout.

    I then took my relatives up there the following week for lunch at that
    airport's cafe.

    As you probably have noticed, you cannot fly directly there from Palm
    Springs airport due to the higher mountain peaks directly south of Big
    Bear. Instead, you need to fly north, then turn west directly to the
    airport, all while climbing from 400 ft MSL at PSP up to about 9,500 ft
    MSL.

    --
    Peter


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  9. Archived from groups: alt.games.microsoft.flight-sim (More info?)

    Will <DELETE_westes@earthbroadcast.com> wrote:

    > I have not unfortunately found any way to load one
    > of these flight plans into the Reality Garmin GPS.

    Yep, the Reality Garmin GNS430/530 is basically a "screen scraper" gauge
    for the actual Garmin GPS simulator, which has to run in the background.
    Just like the real GPS, the only way to enter a flight plan into this GPS
    simulator is to tediously dial it in.

    In one of the piloting newsgroups I read that the FAA actually purposely
    limited flight plan data entry to only dialing it in with the GPS knob when
    the FAA went about certifying IFR GPSs under that particular certification
    standard.

    This is because when dialing in the waypoint, the GPS will give you the
    name, location, and distance of that waypoint before the waypoint is
    entered into the flight plan, making it harder (but not impossible) to
    enter an incorrect waypoint into the flight plan. It is possible that
    a flight plan downloaded from a PC could have incorrect waypoints that
    wouldn't be caught until that leg was actually the active leg. Not
    something a pilot wants to find out while IMC in busy airspace.

    If you think of it this way, it actually makes sense as to why the FAA did
    this.

    --
    Peter


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  10. Archived from groups: alt.games.microsoft.flight-sim (More info?)

    I can't help but point out (and I did point it out to Reality's
    Jean-Luc), that Reality could very easily create a utility that
    would take as input a flight plan, and then automate the task of
    creating the flight plan by simply feeding keystrokes to the
    Reality Garmin 530. Jean Luc thought it was a good idea (for
    once :) ) and said they would put it on a list for future
    possible implementation.

    --
    Will
    Internet: westes at earthbroadcast.com


    "Beech45Whiskey" <pjricc@gmail.com> wrote in message
    news:144ylheqp539f.dlg@ID-259643.user.individual.net...
    > Yep, the Reality Garmin GNS430/530 is basically a "screen
    scraper" gauge
    > for the actual Garmin GPS simulator, which has to run in the
    background.
    > Just like the real GPS, the only way to enter a flight plan
    into this GPS
    > simulator is to tediously dial it in.
    >
    > --
    > Peter
  11. Archived from groups: alt.games.microsoft.flight-sim (More info?)

    Will <DELETE_westes@earthbroadcast.com> wrote:

    > I can't help but point out (and I did point it out to Reality's
    > Jean-Luc), that Reality could very easily create a utility that
    > would take as input a flight plan, and then automate the task of
    > creating the flight plan by simply feeding keystrokes to the
    > Reality Garmin 530. Jean Luc thought it was a good idea (for
    > once :) ) and said they would put it on a list for future
    > possible implementation.

    Thinking something is an excellent idea and actually implementing that idea
    can often be opposing goals. :)

    --
    Peter


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