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PFPX - usage


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Hello,

Here below I would like to share some opinions, concerns and ask some questions concerning usage of PFPX. Prior to that I would like to admit that I am not a very advanced user and some of the things may sound superficial, even funny for advanced users, who are here before me and have much more experience with SIM. Please do apologize me for this!

I am using mainly Aerosoft Airbus A320/321 for quite some time. Flight plans, fuel plans, etc. was done by the tools supplied by Aerosoft once installing the SIM. It could be not the best, but reasonable option at least for starting experience. I had red lot of things in the net concerning PFPX, its usage, positive sides, etc. etc., but only couple of days ago I managed to spend some funds from my budget and purchase a bundle edition with TopCat. I am studding it in details, however there were some things, which made me confused:

- there is no Aerosoft Airbus export option included!? This is something really strange having in mind that both company are working together as far as I can see from the comments and different topics. The option for Airbus Extended can be used, but is it the right way? 

- how all the information generated by the software can be applied in the SIM? What I could note is that the generated flight plan is with no difference with the one, which is made with the ordinary Company Rout Editor. There are lots of data generated by the planner , which cannot be entered, at least as per my beginner's knowledge;

- the PFPX does not generate a fuel plan, which can be loaded directly in the right MDCU. For me this sounds quite strange also because Aerosoft provides a fuel planner, which might be not so sophisticated, but at least helps;

- I had been studding all flight plan generated pages, but unfortunately could not find any information for the BLOCK index and TRIM settings. Hope that everyone who flays A320 knows that these parameters have to be entered, no matter if they are part of real life settings or not;

Here again I would like to say that this is not an attempt for criticizing the software. Just the opposite, it is perfect and helps a lot, but even though it would be good if some clarifications of all the above can be obtained.

Thank you in advance!

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  • Aerosoft

Hi there, 

 

Lets me answer your questions step by step. 

 

1) within PFPX you have to choose the "Airbus Extended" export. This is because the previous Aerosoft Airbus had this name and the flight plan format hasn't changed. All you need to do is to change the export folder from "... \AirbusXExtended\Flightplans" to "... \Airbus\Flightplans". 

 

2) PFPX only exports the route in a computer readable format. The rest of gherkin numbers (pax, cargo, fuel) habe to be entered manually I to the right MCDU. The Aerosoft Airbuse fuel planners is solely for the Airbus, while PFPX can be used for any aircraft. That's why it doesn't generate a load sheet. 

 

3) The block fuel is not explicitly stated as it is part of the fuel itself. If you load 5.6 tons of fuel, the block fuel is 5.6. The trim is indeed not given by PFPX, as that would be part of Topcat as performance tool. But as far as I know there is no Airbus template available for Topcat. 

 

Hope this helps. If not, please feel free to ask any follow up questions. 

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Hello Tom,

 

Topcat contains a profile for the A320-214 with CFM engines, for takeoff performance this works quite well against the FSL.

 

I would use the trim setting suggested by the MCDU as loading the aircraft from Topcat probably not recommended.

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4 hours ago, srcooke said:

I would use the trim setting suggested by the MCDU as loading the aircraft from Topcat probably not recommended.

 

Hi Stephen,

Can you please be more specific what you mean? I cannot get properly your point? 

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Topcat can send the load data to the aircraft either via modifying the aircraft.cfg file or sent through FSUIPC. Many add-on aircraft now use built in systems to distribute loads according to the publishers requirements so the Topcat method should not be used. Having loaded the aircraft according to the publishers requirements and configured the MCDU the trim setting can be retrieved from there.

 

Therefor I suggest only using Topcat to calculate the takeoff/landing performance in these instances.

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 4/22/2017 at 5:26 PM, Tom A320 said:

Hi there, 

........................

2) PFPX only exports the route in a computer readable format. The rest of gherkin numbers (pax, cargo, fuel) habe to be entered manually I to the right MCDU. The Aerosoft Airbuse fuel planners is solely for the Airbus, while PFPX can be used for any aircraft. That's why it doesn't generate a load sheet. 

 

3) The block fuel is not explicitly stated as it is part of the fuel itself. If you load 5.6 tons of fuel, the block fuel is 5.6. The trim is indeed not given by PFPX, as that would be part of Topcat as performance tool. But as far as I know there is no Airbus template available for Topcat. 

 

Hope this helps. If not, please feel free to ask any follow up questions. 

I am coming back to the subject almost a month later.

The answers above are quite clear to all my questions except one - what is the major advantage of PFPX compared to SimBrief?  All gherkin numbers (number of passengers, cargo, fuel, etc.) have to be entered manually I to the right MCDU produced by both software. I had made comparison between data produced by both software for one and the same plane, flying the same rout and have to say that the difference is within 1%, which is acceptable for the purpose. Other thing, which I would like to mention is missing of CI in calculating the flight profile by both software. Calculating the economic effectiveness of a flight is a major subject, which we may discuss for hours, if needed, but I strongly feel that this is not the correct place for it.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 5/18/2017 at 1:00 AM, VHOJT said:

PFPX is far more advanced than Simbrief and is highly customisable in how you use it.  Basically, it allows you to do far more and is more realistic.  

 

Cheers,

Rudy

Can you answer me these following questions?

- Where is the block index calculated by PFPX?

- where are the flap settings calculated by PFPX?

 

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Block index  ?

 

Quote

- where are the flap settings calculated by PFPX?

 

PFPX is an advanced flight planning and scheduling tool, for aircraft performance calculations you need to use a tool such as Topcat.

 

I suggest you view and research the product page PFPX

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Hi,

Let me make some statements again in order to avoid any misunderstanding and confusions in what is all this about. 

I started the topic in order to get some clear ideas for the actual use of the software. Unfortunately it turned to a bit different angle, which I would like to correct. Let me state  it very clear once again - I am not arguing just for the sake of arguing, but mainly in order to understand the actual use of spending Euro 55.45 for a single plane user and especially Aerosoft Airbus. It is not a secret that PFPX is not working quite well for Airbus because some parts of the profiles of the plane are missing. Same was discussed in other forums and that's the reason why some templates for the AC can be downloaded from this forum also.

Second important subject is the output and uploading the calculated data in the AC. I had read lots of articles, but unfortunately was unable to find anything related to the statement listed below. The only thing, which goes out from the software is the flight plan, but after changing the path.

On 4/23/2017 at 11:54 AM, srcooke said:

Topcat can send the load data to the aircraft either via modifying the aircraft.cfg file or sent through FSUIPC.

In regards to all the above, I am trying to compare the advantages of PFPX to the tools provided by Aerosoft Airbus and other free tools on different websites. It was mentioned above that fuel calculation obtained by PFPX has app. 1% difference compared to those obtained by SimBrief for example. There is no Block index, there is no trim setting, etc.

The situation would be completely different if the produced plans and other details of calculated flight profile could be linked to the AC through some sort of interface. In such situation I can fully agree that it becomes a must to have tool similar to what FSUIPC is according to many SIM users.

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What do you mean with Block index? Never heard of that. Do you mean the Block Fuel? This is the release fuel given by PFPX. Does SimBrief provide a trim setting? I don't think so. But that is not the purpose of these programs. For this, in real life, you have your EFB. It is not hard to estimate the appropriate trim setting: just enter the ZFW from your flight plan in the Load/Fuel Menu in the MCDU. Then take the CG value it presents you and adjust the trim accordingly. You can do that by looking at the numbers between the trim wheel and the thrust levers. There you can see which trim setting equals the CG value. No need for a program for that!

 

PFPX has far more possibilities to plan your flight than Simbrief. AFAIR, simbrief only uses only routes which are saved in the database whereas in PFPX, you are able to create a routing from scratch. Besides, there are working profiles for Airbus aircrafts, even with Cost Indexes, however, they are more suited for the FSLabs A320, but could also work for the Aerosoft Airbus. You can also save routes from PFPX to load in the Aerosoft Airbus. Works perfectly. So I can not really see where your problem is.

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Hi,

I had mentioned once and will repeat it again that opening this topic was not for discussing how good or bad  PFPX is. It is a software, which like other software has its positive and negative sides, something which all of us may wish to admit.

However the aim of the topic was different and I am coming back to it.

Using  PFPX I came to at least 2 subjects, for which I would like to ask support from the audience.

1. It was noticed that even for short flights the suggested cruise altitude is much higher than the real life aviation uses. For example I had recently planning a flight between LDZA and LYBE and got suggested cruise altitude FL360. At the same time YU was flying the same route with same A320-200 at FL290, which for me at least, sounds more realistic.

2. Many times when the flight is calculated the program gives some warning / error messages on the warning page. Reading the entire manual, I could not locate an explanation for the meaning of the errors and how they can be corrected. What I could understand is that in most of the cases the warnings were concerning insufficient fuel planning for reaching the alternative airport, however several values were underlined and I would appreciate some support in sorting them.

Thank you in advance!

 

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Can we have some screenshots or your plan to have a look at?

 

1) The cruise altitude in the real world may be lower than optimum due to airspace constraints.  Try downloading the nav restrictions from the user downloads part of this forum and/or run your plan through the European flight plan validator (search the forum for more on that).  

 

2) Examples needed of the warning message.  I nearly always get a warning saying no alternate was planned, which is fine, because the carrier I most like to simulate does not routinely plan an alternate airport.

 

Cheers,

Rudy

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6 hours ago, VHOJT said:

Try downloading the nav restrictions from the user downloads part of this forum

Do you mean the "PFPX RAD Restrictions and Directs" files published in download section of the forum?

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JU235 planned in PFPX using the advanced route finder:

 

(FPL-JU235-IN
-A320/M
-SDE1FGHIJ1RWXYZ/LB1
-LDZA0730
-N0402F270 VBA P735 RIGMU
-LYBE0040 LYUZ
-PBN/A1B1C1D1L1O1S1 NAV/RNVD1E2A1 DOF/170608 REG/DAESE
 EET/LYBA0022 RVR/75 PER/C
-E/0134)

 

Flightplan validates on first pass, FL270 matches the A319 data from flight radar. ATR's typically FL190/210.

 

As Rudy suggests post snapshots of your planning and also state the aircraft profile in use.

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The flight is calculated at FL270, not 360 as previously suggested.

 

PFPX will not know the final FL until you compute the data so the initial route is based on an approximation of FL based on distance. With the Lower/Upper FL's transitioning at FL285 in this instance it is marginal which would be used.

 

The warning indicates that FL270 is below that of the upper airway starting at FL285. Either modify the route to use the lower airway or re-plan capping the FL at 270.

 

 

 

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Hi Stephen,

This is exactly what I am unable to understand from the entire scenario. Look at this picture when the flight was planned:

Plan_1.thumb.png.3fc846f6b8a4c330280ca0bcde840c28.png

 

I had purposely given FL290 as a cruise altitude. This value was taken from a real world flight plan for the same route. Even though there are 3 warning messages registered after the flight plan was computed. 

Warnings_1.thumb.png.67c60ebd7b196de6eb7d1725d8d71a7f.png 

 

This is my confusion and unfortunately I am unable to find an answer what and how should be changed. Unfortunately I am not facing similar situation for the first time. It happens with some other flight plans and I really would like to have some explanation and guide lines in order to avoid mistakes from same sort.

Would appreciate some feedback anyhow. Thank you!

 

ATC_1.thumb.png.7cb2cc76ab4fc1b51d0c68cfb92f2a78.png

 

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If you wish to plan the flight at FL290 then set this in the initial cruise altitude window. PFPX will then compute the flight at that level, the entry you made in the route box only limits the search range for the route.

 

JU235.thumb.jpg.34a9474ce0c0412e735b93e6003681f5.jpg

 

FL290 is however above the optimum FL270 for this aircraft and ZFW. The JU231 entries on flightradar refer to a B733 flying FL290 at unknown weight. JU235 flown by an A319 is shown at FL270.

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Hi,

Thank you very much for the explanation. I could never guess that cruise altitude should be changed in the AC profile, but not in the route. It works for me now.

 

May I ask another question? 

I had recently updated my PFPX fleet with profiles for different plane modifications, files for which can be found in the net. My question now is how the same thing can be done for Topcat also? It becomes quite bad when you plan a flight with an AC, which has no flight configuration for departure and landing. Reading in different forums could not make the subject quite clear, at least for me, in aspect what files Topcat uses for AC profiles and where are they kept.

Thank you in advance!

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