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Mathijs Kok

A short primer on the printer

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One of the aspects of what we used to call the 'Service Pack' is more or less completed and delivered (there is one open issue an update will soon solve. As it is not included in the manual I made some text about it.

 

Thanks to Rolf for starting this text and Otto for the images!

 

The Multipurpose cockpit printer

 

All modern airliners have small (often thermal) multipurpose printers. These are used by the crew to print out ‘notes’ they can easily refer to without the need to go through menus of the MCDU, for example, the weather on arrival or take-off data. They can also contain information the screw wants to show maintenance staff.

 

A lot of the possible print outs are highly technical (and almost never used) and we decided not to include them. Some others are simplified to some degree so they can be understood without having to decode complex abbreviations. But all the prints a normal crew would use on a normal flight are included.

 

The prints will appear from the printer located on the center console. When something is printed you will hear the printer make a soft squeaky sound. When you left click on the paper in the printer the paper is torn of and placed in the window clipboard on the left side of the cockpit. Here it can be read easily.  When you have multiple prints (and you normally will have you can left click the paper and get a 2D representation where you can scroll through all prints.

 

2.jpg print1.jpg

 

Please note it is important to note that you will have to select the correct weather source via the 3rd Settings MCDU. (OPTIONS / WEATHER)

  • SIM (Default): Weather is read from the sim itself, but the weather can be inserted by 3rd party weather add-ons. All the standard limitations apply, so you will have to be close to the airport to get the weather.
  • HOPPIE: The Hoppie network contains world-wide weather.
  • VATSIM: Uses the weather the VATSIM servers send out.
  • IVAO: Uses the weather the IVAO servers send out.

 

3.jpg

 

Some prints have automatically triggers, others can be triggered by the crew.

 

AUTOMATICALLY GENERATED PRINTS

 

LOADSHEET: This is printed when all the passengers have boarded and all fuel and cargo have been loaded. It assumes that the INIT B page has been filled and departure airport and runway have been selected.

4.jpg

 

HARD/SEVERE LANDING: The ‘print of shame’.  This is triggered when you land with too much G or too much vertical speed. It can say severe (> 14 feet per second OR > 2.86 G) or hard (10 <> 14 feet per second OR 2.6 <> 2.86 G).  It will be printed when the aircraft has slowed to 35 knots. Don’t hide it, you are supposed to show it to the maintenance crew.

Image to be inserted as soon as I mess up a landing

 

 

FLIGHT LOG REPORT: This report is automatically printed after the engines are shit down.

6a.jpg

 

 

AIDS GENERATED PRINTS

When you press the AIDS (Aircraft Integrated Data System) button on the right side of the center console a print will be made depending on the stage of the flight.

5.jpg

 

TAKEOFF REPORT: Will be printed when the AIDS button is pushed after the aircraft is being pushed back and before take-off. 

It shows all the major data the crew needs for the takeoff stage.

12.jpg

 

DESTINATION WEATHER REPORT: Available when AIDS button is pushed in the cruise phase.

Shows the weather at your destination and alternate airports.

11.jpg

 

 

 

ATSU/AOC GENERATED PRINTS

Using the Left or Right MCDU you can also print information. This section is still somewhat in flux at this moment, for example, because we hope to offer full support for PMDG Global Flight Operations soon.

 

8.jpg 9.jpg

 

FUEL REPORT: A quick report on the amount of fuel you currently have. Select FUEL and PRINT to generate it.

 

10.jpg

 

WEATHER REPORT: Shows the weather at your departure, arrival and alternative airports. Select RECEIVED MESSAGES and then PRINT ALL.

14.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

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"so you will have to be close to the airport to get the weather."

 

So, if I am still 300 nm from my destination EHAM (flying over, say, Berlin at cruise), and my wx source is set to "sim", will it give me the weather over Berlin (where I'm presently flying), or will it give me the weather at EHAM at that moment?

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16 hours ago, Mace_RB said:

"so you will have to be close to the airport to get the weather."

 

So, if I am still 300 nm from my destination EHAM (flying over, say, Berlin at cruise), and my wx source is set to "sim", will it give me the weather over Berlin (where I'm presently flying), or will it give me the weather at EHAM at that moment?

 

Just some background info:  The typical range of the UHF ATIS Transmitter is 30nm (in real life).  I'm not entirely sure, but I believe if you select the Hoppie Network in MCDU#3 it will allow you get get weather further than 30nm, but of course it's not realistic.

 

Best wishes.

 

 

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Commercial airliners do not have UHF and I have no problem receiving an ACARS KSFO ATIS when I am on the apron in EDDM or flying over Mongolia IRL. I am guessing you are mixing something up here. 

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In his great and very helpfull book "Airbus A 320 Pilot Hadbook" Mike Ray says that ATIS broadcast uses VHF transmitter, which usually can´t be received out the line-of sight, that means about more than 200 NM. I understand that as usually ATIS can be received at a distance about more than 100 NM (depending on altitude). If this information was right, it would be nice getting ATIS farther than 30 NM.

Best wishes,

Matthias

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I agree, but that is a limitation of the sim. It simply does not have weather 300 miles away.  The internal weather engine only makes weather around the aircraft. 

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1 hour ago, DaveCT2003 said:

 

Just some background info:  The typical range of the UHF ATIS Transmitter is 30nm (in real life).  I'm not entirely sure, but I believe if you select the Hoppie Network in MCDU#3 it will allow you get get weather further than 30nm, but of course it's not realistic.

 

Best wishes.

 

 

 

Not sure Dave. If I am correct the newer systems that we simulate can get weather from all the world. The problem is that your weather engine needs to match what Hoppie serves up. If you see VATSIM and IVAO weather next to each other you often see they do not fully match.

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Mathis said:"but that is a limitation of the sim" ,

Thank you for this information! Now I know the reason why!

Best regards,

Matthias

 

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38 minutes ago, Frank Docter said:

Commercial airliners do not have UHF and I have no problem receiving an ACARS KSFO ATIS when I am on the apron in EDDM or flying over Mongolia IRL. I am guessing you are mixing something up here. 

 

Yeah, I meant VFH.

 

16 minutes ago, Mathijs Kok said:

 

Not sure Dave. If I am correct the newer systems that we simulate can get weather from all the world. The problem is that your weather engine needs to match what Hoppie serves up. If you see VATSIM and IVAO weather next to each other you often see they do not fully match.

 

Boss, confirmed it is 30nm (a bit further when atmospherics allow).  That said, aircraft are also using SATCOM, and since there is no range for that per se, it would be worldwide.  This is currently what VATSIM and IVAO use as well.  Of course simulating SATCOM you could certainly get an ATIS for anywhere you wish providing the airport is feeding the SATCOM base server (and not all do).

 

 

 

 

 

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7 hours ago, DaveCT2003 said:

 

Just some background info:  The typical range of the UHF ATIS Transmitter is 30nm (in real life).  I'm not entirely sure, but I believe if you select the Hoppie Network in MCDU#3 it will allow you get get weather further than 30nm, but of course it's not realistic.

 

Best wishes.

 

 

 

I assumed the printer was getting data akin to ACARS.  I also assumed that was a subset of Global Flight Ops.  Assumptions can be dangerous they say?

 

I'm really struggling with how useful the wx printout would be, if it's pulling from ATIS and its limited range.  In real life, wouldn't the flight crew be getting destination weather via ACARS many, many nm away, so that they could properly program the correct STAR and runway?

 

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8 hours ago, Mace_RB said:

 

I assumed the printer was getting data akin to ACARS.

 

Correct. 

 

The RW ACARS system, from which the wx printout data would come, does not need the VHF signal of the specific broadcast station but uses an whole network. Satcom is not a requirement for ACARS to work. Forget that 30nm range reference with regard to RW ops. You can get your arrival weather being at the other side of the world IRL so we flightcrews have ample time to prepare the approach.  

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13 hours ago, DaveCT2003 said:

 

Yeah, I meant VFH.

 

 

Boss, confirmed it is 30nm (a bit further when atmospherics allow).  That said, aircraft are also using SATCOM, and since there is no range for that per se, it would be worldwide.  This is currently what VATSIM and IVAO use as well.  Of course simulating SATCOM you could certainly get an ATIS for anywhere you wish providing the airport is feeding the SATCOM base server (and not all do).

 

Is it really just 30NM in the USA for ATIS? Here in Europe we usually get our ATIS about 200NM out unless there is station interference with another signal on the same frequency. For example EDDB and EDDL use the same ATIS frequency, so if you come from the west and want to get EDDB ATIS you sometimes have to wait until about're about 50NM out from the airport to get it.

Normally it is line of sight though, the same as it is with pilot-controller communication.

And yes, my airline is probably the last in the world where we still have to copy the voice atis and write it down as we don't have ACARS in our aircraft.

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14 hours ago, Mathijs Kok said:

 

Not sure Dave. If I am correct the newer systems that we simulate can get weather from all the world. The problem is that your weather engine needs to match what Hoppie serves up. If you see VATSIM and IVAO weather next to each other you often see they do not fully match.

 

It's a question of how you get the ATIS. With ACARS you can get anything you want from anywhere on the world. Imagine it like the internet.

If you want to copy a voice ATIS the normal VHF characteristics apply, just like with any ATC voice communication.

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Boy. Things have certainly changed! Thanks for the modern information on this for this dinasour guys!

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