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What is - most likely - included in FV 1.17


pellelil
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As per usual nothing is set in stone and all is subject to change, and I can't provide any release date. As written in a previous post version 1.17 will break some of the backward compatibility, so be sure you update to version 1.16 PRIOR to installing version 1.17 - once it becomes available.

 

One of the first things I started working on for version 1.17 was support for the new AIGFP (AI) flightplan format developed by AIG (Alpha India Group), which they have begun using in AIG AIM (AIG's AI Manager). The new importer is working fine and is able to import these flightplans (when you import a zip-file it will automatic determine if the file is in the old- or the new format, and choose the appropriate importer). It does however NOT import information about the repaints (as FV is not using this info), so these imported AIGFP flightplans cannot be exported out of FV in AIFP/Traffic-tool format. But other than that they work just like all other flightplans.

 

A few new aircraft have been added and A LOT of aircraft-data have been updated as a preliminary step for what I will describe next. A few versions back I added a feature which allows you to add your own user Airlines, so you are able to add missing airlines and use these, before I release an updated version including these. A few users have requested being able to add their own aircraft-types and so far I have been reluctant to add such a feature, because these data have to be very consistent in order to not break some of the functionality in the software. Also there have been a few show-stoppers caused by keeping some of the old backward compatibility, hence one of the reasons it will be removed in this version (version 1.17 will be fully compatible with version 1.16, so as long as you have updated to version 1.16 prior to installing version 1.17 all will be fine).

 

The work is still VERY MUCH Work-In-Progress (WIP) and I still have a fair amount of work to finish, but in version 1.17 you will be able to add your own aircraft. The aircraft data I supply with the program are aircraft-types (not specific aircraft). When flightplans are imported the schedules are (automatically) assigned an aircraft-type. Some of the aircraft-types I supply with the program are very wide types, e.g. there is a single type for all single-engine Cessnas. Now with version 1.17 you will be able to make your own types for each and every Cessna (e.g. the C182) if you want to or more appropriate add types that are completely missing and will not be auto-detected on import. I still would like to be notified if you come across missing types, or types that are not detected, so I can update the factory database that I bundle with the installer.

 

Beside being able to add your own aircraft-types, you will also be able to add your "owned aircraft". An owned aircraft is a SPECIFIC aircraft (not a type) - it will always need to reference a type. So you could choose to add the aircraft you own and fly in the sim (e.g. the 3rd party aircraft that you have bought). For each of these owned aircraft you will be able to registrate the airlines for which you have a repaint for that aircraft - its optional. If you do so, I plan to have the Leg search criteria to be able to only include the flights for the aircraft you own, being flown by the airlines for which you have defined you own such a repaint.

 

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As you can see in the screenshot, when you create these aircraft there is a lot of data to enter, and to be frank much of this data is currently not in use. I don't plan to change FV into being a flightplanner, however I would like at some point being able to suggest a load-out (number of pax/amount of Cargo). In order to do this I would probably need some rudimentary fuel-calculation in order to not overload the aircraft (e.g. on very long flights - while you need to carry lots of fuel - you cannot fly with a full load of pax/cargo). Also these owned aircraft and their data are also intended for some future planned ideas, that it is far too early to go into at this point.

When you create an owned aircraft you HAVE TO pick the type of which the owned (specific) aircraft should be based on, and doing so it will fill out all the info that is registered for that aircraft type. I don't have all info for all aircraft, e.g. I don't have fuel-burn values for all aircraft, and for those I have I in most cases only have the cruise fuel-burn figures. But even though currently not in use, I suggest you fill out the fields with the data you have for your 3rd party aircraft. The load-values in the right side of the screen, the pax weights are based on FAA avg. values to use, and the intl./domestic luggage weight (per passenger) defaults to 20 kg (44 lbs) for international flights and 15 kg (33 lbs) for domestic flights. I suggest you set these values according to the load-manager supplied by the creator of that 3rd party aircraft. E.g. the Majestic Q400 load manager operates with a passenger weight of 84.789 kg (186,928 lbs) per passenger, and does not distinguish between male/female/child so you simply enter 186.928 lbs (or 84.789 kg) as the male pax weight and check the "Same" check-boxes next to female- and child-weight which will set these to the same figure as for males. So once I am able to implement a load-suggestion feature, these values will already be in sync with the Majestic load-manager (both the factory/user-airlines already have a load-factor to be used generating a "normalized random" load-out). But again - it is optional if you want to dig out these data from the aircraft documentation and enter them.

 

One of the tab-sheets when creating an owned (specific) aircraft is called "Substitute-types", and here you can register the types for which this specific aircraft can be used as a substitute (remember that flightplans always are assigned an aircraft-type in stead of an owned aircraft). I own the A2A Cessna 182, but it is hardly the appropriate aircraft to fly a flight that was intended to be flown by a MD-11F, so when choosing a substitute, all types are listed, but sorted by a match-score. The higher the score, the better the match is (100 is a perfect match).

 

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I don't have a flyable MD-11F in the sim, however I do have the PMDG 777 freighter. Creating an owned aircraft based on the Boeing 777F (77X) you can see from the screenshot that the score when matching the 777F with the MD-11F have been calculated as 92.323, so even when not perfect, it is a pretty good match. So by putting a check next to the MD-11F I tell FV that this 777F can be used as a substitute in all flights that are otherwise served by the MD-11F. The score is calculated by comparing many different parameters which have different weights to determine how good the match is, such as: usage (pax/freight/ga/military), pax-capacity, weights (EOW/MTOW), engine-category (prop/turboprop/jet), single/multi engine, wing-span/length, range, cruise-alt/speed and so on.

 

Likewise if you own the Aerosoft A320, but not the PMDG 737 you can use this feature to see which of the Boeing 737's for which the A320 is a good match. As you can see the score for the Boeing 737-900 (matched with the Airbus A320) have been calculated as 96.301, so it is a pretty good match. The A320 can carry 180 pax whereas the 737-900 can take 177, and the weights (EOW/MTOW) as well as cruise-speed and range are within the same region of both aircraft:

 

SS117_3.thumb.jpg.31ce1892640781b70d364fcb924ed3d1.jpg

 

In the previous screenshots you saw how the form appeared when creating an owned (specific) aircraft, but choosing in stead to create an aircraft type the form will - ever so slightly - change in appearance. First of all you are now able to enter the IATA- and ICAO-code (at least one of these MUST be entered). Also you are now able to enter the Aircraft-type name, but in stead of the "Name" field you now have a "Short-name" field (e.g. an aircraft-type might be named "Airbus A320" and given the short-name "A320"). In stead of a combo-box where you can either pick an engine-variant (make/model) or enter the make/model, you now have a multi-line text-box where you can enter all the different engine models used by this type (these are the items displayed in the make/model combo-box when creating an owned aircraft based on this aircraft-type):

 

SS117_4.thumb.jpg.d85c1d7a7fb302f0a99b8006002e532d.jpg

 

All of the other entry fields appear the same, but you will see that the Substitute- and Airline (repaints)- tab-sheet have been removed. In stead a new tab-sheet have been added called "Type-detection". This tab-sheet is the most nerdy-part of aircraft-type creation and it is important you get it right. The data you enter into this tab-sheet are used to auto-detect this particular aircraft-type when flightplans are imported. If you don't enter anything this aircraft will not be auto-detected, however it can still be manually selected when you import a flightplan. On the "Type-detection" tab-sheet you can dial-in a Type detection priority, as a value in the range from -5 to +5 (where 0 is reserved for the factory aircraft-type database I supply with the program).

 

The type-detection priority will default to the value -3, meaning the aircraft-types in the factory database, supplied with the program, will have a higher priority and your user aircraft-type will only be detected if the aircraft cannot be detected by the factory database. However lets say you want to create an aircraft type for the Cessna C182. The factory database will identify an aircraft called "My nice looking Cessna C182 painted red-and-white, with tail-number 747" as a generic single engine Cessna (using the type called "Cessna 120/140/150/152/162/170/172/175/177/182/185/195/205/206/207/210/350").

 

So to have your own Cessna-type having a higher priority than the generic Cessna-type  you need to dial in a value larger than 0. I will then suggest that you use the priority-value of 3, as it allows you to have other aircraft-types with lower priority or higher priority (that are still greater than 0). The aircraft-type in the database I supply with the program don't use priorities at all, so you shouldn't need 5 values below 0 and 5 values above 0, but just know you can, if you find that you need to.

 

Beside setting the priority we need to enter both a test-value and a detection pattern. The way it works (I told you that it is Nerdy), the different patterns are ONLY evaluated if the value you enter as a test-value is contained within the name of the aircraft. The test values are without wildcard, whereas the detection-patters will have to be entered using wildcard. In theory the test-values would not be needed in order to detect an aircraft-type, however while developing this program I saw a HUGE performance boost when importing flightplans, as the program don't need to evaluate any of the patters if the aircraft-name from the import flightplan does not contain the test value. Evaluating all the patterns can be very CPU-intensive because of the use of wildcards. So the fewer patterns the have to be evaluated, the faster it can detect the correct aircraft-type to use.

 

So for our Cessna C182 I will simply enter two lines containing the values "182" and "SKYLANE" in the test-values field (multiple values have to be entered on separate lines). This will ensure when we import a flightplan and we need to detect an aircraft it can only be detected as a Cessna C182 if the name contains "182", which our example name ("My nice looking Cessna 182 painted red-and-white, with tail-number 747") does.

 

SS117_5.thumb.jpg.7cfee22b27e4b376fe09c7bc35b76b40.jpg

 

But it is not enough to have test-values. The test-values only ensures the Detection patterns are being evaluated. In the right-side of the screen you see a list of the wildcard you can use, and you are probably already familiar with "*" and "?", whereas the other 3 ("@", "#" and "!") are special to this software. Your patterns must begin and end with an asterisk, and if you forget to enter these, they will be appended to the values you enter (multiple values can be entered, but needs to be written only one pattern per line). Likewise when you save your aircraft-type (or press the "Verify" button) the patterns will be sorted primarily according to the length of the line (the longer a pattern is, the more specific it is), and secondary according to the use of the chars within the pattern. E.g. a letter like "C" is more specific than "@" which can be any letter, but still more specific than "?" which can be any char, but still more specific than "*" which can be either nothing or anything.

 

If you have entered "182" and "SKYCRAFT" (in stead of "SKYLANE") you would get an error when you try to save the aircraft-type. But in stead of wait for that error you can press the "Verify" button. When you press the "Verify" button you will either see a message telling you that no errors/warnings were found, or you will be presented with a report informing you about all the errors and/or warnings. In the case where we changed "SKYLANE" into "SKYCRAFT" we will be told that none of the patters are matched by "SKYCRAFT". Likewise we are told that none of the test-values are matched with the pattern "*CESSNA*SKYLANE*". So either we both have to remove the test-value "SKYCRAFT" and the pattern "*CESSNA*SKYLANE*", or simply fix the issue by changing "SKYCRAFT" back into "SKYLANE". Beside these errors, we will also in some cases be presented with some warnings. In this case we are warned that some of our patterns are "in conflict" with patterns for other aircraft (in this case these patterns are in conflict the the single engine Cessna from the factory database:

 

SS117_6.thumb.jpg.ad881133cf0652706d5e041938dd4a20.jpg

 

The aircraft-name used in a flightplan being imported, might be detected as multiple aircraft-types at the same time. When this happens (and it does) the aircraft-type with the longest match pattern is being selected. E.g with an aircraft name like: "My nice looking Cessna 182 painted red-and-white, with tail-number 747" there could potentially be a chance the aircraft would be detected as a Boeing 747 (since it contains 747) however if we have a pattern that in stead match the "Cessna 182" part, this pattern is longer than just "747", hence it would take priority. So as written on the form in the screenshot, be specific when you write your patterns, but keep it simple when you write the test-values.

 

Here below is an example from one of the aircraft ("Boeing 737-700/737-BBJ Pax (with Winglets)") from the aircraft-type database I supply with the program. If you look at the 5th last pattern it does not contain "737" in the pattern and this is the reason I have to use both "737" and "BBJ" as the 2 test values. If you look at the top 2 patterns you see these are very similar only different by one using "!" in stead of "*". But the reason I have 2 is that the first takes a higher priority than the second (the first is more specific).

 

SS117_7.thumb.jpg.f05256dfa61ef9ec28e3a5a07328d784.jpg

 

Also you have to be VERY CAREFUL when using an asterisk in the middle of the pattern. I would go as far as to say: try to avoid it when you can. This is the patterns of the winglet version of the 737-700, but another aircraft-type have similar patters just without the "WINGLETS" part. But considder the chance an airline might be called "Winglets Airways" and an importfile contained an aircraft was called "Boeing 737-700 new colors winglets airways". This is obvious not the winglet version of the 737-700, but with a pattern like "737-7##*WINGLETS" it would be detected as such. In this case with a longer value like "WINGLETS", I find it highly unlikely that this word would be contained in the aircraft name (after "737-700") unless it is an aircaft with winglets (hence why I added this pattern). In stead of "WINGLET" some aircraft will only contain "WL" or simply "W" in the name to denote this is the winglet version of the Boeing 737-700. However in these cases you should NOT use an asterisk as there is a much higher change that some of the words that might come after 737-700 might contain a "W", which would cause a wrong type detection if using the "*" wildcard. As you can see in none of the pattern-lines I am writing "737-700" but in stead I write "737-7##", where the two "#" are each placeholder (wildcard) for exactly one digit. So if the person creating the flight plan called an aircraft "Boeing 737-704 WL" it would still be detected as the this aircraft-type.

 

Here below is a much simpler example for the "Beechcraft 1900/1900C/1900D". All of the patterns contains "1900" hence we only need a single test-value that can be set to 1900 (if the aircraft name used in the import file does not contain "1900" it cannot be detected as a "Beechcraft 1900/1900C/1900D"). You have to be careful with short pattern-names like the last two ("B!1900" or simply "1900"). As there is a chance multiple aircraft-names can be matched by these short patterns (imagine there was a "Cessna 1900"). But this is the reason that the longer pattern names take priority. So the pattern "1900" would apply to the "Cessna 1900", but if another pattern (for another aircraft-type) was called "CESSNA!1900" that pattern is longer than just "1900" so it would take priority.

 

SS117_8.thumb.jpg.56d069e77002cb2e52df532dbc5b22e5.jpg

 

For those who have requested being able to add aircraft-types, I only have to say: be careful what you wish for 🙂 As I said previously I know this is nerdy, and it is VERY IMPORTANT to get it right, not to break the current type-detection. If you start adding aircraft-types with bad patterns, you will break the current pattern-detection, and aircraft-types might be detected wrongly. If you are in doubt how to write these patterns feel free to use the forum to ask for suggestions as how to write these. But in the end, if you don't import your own flightplans you don't need this detection, and in that case I would suggest that you don't try to write any patterns 🙂

 

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Code is moving along nicely, but there is still a fair deal of work left 🙂 In this first screenshot you will see how I have setup the substitutes for my PMDG 737-800. As you might recall the checked substitutes are the aircraft-types (from the AI flightplans) for where I have decided that this owned aircraft is an appropriate substitute for those aircraft-types.

 

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As of now I have no flightplans installed utilizing the Irkut MC-21-300, however since I don't have a flyable Irkut-21-300 I have chosen to select that the Boeing 737-800 is an appropriate substitute (in case I will later install flightplans utilizing the Irkut). It have been scored to 96.232 (remember 100 is a perfect match), and if you look at the values in the selected line, and compare these to the top-line that values are not that different (e.g. the Boeing can 160 passengers, where the Irkut can take 163).

 

But before I chose the Boeing 737-800 being a substitute for the Irkut-21-300, I wanted to make sure that the Boeing 737-800 was the best match for the Irkut-21-300. I can see that it have been scored to 96.232 so I know it is not a bad match, however I cannot directly see that the 737-800 is the best match. There for (as visible in the screenshot above) I have right-clicked the Irkut, and from the content-menu I choose the menu-item "Show reverse match report (Owned aircraft). This will generate a report based on the Irkut, and list all of the owned aircraft I have entered into the system, and for each it will calculate a score that tells how all these compare to the Irkut:

 

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The top 4 items score the same, and this is not surprising as they are all based on the same aircraft type, where 3 of the them are respectively the Boeing 737-800 without winglets or with BW/SSW winglets. The aircraft we are currently editing is the 4th, that is shown as "***** Aircraft being edited *****". This aircraft is "the same" as one of the other 3, however while it is being edited it might have some data that are currently being edited, but have not been saved (e.g. you might have changed max passenger or tweaked some of the weight-constraints). But in the end it tells us that from my owned aircraft the Boeing 737-800 is the best match (substitute) for the Irkut-21-300.

But you don't have to choose only a single substitute. As you can see both the Boeing 737-900 and the Airbus A320 and A319 all score between 95.159 and 94.606 points, so these are not bad scores either. If you completely disregard airlines/repaints (discussed below) I would only choose the Boeing 737-800 as a substitute, but because you will be able to also filter your leg-searches by airlines/repaints I would probably also select the other 3 mentioned aircraft.

 

Like it is optional to chose substitutes (or even choosing to enter your owned aircraft into the program). It is also optional to enter the repaints you have for each aircraft (basically which airlines you can simulate flying as). However if you choose to do so you will be able to filter the results of the leg-search to only include the substitute aircraft you own, for which there is an appropriate repaint for the operator/carrier of that flight. Here below is a screenshot for the airlines/repaints I have entered for by PMDG Boeing 737-800 (with "BW" winglets):

 

Repaints.thumb.png.a0e650736c37075e747f3d53fdaece66.png

 

As visible in the right side, most of these are not even installed, and for many of them I have put "iniBuilds" in the comment-column to remind me that if I want to install these I can download them from the iniBuilds website. I chose to enter these from the iniBuilds website as it is one place to look for many different liveries. Also it is relative quick to add these. I simply opened a web-browse (navigating the the iniBuilds website), and had it next to FV. Once I saw a livery for this particular web site I simply added it. So e.g. adding the airline (repaint for) "Cayman Airways". I simply hit "ALT-A" (to select the "Add" button). This will open the Airline-search window. If I know the ICAO-code I would enter that, but since I didn't I simply entered "cay". This will list all the airlines with "cay" in its ICAO/IATA-codes or its name. It happened the ICAO-code for Cayman Airways is indeed "CAY", so it have even selected the correct airline (no need to use arrow up/down). Since the correct airline is selected you can simply press ENTER (if you prefer you can also double-click it, but using the keyboard is quicker).

 

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If you don't want to change anything, you can simply press ENTER which has the same effect as clicking the "Save" button with the mouse. In this case I would want to remove the check-mark in the "Installed" field as I don't currently have this repaint installed, and I would enter "iniBuilds" into the comment field, to remind me form where I can download this repaint if I choose to install it. So if we disregard un-checking "Installed" and entering comments, the keypresses to install this airline (repaint) is simply: [ALT-A] CAY [ENTER] [ENTER]. So it is not time consuming to enter these at all. But it might take a little time of find the repaints you want to enter, but in case with my Aerosoft aircraft I simply opened the "Aerosoft Livery" program next to FV, and in case with my PMDG I simply opened "PMDG Operations Center" next to FV (the latter both show those liveries that are installed and those which can be downloaded via the tool).

 

Again I have to emphasize that it is optional to enter both substitutes and airlines (repaints). If it is not important to you if you own the appropriate repaint or not, simply don't enter any, and don't filter your searches on these. However if you do so, you will be able to filter your leg-searches e.g. to only include your owned aircraft using the airlines/repaints you have entered (either installed or all). E.g. search for all flight in a Boeing 737-800 in/out of a particular country/airport flown in an (substitute) aircraft you own, using a (airline) repaint that is available for that aircraft (installed or not).

 

What is next on the to-do list? While making these few screenshots I noticed a few minor issues I would like to change, so I begin doing that. Next comes implementing the leg-search being able to filter on owned (substitute) aircraft and their airlines/repaints. After that probably going through (ALL) aircraft (AGAIN) to see if some of the data is out of scope ... so still a lot work.

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Added a feature to generate a report of aircraft-types, for which none of the owned aircraft have been selected to substitute this type. In each section (with a score of 100.000) the aircraft-type itself is listed first, and below are listed between 10 and 20 of the best matching owned aircraft:

 

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The purpose of this report is to assist you choosing which substitutes you might want to define. In this case it appears I could choose to use the (owned) Phenom 300 as an substitute for both the Learjets 2x, 6x, and 8x.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Backup, Backup and Backup !!! In case you don't want to loose data you should ALWAYS backup the UserData folder ('C:\Users\[UserName]\AppData\Roaming\FlightplanVisualizer\UserData'), and the Flightplans folder ('C:\Users\[UserName]\AppData\Roaming\FlightplanVisualizer\Flightplans') and its sub-folders (especially if you import flightplans yourself). However having said that, I have never experienced any data-loss in FV myself, nor have I heard of other users who have lost any data. However potentially you could loose data if the program broke down or was forcefully stopped, while saving data. Because whenever you save any changes (commit changes to the data-files) it would always begin the process by first deleting the old data-file, before it began writing the new one. So if the program stopped (for any reason) shortly after deleting the data-file, that file (and the data it contained) would be forever lost.

 

New in version 1.17, when the program is about to save a data-file it will begin by renaming the (old) data-file by adding a ".backup" extension. Then afterwards it will begin to save the data to disk. If the program is forcefully closed (by the user, or due to an error) before it finish writing this file, you will at least still have the old ".backup" file. The next time the program needs to load the data-file (e.g. starting the program again) it will load/use the ".backup" file in stead. Naturally the changes you were trying to save will not have been written, but at least your are no longer loosing all other data. If the program is able to save the data-file without any issues, the ".backup" file will automatically be deleted after the data-file have been saved (so you should never manually remove ".backup" files yourself). If a backup is being recovered a dialog-box will appear to inform you about it, and it will be logged as well. Here below is an example of a flightplan file being recovered from a backup:

 

22:52:35.654|1|INFO|Trying to recover from backup-file: 'C:\Users\...\Flightplans\COMMERCIAL\SAS Scandinavian Airlines - Su19.bfp.backup'
22:52:35.673|1|INFO|Recovered from backup-file: 'C:\Users\...\Flightplans\COMMERCIAL\SAS Scandinavian Airlines - Su19.bfp.backup'

 

This change makes the program more "resilient" than it was previously, however it does not eliminate the need for your to backup your data 🙂 When renaming the file to a backup-file before writing the new data-file, it will simply add ".backup" to the full filename. So before installing version 1.17 you should make sure you have not made such files yourself, otherwise it will try to recover those files in stead of the reading the data-files. A ".backup" file will always take priority, so if a ".backup" file exists, it will remove the "normal file" and try to load the ".backup" in stead. Such files will ONLY exists prior to version 1.17 if you have manually made such files, so you only need to verify if you think it might be the case.

 

Logging is an art form: either you log too little, in which case you are not sure what happened if you get an error, or you are logging too much, in which case it becomes hard to find what you need to find in the log, and taken to the extremely the amount of logging will have a negative effect on performance. In FV I have been very conservative with what I have chosen to log, meaning I did not log very much (unless you changed the log-level from "info" to "debug" or "trace"). In version 1.17 I have decided to begin logging some more, so the log-file will be a bit more informative in regard to what was done before an error might occur. But still I feel I log on the light-side, so the log-files will not grow crazy-large, nor will it impact performance. The program will (as before) automatically archive the log files, so you will never have more than 3 archived log-files and the current log-file. So there is not need to manually clean-out in the logs.

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  • 2 weeks later...

In the upper/right corner of the leg-info form I have added a new button labeled "Tag" and when you press this button the Leg (Flight) that is currently displayed in the leg-info form becomes "tagged". The last (up to) 10 tagged legs are added to a new sub-menu on the main form. When you open this sub-menu you can see just enough info about each leg to determin which tagged Leg is it, and when you select one of these menu-items it will again open the leg-info form and show all the details for that leg. As visible in the screen-shot, the text in the menu-items lists: departure/destination-ICAO, Aircraft-Iata/Icao/Name, Airline and departure/destination-times.

 

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In many cases when I want to fly a flight, I begin by using the Search-leg function and setup the search-criteria as I prefer. I then might open the Generic randomize form, to have it randomly pick one of the routes. When I pick a random route, I might press the the "Pick random route" button multiple times, if I don't like the first few flights suggested by the program. I might come across a flight that I might want to fly in case I don't find another that I might like better. Now when I come across such a flight I can simply tag it, so I can access it again very easy via the new menu-items.

 

Likewise when I have found a flight I want to fly, in the past I might open other forms in FV in order to look up various things (e.g. information about the departure-, destination- or alternate airports. I then had to "remember" the leg (flight) I was looking at if I needed to lookup information about this leg (e.g. the flight-number, or the departure/destination times). Now I simply tag the flight i have chosen to fly, and then I can open/close as many forms I want to as I know I can easily

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I have previous shown a screen-shot of the data that can be entered for a repaint for an owned aircraft, but since I have added a couple of fields in form of a "Kind" combo-box and a "Generic" check-box. The Kind lets you choose between the values: "Special", "Current" (default value), "Outdated" and "Retro". Naturally the "Generic" check-box lets you indicate that the repaint for the selected airline is utilizing a generic repaint:

 

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The screen-shot above is for the "LOT Polish Airlines (Nordica)" repaint for the Aerosoft CRJ 900. I do not have a specific LOT repaint for the CRJ 900, but since I sometimes want to fly the LOT routes for the CRJ 900, I have chosen to use the default Bombardier repaint for the Aerosoft CRJ 900 (as visible by the comment I have entered). You might ask why you want to fill out these info (like "Installed", "Kind" and "Generic") and the answer is simple: to be able to filter on them, when you perform a leg search. Naturally it is completely up to you if you want to enter your owned aircraft and their repaints. However if you do you are able to filter on these data when you perform a leg-search, so the leg search will only contain results for the 3rd party aircraft you own, and (if you choose so) for the repaints you have for those 3rd party owned aircraft.

 

On the Search-legs form I have moved all the "Select all/none" buttons to the top, and at the bottom (below the list-views) you find the additional controls. In the "Aircraft-types" group-box I have added quite a few controls for filtering on owned aircraft and their repaints ("FP.Registration" is always enabled as it have to do with the aircraft-registration from the flightplan and has nothing to do with owned aircraft/repaints). By default (as shown in the screenshot below) these controls are all disabled, hence when not enabled, the search will work as it did before. You have to check "Must have owned substitute" before any of the other controls becomes active:

 

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When you check the "Must have owned substitute" check-box the "Excl non-favorites" check-box and "Min-match-score" numeric-up/down controls (a long with "Must have repaint check-box) controls will be enabled. As you might recall the score is a value between 0 and 100 that tells how good a match an owned aircraft is on a specified aircraft type. e.g. a with a score of 92.323 a Boeing 777 Freighter is a good match for an MD-11F, but not a perfect match, in which case the score would be 100. Using the "Min match-score" control you can specify the minimum match-score a substitute must have, in order to be included in the result (e.g. only include matches above 90). This value defaults to 0, meaning all substitutes you have defined will be included. The "Excl non-favorites" check-box is pretty self explanatory, as if checked the result will be filtered to only include those owned aircraft you have marked as being a favorite (this is done when you add/edit an owned aircraft). E.g. my Carenado aircraft are not among my favorites (IMO: they make beautiful looking aircraft, but the quality of the avionics/systems lets much to be desired).

 

When you check the "Must have repaint (airline)" check-box the rest of the controls becomes active ("Min-kind" combo-box, "Exclude 'use with all airlines'", "Excl. not-installed" and "Excl. generic" check-boxes). These controls allows you to filter on the repaints you have defined for your owned aircraft. For my Carenado Phenom 300 I don't have any repaints for a particular airline. In stead I only have the default generic repaints installed along with the aircraft. Hence for this owned aircraft I have simply checked the "Use with all airlines" combo-box when I added this owned aircraft. If I for some reason don't want to include these in my leg-search results, I can check the "Exclude 'use with all airlines'" combo-box. The "Min kind" combo-box lets you choose the minimum "Kind", where it defaults to the lowest "Retro" (beside retro the other values are "Outdated", "Current" and "Special", where "Special" is the highest level). So when "Retro" is selected, it will not filter on "Kind" at all. The last two check-boxes are pretty self explanatory, and lets you exclude repaints that are marked as currently not installed, and those marked as generic (e.g. the generic Bombardier repaint I have chosen to use with my CRJ 900 for "LOT Polish Airlines (Nordica)".

 

So if I want to limit my leg-search to only include results for my favorite owned aircraft using the repaints I have currently installed, and exclude those that are not marked as "use with all airlines" and those I have marked as generic, and exclude those that are retro (by setting "Min kind" to "Outdated"). I would set up these controls as this:

 

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A bunch of new reports have been added to assist you finding out which of your owned aircraft you might want to use as a substitute for an aircraft (type) from a flightplan (e.g. as mentioned I don't own a flyable MD-11F, but have chosen to use my PMDG Boeing 777F as a substitute). Likewise there are reports that show you if you own a repaint for a particular owned aircraft/airline, and if you do not, for which other owned aircraft you own that repaint (e.g. a flightplan might list a particular route being flown by an Airbux A319 for that particular airline, but you might not have that repaint for the A319, but might have it for the A318 in stead). Naturally it is entirely up to you if you want to fly that route in the A319 using another repaint or your prefer flying the route in the A318 in stead, in order to have the correct repaint. Here below is a part of a (leg-info) report for an Air France flight in an Airbus A319 from LFBD to LIRF. The report shows I have no Air France repaints for the A319, however I do have one for the A318 (which is installed) and an "Air France (Skyteam)" repaint for an A320 (not installed):

 

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I have (manually) chosen the A319, A320 to be substitutes for the A318 (as they might have the repaint which the "correct" aircraft does not - just like in this case). Beside these chosen-substitutes, the report also lists all the "non-substitutes" owned aircraft for which I have an Air France repaint, and for each (both substitutes/non-substitutes) it shows a match-score (the results are actually ordered by decreasing match-score). So had I not had the repaint for the A318/A320, I would still be able to see that I have it for the A321 even though I have not defined the A321 to be a substitute for the A318. This match score has dropped to 88.537 as the A319 and A321 are "more different" than the A318 compared with the A319, where the match score is 94.308. But still the A320 shows a match-score of 95.540.

 

Two combo-boxes have added to the Leg-info form, where the first contains all your owned aircraft and the 2nd shows all the repaints that are available for the selected aircraft. If one of the substitutes have the correct repaints (in this case the A320 does have the Air France (Skyteam) repaint), the combo-boxes will automatically have selected the owned A320, and the Air France (Skyteam) repaint. The check-boxes/labels to right of these combo-boxes shows a few information for the selected owned aircraft and repaint. In this case we can see that the A320 is indeed a substitute for the A319, and this repaint is marked as not-installed, non-generic, can be used as carrier or operator-repaint, and its kind have be defined as "current":

 

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When you setup the repaints for a particular owned aircraft you can generate a report of "missing repaints". A "messing repaint" is defined as a repaint for any of the aircraft for which this owned aircraft have been defined as a substitute, having routes utilizing those aircraft and a repaint for those airlines have not yet been defined (that was a mouthful). For example I have chosen my owned Aerosoft CRJ 700 being a substitute for both CRJ 700 and -900, as well as a substitute for the AN-148 (i don't own a flyable AN-148 and the match-score have been calculated as 93,279, so not a bad score). Here below is report of the "missing repaints" for this owned CRJ 700:

 

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It appears among my active flightplans for the AN-148 the only missing repaint (for an AN-148) is form the airline "Air Koryo", and since there is no indented lines below this line, I don't have any other owned aircraft for which I have an "Air Koryo" repaint. The next section covers the repaints for the CRJ 700, and here are listed two other airlines for which I don't own a repaint ("Ibex Airlines" and "South African Express Airways"). The last/larger section covers the CRJ 900. The first line lists "Air Nostrum" as I don't own an "Air Nostrum" repaint for my CRJ 700. However as visible by the next 4 lines, I do have "Air Nostrum" repaints for my owned, CRJ900, -1000, ATR 72-500 and my Q400. The "check-marks" indicate that the CRJ 900 and -1000 have been defined as substitutes for the CRJ 700, however the ATR 72-500 and Q400 have not. So IMO I am not desperately in need for an "Air Nostrum" repaint for my CRJ 700 as I have one for my CRJ 900. Personally I would rather fly a route intended for an "Air Nostrum" CRJ 700, in an "Air Nostrum" CRJ 900 (hence I have the "correct" repaint), than flying the route in a CRJ 700 using a generic repaint (you might have other preferences).

 

Last but not least, when you edit a flightplan, there is now a new button on the aircraft tab-page called "Owned substitutes". When you press this button it will generate a report with a "section" for each of the aircraft in the flightplan. If there are no owned aircraft that have been defined as a substitute for the aircraft-type, it will list the 10-20 most suitable owned aircraft for that aircraft-type. For example I don't own a flyable Airbus A340-300 nor have I define any of my owned aircraft to be substitutes for it, hence will list the top scoring matching aircraft. As can see the Boeing 787-9 scores 94.189 which is not a bad score, but still I don't want to use it as a valid substitute for the A340-300 (you can naturally setup your substitutes as you prefer):

 

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In the lower part of the above screen-shot you can see the flightplans contains flights for an Airbus A330-200, and I have defined my Aerosoft Airbus A330-300 to be a valid substitute for the A330-200, and indeed I have told there is an Air France repaint available for this aircraft. As you can see it is currently not installed, and I have written "Aerosoft" in the comment-field, to remind myself I can download this repaint from the Aerosoft download-section if I want to install it.

 

Here below is another part of the same report (for an Air France flightplan). Again I don't own a flyable Airbus A380 aircraft, however I have defined the Boeing 747-8 to be a substitute for the A380, but as you can see I don't have an Air France repaint for my PMDG 747-8 (installed or otherwise). Likewise I don't own a flyable Airbus A350-900, but I have defined my PMDG 777-200LR to be an substitutes, and for this 777-200LR I do have an Air France repaint, however marked as not-installed (so I would need to install it before trying to fly any routes). The next section is for an Boeing 777-300ER and thanks to the PMDG expansion I do own a flyable Boeing 777-300ER, and again I do have the repaint (it can be downloaded via the PMDG tool), but not currently marked as installed:

 

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Its hard to describe how to setup your owned aircraft/repaints, and how to filter on them in a detailed way, without writing a full novel about it, but I hope it will be more clear in the video I will record with the release of version 1.17. But if you have any questions fell free to use the forum.

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As I have explained previously many of the data you can enter for an aircraft is currently not in use by the program, but I have various ideas for the future, that might need these. One such thing is to have the program suggest a payload (passenger/cargo) for a particular leg, and in this aspect many of the aircraft weight-fields will become needed. I have added a weight-check report that is available when you are creating/editing user-aircraft, both for owned (flyable) aircraft and aircraft-types. This simple report will look at the various weight-fields and compare the values to each other. First it will simply look for zero-values (all weights should have a valid non-zero value). Then it looks for weights that are greater than other weights, that they should not be greater than. E.g. none of the weights should be greater than Max take-off weight (MTOW). Finally it will look at compound (added) weights being greater than the structural limits of the aircraft (as entered by the weights). Of the 6 entered values the first 4 are using the "official" short-cuts (EOW, MTOW, MLW, and MZFW), whereas the last 2 are my own defined short-cuts (MPL and MFL). The first 4 all have to do with the structural limits of the aircraft, as specified by the manufacture and the qualification of the aircraft. Here is a short description of all 6 values:

  • EOW (Empty Operating Weight): Is the operational weight of the empty aircraft. Empty means that no payload (passenger/cargo) is loaded, nor any fuel have been loaded. But normally all liquids except fuel (oil, hydraulics, water) is loaded, and so are the crew, the beverage/food for passenger and so on (basically everything except payload and fuel).
  • MTOW (Maximum Takeoff Weight): This is the maximum allowed weight of the aircraft (all included) when it Take-off. Many aircraft are allowed to taxi at a higher weight (called MTW - Maximum Taxi Weight), but it have to reduce its weight to MTOW or below during the taxi, which it does by burning (taxi) fuel. The MTW weight is not included in the data, as it is not needed by the program.
  • MLW (Maximum Landing Weight): In most cases MLW is less than MTOW, but for some aircraft it is the same value (MLW is never greater than MTOW). Normally this is not a problem as the aircraft is burning fuel during the flight, wich reduced the weight of the aircraft. But in case of an emergency it means that the aircraft might need to go into a holding pattern in order to dump- or burn fuel before coming back for a landing (depending on the severity of the emergency). In a serious emergency (e.g. loss of all engines) an aircraft might have to land with a higher weight than MTW, no matter if it can result in failures due to excessive structural stress.
  • MZFW (Max Zero Fuel Weight): Is the maximum weight of the empty aircraft (EOW) + the maximum payload (passenger/cargo), but without any fuel loaded. Basically MZFW is the same as EOW+MPL.
  • MPL (Maximum payload): This weight is the maximum weight of the payload (passenger/cargo) that the aircraft can carry. Please note that in most cases EOW+MPL+MFL will exceed MTOW, meaning you should never expect that the aircraft is able to carry ist maximum payload (MPL) and at the same time be able to carry the maximum fuel (MFL). So on very long flight (requiring lots of fuel) you might need to reduce the payload. Or said in another way, you should only expect being able to carry MPL on shorter flights with less fuel.
  • MFL (Maximum fuel): This weight is defined by the capacity of the fuel-tanks. As written above don't except being able to carry maximum fuel and maximum payload at the same time.

ForumWeightDataCheck.thumb.jpg.70791320973672e138b00577e05ca5c2.jpg

 

As visible in this example screen-shot above, 2 errors and 1 warning have been identified. The first error lists that "MLW < MZFW". MZFW should never exceed MLW as it means even if the was no fuel abort, the weight of the empty aircraft (EOW) + the maximum payload (MPL) exceeds the structural maximum allowed weight of the aircraft when it lands (MLW). The actual weight-values are listes in the parentheses, and it is obvious that 688000 (MLW) is less than 727000 (MZFW). Naturally you can not see which weight-value is "wrong" (they both might be), but at least you can see that there is a problem. The 2nd error more or less tells us the same, but in stead of looking at MZFW it uses EOW+MPL (MZFW should be EOW+MPL).

 

When you create/edit an user-aircraft you are able to enter fuel-burn values (amount of fuel being burned per hour). Internally the program stores all weights in lbs, and fuel-burn is stored as lbs per hour. However if you have specified in settings that the program should use kg, all weights are listed in kg and fuel-burn is listed as kg per hour. If a cruise fuel-burn value have been entered, it will take this into account and generate warnings if the weights are exceeded when the aircraft is loaded with enough fuel to perform fly at cruise altitude for 40 minutes, and land with enough fuel for 20 minutes of flight at cruise. Hence a warning will be created if EOW+MPL+40 minutes of flight at cruise exceeds MTOW, or if EOW+MPL+20 minutes of flight at cruise exceeds MLW (basically you should be able to take off with MPL with enough fuel for 40 minutes of flight at cruise, and land still carrying 20 minutes of fuel at cruise). These are very basic calculations and does not take taxi/climb/descent fuel-burn into account. But still they can be used as a "rule of thumb", so you need to apply your own judgment as if there is a problem with the various weight-values (hence why they are listed as warning in stead of as errors).

 

In this case the report lists the 3rd item as a warning, informing us that loaded with MinLandingFuel (20 minutes worth of fuel at cruise) it will exceed the landing weight. This shouldn't come as a surprise, as the two proceeding lines already tell us that even without any fuel the maximum landing weight (MLW) will be exceeded. These warnings are only possible if you have entered a fuel-burn value (the entry-field is located below the displayed report-form).

 

If no errors are found when you press the "Check" button, the report will contain a list of the maximum amount of payload you can carry at different fuel loads (5% interval), at take-off and at landing. In the report below you can see that if you take-off with 100% fuel (11344 lb in this case), you can only carry 54.22% of max payload (which is calculated as 8607 lb of payload). If you want to take-off with a 100% payload (15875 lb), you can only carry 35.93% (4076 lb) of fuel. In the lower section of the screen-shot you can see the calculations for landing. If loaded with 100% of fuel, you can only land with 45.20% (7175 lb) of payload.

 

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If the report is made for an aircraft with a non-zero passenger count the available payload will also be calculated as an amount of passengers that can be carried on both international and domestic flights, using the values from the right side of the form (more on these below). As visible in the screen-shot above, if you want to take off with a full load of (all 66) passengers on an international flight, you can only take-off with 45% of fuel (5105 lb), in which case it leaves a headroom of 178 lb (in addition to the weight of the passengers and their luggage). In the lower section of the same report you can see that with a full load of passengers on an international flight you are able to land with 30% fuel (3403 lb), which leaves a headroom of 448 lb. Had the flight been domestic (less luggage weight) you could take-off with 50% of fuel, and land with 40% of fuel.

 

This report can be used to give you a rough estimate of how much much fuel/payload you can carry (at take-off/landing), but these values are very easy to calculate in hand as exact values in stead of looking at 5% intervals to determine these values (e.g. max possible payload at take-off = MTOW - EOW - required fuel). The prime purpose of this section of the report is like the errors/warnings mentioned previously, to assist you to determine if the various weight-values are "correct". E.g. if you start to see many negative values, and/or you can only carry 10% of payload when the aircraft is loaded with 20% or less of fuel, I'll bet the values are not correct 🙂 The fact that you might see a few negative values in the lower section (regarding landing) is not a direct sign of a problem. It is not all aircraft that are able to land without exceeding MLW with a full load of fuel even if not carrying any payload.

 

When I am going to implement the feature to suggest a load-out for a leg I will use the airline load-factor values, which are typical in the range from 70% to 90% (based on country/region of that airline). However it is not used as a fixed value. In stead I will pick a random load-factor with a normalization around the specified load-factor. So in an airline have a load-factor at 88% there is a much higher change the load-factor for a certain leg would be set to 88% in stead of being set to 83% or 93% (but it could be anywhere in between). I have also added a report to check the load values/factors compared to MPL (maximum payload weight), however for this report it will do its calculations with a fully loaded aircraft (load factor = 100%).

This report will check the passenger/luggage weights against the MPL (maximum payload). First you should perform the aircraft weight check (as described above), and adjust the aircraft-weights as needed so it does not list any errors. After you can perform the load-data check. This check is only valid for aircraft that have a usage defined as a passenger aircraft of some sorts (e.g. Passenger, Pax/Freight, Combi or GA). In all other cases (e.g. trying to perform it for a Freighter) it will simply display a message box. In the right side of the screen in the "Load values/factors" group-box, you can enter the weights for passengers (male, female and child) along with the weights for luggage (international and domestic). To the left of the "Load values/factors" group-box you find the "Passenger/Crew count" group-box where you can enter the maximum passenger count.

 

It will then perform the check to see if a fully loaded aircraft with the heaviest passenger type (typical "male") with either none-, international- or domestic luggage exceeds MPL (maximum payload weight). Beside only testing for heaviest passenger type it will also test for a mixed type. This mixed type will be closer to what the random load-generator will select (once implemented), but as of now in this test it is defined as a fixed/mixed class with 45% being male, 45 being female and 10% being children (13 years or less). If the passenger weight of male-, female- and child-passengers have been set to the same value, the mixed type will be suppressed (as it would have the same weight the others):

 

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The load-check report in the screen-shot above have been made for an ATR 72-500 using the default passenger/luggage weights setup per aircraft. The default weights specify a male weighs 200 (lb) , a female 179 and a child 76. Likewise the default values specify international luggage weight as 44 (lb) and domestic as 33. In the edit owned aircraft form below the report-form we can see that "Max passenger count" have been set to 66 passengers. In  the report 5 of the lines are listed as "Info:" and these lines inform us of the headroom (how much more payload weight can be added to the aircraft without exceeding MPL). So for instance an all male passenger load-out on a domestic flight would leave us with a headroom of 492 lb before exceeding MPL. However the 2nd last line is listed as "Warning:", and it tells us that a (fully loaded) All male passenger flight with international luggage would exceed MPL (maximum payload weight). The value 16110 is calculated as 66 * (200 + 44.093), and this exceeds MPL by 235 lb.

 

Based on these values I would probably not change anything. The chances for a 100% fully loaded aircraft (only with male passengers) is not likely. Even a fully loaded aircraft (all seats taken) is not likely, so just with a single seat empty (200 lb for a male passenger and 44 lb for international luggage) we will not exceed MPL. Likewise the ATR 72-500 is not an aircraft with a very long range, so it is probably more used on domestic flights (lighter luggage), than being used for international flights. When I am going to implement that random load-out generator, I will try to limit the loud-out to NOT exceed MPL (by either/both reducing the passenger count or/and reduce the number of male passenger vs. female/child passengers.

But still you should use this report to see if any of the values seems to be wrong. Here below is such a report that tells you that something is wrong and you should verify that data (both the aircraft weights and the passenger/luggage weights). As you can see in this report all 6 lines are listed as "Warning:". Even a mixed load-out of male/female/child passengers with no luggage would exceed MPL by 4060, and an all male load-out with international luggage would exceed MPL by 23833.

 

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So you should try to see where the problem is (perhaps "Max passenger count" is set too high, or MPL is set to low or the passenger/luggage weight are too high). The better these values are set (the less items shown in this report), the better that random load-out generator will function once implemented 🙂 As written previously/elsewhere, you should set the passenger/luggage weight-values to match those of the load-manager supplied with your 3rd party aircraft (e.g. the one Aerosoft have made for their Airbusses). For PMDG I will probably just use these default values to (once implemented) calculate a random ZFW value, and then simply enter this random ZFW value into the FMC, and let the sim work out what that equate to with regard to passenger-count/cargo.

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First helicopter have been added 🙂

 

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FV have been made with commercial (pax/freight) aircraft in mind, but during development more GA/BizJets have been added, along with various utility and military aircraft. Now the time have finally come to helicopters. In all aspect they are handled like aircraft, with the exception that the engine-category is set to "Heli", and in stead of a "Wing-span" (Dimensions) it have a "Rotor diameter".

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We are getting closer to a release of version 1.17. Feature-wise I don't have more items planed for this version. But I still have a few more tests to carry out. Also I will have to record the video for version 1.17, and finally build the installer. So if all goes well, I hope for a release within a week or so.

 

When you create a user aircraft you should make sure all the data including the weight-constraints are set correctly. However obtaining the correct data can be a task in itself. As a minimum you HAVE TO enter both EOW (Empty Operating Weight) and MTOW (Maximum Take-off Weight). The other weights (MLW, MZFW, MPL and MFL) can be "estimated". I say "estimated" as these cannot simply be "calculated".

 

The weights you don't know, can be marked as estimated weights (by putting a check-mark in the "Est" check-box). After having marked them, you simply press the "Re-estimate weights" button. The program will then search through all aircraft types that have all weight data, that best match this aircraft. Using these data it will statistically analyze these data in order to estimate the values.

 

In the screenshot below you see the data for an CRJ 700. The inserted box (outlined in red), shows the estimated weight-data (MLW, MZFW, MPL and MFL). As you can see the estimated data are naturally not equal to the real-data, but they are not that bad (at least they are better than zero values):

 

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Naturally it is always best to obtain- and enter the correct data, but as I said, it is not always that easy to find them. In the database of aircraft-types I supply with the program, there are aircraft where I have not been able to find all of the data, and there are aircraft for which I have not done much to find it (e.g. most of the military aircraft). But most (if not all) aircraft will at least have EOW and MTOW which allows you to use the estimate feature, if you don't want to dig up these data yourself.

 

As always, if you do come across errors, or think you can assist providing missing/correct data I will be always be happy to accept it 🙂

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Did a graph showing the difference between the real MLW (Max Landing Weight) from the aircraft-database in relation to the estimated MLW. As you can see the worst case is more than 20% "wrong" (greater than 1.2), but on average the estimated MLW is within 3% (absolute deviation) of the real MLW. As I wrote yesterday it will always be best to enter the correct weight-data (if you can obtain the data), but otherwise this estimation can be used (at least the estimated values are better than zero-values). As explained before these data are of no use at this time, but I plan to add a feature in a future version, that will be able to suggest a load-out (pax/cargo), where these data will be used, along with a few other fields (e.g. cruise fuel-burn, max passengers, load-data/factors and naturally the distance to fly).

 

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Of the the 4 different estimated values (MLW, MZFW, MPL and MFL) MLW is the "best", meaning there is the smallest deviation between the real-value and the estimated value. Estimating MZFW there are a couple more estimated values that spike above a 20% deviation, but on average the estimated MZFW falls within 5% of the real MZFW.

 

Of the implemented estimation-methods, estimating MFL is the "worst" (least accurate). It have a couple deviations above 90%, and 3 others above 70%, but on average the estimated weights fall within 5% of the real weights. Once again: using the correct data is always best 🙂

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  • 2 weeks later...

You have a plan … until you make a new one 🙂 I did initially not plan to include any of the load-sheet code that I have mentioned previously (the reason for why the form for creating an aircraft contains so many weight/load-fields). However while refactoring some code I began working on it anyway, as it allowed me to “shape that code for the future use” I had planned, and the more I wanted to test out this code, the more code was written to handle it. Its still in its early stage, and as of now only visible in the Leg-info report that can be generated from the leg-info form:

 

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As marked by the red-square a number of fields have been added to the report. In the aircraft section, you can see the max-number of passenger along with the various structural weights of the aircraft along with the load-data (passenger/luggage weights). These data are “static” and are either those I have entered for the aircraft in the (factory) database, or those data you enter for the aircraft that you create yourself.

 

The rest of the data are dynamic/random and are randomized each time this report is generated (this will change in the future). In the first section you see the data for the random payload (passenger/luggage and cargo). The passenger-count is randomized (with a normal distribution) at the load-factor specified for the airline in use (e.g. at 89%). In this example the passenger-count have been randomized to a total of 271. The total luggage weight is simply the passenger count multiplied by the either the international- or domestic luggage weight. Beside the luggage-weight there is also a (random) weight for additional cargo.

 

Different load-manager for different (3rd party) aircraft works in different ways, and needs different data. This is the reason I show various calculated values in the parentheses. E.g. in some load managers you only need to enter a passenger-count, in others you need to specify how many are male-, female- and child-passengers. Likewise in some you you don’t need to enter the luggage weight, as it will be calculated automatically based on number of passengers, or in others you need to enter the total cargo as one value (sum of both luggage and additional cargo). If I were to fly a flight in a PMDG Boeing I would disregard all these individual fields and in stead simply enter the Zero Fuel Weight that is listed as the 4th last field in the red box, and let the PMDG FMC work out the number of passenger/weight of cargo based on this value.

 

In order to calculate the payload, the program needs first to calculate the fuel required for the flight,  as it ensures that the calculated payload will not exceed the structural limits of the aircraft (e.g, ensure the EOW + required fuel +  total payload will not exceed MTOW). This fuel calculation is very basic, and should not replace more advanced fuel calculation that you might currently use. However as you can see in the next section of the report, it calculates various different fuel-weights.

 

The next section in the report contains various calculations that lets you ensure that the structural limits of the aircraft are not exceeded by the planed payload nor fuel. The first 2 lines shows the expected weight at take-off and at landing, and the values in the parentheses shows the headroom, before these structural limits are broken. The 3rd line shows the planned Zero Fuel Weight (ZFW) along with the headroom (basically how much more fuel+payload that can still be loaded). The next two lines shows how much more payload or fuel that can be added (you can’t add the total of both). The last line contain a value I normally calculate in hand before each of my flights. It shown the maximum amount of fuel that can be aboard when you land in order to not exceed MLW. The value in the parentheses shows how much fuel you need to burn/dump before landing (e.g. returning to the same airport in case of an emergency). In this case we will need to burn/dump 59632 lb of fuel before landing in order to not exceed MLW.

 

As I said this is not how its planed to be implemented. Currently the Leg Info form have a button called SimBrief which will send much of the data to SimBrief where you can plan your flight. I plan to replace this button with a new button that will in stead open a form that contain entry fields where you can enter fuel/load-data. I will fill-out these fields with the data you now see in the report, but you will be able to change their values (or re-randomize load-out) as you see fit (e.g. you might use a more precise external fuel-calcuation tool). Once you are happy with these data, they can be sent to SimBrief, or a report can be generated in case you need to enter some of the data into another tool.

 

 

 

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