View Full Version : Realistic Airline Flight Plans...?
09-27-2003, 02:31 AM
I am a pretty stupid Aussie and fly mainly large jets in FS2K2 such as the 747, 767 and 737 across many routes and flight plans- but always when planning I tell it to plot the plan using GPS. However, I am sure in real life the airline flight plans do not use this simple A-B method, although I am not sure? I was wondering if anyone out there knows what method airlines do use to plot their flight plans? Is it one of hte ones in FS2K2 (ie VOR to VOR, High Alt. Airways, Low Alt. Airways, GPS etc...)?
Anyway, well look, thanks in advance for any help, and it is much appreciated!
09-27-2003, 07:20 PM
In real life airlines use airways. Anything over 18,000 feet is high alt (longer flights) anything lower is low alt. Almost exclusively airlines fly high alt routes. The reason they use these and not just direct flights is for traffic management and seperation. It makes it much easier for the air traffic controllers if traffic is generally moving on these "highways in the sky". At all but the smaller or remote airports, there are SIDS and STARS at the beginning and end of the flight plan as well. A SID is a Standard-Instrument-Departure. These are pre-defined paths & altitudes that the aircraft use to leave the airport. The reason they use them is for noise abatement, and terrain clearance. For example, if you fly out of JFK, you will fly waypoints that get you high and away from manhattan instead of just flying over it, and risking incredible tragedy (as we all know) if the plane were to crash. A STAR is a STandard ARrival. It's the same thing as a SID in reverse. It is a group of waypoints & altitudes that will get you lined up for an approach while avoiding highly populated areas and terrain.
Unfortunately, FS ATC doesn't use SIDS or STARS (we hope it will show up in the next version). BUT you can get it to! You have to program the correct waypoints in while you are programming your flight plan, and FS will see it as just 1 big flight plan. It's not that far from the truth, but in real life, you may be assigned a certain STAR from ATC before you begin your descent based on weather & other info at the destination airport. FS Navigator will put in SIDs and STARs for you in this method. Several sites that have online charts have SIDs and STARs along with ILS,Terminal,VOR/DME and other charts.
If you're interested- go to http://www.clearanceunlimited.com and click routes. you can select your departure airport and it will list a bunch of routes to different destinations.
here one from Boston to Atlanta-
GLYDE BAF J77 PTW J48 ODF MACEY-STAR
This means the GLYDE waypoint to the BAF waypoint, along the J77 airway until PTW, along the J48 airway to ODF, and the the MACEY STAR into Atlanta.
They have charts and you could look up the MACEY STAR.
Hope this helps...
09-27-2003, 09:51 PM
Hi "christianholmes", I'd say Christian is your name then!
Well anyway, thanks so much for that, it really did help absolutely tonnes regarding all that and answered everything beautifully! Thanks so much! Also thanks for the web address, all your help was great and I would say the "Flight Sim Community" is very lucky to have kind and helpful people like you around in it.
Thanks a lot for your help mate, it was much appreciated and kind of you!
Kind regards and thanks again,
:):-jumpy < I reckon that frog is pretty cool
09-28-2003, 12:16 AM
Just to add that in real life airline pilots will probably program their route with SIDS & STARS into the aircraft's Flight Management Computer. In flight this will command the autopilot to follow the said route from waypoint to waypoint as well as many other calculations. Some payware aircraft have implemented good FMCs which are complex bits of programming but if you want to have a look at a simplified freeware version Eric Marciano does some nice Airbus panels which go nicely with Project Airbus A320s.
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