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Thread: Does RNAV = VOR/DME in FSX?

  1. Default Does RNAV = VOR/DME in FSX?

    Hi, at KMCI there is RNAV GPS ILS the works, but in fsx there is no RNAV approaches. And in KMCI there is no VOR/DME approach. So i was wondering is RNAV and VOR/DME the same?


  2. #2

  3. Default

    Remeber, the data in FSX is over three years old and a lot can happen in that time frame. Airports change, approaches change. There are ways to update the approaches, of you wanted to learn and were willing to put the time in.

  4. #4


    If my memory serves me correctly I believe the navigation data in FSX is from April 2005.

  5. #5


    The second post should address your question.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Hawaii - PHHI


    You also have to consider what FAA (US) uses in naming approaches vs most other countries (generally follow ICAO) and what commercial (Jepps) might use as well.

    RNAV is sort of generic term but in a nutshell it means you have some nav equipment onboard which is capable of determining your position in lat/long terms, and so can also guide you to lat/long positions, ratehr than following specific radio signals. The method the RNAV equipment uses to do this vary, common ways are with a GPS receiver, inertial nav (IMU/IRU), and multiple VOR or DME receivers (note that for example a VOR and DME can be used to determine a lat/long, or 2 DME, or 2 VOR).

    At one time FAA was creating "GPS" approaches. These were designed for the small aircraft flyer, who invested in the panel mount GPS hardware. In many cases, to speed things up with the procedure designers, FAA did little more than check out existing approaches using a GPS and then issued these as GPS "overlay" procedures. FAA also started creating some "pure" GPS approaches where no conventional approach had existed.

    Meanwhile, transport aircraft were installing RNAV equipment, typically using a combo of radio receivers for DME/DME plus inertial, but now there is also GPS added as well. FAA began creating RNAV procedures which were in addition to existing conventional procedure, but typically use their own waypoints and routing, or at least waypoints with 5 letter pronounceable identifier.

    Because of the convergence of RNAV and GPS technology, the concept of separate approaches is going away. But, FS9/FSX still will show 3 types, GPS overlay, GPS, and RNAV. Typically (probably 100%) the GPS and RNAV approaches are identiacal in the FSX database. IRL though, while FAA may now entitle the approach RNAV, and that's how the controller will refer to it, there might be notes on the chart that explain what specific equipment is required to legally use the approach. A common notation is "GPS required" or "DME/DME RNAV NA".

    To add to the confusion, ICAO countries prefer the term GNSS to GPS, though I'm not sure you can find any GNSS approach charts (just RNAV).

    To ATC, and also FSX, VORDME is an approach type, as are RNAV and GPS. Just to add one more thing, FAA legally, it is possible to fly a VORDME approach using a VOR and GPS "in lieu of" a DME though I think most every panel I have seen in FSX has a DME if it has a VOR receiver.

    scott s.

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