PILOT'S ASSISTANT V1.6

An Excel Spreadsheet Toolset For Simulator Pilots



OVERVIEW OF THE PILOT'S ASSISTANT TOOLSET
HINTS AND TIPS
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
FORMAL STUFF
DISCLAIMERS/RESTRICTIONS
THE REALLY IMPORTANT BIT (ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS!)
DEVELOPMENT HISTORY
CONTACT THE AUTHOR
THE PILOT'S ASSISTANT DIRECTORY
Go to Pilot's Assistant Home Page GO TO PILOT'S ASSISTANT HOME PAGE
 

INTRODUCTION

Pilot's Assistant is a toolset providing information and calculations for flight planning (including fairly realistic fuel planning), navigating (including wind corrections, magnetic variations, latitude/longitude calculations, great circle routes), computing various kinds of speeds and altitudes, and executing common flying manoeuvres. It contains fuel/performance data for several popular aircraft, and is intended to be a useful learning and reference aid for several aspects of simulated flying.

Pilot's Assistant is provided as an Excel multi-sheet spreadsheet, with one tool on each sheet (if you don't have Microsoft Excel, look here). These tools include calculations and information as follows:

  1. Flight profiler / fuel planner
  2. Performance data for a number of simulated aircraft (can be extended by the user)
  3. Altitudes and altimeter settings
  4. Standard Atmosphere table
  5. Speed conversions (KIAS, KTAS and MACH)
  6. Wind corrections
  7. Descent planner, climb and descent calculations
  8. Altitudes, Temperatures, Speeds and Descent/Climb Rates table
  9. Latitude/Longitude calculations (distance, heading, great circle routes, magnetic variations)
  10. Turns, bank angles and manoeuvres involving turns
  11. Unit Conversions

The toolset can also act a useful place to store information on various aircraft that you fly, for your own reference and for automatic use by the tool.

The toolset is not intended to be a "magic calculator" that produces results by hidden methods, but rather something that explains the calculations being carried out, and provides rules of thumb for pilots to carry out calculations quickly or in their heads. In this sense, the toolset could perhaps be useful as a training aid (but see disclaimers/restrictions).

The toolset can be downloaded from the Pilot's Assistant Home Page.

Also provided here is the Pilot's Assistant Directory, an information resource describing many flight sim related sites, products and sources of information, all personally recommended. If you can't find what you are looking for here, the Directory will point you at other good places to look!

 

FLIGHT PROFILER / FUEL PLANNER

This sheet allows you to set up a simple flight profile with flight length, and either set or allow the profiler to suggest a cruise height. Given departure and arrival airport elevations, climb and descent parameters and average wind correction, it then computes the time and distance for each phase of the profile, including sections on the ground before takeoff and after landing.

It then provides a facility to support fuel planning, based on the profile that has been set up, that is intended to quite flexible and fairly realistic - for example, this sheet includes weight calculations for fuel and payload, and will warn you if a weight limit for this aircraft type is exceeded.

For a particular cruise height, this sheet can automatically look up simplified performance data on fuel consumption and time to altitude. Some tables are provided with the toolset (see Aircraft Data), and others can be developed by the user based on measurements during simulated flying.

 

AIRCRAFT DATA (MASTER SHEET)

This sheet allows you to store aircraft data for aircraft types that you fly. This data is of three kinds:
  1. Some fuel and weight information that is constant (in principle) for each aircraft type, and is used by the Flight Profiler / Fuel Planner. When you change from flying one type of aircraft to another, you select which of your aircraft you are using and the Flight Profiler / Fuel Planner will automatically pick up the corresponding data from the table. The nature of this data is fixed by the spreadsheet tool, but the data values are up to you.
  2. Some speed, climb/descent and fuel consumption information that is not constant, but depends on cruise altitude and other factors. This data can, however, be looked up automatically from constants in performance tables on other sheets. The nature of this data is fixed by the spreadsheet tool, but the data values are up to you.
  3. Additional data that is not used by the spreadsheet tool, but might be useful to store for your own reference, e.g. minimum take-off distance for a particular aircraft type. Both the nature and values of this data are up to you.
Some data is already entered for a number of aircraft types. You can change the data, delete these types if you want, and/or add other aircraft types. The aircraft types currently in the toolset can be identified by reading through the updates list below (they appear there in bold type).

This sheet is protected but may be unprotected using the Tools, Protection menu - it is suggested that you keep it protected when you are using it. The only time you should need to unprotect it is if you want to delete complete columns that contain protected cells.

 

AIRCRAFT PERFORMANCE DATA SHEETS (DC-9, ATR 72, 757-200 ETC.)

These sheets (one per aircraft type) consist of performance tables constructed by measuring in simulated flight showing time to climb or descend vs. fuel and distance travelled, and fuel flow and KTAS at various cruise levels. You can unprotect these sheets (they aren't password-protected) using the Tools, Protection menu, and generally mess with them, although you should protect the sheets again when you aren't changing their structure. I suggest you take a copy of the entire spreadsheet file before doing this.

A feature of the provided tables is that the data for a particular altitude (e.g. the selected cruising level) can be looked up automatically. If the altitude falls between two altitudes for which measurements are available, the values are obtained automatically by interpolation. These looked-up values are stored in fixed locations in the spreadsheet, so that they can easily be read by formulas in other tables (in particular, the table on the Aircraft Data sheet).

The aircraft types currently in the toolset can be identified by reading through the updates list below (they appear there in bold type). The user can, of course, create additional sheets for other aircraft types. For ease of maintenance when the toolset is updated, it is suggested that these additional sheets are kept in a separate spreadsheet file. You can link cells from one spreadsheet file to another if you want to (see hints and tips below).

Many of the aircraft for which data sheets are provided were obtained from the Hangar section of Tradewind Caribbean Airlines.

 

ALTITUDES & ALTIMETER SETTINGS

This tool provides information and calculations on various kinds of altitudes (indicated altitude, pressure altitude, density altitude, etc.) and altimeter settings (QNE, QNH, QFE).

If you are planning to fly at one of the lower flight levels with QNE set, this tool computes your true altitude at this flight level, correcting for non standard temperatures and pressures. This is important in mountainous regions where terrain or obstacle clearance may be a problem (since at FL180, for instance, you could actually be flying at 16,000 ft or less in some conditions). In low pressure areas, some lower flight levels become unusable as a result.

The tool also calculates true altitude when you are flying with QNH set, taking into account non standard temperatures.This is important in any region where terrain or obstacle clearance may be a problem in cold weather.

The above calculations (added in V1.6.4 of this toolset) are based on those here in Ed Williams' Aviation Formulary, and relate to (and to some extent support) Ed's excellent presentation "Just how high are we then?" which he made to the annual meeting of AVSIG/AVWEB "online" pilots in April 2000. See acknowledgements below.

The tool also performs a density altitude calculation, which is basically helping to answer the question:

"Can I really take off or land at that high-altitude airport on a hot day?"


 

STANDARD ATMOSPHERE TABLE

This tool provides a Standard Atmosphere Table for pressure altitudes between -2,000 and 79,800 feet.

An automatic lookup facility is provided, as well as some additional information relating to the U.S. Standard Atmosphere.

You will find formulae relating to the Standard Atmosphere here in Ed Williams' Aviation Formulary.

The following weather and atmosphere related links might also be of some interest:

  1. Aviation Digital Data Service (ADDS) (covers the US including Alaska)
  2. A Precise Definition of the U.S. Standard Atmosphere 1976
 

SPEED CONVERSIONS (KIAS, KTAS AND MACH)

This is a simple tool providing conversions between KIAS, KTAS and Mach numbers, which sometimes comes in handy in conjunction with the other tools.

It has an accompanying Standard Atmosphere Table that the pilot may use for reference, and from which it can automatically look up temperatures for use in the calculations.

Note that conversions from KIAS or Mach to KTAS are also provided as part of the Altitudes, Temperatures, Speeds and Descent/Climb Rates Table.

 

WIND CORRECTIONS

This tool attempts to emulate a mechanical calculating gizmo that a pilot friend of mine once showed me - a sort of slide rule with an embedded rotating circle, engraved with curvy lines (another pilot, Mark Hansen, has written to say that this pretty much describes his E6B). It allows you to specify a wind speed, wind direction, and your intended course and KTAS, and will then tell you the corrected heading you need to fly to maintain the course and your actual ground speed on that course. It also allows you quickly to apply the result to any given distance and be told the elapsed time.

This tool generates a "wind correction" value that can be entered into the Flight Profiler / Fuel Planner tool, and also into the Altitudes, Temperatures, Speeds and Descent/Climb Rates Table.

A related sheet provides information on "Winds Aloft". It provides a sample of such data in spreadsheet format, converted from information obtained from the Aviation Weather Centre, and explains how to decode such information "by eye". This kind of data is automatically downloaded, and can be automatically decoded for the user, by FSMeteo, the real-weather generating program for Microsoft Flight Simulator.

 

DESCENT PLANNER / CALCULATOR

This sheet provides rules of thumb for descent planning and a simple one- and two-step descent planner, which can also apply a wind adjustment. It also provides rules of thumb and exact calculations for determining descent rate at various speeds and descent angles (equally good for climbs!), and for checking whether you are on the right descent path.

 

ALTITUDES, TEMPERATURES, SPEEDS AND DESCENT/CLIMB RATES TABLE

This multi-purpose tool provides a configurable table that combines speed conversions (KIAS or Mach to KTAS) with descent/climb rate calculations, for a range of altitudes. One use of this table is to allow you to set different vertical speeds as you descend, or to compare actual vertical speeds with expectations. The table allows for some variations from standard atmosphere in pressure and temperature, and for adjustments due to wind, and allows you to explore the effects of these variations. It includes calculations of TAT (Total Air Temperature) for aircraft flying at higher speeds, and conversions between OAT (Outside Air Temperature) and TAT.

 

LATITUDE/LONGITUDE CALCULATIONS (DISTANCE, HEADING, GREAT CIRCLE ROUTES, MAGNETIC VARIATIONS)

This tool computes the distance and initial heading between two lat/long points, and also computes the lat/long of a point at a given bearing and distance from another point. It looks up magnetic variation automatically from an accompanying table (see below), interpolating between the data points for intermediate positions. If you want, you can still enter magnetic variation manually.

This facility exists in NavStar, FSNavigator and other tools. Before discovering FSNavigator I found this tool quite convenient when planning VFR flights from the Tactical Pilotage Charts. For example, I calculated the position of a point on the approach path to some minor airport, and then calculated where that point is relative to a VOR located somewhere else. It is still nice to be able to carry out these calculations sometimes without using more sophisticated tools.

A second tool computes waypoints and true and magnetic courses along a great circle route, given the start and end position and a distance to fly between each waypoint.

The toolset includes a magnetic variation (magnetic declination) table. This table was last generated using Geomag v6.0 downloaded from www.ngdc.noaa.gov/IAGA/vmod/igrf.html, using model IGRF10, date set to 2007.5 (approximately 1st July 2007). Magnetic variations change from year to year, but generally only by a few minutes per year.

Note that you can also look up magnetic variation (also known as magnetic declination) on-line for anywhere on the earth, as well as a lot of other data, at www.ngdc.noaa.gov/seg/geomag/geomag.shtml.

 

TURNS, BANK ANGLES AND MANOEUVRES INVOLVING TURNS

This tool allows you to specify speed and turning rate for use in the following calculations. It calculates the turn radius (also used in the following calculations), and indicates the bank angle that results in a visual way (which can be useful for learning pilots). It indicates classification of bank angle, and calculates the effect of bank angle on stall speeds for level turns.

It then provides assistance in calculating various common manoeuvres involving turns, using the information that has been set up, e.g. intercepting a radial from a DME Arc, flying teardrop turns within a given remain-inside distance, or traversing between two radials when heading towards a VOR.

 

UNIT CONVERSIONS

This tool provides a few commonly-required unit conversions on one sheet, between different units for pressure, temperature, weight, distance and speed.

For more comprehensive unit conversions, I recommend downloading the freeware Breitling World Time Calculator (new URL).

 

HINTS AND TIPS

This section now appears only in the off-line version of this page, which is included with the downloaded toolset.

QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

This section now appears only in the off-line version of this page, which is included with the downloaded toolset.

 

FORMAL STUFF

This spreadsheet tool is © Brian Tooby 2007.

This spreadsheet tool is freeware, and may be copied and used for any purpose that has absolutely nothing to do with making money, whether directly or indirectly.

For example, this spreadsheet may NOT be included on a CD-ROM that is attached to a book or magazine, nor may it be uploaded to a web site that carries advertising or is associated in any other way with any kind of money-making enterprise, without permission from the author. At present this permission extends only to the AVSIM File Library.

The only payment requested is that you send an email to the author at the address below if you find this tool useful, and perhaps make some suggestions for how it might be improved.

 

DISCLAIMERS/RESTRICTIONS:

The author is NOT a real pilot, and this spreadsheet tool is NOT intended for real-world navigation and flying, nor for any situation where errors could cause harm to anyone or anything.

The author's knowledge of flight simulators is restricted to Microsoft flight simulators from FS98 onwards, although the tool is meant to be useful with other simulators.

 

THE REALLY IMPORTANT BIT:

Thanks to everyone who has helped me in simulator flying, especially to:
  • Nick Dargahi for his excellent book ("The Ultimate Flight Simulator Pilot's Guidebook" 1998, ISBN 1-155828-574-1). Any errors are mine, not his, and the diagrams in the spreadsheet are mine, not his. I should also thank Ed Williams, the author of the chapter on Great Circle Navigation within that book.
  • Ed Williams for his navigation calculations and his magnetic variation program, which was used to generate the magnetic variation table in previous versions of this spreadsheet, and for patiently answering several questions for V1.6.4 of this toolset. Any errors that you may discover in the toolset are mine, not his!
  • The long line of people who have contributed to Microsoft Flight Simulator - the simulators themselves, and all the freeware additions.
  • The endlessly patient people who have helped out on newsgroup microsoft.public.simulators - Bob, Brett, Dennis, Jughead, Katy, RushMan, Trip, Walt, and many others.
  • Last but definitely not least, the friendly and knowledgeable folks at Tradewind Caribbean Airlines, "probably the best Virtual Airline in the world" - with a special thanks to Rainer Labie, President of TCA, who encouraged me to "go public" with the Pilot's Assistant toolset.
 

DEVELOPMENT HISTORY

Latest developments are presented first.

CHANGES FROM V1.6.6 TO V1.6.7 (V1.6.7 4-July-07)

The magnetic variations table has been updated to use the latest model (IGRF10), with a date of 2007.5 (approximately July 1st 2007).

The hyperlinks in the spreadsheet have been updated, and the cells containing them unlocked, so you can save the spreadsheet in a newer Excel format and apply the hyperlinks to those cells, if you want. (The older Excel format that I use for compatibility reasons doesn't support automated hyperlinks.)

Hyperlinks in the description of the Pilot's Assistant toolset (above in the document you are reading now) have also been updated.

CHANGES FROM V1.6.5 TO V1.6.6 (V1.6.6 23-Apr-03)

  1. The Descent Planner sheet has been revised. Among other things, it is now a little easier to make an adjustment for a tailwind.
  2. Information on QNE, QNH and QFE has been updated in the Altitudes and altimeter settings sheet.
  3. V1.6.5 introduced an error into the comment in cell C110 of the flight profiler / fuel planner sheet. This has been corrected.

CHANGES FROM V1.6.4 TO V1.6.5 (V1.6.5 30-Nov-02)

  1. The flight profiler / fuel planner now computes contingency fuel in two parts. One part allows for possible holding/delay time (45 minutes, say,  or any other figure that the regulations require), as it did before. The other part allows for the maximum extra distance to reach an alternate airport (which the user can also specify, if there is a possibility that conditions at the normal destination may not permit landing there). Users of Radar Contact V3 in particular may find this small improvement useful, since RC V3 now caters for diversion to alternate airport(s).
  2. Users may notice a few other minor changes, which are purely cosmetic.

CHANGES FROM V1.6.3 TO V1.6.4 (V1.6.4 9-May-02)

  1. The functionality of the Altitudes and altimeter settings sheet has been significantly extended, with calculations to correct for non standard temperatures and pressures in various situations. This is important in regions where terrain or obstacle clearance may be a problem, particularly in low pressures and/or low temperatures.
  2. A few other minor updates have been made. Unit conversions have been concentrated in the Units sheet, and conversion from TAT to OAT now works in both Celsius and Fahrenheit, according to which of these you select at the top of the Altitudes, Temperatures, Speeds and Descent/Climb Rates table.

CHANGES FROM V1.6.2 TO V1.6.3 (V1.6.3 31-Aug-01)

  1. The main change is the addition of fuel/performance data for the DC-3. The model used for measurements was the superb R4D-6package by Bill Rambow, Roy Chaffin and Jan Visser - actually Jan Visser's TDM cargo variant of this package. Thanks to Trev Morson, Charles Wood and the folk at TCA for helpful answers to several questions (any errors are mine, not theirs!). Note: You should read the DC-3 sheet carefully before your first flight, especially the areas highlighted in yellow.
  2. A small enhancement has been made to the way in which you enter payload weight into the flight profiler / fuel planner sheet (cell B107 in V1.6.3). You can still type anything into this cell that you want, but take a look at the existing formula first. What's happening here is that if the sim model assumes a default payload, then that default is used automatically, and if the sim model doesn't then I am supplying a suggested payload of 28 passengers at 200 lb each, plus 500 lb extra cargo. One option that you have is to change just that part of the formula, rather than enter a complete new value, and you will retain some flexibility. I suggest that you try the existing formula with several different aircraft before changing anything, though - you may not need to change it at all. Some aircraft (e.g. MD-83) use kilos rather than pounds, so you may need to make an appropriate adjustment (unless you are transporting a party of Sumo wrestlers to a 10-pin bowling tournament, maybe!).
  3. A new sheet has been added providing some commonly-required unit conversions, in response to a request from a Pilot's Assistant user.
  4. Suggested cruise height now rounds to nearest 1,000 ft, not 100 ft.
  5. Minor changes to comments on the flight profiler / fuel planner and Aircraft sheets.
  6. The off-line version of this document no longer contains the information in the Pilot's Assistant Directory - this should always be accessed on-line from the Pilot's Assistant Homepage.

FIX TO V1.6.2 (22-Mar-01 19:00 GMT)

People who have downloaded V1.6.2 before 19:00 GMT today may have noticed that the scrolling panes on some of the sheets have been inadvertently removed - sorry! This doesn't affect the functionality of the spreadsheet, but makes it harder to work with some of the larger tables. A new copy has now been uploaded which fixes this problem.

CHANGES FROM V1.6.1 TO V1.6.2 (V1.6.2 18-Mar-01)

  1. The main change is an improvement to the way in which the wind speed adjustment is applied in the flight profiler / fuel planner. Previously, one entered an altitude above which the wind speed adjustment was to be made, and the calculations assumed for simplicity that there was no wind below this altitude. Now the profiler / fuel planner estimates the lower wind adjustments for you, based on the wind adjustment at cruise altitude. The gain in overall accuracy is not that great, but it does remove a minor annoyance (at least, it was annoying me!).
  2. Related to this, a new sheet has been added providing information on "Winds Aloft".
  3. Also, the default values in the Altitudes, Temperatures, Speeds And Descent/Climb Rates Table for wind adjustments now have a range of factors built in, so that if you enter a wind adjustment in the top row it is assumed to apply at 39,000 feet, and the adjustments at lower altitudes are proportionately reduced in a reasonably realistic way. You can of course change this feature if you want, by over-writing the formulae.

CHANGES FROM V1.6 TO V1.6.1 (V1.6.1 20-Jan-01)

  1. The main change is the addition of fuel/performance data for the MD-83. This has been measured using the excellent "Mad Dog" simulation from Lago (available from www.justflight.com or www.lagoonline.com).
  2. Note that the MD-83 panel uses kilograms for fuel and weight units, and so do the fuel/performance data tables. However, in FS2000, the aircraft fuel menu still uses pounds. The fuel/performance data sheet for the MD-83 also includes a small calculator that may be useful in converting from percentage fuel capacity to be loaded (from Prof&Fuel sheet) to values that can be entered via the aircraft fuel menu. (Of course, one could simply enter the same percentage into each of the fuel tanks, but the calculator makes it easy to be a little more realistic.)

CHANGES FROM V1.5.3 TO V1.6 (V1.6 26-Nov-00)

  1. Addition of a magnetic variations table from which magnetic variation can be looked up automatically for any point on the earth's surface, using the provided lat long and great circle calculations.
  2. Addition of performance tables for the Mooney Bravo, King Air 350, 737-400, and 777-200. The first two are the FS2000 stock aircraft, but with Steve Small's improved .air files (available from Steve's web site). The 737-400 is the FS2000 stock aircraft. The 777-200 is the excellent "Professional" simulation from PSS, available from www.justflight.com.
  3. Addition of wind adjustment to the Descent Planner, and a better treatment of wind adjustment in the Altitudes, Temperatures, Speeds And Descent/Climb Rates Table.
  4. Bug fixes for Lat Long calculations and the Altitudes, Temperatures, Speeds And Descent/Climb Rates Table. The effects probably weren't noticeable - you could get negative headings if you were very unlucky, and descent rates were inconsistently (not necessarily inaccurately) calculated at different altitudes.
  5. A number of minor cosmetic improvements.
This is the first update for FS2000.

CHANGES FROM V1.5.2 TO V1.5.3 (V1.5.3 10-Jun-00)

  1. Addition of performance table for the Pilatus PC-12. This is Marcel Ritzema's great FS98 model, obtained from Tradewind Hangar 6, which I use in connection with David Durst's equally great panel (see links to panel sites below). Thanks also to the folks at Pilatus Aircraft who are mega-helpful about providing information on the PC-12.
  2. In V1.5.2, the tool could not look up climb and descent gradients automatically from performance tables because of a problem with circular references. This restriction is removed in V1.5.3, making profile calculations more accurate, but only when you select a cruise height manually (as you will very often do). Further information on this change will be found in the questions & answers section.
  3. A number of improvements have been made to the Profiler sheet, with related changes to the Aircraft sheet, in areas where cruise height, fuel, payloads and other weights are entered.
  4. All the supplied aircraft performance tables have had a small change made to the lookup algorithm. The effect is that where a cruise height is outside (above or below) the range of heights covered by the table, the values looked up are obtained by linear extrapolation. This improves the accuracy of the profiler for low flights, but has no other benefit at present (for further details on this, especially for people who have developed their own tables, see the questions & answers section). The actual change on each sheet is to the computation of the cell "IX_below" in each of the 3 locations where it occurs, limiting the value to 1..N-1, where N is the number of data rows in the table.
  5. Some additions to the acknowledgements sections of this document.
  6. With the number of aircraft types growing, I have re-ordered the performance sheets and the corresponding entries in the Aircraft sheet so that the aircraft are grouped into rough categories, and then alphabetically within categories. I hope it makes some kind of sense.

  7.  

CHANGES FROM V1.5.1 TO V1.5.2 (V1.5.2 30-Apr-00)

  1. Addition of performance table for the Boeing 767-200ER.
  2. DC-9 cruise performance data revised. (This change is in V1.5.2 but wasn't noted until 1-May-00).
  3. Bug fix for the calculation that checks for Maximum Landing Weight being exceeded in the Profile sheet.
  4. Entry of climb and descent gradients and cruise::climb distance ratio moved from Profile sheet to Aircraft Data Master sheet, allowing these values to be stored per aircraft type.
  5. Warning provided when you select a very low or short flight that the results may not be accurate.
  6. Presentation of output values changed slightly on Profile and Aircraft Data Master sheets so that the result of changing parameters such as cruise height and the cruise::climb distance ratio can be more quickly seen. Thanks to "Jughead" for his suggestions, which prompted the next change also.
  7. The individual aircraft data sheets have been made slightly more self-contained, by replacing the use of one_minute and one_hour by local values on each data sheet. This is just to make life easier for people who copy these sheets into a new spreadsheet file in order to modify the copies for their own aircraft. In future the filename of the spreadsheet file will not change from one release to another, for the same reason.
  8. Some additional questions & answers in this document.
  9. Addition to this document of a new section providing some recommended links.
  10. Slight rewording of my copyright notice since it was obviously not clear enough!

CHANGES FROM V1.5 TO V1.5.1 (V1.5.1 9-Apr-00)

In V1.5's description of QNH in the Altim. sheet, the note that immediately precedes the description of QFE has the comparison of pressures the wrong way up. It should read:
Note that when a station reports pressure, the reported pressure always represents what the pressure would be at sea level, which is more than the actual pressure at the station unless the station is itself at sea level.
If you already downloaded V1.5 you might not want to bother downloading another copy just for that, but heck, it's there if you want it.

CHANGES FROM V1.4.1 TO V1.5 (V1.5 8-Apr-00)

  1. Addition of new sheet for Altitudes And Altimeter Settings.
  2. The Standard Atmosphere Table has been amplified and extended to cover levels for supersonic flight, and to include negative pressure altitudes. An automatic lookup facility has been added, which uses a combination of interpolation and calculation for best accuracy.
  3. The Descent Planner / Calculator sheet has a new section which helps you to check whether you are on the right descent path.
  4. Addition of new sheet Altitudes, Temperatures, Speeds And Descent/Climb Rates Table.
  5. Turns sheet now indicates classification of bank angle, and calculates the effect of bank angle on stall speeds for level turns.
  6. Some additional cosmetic changes.

DOCUMENTATION-ONLY UPDATE (8-Mar-00)

The link for an example of real fuel planning, and good info on flying the DC-9 both in real life and in Flight Sim, has been updated in the Profiler/Fuel Planner section above. Thanks to Kenny Williamson who pointed this out.

CHANGES FROM V1.4 TO V1.4.1 (V1.4.1 5-Mar-00)

This is essentially a bug fix to the Turns sheet. The last calculation (traversing from one radial to another when heading towards a VOR) was incorrect in the case where the bank angle was being limited, and also used approximations which did not always work well. This calculation has been completely rewritten without approximations.

The opportunity has also been taken to improve the presentation of information on the Turns sheet, especially where input and output values cannot easily be seen at the same time.

The cruise::climb ratio on the Profile&Fuel sheet has some additional information, and minor cosmetic changes have been made to a few sheets.

The occasional (harmless) "circular reference" warning has been eliminated, by checking the "iteration" box in the tools, option, calculation menu.

DOCUMENTATION-ONLY UPDATE (31-Jan-00)

A new Questions & Answers section has been added, and the Hints & Tips section revised, prompted by several questions on adding aircraft performance tables.

DOCUMENTATION-ONLY UPDATE (27-Jan-00)

The off-line version of the file you are reading now has been updated, to incorporate links to my on-line web site so that it's easier to get updates. Also, an existing incorrect link has been fixed and some missing images added.

CHANGES FROM V1.3.2 TO V1.4 (V1.4 23-Jan-00)

This is the first version of the toolset published on a web site - in fact, this is my first experience of creating a web site! This documentation is the main change (conversion to HTML).

CHANGES FROM V1.3.1 TO V1.3.2

  1. Errors in cruise fuel consumption data for ATR 72 and 757 performance tables corrected - they were exactly twice what they should have been! Also small correction made in all aircraft performance tables to the climb fuel calculations, so that they compute fuel to altitude from takeoff, not from engine start.
  2. A number of minor improvements made to data entry on the Profiler sheet, in the areas of error reporting and feedback of certain output values at the point of data entry.
  3. Distinction clarified between climb/descent gradient and climb/descent rate.
  4. Conversion between descent angle and descent rate added to Descent sheet.

CHANGES FROM V1.3 TO V1.3.1

  1. Added a pop-up note to the spreadsheet for VFR and IFR altitudes and flight levels.
  2. Minor correction to Aircraft Data (units of weight for Cessna should be pounds, not gallons).

CHANGES FROM V1.2 TO V1.3 (V1.3 25-Dec-99)

  1. Improvement made to turn calculation when traversing from one radial to another, making it more accurate with larger angles between radials.
  2. Addition of performance tables for Cessna C182, ATR 72, 757-200. Also, the internal construction of these tables has been improved to make it a little easier to create new tables based on them.
  3. More data is now entered on the Aircraft sheet and less data on the Profile sheet. This reduces your workload when switching between aircraft.
  4. In conjunction with 3., some additional data on the Aircraft sheet is now looked up automatically from aircraft performance tables on individual sheets. You can create additional aircraft performance tables on additional sheets (which should be in a separate spreadsheet file for your ease of maintenance).
  5. You now need to specify the maximum cruise height for each aircraft type.
  6. Sometimes it is useful to know for a particular total weight of the aircraft, what percentage fuel that total weight represents (for the given flight model). A calculation for this has been added to the Profile / Fuel sheet.
  7. The Turns sheet now allows the bank angle to be limited to a specified maximum value, and removes the statement about 4 minute turns being standard for large and fast jets, which is not believed to be accurate - advice on this topic is welcome!
  8. Some terminology has been corrected (hopefully).

CHANGES FROM V1.1 TO V1.2 (V1.2 10-Nov-99)

  1. Addition of Descent Planner.
  2. Addition of Aircraft Data sheet.
  3. Addition of Great Circle calculator.
  4. Addition of diagrams to the Turns sheet.
  5. Corrections to some calculations in the Turns and Lat-Long sheets.
  6. A general tightening up of terminology.
  7. Bug fix for fuel planner sheet.
  8. Change made to initial input values on the Flight Profiler to avoid circular reference problem.

CHANGES FROM V1.0 TO V1.1 (V1.1 30-Oct-99)

  1. Addition of Standard Atmosphere Table.
  2. Addition of Turns sheet and Bank sheet.
The original V1.0 toolset had a performance table for the DC-9-32 (model by Mike Vidal/John Keane), the basic flight profiler / fuel planner, the wind correction tool, the turns tool, latitude/longitude calculations,  and a few other things.
 

 

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AUTHOR

 
Please email me if you have any comments or suggestions - they are always welcome - and let me know if you would like to be notified of any updates to this toolset. You can contact me via my new flight sim home page.

Brian Tooby
TCA Pilot #2658

 



 
 
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