New to IF? Fuel and ETA Explained

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New to IF? Fuel and ETA Explained

Postby Steve Waite » Sun Jul 15, 2012 11:17 pm

IF tries to set up the complete flight with a “one button click”. Even so there are many parameters, cold & dark settings, mission and other actions that may need adjusting, but IF always tries to keep things from requiring adjustment if it can.

Fuel has been simplified by requiring only regular adjustments to the parameter “Range”, and then it’s not required that often. ETA is calculated fully automatically based on the cruise speed, climb rates, and so on defined in the Aircraft Flight Parameters page.


Consider this; fill up and fly a route. Once parked up make a note of the fuel used, or subtract the remaining from what you started with.

Fill up with this amount and do the same route again, and assuming flying the same and weather is the same, then you will make it to the destination using the same amount of fuel.
Let’s say 10 gallons were used, and the flight required 1 hour. This would suggest 10 gallons per hour of flight are needed on average.

Well…nearly…consider the engines may now be less in tune, the fuel quality can change (or you had more on board before), there are many-many other factors involved. BUT if you know your fuel use from your last flight (and others) you get to know the performance (and trend) of the aircraft, and the fuel required for the next flight can be calculated very accurately.

What about a longer flight? It might be better to take a reading of fuel use in cruise, the remainder is that used during climb and descent. More accuracy can be attained with this simple split.

With the climb time, cruise time and descent time, an accurate assessment of fuel required is beginning to take shape. IF goes on to calculate for vectoring into and out of the runways suggested in the briefing and taxiing. Remember the runways may not be those actually in use when you get to the airports, but are usually a good guess.

Please use IF’s In-sim Fuel Report during cruise, the fuel used for the entire flight can always be found at the base of the assessment.

Fuel calculations that use pre-determined look up tables from manufacturer’s figures may not work as intended in the sim, and for the way the aircraft is flown. Ideal Flight’s fuel calculation is always going to be very accurate, by definition of the method used.


The briefing shows the Aircraft Flight Parameters chosen such as climb rates, cruise speed and so on.

The parameters should be set accordingly and the briefing followed during the flight, then the ETA should be close.

When flights are consistently a few minutes too short or long (assuming you used the runways in the briefing), this is flying consistently.

If you want to get closer to the ETA suggested in the briefing, try increasing/decreasing speed during approach. Ten minutes can be lost or gained quite easily.

Consistent flying with consistent results is rewarding, rather than getting EXACLY the same ETA as suggested.

Landing speeds are assessed from the aircraft model. A future upgrade may allow fine tuning of the approach speeds used in the calculation.
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