Your helpful tips.

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Re: Your helpful tips.

Postby Steve Waite » Wed Jan 27, 2021 11:47 am

VATSIM

Ideal Flight supports the VATSIM page and vPilot program.

The VATSIM page is included in the Internet Locations menu and vPilot support is included in the Exports section.

These functions will preload your VATSIM page or vPilot settings with your usual values to save typing them in each time.
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Re: Your helpful tips.

Postby Steve Waite » Wed Apr 21, 2021 12:17 pm

Ideal Flight Weather and the Briefing Route Table

When Ideal Flight Weather is included in the flight build, the briefing route table shows the time between waypoints with respect to our speed, as input in the Aircraft Flight Parameters page, and how our speed is affected by the winds coming from Ideal Flight Weather. The winds are computed ahead of time and built into the flight briefing. So if we change the wind speeds the time between waypoints will change and the estimated time of arrival will also change. This is handy for when we want to practice navigation techniques.

If we disable Ideal Flight Weather and use an external weather program the briefing route table only computes flight times with respect to our speeds. At the moment Ideal Flight does not collect information from other weather programs. If ideal Flight was to collect weather data from other weather programs, this would mean having to run the simulator first with the intended route to gain the external weather data, and then rebuilding the flight with that data included to recreate the route table and ETA times. It is possible that Ideal Flight might incorporate something like that in the future as it already knows how to read the data from external weather programs. Even so, at the moment the Ideal Flight winds are already available for exporting to add-on aircraft flight management systems in that file format from the Exports section.
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Re: Your helpful tips.

Postby Steve Waite » Tue Apr 27, 2021 4:46 pm

Ideal Flight Professional, Start page menu, Simulator Startup Behaviour

Some aircraft don't like being the first aircraft loaded when the simulator starts, or they require the simulator to be run-up to a certain point before the aircraft is loaded. We call those "complex aircraft". So Ideal Flight has some options for adjusting the startup of the simulator to handle some complex aircraft that might need help.

Let's take for example, the PMDG 737 in P3D and the simulator is not yet running, the sim fails to start properly when we try to start from the Fly! button. But if we already have the simulator running when we choose to start the flight, then we can press the Fly! button in Ideal Flight and the simulator responds with loading our flight normally. This is because of the extra programming required behind the PMDG aircraft, certain parts of the simulator must already be running before the aircraft is loaded into the simulator. The aircraft does not actually need an aircraft loaded prior to starting, it just needs some parts of the simulator ready to accept the PMDG special program code to work in the simulator.

So OK, we want Ideal Flight to start the simulator to an extent before loading the PMDG aircraft, when the simulator is not already running.

On the startup page of Ideal Flight, we find the submenu option "Simulator Startup Behaviour".

The first option we can use in that submenu is "Terrain Startup". This starts the simulator without a user aircraft present, and as soon as the terrain is loaded into the simulator, Ideal Flight will load the PMDG into the simulator and progress continues normally.

The second option we can use in that submenu is "Load Default Flight". However, so long as this default flight does not specify certain complex aircraft we can start the simulator with that, and then after that first flight has loaded, Ideal Flight will start the PMDG flight. This takes a little longer than Terrain Startup but might help start the simulator with other complex aircraft.

The third option "Simulator Reset" does not work with the PMDG but may be useful to start some other aircraft. This option might be used as a test function for regular aircraft or AI Traffic aircraft to be sure they can start after the sim has restarted.

Two other options are available.

The first is "None" being the default setting, which simply causes Ideal Flight to run the Explorer command line to start the simulator program exe and by adding the name of the saved flight file to that command line the simulator starts-up right into the cockpit with that file loaded. Ideal Flight flights are basically saved flight files that are already set-up to start where we want and have the plan already loaded. We can test that by locating a saved flight file in Explorer and in the Explorer menu choose "Open with..." and choose Prepar3D.exe.

The second option "Starts in scenario selection" forces the simulator to always start with the scenario window where we can select vehicles and plans without the simulator running. Incidentally, on the main Ideal Flight screen in the Icon Shelf the option "FS Main Menu" starts the simulator in the scenario window and we can load the Ideal Flight file from there if we wish.
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Re: Your helpful tips.

Postby Steve Waite » Thu Apr 29, 2021 3:36 pm

Run as Administrator option in Ideal Flight Start page menu

If you have to set your simulator to Run as Administrator when it is started from the desktop shortcut, that won't happen if we ordinarily have the simulator started by Ideal Flight.

In the Ideal Flight Startup page popup menu, we can choose to start Ideal Flight as Administrator. Then when we use Ideal Flight to start the simulator, the simulator will also Run as Administrator.

Why is Run as Administrator sometimes recommended?

We might install addon software that requests we must start the simulator to Run as Administrator.

We might also be recommended to install our simulator into a folder we make outside of Program Files.

The reason these requests are made of us is that the addon software installs files into the simulator folder that will have settings updated as we use the simulator.

Since the Program Files folder is Read-Only and that any child folders created inside that folder acquire the same read-Only permission and the addon software or aircraft cannot update their files. These programs should ordinarily have made folders to have the Read-Write or Modify permission added but have not and so we are left to do something about it.

Generally, most software like Ideal Flight, FSX and Prepar3D put their updatable files into folders that have Modify permission already set to accept updates as we use them.

Installing our sim in a folder of our making, we become the creator owner, can cause other issues since we own that folder and some processes cannot access those folders, including Administrators - more about this later...

Running our Simulator with Run as Administrator can also have unknown effects and also can lead us open to Malware attacks if we happen to install something for the simulator that contains nefarious code.

Instead, we can make the simulator Program Files folder Read-Write for those addon programs and aircraft to work normally without having to Run as Administrator or install into a private folder. We do this by adding the "Modify Allow" permission for the "Users" group on the simulator Program Files folder.

Adding "Modify Allow" permission for the "Users" group to the simulator Program Files folder is the proper way to enable these addons and aircraft to function normally and update their files, add their plans and save their settings.

With Windows Explorer we locate the Program Files folder for the simulator and choose Properties. Select the Security tab, press the Edit button, and select the "Users" group. In the table we check the "Modify Allow" checkbox, and press OK to Apply.

After that we can install and run our addons and aircraft that go into the simulator folders without Run as Admin and without having to relocate our simulator folder outside of Program Files.

What if we install the simulator into our own folder, perhaps because we installed it onto another drive, we become the creator owner. Problems with this can become apparent if we create another user on the PC as they can't access the folder. Some installers can't write their files there, but that is rare. I said more about this later... Well, in this case, we can simply add the "Modify Allow" permission for the "Users" group on that folder as already described, and issues of folder ownership never arise.

So rather than Run as Admin or relocating the simulator program files, all that is really required is to simply check one box in the security tab of the folder properties!
software architect at codelegend.com
equipment: i9-9980Xe 64GB 2xRTX2080ti NVLink 2TB M.2,
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Steve Waite
 
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Re: Your helpful tips.

Postby Steve Waite » Tue May 18, 2021 9:04 am

A bit more about Ideal Flight and the fuel approximation...

We must consider that we can use Ideal Flight with any aircraft past, present or future. That requires a special way of thinking about fuel use. Since Ideal Flight doesn't know how much fuel we need for any aircraft and does not replace the official fuel calculator method for each individual aircraft, which can vary a lot depending on aircraft type, engine type, airframe drag, weight and so on. The differences are almost infinite. So, what can Ideal Flight do for us?

We can tell Ideal Flight the aircraft approximate Range. This requires knowing how fast we cruise and how long we ascend and descend.

For example, if we fly a route and use 200 gallons in 2 hours, we are using approximately 100 gallons an hour on average.

So, if our aircraft can carry 400 gallons, we have on average 4 hours flight time. Our Range time is 4 hours approximately.

If we fly at 200 knots our Range distance is 200 times 4 equals 800 nautical miles approximately.

Ideal Flight considers how much time we are in ascent and descent, and that leaves our distance portion at cruise speed.

Therefore, we must apply values into the flight parameters page, ascent rates, cruise speed, range, ascent speed, approach speed, final speed, taxi time.

Then using the Range and the other parameters, Ideal Flight calculates the approximate fuel.

Once we have the Range value, the fuel amount can then be increased with the taxi time, holding time and reserve time.

In practice, we usually ascend and descend and approach and land at the same speeds, so we generally only enter those values once for each aircraft. Also, we generally take the same payloads, and the aircraft drag remains the same at the same altitudes. In effect, the Range comes out approximately the same for most flights.

After a few flights, we find out that the Range parameter is approximately the same each time and the fuel estimate is close to what we use on the flight. If we fly the same flight twice, we should be using approximately the same fuel each time. With winds in our favour, we use less fuel and with wind against us, we use more fuel. The Ideal Flight calculation takes the wind vector on the aircraft into account as it does the cruise distance portion.

We can find the approximate range during the flight by using the Fuel Report from the in-sim menu. After the flight, we get a range value in the assessment. We can also check in the flight log for the output from using the Fuel Report menu item in a stable flight condition.

We must fly the aircraft the same way each flight, according to the parameters we chose, to find the range for that type of flight. Ideal Flight adjusts for the length of the cruise portion and the wind vector on the aircraft.

This way makes it easy to approximate the fuel quantity we might need for a particular route. On the Flight Generator page, we can input whatever fuel we need or leave it in automatic which uses our Range and other flight parameters.
software architect at codelegend.com
equipment: i9-9980Xe 64GB 2xRTX2080ti NVLink 2TB M.2,
i9-9900X 64GB RTX2080ti 2TB M.2, i7-3960X 32GB GTX680 4TB RAID10,
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Steve Waite
 
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Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 12:02 am

Re: Your helpful tips.

Postby Steve Waite » Tue May 18, 2021 2:16 pm

Aircraft Flight Parameters appear poorly set to start with some aircraft

Sometimes addon aircraft don't come with enough information for a machine reader app to discern some values about the aircraft performance.

For example, I downloaded the Falcon 20E and installed into Prepar3D and went into Ideal Flight Pro and selected the aircraft there.

I found that the cruise speed and range were set to one knot and one nautical mile because Ideal Flight could not obtain reasonable initial values from the addon.

So I have to set in nominal values for this aircraft.

I chose for cruise speed 300 knots and set that first.

Next, I can set the Range which I have no idea yet. So for Range, I set 1000 nautical miles and got 3 hours 20 mins to start with.

After that, I could build flights and the figures looked OK. I have to put in these values to start with and sometimes they may be very poor values as Ideal Flight can't discern these values with some addon aircraft.

The aircraft will have to be flown to find out the true range which will be displayed in the Ideal Flight de-brief. I would adhere to the parameters I chose in the Aircraft Flight Parameters page when flying the aircraft.
software architect at codelegend.com
equipment: i9-9980Xe 64GB 2xRTX2080ti NVLink 2TB M.2,
i9-9900X 64GB RTX2080ti 2TB M.2, i7-3960X 32GB GTX680 4TB RAID10,
NAS @7TB RAID10
Steve Waite
 
Posts: 4885
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 12:02 am

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