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Mission Statement

The purpose of FLAPS-2-APPROACH is two-fold:  To document the construction of a Boeing 737 flight simulator, and to act as a platform to share aviation-related articles pertaining to the Boeing 737; thereby, providing a source of inspiration and reference to like-minded individuals.

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I use the words "modules & panels" and "CDU & FMC" interchangeably.  The definition of the acronym "OEM" is Original Equipment Manufacturer (aka real aicraft part).

 

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Friday
Mar022012

B737 Fuel Management Program

Flight planning is a large part of flying the B737 –in real life and virtually.

Yes you can fly with the three fuel tanks full, however, bear in mind that you will not be simulating real flight.  Airlines rarely fly an aircraft between two locations with a full fuel load unless it’s required for operational use or safety. 

Fuel is heavy and the additional weight requires more power and fuel to move it between locations.  This equates to an increased expense.  Airlines usually only carry enough fuel to reach their destination and alternate.

You can calculate the appropriate load sheets, distances between airports, winds, altitudes to be flown and alternate airports, however, this can be time consuming and often you don’t want to simulate the paper trail that goes hand in hand with getting a B737 into the air.

Ross Carlson has created a very handy and functional fuel management tool to use.  The program is stand-alone and does not need to be installed into FSX or PMDG.  It can be installed to and run from any folder including your desktop.   Initially designed to work with the Boeing 737NG developed by Precision Manuals Development Group, the utility works well for other 737NG aircraft provided they have the same operating limitations and fuel tank capacities.

Initially made to be used in conjunction with the PMDG series B737 aircraft, the utility also functions with default FSX.

The only issue to be wary of is that the aircraft you are flying matches the same weights as those used by PMDG.

  • Supports 737-600, 737-700, 737-800 and 737-900.
  • Values can be entered and displayed in pounds or kilograms.
  • Reads payload (passenger and baggage) weights via FSUIPC.
  • Calculates en route fuel burn based on cruise altitude and trip distance.
  • Calculates fuel burn to reach alternate airport.
  • Calculates increased or reduced fuel consumption due to forecast winds en route.
  • Allowances for taxi-out fuel burn, holding fuel burn, and minimum landing fuel.
  • Indicates if any parameters exceed aircraft operating limitations.
  • Sets actual fuel levels in your aircraft via FSUIPC.
  • One simple .exe file, no external DLLs or data files required.
  • Loads first 1,000 pounds of fuel into the center tank to keep pumps submerged.
  • Fully FSUIPC accredited for use with non-registered copies of FSUIPC.

Operation

I've been using this fuel planner or quite sometime and it appears to work very well.  I open FSX first, then open the fuel planner and alter the figures as required.  Then, after I've boarded the fuel I exit the fuel planner program.

The only let down with the program, and this probably an advanced feature not deemed necessary when the program was developed is that it doesn't provide %CG which is used in a CDU to determine your take off trim.

Search google for PMDG fuel planner and you will find several sites that allow you to download the program.  You can also download from the Training & Documents Section of this site (Fuel Planner).

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