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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.

I am not a professional journalist.  Writing for a cross section of readers from differing cultures and languages with varying degrees of technical ability, can at times be challenging. I hope there are not too many spelling and grammatical mistakes.

 

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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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Thursday
Jun142012

Runway Awareness & Advisory System (RAAS) - FS Add On

A runway incursion is an incident where an unauthorized aircraft, vehicle or person is on a runway. This adversely affects runway safety, as it creates the risk that an airplane taking off or landing will collide with the object.  Runways incursions are not uncommon.  One carrier, Alaska Airlines has introduced an additional warning system in their flight decks to counter against this potential problem.  The system is called RAAS or Runway Awareness and Advisory System.

The Runway Awareness and Advisory System developed by Honeywell in 2003, provides pilots with audible alerts when they approach and enter taxiways and runways. The system confirms runway identifications to help ensure pilots are on the correct runway with enough distance to complete takeoff, and provides an audible warning if a pilot inadvertently accelerates for takeoff while on a taxiway.  To learn more about the real Honeywell RAAS.

RAAS is not compulsory in the real world, but is an option that is purchased by an airline.   The use of RAAS is a nice addition to include in your flight deck.  Dongjin Shin, a software engineer has developed RAAS for us to use in flight simulator.  His program is called FsRAAS Runway Advisory.

Software Installation and Make Runways

The program is a stand-alone program, meaning it does not need to be installed into flight simulator; it can be run from anywhere on your computer, however, I have been 'informed' the recommended place for installation of the software is in the same folder that FSUPIC is installed (FS10 root directory/modules).

Once the program has been installed, it is necessary to synchronise the runway data in your scenery file with FsRAAS.  To not do this will cause erroneous call-outs.  To synchronise the runway .bdl file you run MakeRunways 4.692 developed by Peter Dowson.  This software is stand-alone and can be downloaded for free (MakeRunways).  Follow the instructions carefully and once the software has been run, copy the generated r4.csv file found in the modules folder to the same folder that you have FsRAAS installed.  Copying this file will ensure that FsRAAS is synchronised with the airports in your scenery file.   It's important to remember that if you update your scenery, MakeRunways will need to run again and the file copied across to FsRAAS folder.

FsRAAS can be started before or after FSX; I prefer to start the program after FSX has been configured for flight.  I have a shortcut to FsRAAS on my desktop menu and after FSX is running I click the shortcut and FsRAAS immediately starts and minimises. At the moment, FsRAAS cannot be run from client computers as it does not support WideFS.  However, the computer workload of running this very small add on is not noticeable on high-end computers.  The program does require FSUPIC for correct operation.

Evaluation

My initial evaluation of FsRAAS has been excellent and I’ve incorporated this program into my flight deck.  The program will provide, at the minimum, the following audible call-outs;

  • Approaching/crossing taxiway
  • Approaching/crossing runway
  • Flaps not set call out (flaps flaps flaps)
  • Lined up on runway (ie: runway 34R call-out)
  • Runway distance remaining after take off roll (eg: 2000 feet remaining call-out)
  • Runway distance remaining after landing and roll out
  • Approaching runway on final approach (approaching 34R call-out)

The software's .ini file can be easily altered to reflect certain changes in the various call outs such as distance to a runways, approach speed, etc.  The .ini file is found in the FsRAAS folder.

My only vague criticism (if pushed) is that the call-outs are slightly delayed when approaching a runway or taxiway.  The program is currently a free program and can be downloaded directly from Shin's blog site, or search the AVSIM library for FsRAAS11-1, or the latest release FsRAAS 2.

Below is a short embedded video of the FsRAAS courtesy of the developer.

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