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Systems For Flight Planning?  
User currently offlinewardialer From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 1183 posts, RR: 0
Posted (3 years 9 months 14 hours ago) and read 9293 times:

I was wondering what types of systems do pilots use to generate flight plans during their briefing outside the cockpit?
In other words, even before they start entering the flight plan data via the FMS system.

Do they use a program on a standard PC?
Or, is it a web-based tool on the Internet?

Thanks.

26 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 25056 posts, RR: 46
Reply 1, posted (3 years 9 months 13 hours ago) and read 9283 times:

Are you talking about large airlines, or individual recreational pilots?

For airlines, they often have mainframe systems where their flight planning systems reside. Airline make use of inhouse designed applications, or stuff produced by vendors like Sabre, Jeppesen, Lufthansa Systems, etc.

For recreational pilots there are a host of simple web based applications that you can use to generate basic flight plans.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineairportugal310 From Palau, joined Apr 2004, 3608 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (3 years 9 months 13 hours ago) and read 9298 times:

I know first-hand that many a corporate pilot uses fltpln.com to do their flight planning and filing on the US side. Not the most high tech thing out there but no one said it had to be  


I sell airplanes and airplane accessories
User currently offlineFly2HMO From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (3 years 9 months 10 hours ago) and read 9237 times:

Quoting airportugal310 (Reply 2):
Not the most high tech thing out there but no one said it had to be

It's really good, you can have an extremely accurate flightplan and navlog printed in less than 5 minutes.

Whereas doing even a rushed and mostly guesstimated paper flightplan for a C172 takes at the very least 45mins. And of course anything with higher performance/more engines than a C172 just adds more complexity to the flight planning process.


User currently offlineGoldenshield From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 6003 posts, RR: 14
Reply 4, posted (3 years 9 months 4 hours ago) and read 9190 times:

Quoting Fly2HMO (Reply 3):
Whereas doing even a rushed and mostly guesstimated paper flightplan for a C172 takes at the very least 45mins.

I would still recommend practicing how to do it so that you can do it when you don't have internet access. Complacency has no place in aviation---even the pre-flight planning stage.



Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.
User currently offlinewardialer From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 1183 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (3 years 8 months 4 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 9038 times:

Is there any way that I can download the manual for the Lido/FlightPlanning system?

User currently offlinedispatchguy From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 1249 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (3 years 8 months 3 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 8909 times:

Quoting wardialer (Reply 5):
Is there any way that I can download the manual for the Lido/FlightPlanning system?

No

One, it is proprietary.

Two, I think the novel War and Peace might be a touch smaller...



Nobody screws you better than an airline job!
User currently offlineflashmeister From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 2900 posts, RR: 6
Reply 7, posted (3 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 8868 times:
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Quoting airportugal310 (Reply 2):

I know first-hand that many a corporate pilot uses fltpln.com to do their flight planning and filing on the US side.

For those wanting to have a look, avoid what I did and use www.fltpln.com to access the site. Their domain isn't set up to auto-redirect requests without the "www" prefix.


User currently offlinefaro From Egypt, joined Aug 2007, 1540 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (3 years 8 months 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 8397 times:

Do dispatchers at major airlines use several different IT software systems or one single SAP-like system? Is there an industry-wide standard governing IT dispatching systems? Who writes and sells these software packages and how expensive are they?

Faro



The chalice not my son
User currently offlineKingairTA From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 458 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (3 years 8 months 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 8360 times:

Most of the pilots in my little C-12 Det use flight plan dot com for planning and filing.

User currently offlinedispatchguy From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 1249 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (3 years 8 months 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 8298 times:

Flight Planning systems all vary - there is no one standard. Here is a list of what the US Air Carriers use, to the best of my knowledge:

AA - SABRE DECS (They were looking at a version of a Jeppesen system, no clue on where that is)
CO - EDS
DL - Internally derived FPS 2.0; NWA had to move to FPS 2.0; they were using an internally built front end (called the DUI) to the Jeppesen JetPlan engine.
UA - Unimatic, uses FWZ for international route generation, then slips that into Unimatic for the dispatch release. Unimatic is DC8 era technology.
UPS - Lufthansa's LIDO
FDX - They use LIDO charts, not sure if they use LIDO for flight planning
FL - SABRE Dispatch Manager
LOF - SABRE Dispatch Manager
GJS - SABRE Dispatch Manager
CHQ and its cousins - SABRE Dispatch Manager
JBU - They were using SABRE Dispatch Manager
PAC - FWZ
RYN - SABRE Dispatch Manager
WOA - I think they are on NavTech
PCL - They were using the NWA Dispatch User Interface for their CRJ2, CRJ7 fleets, and LIDO for the CRJ9.



Nobody screws you better than an airline job!
User currently offlinemandala499 From Indonesia, joined Aug 2001, 6836 posts, RR: 75
Reply 11, posted (3 years 8 months 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 8274 times:

Some more from other parts of the world:
Air Asia group: Navtech
BA: Navtech
DHL: Lido
Easyjet: Lido
Emirates: Lido
KLM: Lido
Korean: I think Jepp's package
Lufthansa: Lido
Qatar: Lido
Thomas Cook: Bytron (at least it was when they were MyTravel)
Tunisair: Lido

Quoting faro (Reply 8):
Do dispatchers at major airlines use several different IT software systems or one single SAP-like system? Is there an industry-wide standard governing IT dispatching systems? Who writes and sells these software packages and how expensive are they?

Air Asia uses Navtech for flight planning but everything else ops related is run on Navitaire's Geneva.

Quoting wardialer (Thread starter):
I was wondering what types of systems do pilots use to generate flight plans during their briefing outside the cockpit?
In other words, even before they start entering the flight plan data via the FMS system.

Do they use a program on a standard PC?
Or, is it a web-based tool on the Internet?

PC or web based... both are available.
Normally PC or Unix based to generate it... but the distribution can be done through a web-based system.

mandala499



When losing situational awareness, pray Cumulus Granitus isn't nearby !
User currently offlineJBirdAV8r From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 4489 posts, RR: 21
Reply 12, posted (3 years 8 months 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 8273 times:

For us little guys the absolute best solution (IMHO) out there is Jeppesen NavSuite (FliteStar IFR). Absolutely love it. I can print out near sectional-quality VFR charts on my CAD plotter if I want to...and used to have a huge Jepp airport diagram I printed from the software in my office. Plus the route selection logic is quite good and I like how all the information is laid-out and easily customizable.

As far as freebies go, a poster above mentioned FltPlan.com--another excellent tool, although I have found it a little clunky for me sometimes. AOPA uses a very watered-down online version of the Jeppesen flight planning software that does well in a pinch.

One aside--friends don't let friends use Flightprep.com (an inferior, paid service). They filed a patent and are now trying to extort all the established flight planning websites to pay damages. Jepp, AOPA, and FltPlan told them to take a hike.



I got my head checked--by a jumbo jet
User currently offlineWingscrubber From UK - England, joined Sep 2001, 848 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (3 years 8 months 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 8266 times:

I have used skyvector.com before to verify a paper flight plan, but the big deal in flight planning software right now is the patent war with flightprep.com

http://boycottflightprep.com/

Flightprep is blackmailing independantly developed web based flight planners into either paying for a license to their improperly issued patent or threatening legal action seeking damages in the millions which forces them to shut down.

Many of the best free online websites are not-for-profit single owner run businesses and do not have the means to fight a lawsuit such as this.
Casualties so far:
RunwayFinder.com – Shut Down
NACOmatic.com – Shut Down
Flyagogo.com – Shut Down
Navmonster.com – Shut down

I urge any and all pilots to boycott flightprep.com, sign the petition, and to support Dave Parsons in his legal battle.
I will personally be donating to the cause when he sets up a means to do so.



Resident TechOps Troll
User currently offlineJBirdAV8r From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 4489 posts, RR: 21
Reply 14, posted (3 years 8 months 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 8258 times:

Quoting Wingscrubber (Reply 13):
I urge any and all pilots to boycott flightprep.com, sign the petition, and to support Dave Parsons in his legal battle.
I will personally be donating to the cause when he sets up a means to do so.

Hear hear!    Sadly they've also extorted SkyVector, an unbelievably cool and useful site, into "licensing" their "intellectual property" and signing a non-disclosure agreement. That means I can't support SkyVector anymore, and that's a shame.



I got my head checked--by a jumbo jet
User currently offlineDufo From Slovenia, joined May 1999, 798 posts, RR: 4
Reply 15, posted (3 years 8 months 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 8248 times:

We use Nav flight services from Czech republic.


I seriously think I just creamed my pants without any influence from any outside variables.
User currently offlineYYZRWY23 From Canada, joined Aug 2009, 561 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (3 years 8 months 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 8232 times:

I believe AC uses LIDO as well.

YYZRWY23



If you don't stand behind our troops, feel free to stand in front of them.
User currently offline411A From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 1826 posts, RR: 8
Reply 17, posted (3 years 8 months 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 8158 times:

The first computer flight planning service that I'm aware of, was one developed by R. Dixon Speys, in Buffalo New York, and they provided CFP's to PanAmerican, and a few corporate operators, in the mid-1970's.
I used one of their CFP's on a transAtlantic flight (eastbound) in a B707 in 1976, and it was accurate to within two minutes....for a seven hour flight (no INS, only Doppler and Loran A.)


User currently offlinebrains From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 259 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (3 years 8 months 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 8147 times:

Quoting dispatchguy (Reply 10):
PCL - They were using the NWA Dispatch User Interface for their CRJ2, CRJ7 fleets, and LIDO for the CRJ9

9E never had CRJ700's. They still use NW DUI for both the CRJ200s and 900's. LIDO was phased out around April of 2010. They will continue to use DUI for both fleets till sometime in 2012 at which point they will be switching to a new system, as far as I have heard the system will be chosen by DL.
Lido was implemented for the 900s because 9E got an excellent deal to use both the LIDO flight planning system and LIDO plates.



Brains
User currently offlinefaro From Egypt, joined Aug 2007, 1540 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (3 years 8 months 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 8095 times:

Quoting dispatchguy (Reply 10):
AA - SABRE DECS (They were looking at a version of a Jeppesen system, no clue on where that is)
CO - EDS
DL - Internally derived FPS 2.0; NWA had to move to FPS 2.0; they were using an internally built front end (called the DUI) to the Jeppesen JetPlan engine.
UA - Unimatic, uses FWZ for international route generation, then slips that into Unimatic for the dispatch release. Unimatic is DC8 era technology.
UPS - Lufthansa's LIDO
FDX - They use LIDO charts, not sure if they use LIDO for flight planning
FL - SABRE Dispatch Manager
LOF - SABRE Dispatch Manager
GJS - SABRE Dispatch Manager
CHQ and its cousins - SABRE Dispatch Manager
JBU - They were using SABRE Dispatch Manager
PAC - FWZ
RYN - SABRE Dispatch Manager
WOA - I think they are on NavTech
PCL - They were using the NWA Dispatch User Interface for their CRJ2, CRJ7 fleets, and LIDO for the CRJ9.

How expensive are the non-proprietary software packages? Single or double-digit USD million(s)?

Faro



The chalice not my son
User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 25056 posts, RR: 46
Reply 20, posted (3 years 8 months 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 8071 times:

Annual pricing on flight plan systems can go well into the millions for larger airlines. As with most software, the licenses are dependent on things like user size (eg number of operations etc..)

I've worked with the same systems at both large international carriers, and smaller carriers with virtually the same product and features having great variance in fees.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlinemercure1 From French Polynesia, joined Jul 2008, 1359 posts, RR: 2
Reply 21, posted (3 years 8 months 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 8008 times:

Quoting 411A (Reply 17):
R. Dixon Speys
http://rdixonspeas.com/dixon.html


User currently offline411A From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 1826 posts, RR: 8
Reply 22, posted (3 years 8 months 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 7995 times:

Quoting mercure1 (Reply 21):
http://rdixonspeas.com/dixon.html

Yup, and old line company (even if I did spell the last name wrongly...) that developed many procedures that are used even today in air transportation.
Their computer flight plans were top-notch in every respect.


User currently offlinefaro From Egypt, joined Aug 2007, 1540 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (3 years 8 months 16 hours ago) and read 7952 times:

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 20):
Annual pricing on flight plan systems can go well into the millions for larger airlines. As with most software, the licenses are dependent on things like user size (eg number of operations etc..)

I've worked with the same systems at both large international carriers, and smaller carriers with virtually the same product and features having great variance in fees.

Wow, *annual* fees into the millions! I was referring to the one-time licence fees which are paid on acquisition. Annual maintenance fees are usually a fraction of the licence fee. Them there are really pricy systems...How big a complement of IT employees are typically assigned to the running/maintenance of dispatching systems?

Faro



The chalice not my son
User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 25056 posts, RR: 46
Reply 24, posted (3 years 8 months 13 hours ago) and read 7936 times:

It very dependent on the system and airlines involved.

I’ve seen some smaller ones basically only have a single administrator with vendor handling almost everything, while others having cross divisional groups overseeing the system. Also there is the question of hosting, whether you set the system up in-house with all the infrastructure, or you access it remotely from vendor or 3rd party data center.

Things also can get pretty complex also depending if you as a carrier are taking the basic vanilla flavored application off the shelf, or are you are customizing things like GUIs, functionality or desire unique features. (airline tend to love to customize, very often falling in the trap of making their new system be almost like their previous system, which begs the question why change then?)



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
25 Goldenshield : Does anyone have the link to the patent, or what specific "tools" they have patented?
26 Post contains links Wingscrubber : This links to the patent document; http://images.flightprep.com/License/USPatent-7640098.pdf Significant prior art and very broad based claims are the
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