wardialer
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Systems For Flight Planning?

Wed Nov 24, 2010 6:20 pm

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.
 
LAXintl
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RE: Systems For Flight Planning?

Wed Nov 24, 2010 7:16 pm

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.
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airportugal310
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RE: Systems For Flight Planning?

Wed Nov 24, 2010 7:18 pm

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  
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Fly2HMO
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RE: Systems For Flight Planning?

Wed Nov 24, 2010 9:28 pm

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.
 
Goldenshield
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RE: Systems For Flight Planning?

Thu Nov 25, 2010 3:35 am

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.
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wardialer
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RE: Systems For Flight Planning?

Fri Nov 26, 2010 5:51 pm

Is there any way that I can download the manual for the Lido/FlightPlanning system?
 
dispatchguy
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RE: Systems For Flight Planning?

Sun Nov 28, 2010 2:03 am

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...
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flashmeister
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RE: Systems For Flight Planning?

Sun Nov 28, 2010 9:29 pm

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.
 
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Faro
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RE: Systems For Flight Planning?

Mon Dec 20, 2010 12:28 pm

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
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kingairta
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RE: Systems For Flight Planning?

Mon Dec 20, 2010 4:08 pm

Most of the pilots in my little C-12 Det use flight plan dot com for planning and filing.
 
dispatchguy
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RE: Systems For Flight Planning?

Tue Dec 21, 2010 4:16 pm

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.
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mandala499
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RE: Systems For Flight Planning?

Tue Dec 21, 2010 6:35 pm

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
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JBirdAV8r
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RE: Systems For Flight Planning?

Tue Dec 21, 2010 6:52 pm

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
 
wingscrubber
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RE: Systems For Flight Planning?

Tue Dec 21, 2010 7:34 pm

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.
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JBirdAV8r
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RE: Systems For Flight Planning?

Tue Dec 21, 2010 8:27 pm

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
 
Dufo
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RE: Systems For Flight Planning?

Tue Dec 21, 2010 9:07 pm

We use Nav flight services from Czech republic.
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YYZRWY23
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RE: Systems For Flight Planning?

Tue Dec 21, 2010 10:34 pm

I believe AC uses LIDO as well.

YYZRWY23
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411A
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RE: Systems For Flight Planning?

Thu Dec 23, 2010 3:18 am

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.)
 
brains
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RE: Systems For Flight Planning?

Thu Dec 23, 2010 4:36 am

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.
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Faro
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RE: Systems For Flight Planning?

Thu Dec 23, 2010 2:49 pm

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
 
LAXintl
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RE: Systems For Flight Planning?

Thu Dec 23, 2010 5:39 pm

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.
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mercure1
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RE: Systems For Flight Planning?

Fri Dec 24, 2010 5:23 am

 
411A
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RE: Systems For Flight Planning?

Fri Dec 24, 2010 6:36 am

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.
 
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Faro
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RE: Systems For Flight Planning?

Fri Dec 24, 2010 3:26 pm

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
 
LAXintl
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RE: Systems For Flight Planning?

Fri Dec 24, 2010 6:25 pm

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?)
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Goldenshield
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RE: Systems For Flight Planning?

Fri Dec 24, 2010 8:13 pm

Quoting Wingscrubber (Reply 13):
Flightprep is blackmailing independantly developed web based flight planners into either paying for a license to their improperly issued patent

Does anyone have the link to the patent, or what specific "tools" they have patented?
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wingscrubber
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RE: Systems For Flight Planning?

Sat Dec 25, 2010 12:32 am

This links to the patent document;

http://images.flightprep.com/License/USPatent-7640098.pdf

Significant prior art and very broad based claims are the problem with it, the initial application was rejected multiple times, the owners claim they are 'protected' from 2001 when the approved patent application was actually filed in 2005, and awarded in late 2009. Re-examining the patent to have it thrown out would require an initial fee of $2500, and escalating legal fees thereafter.

I agree with the principle of protecting real intellectual property and genuine innovative invention, but this appears to be a blatant exploitation of the US patent system. Stenbock and Everson never 'invented' anything, they're just blackmailing any other providers into paying for 'licenses' to anything close to an aviation-oriented google maps.
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