What's New? (May 21, 2013) x
OK... this is our first update since November 2012, and it's not a particularly exciting one, sorry to say. But it's just the start of many improvements.
|Data Index 1/2||Full|
|Print Function 1/2||Imitation|
|Print F-PLN INIT||None|
|Print TO DATA||None|
|Print WIND DATA||None|
|Print Function 2/2||Imitation|
|Print SEC F-PLN||None|
|AOC Function 1/2||Imitation|
|F-PLN INIT Request||None|
|TO DATA Request||None|
|WIND DATA Request||None|
|AOC Function 2/2||Imitation|
|F-PLN RPT Send||None|
|POSITION RPT Send||None|
|Data Index 2/2||Imitation|
|Data Index WAYPOINTS||None|
|Data Index NAVAIDS||None|
|Data Index RUNWAYS||None|
|Data Index ACT F-PLN WINDS||None|
|Data Index SEC F-PLN WINDS||None|
|DEPARTURE LAT REV||Full||Yes|
|WAYPOINT LAT REV||None|
|F-PLN Vertical Slew||Full||Yes|
|F-PLN Horizontal Slew||None|
|F-PLN Fuel Calculations||Realistic||Yes|
|F-PLN Fuel Errors||Realistic||Yes|
|FUEL PRED (key)||None|
|ATC COMM (key)||None|
|MCDU MENU (key)||None|
|PERF TAKE OFF||Full|
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Tutorial coming soon! x
Sorry, but the tutorial for starting the APU system has not been written yet. For now, the basic procedure is all I can give you:
Company Routes for Great Lakes Airlines x
Routes available now:
Helpful Tip! x
If you only fill in the From/To field directly without using a stored Company Route, then the computer will only know where you want to go, but not how.
That means you will have to enter a lot more information. But if you use a stored Company Route, then most of the work is already done for you.
Flight Level & Temperature information x
The term "Flight Level" is used to help divide airspace above 9,999ft into vertical sections of 100ft. For example an altitude of 10,000ft would be referred to as FL100.
But we would not refer to 9,000ft as FL90 (well, we could, but we'd get laughed at). So, for example, if you were crossing a sector boundary and contacting approach control, and your alitude was 4,000ft then you may say something like "Houston Approach, Laker 123 Heavy, with you level at 4,000".
If you were to say something like "With you level at flight level 40" then it could cause confusion. The controller might think you meant 40,000ft rather than 4,000. That could even be very dangerous (this has actually happened, and resulted in a fatal crash).
The "Cruise" portion of your flight is the time when you are getting maximum travel at maximum economy. Usually this means at very high altitudes where you will burn less fuel due to the extremely cold temperatures at those altitudes.
But if you go too high, then what will happen is that you'll enter the troposphere, and then the temperature gets warmer again. That is why you have that TROPO field on the MCDU screen. It tells you the limit that you can climb to before you start to have problems.
For very short flights you might not want to travel at the most economical altitude. The reason is that it takes time to come down again. ATC will put you in a stack of aircraft and you will have to fly a holding pattern as you get permission to descend down through various flight levels until you are cleared for final approach.
In general, you want to be between FL180 and FL360, with usually the optimal altitude for a long-haul flight (KMSP-KLAX) at about FL350, and a very short flight (KMSP-KORD) closer to FL240.
When programming the CRZ FL/TEMP field on your MCDU, entering the temperature is optional, but it can help to make fuel predictions more accurate. Below I will show you some examples of how to input the data into the MCDU.
If you want to get the actual forecasted temperature for FL340 at KMSP, you would go to this site. Scroll down the list until you get to MSP and then look in the 34000 column. The last 2 digits in the 6 digit code multiplied by -1 is the temperature. So if the number was 256055 then the temperature at FL340 for MSP is -55 degrees.
IRS Alignment x
To properly align the IRS, you need to set the 3 switches on the overhead ADIRS panel to the NAV position. All three should be switched to NAV if they are not already in that position.
You will get a memo message in green text in the ECAM saying
IRS IN ALIGN 6 MN (or something similar).
When the IRS is fully aligned, the information shown in the Position Monitor and IRS Monitor pages on the MCDU will change, and the warning to ALIGN IRS or SET IRS TO NAV will not be displayed any more, unless the IRS goes out of alignment.
The final step is to push the LSK3-R button on the MCDU next to the message that says ALIGN IRS.
Wow, that was a brave choice! But I just want to be sure that you really want to do this before we go ahead.
Entering the wind data manually can involve up to 30 separate input lines, and sometimes more depending on the route. Are you really sure you want to do manual entry?
Climb Wind examples x
Wind can vary considerably at different altitudes. Perhaps at FL100 there is a 60kt gust from the North, this could well be a 40kt gust from the East at FL300. During the climb out phase of your flight, you will be transitioning through different levels until you reach your cruise altitude.
ZFW Calculation Method x
The first thing we need to factor is the "empty weight" of the aircraft (in the case of the A320-211 this is 42,300kg). Each passenger is assumed to be just 70kg and carrying 5kg of cabin baggage.
So, for example, if we have 110 passengers then this is 110 x 75 = 8,250kg.
Each passenger is allowed 20kg of checked baggage (yes, some will not use their allowance, but some will go over it, and so it averages out correctly for most flights). Thus we would now need to add 110 x 20 = 2,200kg.
Next we add aircrew and their baggage (5 x 80kg = 400kg). And finally we'll assume about 1,000kg of non-passenger cargo. This gives us a total ZFW of 54,150kg.
The default value for the ZFWCG amount is 25% and we don't really need to change that value unless we have a reason. To change the value of ZFWCG you would type something like 30/54.2 which means 30% ZFWCG and 54.2T of ZFW. If you don't want to change the default value, you can simply enter the ZFW amount like this: /54.2 and the 25.0 part is filled in automatically for you.
To confirm the amount entered for ZFW, you need to press the LSK1-R key.
Fuel Calculations x
When calculating the amount of fuel that needs to be loaded at the blocks, we must always assume the amount required for the duration of the flight at maximum thrust. This means about 3000kg/hr.
Furthermore, FAA regulations (Tile 14, Part 121.645(c)) require that for a flight such as the one in our demo flight (KMSP/KSFO), where no alternate airport is listed, that we must carry at least enough fuel for 2 more hours of continuous flight at maximum burn (so at least another 6000kg).
Our flight is expected to take between 3½ and 4 hours, so this means we need to load a minimum of 4 x 3000 = 12000kg plus 6000kg = 18000kg. The block value to enter in this case would be 18.0, even though our actual burn will be closer to 10,000 (so effectively we are carrying nearly twice as much fuel as we actually need - a very good idea!).
This is where the Cost Index value is significant. We could in theory cruise at 440kts but that will burn 3000kg of fuel per hour, at approximately 815g per litre that means we are burning 3,680 litres per hour at a cost of $1.60 per litre (as at 11/27/09, KMSP FBO price) which is a total of $5,888 per hour ($23,552 for our 4 hour flight).
By operating at a Cost Index of 30, our cruise speed will be somewhere between 250kts and 310kts, resulting in total savings of up to $8,478 for this flight, bringing the cost down to only $15,704.
Leaving environmental considerations aside (typical!) the value of doing this can easily be seen from the following information. Assume a full load of 150 PAX at typical ticket cost for this route of $270.
|Expected Fuel Refund||11965|
|Fuel Tax Refundable||774|
|FAA & DHS Taxes||(2700)|
|Salary Expense: crew||(4500)|
|Salary Expense: non-crew||(350)|
Making over $11,000 profit on a single flight sounds pretty good, doesn't it? But don't celebrate your good fortune too soon, because out of that we'll need to deduct aircraft financing, insurance, income taxes, and those ridiculous executive salaries.
On the other hand you can also add minuscule profits from inflight concession sales (snacks, drinks, souvenirs) if any of our pax have sufficiently impaired judgment to think it's worth paying for that kind of junk on a flight that is only 4 hours long.
Now that you know how fuel predictions and cost indexing work, there's just one more thing that you have to think about. If the ZFW + Block (TOW) is higher than the maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) then you will get a warning on the MCDU scratch line.
Since federal regulations prohibit loading less fuel than the minimum (3000kg per hour plus 2 hours), this means you will either have to offload some passengers, "lose" some luggage (heh heh!) or try some other sneaky trick. Because you can't take off if you exceed MTOW, nor can you reduce the fuel quantity to something more realistic, even if you intend to fly economically.
The maximum block value you can enter is 30.2, because that is the maximum capacity of the fuel tanks on the A320-211 unless special LR tanks have been fitted.
Explanation of F-PLN page x
The F-PLN page shows the flight plan for the currently selected route. If you haven't selected a route then it won't show you a flight plan. Simple, eh?
There are 3 columns of information shown. In the left column (FROM) is the waypoint name, eg. "KMSP". The middle column shows the elapsed flight time that you are expected to cross into the fix boundary of the waypoint (eg. "0011" means 11 minutes from start of flight). The final column shows the expected speed and altitude that you will hold as you exit the waypoint boundary.
Because only 5 lines of active waypoint information can be shown, you will see "arrows" depicted in the lower right corner of any flight plan with more than 5 waypoints, including psuedo waypoints.
What's a "psuedo waypoint"? Well, these are special waypoints that don't really correspond with a geographical marker. Instead they are transitions between different portions of the flight.
Examples include "(LIM)" which is an indication of a speed and/or altitude limit, "(T/C)" which indicates the point where you are at the "top of climb", and "(T/D)" which indicates the point where you are at the "top of descent".
Depending on the particularities of your route, there may be other psuedo waypoints included on the flight plan.
At the bottom of each page of information there is a special row that is always visible. This shows the destination airport, the estimated elapsed time at arrival, the distance between origin and destination, and the estimated fuel on board at arrival (value must always be higher than 6.0 unless an alternate airport is provided in CoRte, in which case value must be higher than 2.3).
The final class of displayed information is a "divider row", which is in white text, and used to indicate such things as discontinuity in the flight plan or to show the end of the flight plan.
Discontinuity can be removed or revised, as I will show you soon.
Step 1 - Ensure power supply
The very first thing you should check is that the RDY light at the top-center of the MCDU device is glowing. That means there is power available.
If you don't see the light there, it means you need to contact ground crew to ask for external power to be hooked up, or you will need to start the APU to obtain power.
Step 2 - Switch on the MCDU
Now you need to switch on the MCDU with the brightness control. On some models of MCDU this control is two push buttons with DIM and BRT on them.
Use your mouse to click on the BRT label near the dimmer knob to activate the MCDU.
Step 3 - Bring up Data Index A
Use your mouse pointer to "push" thebutton (it's just next to the on/off control).
By the way, did you notice that when you switched on the MCDU, the RDY light went out? When the MCDU is on, we don't want any of the lights at the top to be lit up. If they do come on, it means there is a problem.
Step 4 - Check "A/C Status"
On the sides of the MCDU screen you can see a series of small keys like thiscalled "Line Select Keys".
In Airbus jargon the top-left key is called "LSK1-L" or just "LSK1". The key opposite it is "LSK1-R".
Now you need to push LSK4 next to <A/C Status. This will show you important information, including the engine type, airline code, and active database.
Step 5 - Check active DB is current
Here we can see that we are flying the A320-211 and it has CFM engines fitted. Really, we should know this before we enter the airplane!
If the today's date is not covered by the active database, press LSK3 or LSK4 to swap the databases.
That code that says GL70806001 is the code for Great Lakes Airlines, meaning you're not on the wrong bus!
Step 6 - Check the GPS
Before entering any navigation data, we should make sure the navigation instruments are working. Our airplane is on the ground at KMSP, which is at 42°52.9N / 093°13.3W, and elevation of 841ft.
Push thekey and then LSK3 to check the GPS Monitor. If there are no problems, your GPS should show the aircraft is in the right place.
Step 7 - Go to INIT A
We now know what type of plane we have, what engines are installed, what airline we are flying for, that the active database is current, and where the heck we are... but now what?
You need to give the MCDU some information about where you want to go. To get started, push thekey. It will bring up what we call the "INIT A" page.
Step 8 - Enter company route
When this page first opens, you will see some amber colored boxes. They represent required fields and you must fill them all in. This is quite easy to do.
While you can, of course, fill in the From/To field directly, we will cover that in the next lesson. For now, you should use the keypad to enter a valid Company Route code, then push LSK1.
Step 9 - Enter flight number
Now in addition to knowing where you are, the computer also knows where you want to go and how you want to get there.
The next step is to fill in the Flight Number field. This is easy too. Just type in a realistic flight number (for example, GL123) using the MCDU keypad and press LSK3.
Step 10 - Enter "Cost Index"
Depending upon which airline you fly for, this information may be already stored as part of the Company Route or you may have to enter it yourself. Either way, it is up to airline policy what this value is. Mainly it is to do with economy and profitability.
The number can be anything from 1 to 999, but a realistic value would be about 30. Type a valid number using the keypad and then hit LSK5.
Step 11 - CRZ FL / TEMP
This is the Flight Level you will be at during the Cruise stage of the flight, and (optionally) the temperature at that level (usually pretty darn cold).
Type in valid information using the keypad, then press LSK6.
Step 12 - Review tropopause
Tropopause always defaults to a value of 36090. You can reset it to some other value if you want to.
Try changing the value by typing 37000 on the keypad, then push LSK6-R.
Step 13 - Align IRS
To do this correctly, there are additional things that you will have to do outside of the MCDU interface.
For the MCDU part of IRS Alignment, however, all you need to do is push LSK3-R.
Step 14 - Enter the Wind Data
This is a branching point in the tutorial. Please choose one of the following options:
Step 15 - Go to Climb Wind
Press the LSK-5R button, which is next to the label WIND>. You will see the Climb Wind page. You need to enter 5 lines of data for each phase of the climb out.
Step 16 - Climb Wind Data
For each line, type a valid direction, speed and altitude. Use the slash key to separate items, eg. 180/20/100. Press the LSK-L button next to the entry that you want to confirm (LSK1, LSK2, etc).
Click here if you need a detailed example of realistic wind conditions.
Step 17 - Go to Cruise Wind
Press the LSK-5R button, which is next to the label NEXT PHASE>. You will see the Cruise Wind page.
Step 18 - Cruise Wind Data
The Cruise Wind page only displays if you have entered a Company Route on the INIT A page. If the heading at the top of the MCDU says "DESCENT WIND", it means you have not entered a Company Route.
For this page, you only need to enter wind direction and speed, since the altitude field is completed automatically based on the FL for the programmed route. BUT.... you have to set a value for each waypoint, which is tedious!
To move between waypoints, use the up/down arrows on the keypad. You are not done until they are all completed. If you miss one, you won't be allowed to take off.
Step 19 - Go to Descent Wind
Press the LSK-5R button, which is next to the label NEXT PHASE>. You will see the Descent Wind page.
Step 20 - Descent Wind Data
This is exactly the same as the Climb Wind page, and you need to fill in the five lines. But you do them in the reverse order, so highest altitude first, and ending with the lowest altitude.
Click here if you need a detailed example of realistic wind conditions.
Step 21 - Go to Climb Wind
Press the LSK-5R button, which is next to the label WIND>. You will see the Climb Wind page.
Step 22 - Initiate a wind request
Press the LSK-3R button, which is next to the label WIND REQUEST*. Depending on how fast your computer is, this may take a while and nothing will seem to happen. Do not click on the LSK3-R button again! The ground crew do not want to be bothered by your impatience! Just let it do it's thing.
When all of the data has been uploaded to you, then you will see the 5 lines of wind data filled in for you, and you're ready to go to the next step.
Step 23 - Review the result
Use LSK-5R (NEXT PHASE>) and LSK-4R (PREV PHASE>) buttons to move between wind sub-pages. On the Cruise Wind page you can also use the up/down arrow keys on the keypad to cycle through the waypoints on your route and check the wind at each place.
Step 24 - Return to INIT A
You can either press LSK6-L or the INIT key to return to the INIT A page.
Step 25 - Go to RAD NAV
When all data for INIT A is complete, the entries should all be in cyan colored text. Apparently the computer does a better job if you set the RAD NAV information before going to INIT B, so let's do that by pressing the RAD NAV button on the MCDU keypad.
Step 26 - RAD NAV data required or not required
You only need to enter information for VOR1 & CRS except when the localizer of a different runway to the designated departure runway will be used. Only then would you need to enter other data.
Step 27 - Enter VOR1 & CRS
In this tutorial mission you only need to enter RAP for the VOR1 and the frequency is set automatically when you press LSK1. If you make a mistake you get the NOT IN DATA BASE error. Set CRS for RAP as 223 and press LSK2.
Step 28 - Special note about RAD NAV
If your VOR1 is not standard for the DEP RWY you have selected, then you will get a warning message in the scratchpad RWY/ILS MISMATCH. You would then need to manually configure ILS data (not implemented in tutorial yet).
Step 29 - Go to INIT B
When all required data for INIT A & RADNAV is complete, press INIT on the MCDU keypad (INIT A will be displayed) and then to go to INIT B press a horizontal slew (arrow) key on the keypad.
Step 30 - Enter ZFW data
ZFW means "Zero Fuel Weight", and is the total weight of the aircraft and everything on it except fuel. CG is an abbreviation for "Center of Gravity", so ZFWCG is the center of gravity for the aircraft before fuel is taken into consideration. It defaults to 25.
The calculations required are complex. Click here to find out how we do it.
Step 31 - Enter BLOCK value
This value is the weight of fuel in Metric Tons loaded at the blocks. Enter then value with the number keys on the keypad and click LSK2-R.
There are some very important considerations that you must take into account when calculating how much fuel you will need. Please click here to find out what you need to know.
Step 32 - Go to F-PLN page
This bit is easy. Just press the F-PLN key. If you need an explanation of what you are seeing on that page, then click here for details.
Step 33 - LatRevs & VertRevs
Making changes to the F-PLN requires either a "lateral revision" or a "vertical revision".
LatRevs involve changing something about the waypoint itself, while VertRevs deal with changes to speed and altitude on the waypoint.
Press LSK1-L to perfrom a LatRev on the first waypoint.
Step 34 - Departure sub-page
We are now performing a lateral revision (LatRev). Because this is the first waypoint, it is a special one. That is why you can see the < DEPARTURE option.
Use the LSK-1L key to select the Departure sub-page.
Step 35 - Departure Runway
Here you can see a list of available runways. The information shown includes the runway name, runway length, beacon type (ILS / LOC), runway heading (course in degrees), and radio frequency.
You select a runway with the left LSK bank. When more than four runways are available, you can scroll the list using the vertical slew keys (arrows). Find runway 22 and select it.
Step 36 - Select SID
When we select a departure runway, the MCDU will automatically move to the SID selection page.
"SID" means "Standard Instrument Departure".
Use the left LSK bank to select the SID. For this route, the correct choice is LEINY 2. Use LSK-5L if you want to select LEINY 2.
Step 37 - Confirm or Cancel selection
Notice how some of the text changed to yellow during this procedure? This color is used to indicate when the MCDU is in "Temporary Mode". Your choices won't actually be locked in until you confirm them.
To cancel your runway and SID choices, you would use LSK6-L (Tmpy Erase). To confirm the selections and continue, you would use LSK6-R (Tmpy Insert).
Step 38 - Observe the result
If everything worked properly during the previous step, the departure waypoint should now have some numbers after it, indicating which runway was selected. For example, KMSP has probably changed to KMSP22.
Step 39 - Delete "Discontinuity"
There is no point during the LEINY 2 departure that we need to obtain additional vectors or instructions from ATC, so it is a good idea to remove the discontinuity line from the flight plan.
Press thebutton until "CLR" and you should see the word CLR appear in the scratch line. Press LSK-2L to clear the discontinuity.
Temporary End of Tutorial
Sorry, but that is as much as I have been able to complete for the moment.
Help support the completion of this project
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org What's New?
Version: 1.0.1a Updated: 05/16/2013
This emulator will allow you to learn or practice the art of programming the Multipurpose Control & Display Unit (MCDU).
For the training session, you will play the role of a PIC for "Great Lakes Airlines", flying the Airbus A320-211.
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