A way of making infinite flight slightly more realistic

I learned an interesting fact about aviation that makes my infinite flight experience slightly more realistic and I thought I’d share it to help people achieve that realism they we all love. Put simply, any flight heading westwards cruises at FL280, FL320, FL340, FL360, FL380, FL400 and so on while flights heading eastwards cruise at FL290, FL310, FL330, FL350, FL370, FL390 and FL410. This ensures flights heading towards each other are always at a different altitude no matter what. So a flight from London to New York might cruise at FL380 while on the way back the plane would cruise at FL390. If you can’t take my word for it, it’s incredibly easy to observe on flightradar24 or plane finder. This tiny difference might make it easier to pick a cruising altitude if you’re unsure of where to cruise.

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Here’s a picture to help as well

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It is important to mention though, that this is only enforced on the Ocean crossings (speaking from a European point of view). Within Europe custom altitudes may apply so that rule wouldn’t be applicable

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In the US I think it is applied, because most planes I see fly at the set altitude corresponding to the heading, as well as I think wind has a factor not for sure though (May come off as mean not trying to be)

Well yes and no, there are some benefits to plane and some to infinite flight, but most benefits to a mobile sim go to infinite flight

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Ur brave saying that lool

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I haven’t found an exception to the rule over land in Europe or America

If the wind is bad while a plane is heading east lets say, they will keep to the rule I talked about but decrease or increase their altitude (from FL330 to FL370 but not to FL360 as an example)

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Or just buy a 737 while you’re at it

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It’s not really an official exception, but just take a look at flights above Europe and you’ll find some exceptions

Example: Flying westwards, but at 39000ft

Let’s just call it a rule of thumb that many of us use and not over analyze this

Just thought I would clear some things up…

IFR cruising altitudes, as stated by the OP is in fact used over the US. I am not sure about the rest of the world; however, If you would like a legal reference(in the USA) you can find it in the FAR’s(Federal Aviation Regulations) Part 91.179. I have it linked here for your reference: 14 CFR § 91.179 - IFR cruising altitude or flight level. | CFR | US Law | LII / Legal Information Institute

what about when you are flying north or south?

Thanks for linking my topic. Greatly appreciated.

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IFR - Assuming you are in RVSM airspace

Heading Level
360 - 179 degrees ODD (e.g. FL330, FL350, FL370 etc)
180 - 359 degrees EVEN (e.g. FL320, FL340, FL360 etc)

VFR - Odd or even levels with an extra 500ft added to all levels

Heading Level
360 - 179 degrees ODD (e.g. 1500, 3500, 5500, etc)
180 - 359 degrees EVEN (e.g. 2500, 4500, 6500, etc)

Here I leave a little more information for when choosing your cruise flight level. More information on cruise levels and stemp climbs can be found in the Guide

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image
I have this picture for visual people

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A year or so ago i was bored and looking up aviation rules, specifically about RVSM procedures in the US, and then randomly looking on FR24 i had noticed some aircraft in spain/portugal, and a few other random countries…

come to find out, Portugal is opposite of the US RVSM rules, and spain just assigns them as they come into their airspace and is one of the few countries that doesnt have strict procedures for altitudes. So even though Europe uses RVSM guidelines overall, for some reason those 2 specific countries have different rules and regulations.

TheMoreYouKnowGraphic.jpg

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There is something for Italy, Spain, Portugal, maybe France and a few others. They use 270-089 for a selection of flight levels and another selection for 090-269. See here.
image

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That’s one example though. 99.9% of flights stick to the rule