Recently I have recorded a flight I have completed from London Heathrow to Edinburgh. I recorded the flight is for two reasons:
- to ask for feedback from the community on my flying and suggestions on what I could improve
- to provide a gate-to-gate flight which can be used as a reference if needed.
So what do I mean by the second bullet point? Well, I try to fly as realistically as possible. That means I take into account everything that Infinite Flight allows for, even simple things like what terminal and what gate the aircraft in question uses. And since I cannot edit videos for the life of me, I will explain each stage of my flight here, as well as how I do my preparations for the flight. If deemed “good”, it can be used as a reference on how to adapt this method into your flights to make them as realistic as possible. Please do note that this isn’t meant to be a “how-to” for a realistic flight, but just me explaining my flight in some detail.
The flight was completed on the Expert Server, following real-world procedures as much as I could.
After I have decided that I wanted to fly the route from LHR to EDI, knowing that British Airways operates its A321 on this route, I have decided to use that as my aircraft today.
British Airways’ A321 (short-haul) can hold 177 passengers. Assuming a load factor of 0.91 (or 91%), I would multiply 177 by 0.91 to get the number of passengers on my flight - 161.
To calculate (or estimate) total cargo for the flight, I multiply the number of passengers (161) by 30, getting 4830 kgs. Assuming there will be other cargo such as catering and other general cargo, I rounded it up to 5,000.
Now that I have these numbers, I would put them into Simbrief to calculate my fuel load. Simbrief tends to be way too generous with the fuel, so I tend to put less in the tank than what it asks for. I would then pop the XML into FPLtoIF.com to get my overall flight data.
If Simbrief does not manually put in SIDs and STARs, I will use FLPtoIF’s in-built feature to add SIDs and STARs to my flight plan, after which I would copy it to then be pasted into Infinite Flight. I would also note what altitude Simbrief planned me for, looking out for any step climbs. Due to this flight being very short, there were no step climbs today.
There isn’t much to put in here which isn’t shown in the video. I started Engine #2 first, followed by #1 after pushback was complete. I used Flaps 2 and taxied to my planned runway, 27R.
Take off was with 88% N1 (was a bit too much - I think my calculation was off…) with my V speeds plugged into IF-Assistant to call them out when I reach them (IF-Assistant’s callouts are not recorded in the video for some reason). At 1,500 feet, I lowered the nose and decreased the thrust to “CLIMB” to let the airspeed rise. At around 200IAS, I retracted the flaps.
Once again, really not much to put here either. The cruising altitude was FL340. The cruise speed was Mach 0.78.
I started descending around 150nm out (or 16 minutes away on the ETA) initially at -2,100fpm and then decreasing it to 1,500fpm as I began to fly lower to the ground.
From FL340 to FL250, I descended at Mach 0.69 before increasing my speed to 280IAS.
It was very windy at Edinburgh, so I kept the autopilot for longer than I usually would on the final approach.
I used the final exit from the runway and taxied to the usual parking spot for commercial aircraft at Edinburgh. British Airways doesn’t really have a “set gate” they use at Edinburgh (to my knowledge), so I just went for the gate which was the first from the turn onto the ramp.
So that’s about it! Please do leave your suggestions on how I can improve my future flights. I am planning on making a more detailed version of a flight to explain every step of the way in much greater detail.
Disclaimer: As I have stated before, I cannot edit videos. So what you are seeing is raw footage. I would have edited it if I could, but unfortunately, I have no past experience editing videos. Sorry about that!