Flight Planner + ETA

When I plan my flights, I use Windy, a global weather app, to gauge wind speeds on my planned route from point A to point B. It helps me to estimate my ETA to the final destination. For example, if there are 100mph west to east headwinds on my route from ATL to SEA, I will mentally add an 45 minutes or so to my real-life schedule as I plan my day.

I work a corporate job, so on weekdays, I prefer long haul flights to the IFATC-controlled regions, and getting the right flight plan timed to my schedule (i.e. 30-60 minutes from destination at 6pm) can be a taxing exercise. Some mornings, in trying to get the right flight plan, I feel like a poor man’s Magellan.

As I was planning my route from Singapore to Paris this morning, it struck me: There has to be a better way.

I’m thinking there must be a way to have a gauge of ETA prior to reaching cruising speed/altitude using the following inputs:

  • Time of departure
  • Cruising airspeed (Mach)
  • Cruusing altitude
  • Average expected headwind/tailwind at the above altidude (could be user generated, or better yet, calculated using current winds along the route at that altitude)
  • Approach delay (~20 minute adder)

Part 1.5 is this request is to have an ETA metric in the same way that we have the “time to destination” on the flight control panel. My counting fingers get tired manually adding the current time plus the ETD in its current form.

Am I being too needy?


Simbrief does all of that for you. Just file in the important information, such as aircraft, cargo and passengers, add extra fuel (90min is suggested) and then click on “Generate OFP”. The expected flight time is almost the same as in IF. You just have to follow the speeds.


Don’t get you? About the ETA point, so you want that they calculate the weather with it? But weather is unpredictable. And it needs a lot of time to develop it for such a minor update.

The problem is that we do not have a full blown flight management computer. We do not enter in what speed we will be at at various spots. If your speed is off any the ETA is already useless. While it would be nice to have in the sim, I think there are just way too many variables for it to be feasible.

We already have the flight time estimate but that is at the current rate of speed. It does not take into account that you are going to go below 250kts under 10k, etc.

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I was not aware of SimBrief. This tool is fantastic! Exactly what I was looking for. Thank you.

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I belive there is an ETA system built into IF when you have a flightplan set?

No, he’s talking about time eta to reach cruising air speed, altitude etc. . I think it’s a good idea but with new apps like Virtual Flight and In Fight Assistant built in for IF support. We probably won’t need features request like this. However, this is a good idea, but most likely will take some time to have to implement since IF doesn’t have a generator for this

Let me clarify on that specific point: I believe the only option on the flight panel is “time to destination.” I would like to have the option to select “time of arrival,” even using today’s math which is just current airspeed X remaining miles.

This is separate to the more advanced functions that I also mentioned.

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I think for now SimBrief covers this more than well enough (: