WARNING: The following post is for people who want to take realism to the next level, and is only for if you want to simulate flights in real time, or want realistic flight plans and routes.
Ah, realism. If you know me, you know it’s the thing I cherish most.
No matter what airport I fly to or from on IF, I always make sure I know where I’m parking, if my aircraft operates there, and if my flight plan is correct. Of course, there are other factors to take in…
But I am here today for all you pilots who crave realism… who are looking for how to pull off amazing simulations. Whether it’s flying from Los Angeles to Melbourne or New York to Casablanca. It’s actually not hard to do, and it would truly be cool to see a few people trying this out.
Finding a Flight
The first step to do, is to find a flight that you’d like to simulate. Easy. First, decide which airport you’d like to fly from or go to. I’m going to choose to fly from La Guardia airport in NYC.
Next, I suggest using a Flight Tracker or Google to see what flights leave from La Guardia. I personally always use FlightRadar24.com, as it shows all departures and arrivals for a specific airport.
Look at that! All those flights to do… I usually select a flight that departs in the next hour or two so I can prepare for the flight well before. I’m personally used to getting prepared fast now, since I’ve been doing this for a while after Global released. If I want to simulate the flight in real time, I want to make sure that I convert my departure airport’s time to my time. For example, if I want to simulate a flight that departs LAX at 4 PM, and I live in NYC where it is 5 PM, I know that I have two hours to go before the flight departs.
Always make sure that the route you select to fly uses an aircraft that we have in Infinite Flight. If we don’t have the livery, then it doesn’t hurt to use Generic. However, I will choose UA745 since we have the United 737-900 in IF. LGA to Denver, doesn’t seem too long of a route. Let’s do it!
Preparing For the Flight
I have chosen UA745 (United 745) as the flight that I will simulate. So first thing’s first, I Google “UA745”. And this is what comes up:
Always make sure that it indeed is the correct route. You can already see a few things on this screen… It shows you the gate it is departing from at La Guardia, which can be easily found on Infinite Flight, and it shows you the gate it is arriving at in Denver. Perfect! Next, go to the FlightAware link at the bottom of the image.
This page confirms the departure and arrival gates, and shows you the expected departure time. Not only that, but it gives you the airspeed it will fly at, altitude, and route that you can copy and paste into Infinite Flight! Even better! Where it says “Route”, press the decode button next to it.
Just copy that route. When you spawn in IF and you go to your FlightPlan page, all you have to do is paste it into the search bar and wala! However, some waypoints may be off, and you may have to insert their coordinates. I will get back to this in the “Using SimBrief” section.
Finding Passengers, Cargo and Fuel
This is the easiest part. You know that I am using a United 737-900 for this flight. United has their own configuration for their 739, so all we have to do is Google “United 737-900” or “United 739” and click on the SeatGuru link.
It shows the amount of seats on this aircraft.
Sometimes, it will show the total amount of seats in the Overview, just below the Seating Details. This plane has 167 seats, and I want to simulate a nearly full flight, so I’m going to take 156 passengers with me. The average cargo per person (given to me by @Nathan) is usually 35 pounds. Just multiply 156 by 35, and you have 5,460 pounds of cargo. There, you’ve got your passengers and cargo. I will get to fuel in the next section.
Here is this great tutorial for you all made by @Chris_S.
I don’t pay attention to anything else except this:
Continuing from the entering your flight plan part, you can paste the FPL that you got from FlightAware into the “Route” box. After you enter all other details like arrival and departure airports, passengers and cargo, you can click on “Generate OFP”.
Under “Block Fuel”, that is the fuel you will use, and you should’ve changed your units to either Kilograms or Pounds for it to be accurate with your IF settings. I personally chose pounds.
Upon entering your FPL, Chris shows where you can access the FPL coordinates that you can insert into IF, using Adrien’s tutorial that I linked earlier. I suggest if you have waypoints missing, to get it’s coordinates. For example, if your FPL is KLGA NEWEL DANNR KDEN, and the DANNR waypoint is missing, just enter your FPL into the “Route” box in SimBrief, press “Generate OFP”, and in the Flight Plan section, it will give you the waypoint’s coordinates.
If you are simulating a real world flight in real time, then you always want these three tabs open:
FlightAware to track your flight (In case FR24 is acting weird), FlightRadar24 to track your flight’s speed, altitude, true direction (not magnetic) and LiveFlight to make sure you are doing the right thing.
Realistic Meetup Flights
I’ve done this a lot with @Bobby and @Nathan. It really brings a new feeling of realism to Infinite Flight when you and others plan a flight to somewhere, to meet up at around the same time, acting as real flights in real time.
It’s easy to do. Use your preferred Flight Tracker to decide where you and others want to meet up at. I chose Istanbul. Of course, make sure the flight hasn’t departed, and to convert the departure airport time to your time, so you don’t miss the flight. All of your friends should do this, for maximum realism.
Make sure to select “Arrivals”, so you and others can plan flights that land within at least 30 minutes of each other.
It’s cool, because one flight can be coming from LAX, one from JFK or one from Casablanca, for example. And they’re actual routes as well, so it just makes the feeling even better.
This is on the easier side. You don’t have to use LiveFlight, but I suggest it. If you want a realistic route to do, you can either look up the route on Google, or let SimBrief get it for you.
Getting an FPL from Google
Search up your arrival and destination airport. Example, White Plains to Farmingdale. Search “KHPN to KFRG”. Click on a FlightAware link, and it can give you the Flight Plan of an aircraft that has done that route.
Getting an FPL from SimBrief
This is more on the realistic end, as SimBrief gives you routes depending on your departure and arrival runway. It also gives accurate departures, approaches and airways, so I suggest using this.
Other than the FPL, it’s all up to you on how you want to fly.
Flights Outside of the US
Finding flightplans for anywhere outside of the US can be tricky. It depends on where you are, but it’s not guaranteed that FlightAware will have a flight plan for you, just a heads up. You can still use SimBrief to generate a flight plan for you, which is your most realistic option.
Dealing With Expert ATC
If you’re simulating a flight in real time, and your departure or arrival airport just happens to be manned by ATC, especially on the Expert Server, you have to follow their rules. If you want to takeoff from a different runway, you can request it. If you want to land on a different runway, you can request it. But at the end of the day, ATC’s instructions overrule what you want to do, point blank.
If you don’t want to deal with ATC, and you want to be realistic and follow the real aircraft’s track, then simply don’t go to an airport that you think will be manned by ATC. Tyler usually posts a schedule of where ATC will be, so you can’t say you didn’t know.
I hope you realism lovers enjoyed this tutorial. I personally have done this 90% of the time ever since Global has released, and I use this for doing my Global Career Mode as well. The preparing part is just so fun, and it’s even cooler when you see how a real flight is pulled off. :)