Improving My Aircraft Endurance/Extending Range

This tutorial will cover how to extend your aircraft’s range and endurance while flying globally.

(Aircraft used for this tutorial is a 787-9 loaded to MTW)

(Winds Point #1)
First, lets talk about winds. Flying into a headwind will result in a slower groundspeed, while flying with a tailwind will result in a higher groundspeed. A higher groundspeed means you’ll arrive at your destination quicker and ultimately less fuel will be needed and burned for that route. The opposite is true for when flying into a headwind. At point #1 you will notice I’ve got a 97kt headwind. My route will take longer to fly in terms of time, and will require more fuel to get to my destination as a result of a slower groundspeed.

(Trim Point #3)
Second, lets define “Trim”. You’ll see that trim is labeled by point #3 in picture 1. In Infinite Flight we have what is called “Elevator Trim”. Its purpose is to balance the elevator load. What this ultimately does is that it reduces or eliminates the control pressures needed to keep the aircraft in a given pitch attitude. In our case, our pitch attitude will be straight and level flight.

(Fuel Remaining Point #2)
Because we haven’t trimmed in picture 1, take a glance at point #2. This is the amount of fuel remaining onboard the aircraft. You will notice that I have about 16hrs 5mins of flying time at the given moment I took the screenshot. Keep in mind that this time will slowly decrease over the time it takes for me to get to my destination.

You will notice at point #3 that I have trim set to 0%. You will also notice that there is a magenta/pink line in the trim box with the trend of the trim going from the middle of the box to the bottom. In other words, more of the trim line is on the bottom half of the trim. In an ideal situation, you’d like for this magenta/pink line to be gone or disappear.

Fuel Flow (Red Arrow)
Lastly, the red arrow. This was just to point out the fuel flow or fuel burn with my trim set at 0%. Take note of this number when comparing it to picture 2

(Picture 1)


After looking through the points covered on picture 1, take a look at the same points minus the winds. Point #4 has been trimmed properly to rid of the magenta/pink line that was in the box in the prior example.

As a result of trimming, our fuel flow/fuel burn has decreased slightly. Only by about 230lbs/hr. But over the course of a long haul flight, this is a fair a amount.

Looking at point #5 you will notice that after trimming, I gained 15 minutes of flight time. This does not take into account that as I burn fuel my aircraft will get lighter which reduces the thrust needed to keep my aircraft aloft at my set speed.

(Picture 2)


As this somewhat relates to the topic at hand, I noticed a few folks question that they won’t have enough fuel for their flight. Some stated that their Estimated Time Enroute or ETE is multiple hours longer than they have fuel. Don’t get too worried about this near the start of your trip. As I stated earlier, as you burn fuel, the aircraft weight will decrease which ultimately requires less thrust to keep the aircraft aloft. The ETE to Dest is primarily calculated off of the Fuel Flow as well as a few other factors.

In the past I had started a flight where I was more than 3 hours “short” on fuel. But after flying for 12 hours, I noticed when I came back to my device I had about 5 hours of flying time after reaching my destination.


I hope this tutorial covered any questions that you might have had. “Trim” is not a new thing to Infinite Flight but it’s effect on how the aircraft performs and the role it plays on efficiency is new. If you have any questions, be sure to drop them down below.

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This is good to know for many. Thanks for making this!

Great tutorial! Thanks! :)

What happens to the trim when you start your descent? I say this because I assume that once you are fully established on final at an airport, your trim shouldn’t be 50% (maybe 25-30%).

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That’s correct. You don’t necessarily want all of the trim still in there. When I’m on approach, I’ll recalibrate, and then re-trim as I find I need it.

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Do you re-trim it so that the pink line isn’t there anymore, or do you set it up to your usual landing trim? I say this because I like to have a bit of a lower trim than actually needed for landing.

No. You just don’t want the pink line in there while in cruise. Its inevitable in the other phases of flight.

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Thanks for this awesome information! Even though I have been using Infinite Flight for quite a while now, I learned some very useful information.

Thanks :)
-Moosehead

Haha, my fuel gauge always turns orange or red during climb, I just ignore it and when I get to my destination I have 2-3 hours of flight time remaining :)

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Amazing 👏👏 Thank you so much, this is highly needed around the community (and myself)

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Great tutorial… I’ve never really used trim before, as I don’t understand how to use it. Is it the same 50%trim for aircrafts like the 777-300ER?

Not necessarily. You’ll have to make that determination based on the aircraft weight at the time you are in cruise. Each aircraft will have a different trim setting.

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Ok great thanks. I’ll try to figure it out

Great work! This should be pinned.

I flew the 747-8 yesterday, 2 passengers, 45 000 kg (99000 lbs) cargo and 90000 kg (199000 lbs) fuel.
In cruise, after trimming (90%) I gained 30 minutes of flight time. Oslo-Dubai

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You forgot about adding more fuel 😐

P.s extremely useful tutorial, don’t know how I missed it!

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Thank you for this - very helpful; especially when taking mid range aircrafts on 7-8 hr flights.