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
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.
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.