With the release of the Global update, many new features were introduced such as the LNAV feature, which essentially, when enabled, flies your aircraft on an established flight plan. This feature has proved useful within the community, with players engaging in long haul routes as well as short haul ones and it is particularly useful as players can leave the simulator running while the plane is being flown by the autopilot. However, an area for improvement regarding this feature is the way it functions, which may not seem game-breaking but more so unrealistic and in some cases can be disrupting to a flight.
Another competitive flight sim on the mobile platform by the name of Aerofly FS 2 has implemented the LNAV system excellently. In fact, it is the closest simulator to replicate real world navigation systems and physics on the mobile platform although the game itself at the current time is lacking in content. This post essentially is a request for the reworking of the current LNAV system in Infinite Flight so that portrayal of real life navigation physics of that seen on commercial aircraft in the real world as well as in Aerofly FS 2 is seen in Infinite Flight. If Aerofly can do it, why not Infinite Flight? As it is difficult to explain with words only, below are some pictures, which display the navigation page for Infinite Flight and Aerofly FS 2. I will touch on the differences as well as how each system works in conjunction with the mechanics of their simulators.
So the first picture we have is what a typical flight plan on Infinite Flight may look like (which I created for the purpose of demonstration). As we can see, the route from way point R1127 to way point VIKYU is normal with just a straight line being the way to reach way point VIKYU. As addressed by a moderator, the transition lines in the flight plan are displayed to that of real world avionics so in this regard, Aerofly FS 2 has been overruled by Infinite Flight. In accordance to how the simulator works though, the aircraft, instead of following a curve to guide it into and out of a turn, begins the turn at the very last second, which puts it directly above the way point and a dramatic bank in the direction to the next way point would occur to ensure the plane aligns to the flight path given. If this were to occur in real life, this motion would be a violent jolt. This not only is an unrealistic mechanic but it also causes the plane in high speed and low speed situations to, on occasion, not align with the flight path. Depending on the angle of the turn required to align with the next waypoint, the autopilot (LNAV) will adjust the aircraft’s heading in increments of 5 degrees, something which can also be done when manually adjusting your aircraft’s heading. What this causes is the plane to violently react to the autopilot input by banking sharply in the direction of the next waypoint. This is unrealistic as in real life, the autopilot will adjust the heading by 1 degree WELL BEFORE reaching the waypoint. In fact, the aircraft would not even fly directly over the waypoint but instead close enough for the system to recognise it has passed a waypoint.
In the second picture we have a typical flight plan on Aerofly FS 2 (which again was created by me for the purpose of demonstration). This is where the difference in the systems comes into perspective. Circled in red is the transition implemented in Aerofly FS 2 once a waypoint is reached and a turn is required to follow the flight path for the next way point (TZZ). Whilst Aerofly doesn’t display the real life avionics which Infinite Flight does, it instead displays the route which an aircraft would actually follow when established on the LNAV system. In this case, if Aerofly FS 2 displayed real life avionics, the aircraft would still follow the route in the picture above, something which is non-existent in Infinite Flight. This is due to the LNAV mechanics on Aerofly FS 2 which ensure that the plane’s heading is adjusted ACCORDINGLY in increments of 1 degree, which allows for the aircraft to smoothly enter and exit turns to align with their flight paths. In comparison to Infinite Flight, Aerofly FS 2 only displays the aircraft’s intended flight path instead of the ACTUAL flight plan, hence why a curve is shown compared to Infinite Flight’s straight line transitions. Just to the right of the curve is the actual way point indicated for the initial flight plan but instead of going direct to the way point then turning, which is demonstrated in Infinite Flight, the system creates a route to begin the turn before reaching the way point and ensures the aircraft is aligned with the small dot inside the star (which is the way point). As a result, the aircraft begins the initial turn a lot smoother and exits the turn to align with the flight path. To achieve these results in Infinite Flight, the pilot would have to manually adjust their aircraft’s heading by 1 degree until they reach their intended flight heading/flight path heading, which just then defeats the purpose of having an LNAV system at all. The noticeable differences in the two simulator’s implementation of the LNAV system demonstrates the attention to realism Aerofly FS 2 has aimed for and simulates flights to that of real world performance.
Apologies for this post being so long but it is very difficult to explain the issue without a visual representation and in-depth explanation on the differences. NOTE: PLEASE BEFORE COMMENTING, ENSURE YOU HAVE READ THE POST THOROUGHLY AND DO NOT COMMENT SOMETHING WHICH IS IRRELEVANT TO THIS FEATURE REQUEST. I hope this has challenged some of the members of the community as well as the developers to look into this issue a lot closer as perfecting this feature would not only improve the experience within the simulator, but further narrow the best options for flight simulators on the mobile platform to only Infinite Flight. To conclude, please up vote as well as spread this post to see this feature reworked and perfected in a coming update.