Some may say Long Haul flying is easy but for some it is not. With this tutorial I want to help all those who feel overwhelmed and scared with Long Haul Flying!
This will be quite a long topic as I go in detail with route planning and setting up your flight so I have made a list of contents so you know what is in it and you can just skip to the point you want to know.
Preparing for your flight
Aircraft configurations and flight plan filling
Weight & Balance along with Fuel
Climb to cruise
How to leave your device whilst flying Long Haul
Let us use a example flight such as EGLL-KJFK this flight uses the North Atlantic Tracks which we will include in our FPL (Flight Plan).
You have decided your long haul route of choice now you are preparing for that flight this is what should be done.
Get your flight plan for your desired route. For us we are doing EGLL-KJFK. We will head over to FPLtoIF and use the Simbrief option to generate our flight plan.
To access the FPLtoIF Simbrief section please use this link: Infinite Flight FPL Converter
Please note the following: You NEED a Simbrief Account (Now Navigraph) to use this. It is totally free to sign up for.
Now that we are on the landing page let us enter in our flight details.
We have entered our Departure Airport: EGLL
We have entered our Arrival Airport: KJFK
We have entered our Aircraft: Boeing 777-200ER
That is all you need to do! Do not change anything else. Then what you will do is scroll down the “Generate Flight Plan” button. Click it and then it will open a simbrief pop up which will generate the FPL.
You will then be redirected to this page:
When you see this page hit the “Copy Flight Plan” button and this will copy the entire flight plan onto your device’s clipboard to paste into IF.
Now we want to see the information of the flight so we will scroll down and land onto this page:
This page is critical to know the following: Fuel, Cargo, Flight Time, PAX, V Speeds and cruising altitude.
Now we will spawn into Infinite Flight with the British Airways Boeing 777-200ER at London Heathrow International.
We have spawned in at EGLL and have started up the aircraft: APU, Main Battery.
We will input all our A/P data (Autopilot) Such as our Cruising altitude and Rotation speed
Cruising altitude is: 35,000
Rotation Speed is: 138 knots
Now we will configure the aircraft for our long haul flight.
Let us start immediately by putting our FPL in and editing it to remove waypoints add SIDS/STARS along with a NAT (North Atlantic Track)
Your FPL will sometimes look like this when you input it into IF:
We will then identify those waypoints and delete them.
Those waypoints are D256G and D089I.
Now with all the incorrect waypoints gone we can see our route before SIDS/STARS/NATS.
Now let us begin editing our FPL to include said SIDS/STARS and NATS.
For our departure out we will use the: GOGS2F SID
For our NAT (North Atlantic Track) we will use: Track B
For our arrival we will use the: PARCH3 Arrival (Edited)
For our approach we will use the: H31RZ Approach
To edit our JFK SID we took out the JFK waypoint
Our FPL is complete! Here is the final result.
We are done with aircraft configurations and have entered our FPL.
We have taken all the information and put it into the Weight and Balance section of Infinite Flight.
Here they are:
That leaves the aircraft with a 58% load which for a B772 is more than enough to get to FL350 which is our cruising altitude.
Now that we have departed and are above 10,000 feet we want to not strain the aircraft by making it climb to hard.
Normally a good rule is to climb at 1000-2000 feet per second up until 28,000 feet. From there go at around 500-1000 feet per second until you get to cruising altitude which today is FL350.
We are cruising at FL350. In order to cruise efficiently we want to trim out our aircraft. For today’s cruising altitude we will trim our aircraft out to 40% that will raise the nose a bit but that is more than normal with trim.
During cruise you want to double check your fuel supply, load and ETE to destination. This will help you plan when to be at your device and if you may need a stop over for more fuel.
During cruise let your aircraft be. Do not try and hand fly it or mess with the autopilot as if there is a lot of wind one wrong move of the rudder can cause your aircraft to go out of control.
ALWAYS check your aircraft now and then whether it be on your device or on a website such as Liveflight to make sure everything is routine and that you have not overshot your airport or overshot a waypoint.
Many people think that just plopping your device on a counter and forgetting it during a long haul is fine and to a extent that is but. If you have a lower end device then follow these steps to make sure your device does not crash whilst cruising.
For lower end devices
- Turn your graphics all to low. This will make sure the device is not rendering items in full quality when you are not even looking at them
- Limit your FPS to 30 to ensure the device has breathing room between frames and is not constantly pumping 60 FPS again when you are not even looking at them.
- Point your camera to a place that is ideally dark and that does not have a lot of objects. A good place is point it and zoom in directly into the seat of the pilot. That way it doesn’t have to render in a lot of items and the SOC can breathe.
- Turn your screen brightness all the way down so that your device does not overheat which could cause it to lag which can make it crash.
- Lastly close everything in the background and let IF be the only app running. This is to ensure that no other app is using RAM and that it can be all dedicated to IF.
Always leave your device with these things in check
- Strong internet connection.
- On charge.
- On a cool surface
- In a place where it won’t fall over or the screen can be easily locked.
I have found a lot of community guides and resources to help you with more detailed aspects such as SID/STARS and NATS. Aircraft guides and more! Here are some of them.
All of these guides will help you master Trim, Weather, GPS coordinates and Fuel Burn.
With all of these things in check you are now fully prepared and are confident to tackle your first long haul flight! Whether it be WSSS-KEWR or EGLL-KJFK you have all the knowledge and tools above to help you have a smooth and successful long haul flight.
This has been a topic to help you get started to Long Haul flying. As you can see there is not much to it. You just need to understand certain aspects and you will be good!
I didn’t include any descent or landing parts as that is as normal as any other flight.
I hope you all enjoyed this topic and I hope this helps you conquer your first long haul flight!
Please note this topic has been moderator approved