What do 2D-VCIPLAN® and 4D-VCIPLAN® do?
VCIPLAN® is flight planning software used by dispatchers to determine the best vertical profile (2D-VCIPLAN®) or best routing and vertical profile (4D-VCIPLAN®) based on forecast conditions.
What does 2D and 4D stand for?
2D represents the speed and altitude dimensions of the Variable Cost Index solution. 4D adds the latitude and longitude dimensions.
Does PPAS® really work?
Yes. PPAS® uses the same approach that manufacturers of FMCS/PMS systems currently use on newer technology Boeing and Airbus aircraft. PPAS® computations are based on the aerodynamic and specific range characteristics of the aircraft as described in the manufacturer's performance engineering handbooks. (AASI actually goes one step further by re-engineering the manufacturers' databases when required, to accurately reflect true performance and then further adjusts the data for aircraft age.) In all cases data generated by PPAS® is equal to or better than FMCS/PMS data.
Will PPAS® save money?
PPAS® has demonstrated savings time and again in line operation.
Will PPAS® save fuel?
Yes. In a tailwind situation PPAS® will recommend a lower Mach number (with a resulting lower fuel burn) and will take advantage of the increased groundspeed to maintain schedule. PPAS® allows the operator to accelerate a particular flight in the most efficient manner to make up for lost time. Profiles will burn less fuel than any other profile for the same flight time and/or will result in shorter flight times than can be achieved with other flight profiles.
Is the interface intuitive?
Yes. The interface has been designed by pilots for pilots. Basic principles of electronic flight instrumentation (EFIS) are used, with airspeed on the left and altitude on the right. Industry standard colour conventions are also applied. The interface is also broken down in phase of flight with simple tabs used to select regimes such as configuration, climb, cruise, descent and hold. Training is minimal and the QRH and Help functions also describe the PPAS® functionality.
Why not just use a good flight plan or flight release?
For an efficient operation, you need both a good flight plan and a real-time flight management system. The flight plan should provide accurate wind prediction and optimal flight path information. However, regardless of how good the flight plan is, there is still a requirement for a tactical system to manage the flight as it progresses. The winds may not be as forecast, the weight may be different than flight planned, or the optimal altitude may not be available. Crews must be able to respond confidently to tactical ATC requests. For instance, if they are required to operate at minimum speed or maintain a particular altitude in turbulence PPAS® will provide buffet protected speed data and instantly pinpoint all aerodynamic limits. Accurate descent planning is also very important for fuel savings, and most flight plans do not give that information. These exigencies mandate installation of a real time flight management system. This has been acknowledged by the industry by the installation of FMCS systems in all new transport aircraft. PPAS® is analogous to the FMCS in its vertical profile optimization, but will achieve the same or better savings because of superior altitude selection.
How effective is PPAS®?
PPAS® is so effective in identifying minimum safe speeds, reducing costs, and maximizing productivity that airlines have started to incorporate PPAS® directly into their approved Standard Operating Procedures. It has become the way they fly their aircraft every day.
How many booklets are required for a PPAS® Booklet solution?
Each booklet represents a specific cost index value so the more books that are carried the more options pilots have. However, in practice, three are normally carried:
- Minimum burn operation
- Normal operation (Cost index value as determined by the operator)
- Minimum time operation
Are any booklets required if the software version is being used?
What is PPAS® EFB?
PPAS® EFB (Electronic Flight Bag) is the electronic version of PPAS® and as such replaces the booklets on the aircraft. It is available for stand-alone tablet devices (such as the iPad™), notebook computers and smartphones. Its primary purpose is to bring cost index solutions to non cost indexed equipped aircraft. It is ideally suited to military transport category aircraft, regional and corporate jet aircraft and third generation airliners that do not have cost index functionality. Cost Index Flying software provides the airborne solutions that would normally have been generated from the cost index portion of an FMS. Once programmed, it displays optimal altitudes and optimal speeds to achieve the user defined objective of saving time, fuel or both. Solutions are for the entire flight regime of climb, cruise, descent, and hold. All speeds and altitudes are safe to fly as they are from the certified flight envelope and are buffet protected.
What is MFP?
MFP (Mini Flight Plan) is an optional function that allows pilots to quickly plan cost efficient flights from departure to destination without the assistance of a dispatcher. This function is also a very effective tool for managing in-flight diversions or airborne refueling/defueling.
MFP allows pilots to define the flight objective (min burn, min time , RTA etc.), the required reserves and anticipated environmental factors. The program will generate efficient flight profiles that include highly accurate time, distance, and fuel solutions. These are displayed in an intuitive flight plan format, vertical plan format or ICAO flight release.
MFP also includes a Window of Opportunity function (WOO) that identifies the entire range of possibilities for the flight.