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FlightSim Commander Version 9

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Just published is Nigel Porter's review on FlightSim Commander Version 9.

This has always been a popular piece of flight planning software, read what Nigel makes of the latest iteration. Read on...

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Thanks for the review Nigel, short, sweet and to the point. :thum:  

 

I was looking for a flight planner since I just got the Dash 8. This one looks pretty good, I will compare it to PlanG and see what I will get above and beyond. I was surprised to see it is only a couple of bucks cheaper than PFPX though.

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Great review Nigel.. spotted one little piece of erroneous information in it though..

 

The database manager needs to be run again each time you install new scenery that includes airports, since the program gets all it's airport information from the AFCADs in your scenery library.

 

@Brett: This is heaps and heaps better than Plan-G when it comes to IFR-planning in my opinion. Not to strange either since Tim never had the intention of making a planner for IFR-flights with Plan-G.

 

Even if you want to build the plan manually it's much easier to find airways and intersections in FlightSim Commander. Also, if you have found a flight plan online that you want to use you can simply paste it into the flight plan in FSC, and most of the times it will work just fine.

 

If you try the demo here's a sample flight plan I used while reviewing FS2Crew for the NGX..

ESSA NOSLI N850 BAGOS UN850 PERIK T851 XAMOD EDDL

 

If you paste that in to the flight plan window in FSC and click OK not only will it populate the intersections named in the string in to the flight plan but also all intersections along the Airways between to intersections, much in the same way as the FMC does in the NGX or the Dash 8.

 

The only thing FSC can't handle is planned altitude changes enroute, but I suspect that is more due to limitations in the FSX flight plan format than anything else.

 

I haven't tried PFPX though, so I can't comment on how FSC is compared to that...

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Thanks Mikael, for picking that up , however I guess it applies to all planners , it certainly does with Aivlasoft EFB

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Indeed it does Nigel.. All applications that rely on AFCAD-data for it's operation need updating after installation of new airports..

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Flight Planners and related software products seem to fall into two broad categories. Some use AIRACs or other non-FS sources of data for various entities, principally navaids but probably airports too. Others go to FS and build their own internal databases from data extracted directly from FS.

The old FSNavigator (FS9 only) and Plan-G both go to FS for their information. I believe FSC uses AIRAC data.

Both schemes have positive and negative aspects. If you use something like Plan-G and if you run the data update from time to time, your planner, moving map, etc, will be in good synchronization with your flight simulator, including any add-ons you've installed. The downside is the maintenance you have to do to keep them synched up (not all that hard but you have to remember to do it) and the fact that if you use real-world aviation pubs, there will be things in them that do not appear in FS or your planning software.

In software like FSC, the AIRAC data is real world data, and depending on the relative dates of the AIRAC data and the real-world pubs you may be using, they will likely be pretty close. Unfortunately, what's in FSX is the world circa 2006 and many Intersections, GPS waypoints and physical navaids, not to mention airport features that have changed since 2006, will not be accurately depicted in FS.

For waypoints and naviads, that may not be too much of a problem if you're flying high-end payware heavy iron with an FMC and nav systems that don't depend on FS itself. Barring that, however, when you try to tune a VOR that was built or revised after 2006, or find a newly defined waypoint in your GPS, you may draw a blank, even though FSC or another AIRAC based utility says it's there.

Neither way, AIRAC-based or FS-based, is inherently right or wrong and neither is perfect. It's largely a matter of preference and what kind of flying you do and what kind of RW resources you intend to use to augment your FS experience.

John

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FSC is kind of a hybrid in that aspect John..

 

As far as I've understood it relies on AIRAC data for SIDs/STARs and other NavData, and uses FS data for the airports.. the same is true for Aivlasoft EFB.

 

I guess the reason for this is that the airport layout is not included in the Navigraph data, and if it was it would in most cases not coincide with the data in FSX

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