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This is being posted out of curiosity more than anything else:

 

Does anyone have (or did it ever exist) an AIRAC cycle that matches what is loaded in FSX. I don't have the date that FSX was released and don't know if there were any updates to the internal database after publication. Rumour has it that FSX (as we know it) was published somewhere around 2006. That being the case, the AIRAC Cycle would be 06nn where nn is 01, 02, 03, etc. The AIRAC cycles are normally published with the more complex aircraft, like the PMDG 737NX. However, if you want to keep this up-to-date, you have to subscribe to a very expensive (relative to our hobby) subscription service.

 

I'm getting really fussed about trying to match it all up. I don't fly in VATSIM or similar, just me, myself, and an airplane going somewhere in FSX-land. It would be really nice to plug in a waypoint derived from the flight planner in FSX and have the FMC accept it without the ubiquitous "NOT IN DATA BASE" message appearing. The same goes for airways. I can live without SIDs and STARs - those really only apply to VATSIM style flying, or RW flying. I'm just as happy to pick a waypoint about 50-30 miles out (about where you can start receiving the ATIS) and do the mental gymnastics to get to the runway in use. Alternatively, I can get Radar Contact to supply vectors provided I use the ICAO identifier for my destination airport after the last waypoint. RC will get you down to the ILS IAF with no fuss and no need for a STAR.

 

Mostly for Canadian flying - I've taken to writing my own waypoint files (more on that available elsewhere in MH files). If I have an airport where I fly to on a regular basis, I update the FSX database to reflect whatever approach procedures and plates I can get my hands on. This applies to flying in virtual Canada as most other countries don't consider their aviation plates to be "Top Secret". Without Top Secret procedures, you can use published plates and subscription AIRACs.

 

There's also another piece of software out there "MakeRwys" . P.Dobson (the father of FSUIPC)  wrote it. My understanding is that it can crank out approach-related data. I've downloaded the file, but haven't had time to mess with it.

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FSX was released, according to Wikipedia, in October 2006 but I doubt was released with navdata from the then current AIRAC. If there are historical AIRACs available for the NGX is also something I doubt. I guess you could ask on the PMDG-forum over on AVSIM. That should be your best bet for finding it if anyone have such a package in place.

 

MakeRwys from Pete Dowson is a utility used by RC, and some other addons (FS Commander is the other one I know of), to extract Runway and approach data from your scenery library to make sure the add-ons have correct data based on your installation, taking into account add-on scenery airports that may differ from the default FSX-data with regards to added runways or runway number changes due to magvar changes after FSX was release. As far as I understand it's that program the RC calls when you ask it to rebuild the scenery database.

 

Just running it on it's own won't help you in any way unless you want to view the raw data that it outputs. I must say though that I find this a better way to deal with navigation data than up to date AIRAC since the AIRAC-cycle is based on real data and might be totally different from what is present in your sim.. 

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Another approach is the one used by PSX when used with the PFPX planner. A PFPX flight plan exported to PSX can be used regardless of the Navdata in PSX (which is only updated once a year, anyway) and also regardless of whatever Navigraph AIRAC you have installed for PFPX. It manages this by exporting the flight plan as a series of waypoint coordinates with Direct To connections between them, so that it will work come what may. But unfortunately I have no idea whether that could be adapted to your situation (you don't mention which planner you use or which aircraft you are flying) — I only mention it just in case you might be able to use some variation of it.

 

MakeRwys isn't the only such program around, either. The PSX equivalent is (logically enough) RunwaysPSX; whilst if you have Orbx Vector you'll be aware of the AEC corrections in the configurator — both of these programs also have to be run each time you make a change to your scenery, along with the FSC updater if you use Flight Sim Commander. (These days I tend to do my scenery updates in batches...).   ;)

 

I've just checked my historical backups and the earliest full AIRAC I can see is 1103, I'm afraid, which probably wouldn't be much help. I also have a few of them from 1006, although you don't state which modules you want — PM me if you're interested.

 

The only other suggestion I can think of would be to take a look at this site: http://www.aero.sors.fr/navaids.html   As you will see, this has some (free) utilities for manipulating/updating the VORs and NDBs inside bgl files, as well as an updated magnetic variation database for 2015 which is great if you're using current AIRAC data.

 

Good luck!     :)

 

 

Cheers,

 

bruce

a.k.a. brian747

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@Mikael & @Brian,

 

Thanks for ringing in with comments on my speculative inquiry. 

 

You guys are way out there in front of me. I'm just a former private pilot (single engine land, retractable, night rated, no IFR ticket) trying to learn the intricacies of jetliners. I've started the process by purchasing PMDG's 737NGX (I also purchased the iFly 737, but gave up on that as I'm happier with PMDG). Very quickly, I came to the conclusion that I need more and more software if I was going to achieve anything at all. After driving down some blind alleys, I concluded that I really need to get started with as basic a system as I can find and work up from there.

 

The basic system that I chose was to use SkyVector to pick a route and fly it in the 737NGX. Wrong! Trying to program the FMC was an exercise in futility because the SkyVector information (jetways and waypoints) are, for the most part, non-existent in FSX. The 737 came packaged with AIRAC 1108 and has been telling me since day one that the data is "Out of Date" (doh!). So, I bought the latest AIRAC (at the time - 1411). That didn't help, the AIRAC matched the SkyVector stuff, but there are no plates available to match either. If I were flying the USA, things would be immensely easier. It's really hard to flight plan when you don't know where the SIDs are going to take you and which STAR to select when you get the destination ATIS.

 

Next came an attempt to find the approach information associated with the AIRAC. In Canada that is pretty much impossible - the current charts are "not for publication" in this country. Subscribe to Jeppesen's service and all will be sweetness and light - sure. I can't justify spending like a RW line pilot, never mind taking a day each month trying to keep things up to date. Then I found "LEROY". Almost hit a home run there. LEROY loads up as a simple background - you type in the ICAO designator and LEROY returns a set of approach plates and an APD - cool. But, wait a minute, these (Canadian) charts are from April/May 2012 - AIRAC 1204 required. 

 

There's lots of great stuff out there. Unfortunately for me it looks like the solution is to subscribe to the AIRAC service and keep that up to date, then fly anywhere in the world except Canada.

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Have you tried VATroute?

vatroute.jpg

Just copy the route in the bottom box into the FMC.. Then just add the SID & STAR.. :)

Below

Copied from airliner.net

SOBRA Y180 BITBU Z110 MMD

As you can see, the first Fix of your route is SOBRA. Therefore you would choose the appropriate SOBRA SID in your FMC. There are several designators for the SOBRA departure (i.e. "SOBRA 2D", "SOBRA 2F"), depending from which runway you take off. Therefore, they also vary slightly in terms of actual route flown. No worries: The FMC should know this (if not, refer to the published charts) and will only allow to select a SID actually fitting for the runway you choose to take off from. Be careful, though: Some SIDs may not be available from every runway.

As for the approach, it is very similar. MMD is a Navaid called "Montmedy" – therefore you'd choose the MONTMEDY 4H or MONTMEDY 4P STAR. In this case, 4H is for a landing on runways 08L/R and 09L/R, 4P on runways 26L/R and 27L/R.

This is a very simple explanation. Sometimes, there can be challenges, because the last Fix, Navaid, VOR, etc. of the route is not the designation of the STAR. Example: The last Fix in a route from London-Heathrow (LHR) to Edinburgh (EDI) is MARGO. However, EDI doesn't have a MARGO arrival. But the EDN 1A arrival will take you from MARGO (and several other Fixes) to the EDN NDB, from where you'll get further instructions on how to proceed. In order to know this, you'll have to use approach charts if it is not explicitely mentioned in the route (i.e. ... MARGO EDN 1A).

you can get you sim plates from Here:

http://www.simplates.com/?gclid=Cj0KEQjw1pWrBRDuv-rhstiX6KwBEiQA5V9ZoQVzGcoVZmQKJQTc64M-iztH5dOht1dHIUX2z4d2i7saApPg8P8HAQ

Also an excellent tutorial is found here on Ytube:

And another:

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I´m a lurker here. Its a very interesting thread. 

I agree that its often a mess to do a decent jetliner planning. I´m flying in Europe.

 

By the way, what is PSX. I know what PFPX is (dont have) Sometimes all the abreviations make interesting threads very difficult to read. (I use a lot myself)

 

I would happily buy (for a decent price) a set of charts with corresponding Airac cycle and stay with that for a long time, but as it is now, with a monthly or yearly subscribtion, I pass.

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I´m a lurker here. Its a very interesting thread. 

I agree that its often a mess to do a decent jetliner planning. I´m flying in Europe.

 

By the way, what is PSX. I know what PFPX is (dont have) Sometimes all the abreviations make interesting threads very difficult to read. (I use a lot myself)

 

I would happily buy (for a decent price) a set of charts with corresponding Airac cycle and stay with that for a long time, but as it is now, with a monthly or yearly subscribtion, I pass.

Sim plates above is a one off purchase for 70,000 plates

PSX = Precision Simulator X (Bruce's favourite sim for 747)

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@John

 

One other idea has just occurred to me (inspired by James having mentioned an online possibility) — have you looked at "Online Flight Planner"?  http://onlineflightplanner.org/

 

The reason for mentioning it is that you can use it to generate a plan using any stipulated AIRAC cycle (as long as it's not before 0511) and then output it in almost any format (.pln (either fs9 or fsx format) / .rte (PMDG or Level-D format) / .flp / .fltplan / .fms — or even as a pdf. You can include SIDs and STARs as you wish, or stipulate RNAV.

 

Anyway, it could be another one for you to consider.    ;)

 

 

@Anders

 

For more information on PSX see here:  http://aerowinx.com/

 

(Or even here: http://www.mutleyshangar.com/reviews/bc/psx/psx.htm )

 

 

Cheers,

 

B.

 

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All kinds of great suggestions.

 

I'm going to look at all of them - tonight!  SWMBO has me off to Victoria this morning and tomorrow, then Saturday, Sunday and Monday I won't be able to get home but I'll take the laptop with me in case I can get connected.

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John, perhaps Aivlasoft EFB is the silver bullet for you here (combined with Online Flight Planner that Bruce mentioned above).

The EFB will generate plates and approaches based on your local scenery and Navigraph AIRAC cycle. As long as you make sure the EFB and the AIRAC in the NGX are on the same cycle, and use that cycle to generate your flight plan there should be a minimal risk of ending up with way points that are non-existent in the FMC.

The only issues will be if you fly from an airport that have added runways IRL that don't exist in your scenery.

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OK, time to send out a few replies as I'm back at the boat for a few hours before heading out into no-internet land for Saturday.

 

Let me start with @James (jaydor) - Thank you for your input - I'm already using something called SimBrief, very similar product. However, VATroute is a European solution. I think it lists more flightplans in Bali than Canada. So, nothing usable in Canada.

 

Also, thanks for the SimPlates suggestion. I have that software, but it is pretty weak when it comes to Canada. Most of the Canadian plates seem to be reprints of US Military plates covering Canadian destinations. Very, very few SIDS and STARS can be found in the Canadian listings under SimPlates. None of them match what is listed in the FMC. Neither the original AIRAC that came packaged with the 737 (1108) nor the one that I purchased to try to beat this problem (1411). Simplates is just another expensive piece of software (relative to Canadian content) that, you could say, was inadequately researched prior to purchase. Although how I was to know their Canadian coverage was poor is beyond me.

 

Next up is @Bruce (aka Brian747). Brian has come up with a lot of real good solutions, especially for those of you flying (vlying, Brian's term) in Europe and the USA where approach plates and aviation charts are not national secrets. I've used a similar one (see post to Jaydor, above) which also is capable of using any AIRAC cycle that you can feed it. Great! Except it is unusable in Canada because the plates aren't available unless you have a full Jeppesen account.

 

@stu7708 (Mikael) - Suggests Aivlasoft's EFB. I have to look into this one quite seriously, but I'm going to bet that I'll run up against the same problem. It's impossible to match up 2006 FSX with 2015 Approach Plates, or even 2012 ones. I thought I had the solution when (remains nameless) tried to find me an April 2012 AIRAC that would, at least, match up with the LEROY charts (where Canada ceased to exist in April/May 2012).

 

I'm going to try asking Navigraph to sell me an 0512 cycle? They must keep backups, don't you think? I'll report on the results of that one. 

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I´m reading the Aivlasoft manual right now and I´m pretty sure its something for me. The good thing is that there is a full and free 30 days demo, which I will start testing very soon.  Its not cheap though if you end up liking it. 75,-€ .  But I like these addons that can be used on many AC, so even though my economy is Spanish (read low income compared to most of you guys) I will purchase it if I like it. But it has to convince me.

 

I also seem to remember that fsx data base can be updated but i have to do some diggin to find out.

EDIT: I found the source. I dont know if its of any use and I havent tried (yet)

http://www.aero.sors.fr/navaids.html

 

Out of curiosity, Quickmarch, can you name a few CDN airports that you are specially interested? I have simflown a bit, but not much in northern CDN and you wont find many procedures, sids, stars, ILS etc there. But I might be wrong.

 

I dont think Navigraph will sell you an old AIRAC cycle. They will tell you to buy a full year including airports in Uzbekistan. The flightsim world has turned very commercial.

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I´m reading the Aivlasoft manual right now and I´m pretty sure its something for me. The good thing is that there is a full and free 30 days demo, which I will start testing very soon.  Its not cheap though if you end up liking it. 75,-€ .  But I like these addons that can be used on many AC, so even though my economy is Spanish (read low income compared to most of you guys) I will purchase it if I like it. But it has to convince me.

 

I also seem to remember that fsx data base can be updated but i have to do some diggin to find out.

EDIT: I found the source. I dont know if its of any use and I havent tried (yet)

http://www.aero.sors.fr/navaids.html

 

Out of curiosity, Quickmarch, can you name a few CDN airports that you are specially interested? I have simflown a bit, but not much in northern CDN and you wont find many procedures, sids, stars, ILS etc there. But I might be wrong.

 

I dont think Navigraph will sell you an old AIRAC cycle. They will tell you to buy a full year including airports in Uzbekistan. The flightsim world has turned very commercial.

 

Once you start to use Aivlasoft EFB you will never regret it.  I am a pensioner, so money is tight like yourself, But EFB is worth it.  Use the free demo first, but use it regularly to get used to it.

 

When you do use it and watch your flight along side you, it is great..

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Try here for (outdated) Canada approach plates. I've only browsed one but it appears to be the real deal...

 

http://fly.blakecrosby.com/2010/02/canadian-ifr-approach-plates.html

 

EDIT: Here's another - follow your nose and it will lead you to Canada approach charts.

 

http://www.avionic-online.com/index.php?Mnu=cartes

 

Canada -> [Click the map for the FIR you want] -> Pilots -> Airport Charts -> [Pick your airport]

 

EDIT EDIT: Another...

 

http://www.ivao.ca/charts/cap

 

EDIT EDIT EDIT: This one has some Canada airports covered but not the whole enchilada...

 

http://www.bostonvirtualatc.com/charts/index.html?Page=EGPF_index.html

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March,

 

If you don't already have them, I've posted a file in the MH file library with about 2,800 (world wide) add on en-route waypoints for FSX. It's just a scenery bgl and is dead simple to use. It's not all of them and hasn't any of the terminal waypoints - all enroute waypoints, but it's a piece of what you need, I guess.

 

A future project is to do terminal waypoints, but those are a lot more difficult as they are buried within the individual airport bgls and cannot exist as stand-alone waypoints. By definition they are associated with a specific airport. Also, incorporating them into the approaches accessible by the FSX GPS is about an order of magnitude more difficult that that.

 

John

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Quickmarch

Going back to your original post you say that you dont care about sids and stars..

Then why use an AC with a Navigraph or similar nav database (read airac cycles)?

 

There are addons like the CLS (justflight) jetliners, that has an fmc and that uses FSX nav data. Others like the Feelthere Ambraer 135/145 the 175/195 and the Qualitywings B757 and Bae 146 have the option to use fsx data or navigraph data in their fmc.

Some of those, are getting really good reviews and may be as good or better for you than the Boeings from PMDG and IFly that you have.

 

AC like the PMDG, IFly, Maddog md80 etc, more or less needs that you to work with charts and navdata that are in sync. And that means buying stuff for them.

I personally like using SIDs and STARS, but i agree with you that if you dont have navdata and charts that work together, then it can be pretty frustrating.

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@donnybalonny - thanks for the comments.

 

Yes, not many airports in Northern Canada have sophisticated procedures, although there are a few with ILS and increasingly more using RNAV approaches. However, Edmonton is about as far north as I get. @allardjd is MH's guru when it comes to adding waypoints to the FSX database (see his notes, above. 

 

I started trying to add the waypoints to airports that I use on a regular basis, however it's a bit of a daunting task. Not difficult, but there are thousands needed.

 

To answer your question about where I fly; there are two answers - 1. Within 100nm of the US/Canada border (covers about 99% of the population and 97% of the airports with a GS). 2. Anyplace I can get a Beaver into which means water, and, no, I don't need approaches for that.

 

I said I could "live without SIDS and STARS". Sorry about the semantics, but that does not mean I don't care about them. I just means that, if forced to do so I can get the airplane on and off the ground without them.

 

@allardjd - Thanks for the research John. I've looked at all of those sites in the past, with the exception of Boston Virtual, which is a new one. All of them post obsolete Canadian charts. These do not match up with AIRAC cycles loaded to the PMDG software. The best one is the Boston Virtual, where (example) CLOAK3 SID is "effective 11 Feb 2010 to 08 APR 2010". Downloading a series of their other charts shows the same publication dates. Common files required for CYYJ are the DUNCN7 STAR and matching ILS RWY 09 approach plate. Both would match with an AIRAC cycle "0210". There are only eight, admittedly, large city centre airports in this Canadian List. That's pretty limited.

 
IVAO Canada (CAP2) supplies 05 Apr 2012 to 31 May 2012 - this, BTW, is the cycle found in LEROY. Matching AIRAC would be 0412.
 
avionic-online moves up to 2013, a much more recent set of charts, but not current and therefore same problem trying to match a specific AIRAC.
 
Fly with Blake uses 0210, again, not a cycle that we're likely to have unless we archive old AIRACS and change directories in PMDG every time we want to fly in Canada. It could be argued that the DUNCN3 and DUNCN7 arrivals are the same thing (they are, mostly - it's the minor exceptions that grind everything to a halt). AIRAC 1411 which I purchased lists DUNCN1 and AIRAC 1108 which was supplied with the PMDG 737 lists DUNCN8. Yada, yada, yada. 
 
There really is no solution to this dilemma except to use charts which match the AIRAC you are using. Easy to do in most countries - just use the current ones which ARE available.
 
I'm pretty sure I can edit the AIRAC directly. It is just a text file like all the others. Tedious, though, because you have to add everything: waypoints, fixes, SID and STAR routings, altitudes, restrictions, captain's children's names, FO's mother-in-law, etc.
 
I haven't heard back from Navigraph - more if and when that happens.

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John, perhaps Aivlasoft EFB is the silver bullet for you here (combined with Online Flight Planner that Bruce mentioned above).

The EFB will generate plates and approaches based on your local scenery and Navigraph AIRAC cycle. As long as you make sure the EFB and the AIRAC in the NGX are on the same cycle, and use that cycle to generate your flight plan there should be a minimal risk of ending up with way points that are non-existent in the FMC.

The only issues will be if you fly from an airport that have added runways IRL that don't exist in your scenery.

I was just about to mention this. I recently began using Aivlasoft EFB and it is fantastic. I use VAT Route via EFB to get the routes, them add the SID, STAR, approaches and transitions as needed in EFB and activate it to transfer it directly to FSX as the active route. Then I load the route into the FMS and we're good to go. It is a fantastic tool. Pricey at $70, but well worth it.

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John, I'll see if I can find some time and upload some examples of the plates Aivlasoft EFB generates for you. And I just saw that one of the screenshots here is a sample of an approach plate for CYYS.

 

Unless you load it with the latest AIRAC it won't fit exactly with what is the real world plates at the moment nor will it be a match to what is in FSX, but as I said as long as you have the same AIRAC cycle in the NGX as you have in the EFB the data you get from the EFB will match what is available in you FMC and to me that is the important thing.

 

There is a flight planner in there among all the other functions, and you can download flight plans from two different online sources as well. Myself I tend to use FS Commander for my flight planning, or finding a real world flight plan online...

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@stu7708 - thanks for that Mikael. Looking into it right now.

 

I don't mind spending the money on the AIRAC updates if they are of any value to me. I'll try the Aivlasoft stuff for a month of flying in Canada and see how it goes. I'll report on progress.

 

EDIT: Got all the manuals for the PMDG 737NGX. Reading now.

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