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myockey's picture
Flight Planning Calculations
The flight planner calculates distance and time. Time is based on a field labeled "TAS" which I think we would all presume to mean "True Airspeed." The label isn't accurate. The calculation is distance x TAS, which equates to ground speed. Now, I'm all for a calculation that evaluates METAR and TAF data enroute and gives me an estimation based upon my TAS at altitude, but I think it would be simpler to change the "TAS" label to ground speed, and leave the more precise time enroute calculation to the PIC.
You're correct
We are working on including winds aloft in the flight plan, which is why we labeled it TAS. We aren't ready with that feature yet, and we had a little "Go Fever" about launching the site. It is now labeled GS for Ground Speed. We'll leave it like this until we get winds aloft working. Have fun up there!
myockey's picture
Sorry to let the cat out of
Sorry to let the cat out of the bag. =) That's an exciting feature!
TAS vs GS in Flight Planning
I'd be careful of labeling the speed window as Ground Speed. TAS is more benign. With the present portrayal, if you reverse the course, the GS will remain the same which is hardly true and can significantly impact those that fuel plan prior to departure. Yes, I know SkyVector - and its attendant warnings - is not a replacement for actual flight planning, but there are those that do. With my students I used to give them extreme examples of the TAS vs GS calculations by using this example: We were approaching Gander, Newfoundland at FL370. The Inertial Nav System showed a GS of 696 knots (I have a picture of the INS). Our TAS at M.84 was 478. So that's a 218 knot tailwind. My question to my students is, what would our GS be if I made a 180 turn? Most will subtract 218 from 696 and say 478. In actuality, as we all know the wind is subtracted from the TAS resulting in a GS of 260 knots (478-218). A loss of 436 knots of speed. Stick with TAS until you get the wind alogarithms in place so as to not induce confusion. CM
'The calculation is distance
'The calculation is distance x TAS, which equates to ground speed.' wind correction + TAS = ground speed. I agree, TAS is less misleading than GS, although both are technically wrong until you get winds aloft.
I'm a big fan of this site and use it more often that my subscription flight planner. I would like to add a request to the wind aloft procedure. Please, allow for entering custom wind data for each leg. Many flight planning sites use the NOAA data. I rather use the Op20/40 or Bac20/40 and Scew-T diagram. Thanks!