Flight Management System Tutorial – Calculating Aircraft Routes

Flight Management System Tutorial –  Calculating Aircraft Routes:

Flight Management System Tutorial

The objective of this tutorial is to give you basic knowledge of how the FMS operates. The FMS is the component that “flies” the aircraft by calculating engine thrust, fuel consumption, airspeed, altitude, and other parameters to keep the plane on course. It also assists pilots in finding airports with low terrain clearance.

An FMS has three basic modes:

⦁ Direct-To Mode
⦁ Planner Mode
⦁ Manual or Autopilot Mode

Flight Management Systems are a critical part of aviation. These systems allow the pilot to fly the aircraft without having to manually input all of the necessary data. An FMS can save a lot of time for pilots, as well as reduce the risk of human error. In this article, we’ll be discussing how an FMS works and what you need to do if you have one on your aircraft. Let’s get started!

What Is a Flight Management System?

A Flight Management System (FMS) is an essential component for any aircraft. It’s essentially the “brain” of the plane, which keeps track of the various data points of the aircraft, including its speed, altitude, and fuel consumption rate.

An FMS is a computer system that tells the pilot where they are and how to get to a destination. It also assists in finding airports with low terrain clearance. FMSs are either a single unit or a system of multiple computers that work together.

In order to fly, the pilot must input data into the FMS. This includes what type of aircraft they’re flying, their destination, and any waypoints they may want the FMS to fly through. Then, the FMS will calculate what trajectory it needs to take to get to the destination and stay airborne. It will provide updates to pilots so they can keep track of how the aircraft is doing.

How an FMS Works:

An FMS is a computer that assists the pilot in flying the aircraft. It operates by calculating engine thrust, fuel consumption, airspeed, altitude, and other parameters to keep the plane on course. The FMS also assists pilots in finding airports with low terrain clearance.
There are three basic modes in which an FMS operates: Direct-To Mode, Planner Mode, Manual or Autopilot Mode.

All three of these modes are very useful in flight. For example, if you are flying in Direct-To mode, you can use your aircraft’s autopilot to fly during your flight. This will make it easier for you to concentrate on other aspects of your flight, like flying through turbulence or giving updates to air traffic control. An aircraft’s FMS also offers many benefits to pilots. It can help pilots fly.

Types of FMS. There are three main types of FMSs:

1) Direct-To FMS – This type of FMS is for pilots who want to fly directly to a specific location.
2) Planner FMS – This type of FMS is for pilots who want to fly a predetermined route.
3) Manual or Autopilot FMS – If you have this type of FMS, you can either use it with the autopilot or manually.
Typically, most pilots use the Direct-To FMS because it is the most efficient, but you must know how to use all three types.

Why an FMS is Needed:

Why an FMS is needed?

A Flight Management System is the component of the aircraft that “flies” the plane. It calculates engine thrust, fuel consumption, airspeed, altitude, and other parameters to keep the aircraft on course. It also assists pilots in finding airports with low terrain clearance.

Let’s take a deeper look at three basic modes of FMS:

Direct-To Mode is used when the pilot wants to fly to a specific location without having to input all of the necessary data manually. It is the simplest mode of operation for pilots because they don’t have to worry about making any steering adjustments.

Planner Mode is typically reserved for pilots flying long distances, typically over oceans. It is configured with waypoints that will automatically steer the plane without pilot input. The pilot can modify or add new waypoints to the route, but it requires more time than Direct-To Mode.

Manual or Autopilot Mode is used when the pilot wants to fly manually with assistance from the FMS. This mode is typically reserved for short distances, such as on-ground operations, takeoffs, and landings.

How to Interpret FMS Messages:

How to interpret FMS messages?

The FMS sends messages to the pilot to let them know what is going on. In the bottom right of the screen, you will see a message area. This area will show a message that the FMS generates.

You will see a message that says “Direct to”, “Plan”, or “Manual”.

As we discussed above, Direct To mode tells the pilot how to fly directly to a waypoint. This message will say “Direct to” and the next waypoint the pilot should fly to. On the other hand, in the Plan Mod, the pilot sets a desired heading and distance to a selected destination. The system updates the current course and it tells the pilot when they are on course. In this mode, the message will say “Plan”. And Manual Mode allows manual operation of the aircraft by the pilot. The pilot can either fly by hand or use an autopilot system. This message will say “Manual” or “Autopilot”.

A Note on the Difference Between Manual and Autopilot Modes:

The FMS can also be used to control the plane during manual or autopilot mode. The main difference between the two is that the FMS will fly the plane on autopilot, while the pilot controls all other aspects of the plane, like steering and altitude.

Conclusion:

The objective of this article was to give you basic knowledge on how the FMS operates and what you need to do if you have one on your aircraft. The FMS is the component that “flies” the aircraft by calculating engine thrust, fuel consumption, airspeed, altitude, and other parameters to keep the plane on course. It also assists pilots in finding airports with low terrain clearance. Now, you know well that an airplane typically has three main modes: direct-to mode, planner mode, and manual or autopilot mode and as we’ve explained, each mode is necessary for the pilot to have a proper flight so they are important parts of each airplane.

We hope that this article has been useful and feel free to share your thoughts with us in comments below.

8 thoughts on “Flight Management System Tutorial – Calculating Aircraft Routes

  1. I see that you finally got ads on your website. It wasn’t there yesterday so well done on that. I will be sure to share this article with my brother. I believe that it will be of interest to him seeing that he loves anything that has to do with planes so thank you for this. I have also learnt a thing or two about aircraft. 

  2. I have always found the topic of calculating aircraft routes fascinating since I was a kid. I would like to keep on digging into this topic. So, I greatly appreciated the three basic modes of FMS you explained in details in this post. I read that section twice. Thank you very much!

  3. A Flight Management System is required unless you want to constantly calculate the speed you are moving, mass of the aircraft by hand(computer) but not that many people can recall how to do those calculations for accuracy. This type of computer makes it possible to handle all the navigations needed to get from coast-to-coast.

    1. Yes flight management computer are important when calculating aircraft routes and that reduce workload for the pilot and allows pilot to focus on aircraft controls. You need to learn how to enter waypoints, selecting runway for take off and landing  and entering destination. When using the Flight management system it will show the route on  the navigation display.

  4. Hello.  Excellent post!! Thank you for such interesting article.  NownI know there are 3 different modes to fly a plane. Direct mode, planner mode and manual mode. I think it is wonderful to know how technology is progressing.  How long the FMS modes have been been around?  I travel once in a while by plane but this is the first time that I’m learning something about pilots. Thank you for that.

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