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Description

Flight Planner for Microsoft Flight Simulator is a program that runs in either DOS or Windows and, paradoxically, does not require Microsoft's Flight Simulator at all! The purpose of this product is, as the name suggests, to produce set of navigational waypoints that will take the player from one airport to another. It also contains some utilities that assist the player in compensating for weather, wind etc.

The product comes in a white box wrapped in a card sleeve, it contains the flight planner on both 3.5" and 5.25" floppy discs. each disc has separate DOS installation processes for the DOS and Windows platforms, the Windows implementation of the product has more functionality than the DOS implementation.
The DOS installation includes databases for the following subLOGIC's scenery discs; Scenery Disk 1; Scenery Disk 2; Scenery Disk 3; Scenery Disk 4; Scenery Disk 5; Scenery Disk 6; Scenery Disk 7; Scenery Disk 9; Scenery Disk 11; Scenery Disk 12; Hawaiian Scenery; Japan Scenery; and Scenery Disk "Western European Tour". Each database has a full set of navigation points and airports for the scenery area and the Flight Planner has tools which allow the user to both create their own databases from scratch as well as using scenery data created with Microsoft's Aircraft & Scenery Designer.
Planning flights within a scenery area is relatively straightforward. Where a flight travels across one or more scenery areas the player must create a new database file by merging the relevant databases in DOS. They then use one of the Flight Planner's database utilities to create a database index after which the new file can be used in planning an extended flight.

The DOS software has a menu with the following options;
  • File: Here the user creates flight plans simply by entering the departure and destination airports, the software then searches the current default database and plots a course.
  • Edit: where the current flight plan can be edited. The departure, destination, wind settings can be changed and navigation points can be added or deleted
  • Reports: This is where the flight plan is printed. It can also be shown on-screen in summary form and in map form
  • Utilities: These are aids for use with Microsoft Flight Simulator, there's a Wind Correction function which is used to compensate for drift, and two Descent functions which calculates the descent distance and rate of descent a pilot must achieve if they are to land safely
  • Database: This has functions to show the airports and navigation aids in the current database as a list or on a map, and others to create new databases, add new nav points into a database and to reconstruct the index for any database that has just been created or which has been edited.
  • Options: Here the user sets the default pilot name, type of plane and the basic plane characteristics such as rate of climb etc. There are also options to change the default database and to configure the printer
  • Tips: Advice on instrumentation, takeoff, landing, navigation and ILS approach to an airport etc
  • Help: Information on using the product, how to use the product with flight simulators, set up printers etc
The Windows implementation does, of course, have a GUI mouse controlled interface. It has the same functionality as the DOS implementation together with the following additional functionality;
  • Reports: There are additional reports which can be viewed on screen, printed or saved as bitmap images
  • Utilities: Has additional functions for calculating Turn Performance, Landing Rollout, and Temperature & altitude effects
  • Aircraft Library: The DOS implementation had the characteristics of a Cessna saved and that was it, if the player wanted to fly a different plane they had to enter the plane's characteristics manually. In the Windows implementation there's an aircraft library with half a dozen planes including Concorde, a Boeing 747 and the trusty Cessna together with the option to add and save details of new planes
  • Tips & Help files are now in Windows format and are, apart from being more extensive, they are easier to use and navigate
  • Flight plans can be saved in 'Flyin Format' as was used on Compuserve's FSFORUM



Screenshots

Flight Planner for Microsoft Flight Simulator DOS The Database/Map option can plot all the airports and navigation aids available in the current default file. When used with a global database the results are not very useful
Flight Planner for Microsoft Flight Simulator Windows 3.x The flight plan editor
Flight Planner for Microsoft Flight Simulator DOS The plot of the JFK - San Diego flight plan. There's no zoom in/out function which effectively limits the use of this option to short flights
Flight Planner for Microsoft Flight Simulator Windows 3.x The Windows implementation of the flight planner has a help file that opens in a new window, is searchable, indexed, and easier to navigate

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Contributed to by piltdown_man (152108)