FSbuild Tutorial #3
(Navaids, Airways, Filters, Preffered Runways, and Finding Flight Plans)
Adding/Editing Navaids in fSBuild:
FSbuild supports '3' types of Navaids, VOR, NDB, and Intersections (or waypoints).
The Intersections are held in the 'FSB_INT.TXT' file.
The NDB's are held in the 'FSB_NDB.TXT' file.
The VOR's are held in the 'FSB_NAV.TXT' file.
You might ask why the VOR's are not held in a file called FSB_VOR.TXT ? The answer is at one time they
were. The FSB_NAV.TXT file however was created to help speed up the Flight Plan Auto Generation process
which only searched a limited set of Navaids. Since that limited set contains all VOR's, the VOR's are contained
only in the .FSB_NAV.TXT file instead of a separate VOR file.
All the navaid types are the same as far as field definitions. The fields are separated by spaces.
Field 1 IDENT
Field 2 Name (35 character limit)
Field 3 Lat
Field 4 Lon
Field 5 Type (VOR,NDB, or INT)
Field 6 Freq
Field 1 : 2, 3, or 4 character ICAO Identifier You can have VOR's and NDB's with duplicate IDENT's, as long as
the actual Name differs from the other.
Field 2 Actual full Name of the Navaid.
Field 3 Latitude
Field 4 Longitude
The Lat/Lon values are in Degrees, Minutes, Seconds (DD:MM:SS), don't forget the colons ':' as separators.
The values must be at least 2 digits, up to 3 digits are allowed for the 'degrees' value 'only'.
E01 (okay, training zero required for numbers lower than 10)
W112 (okay )
W1 (invalid, 2 digits minimum)
E012 (invalid, trailing zero's 'not' allowed for numbers greater than 10)
N22:01:01 (okay, trailing zero required for numbers lower than 10)
Note: If an add-on program requires fractional minutes or decimal notation this value will be converted
Field 5 Navaid type, only 3 types allowed are (VOR,NDB,INT)
Field 6 Frequency, this can be left empty for intersections.
To remove a Navaid, its as simple as removing the entire data line from the file.
For the FSB_NAV.TXT file, 'only' add or edit 'VOR' information, all the rest of the navaids in the file exist
in the other navaid files.
Adding/Editing Airways infSBuild:
Almost all of the Airways depicted in FS2000 are contained in FSBuild (thanks to Dennis Thompson), so there shouldn't
be that much need for you to update the airways. However if you find, and error, or a missing airway...
Airways in FSBuild is simply a list of waypoints separated by hyphens '-', greater than '>' or less than '<' symbols.
There are basically 2 fields separated by a space.
Field 1 Airway IDENT
To get Fsbuild to recognize your airway follow the naming convention below.
- The first character should always be a letter followed by either another letter, and/or numbers.
- Only the first '3' characters can be letters, and a number must follow the initial 1, 2 or 3 letters for the airway
- A letter may be used as the last character, but it must follow a number, and only one letter may be used after
the number series.
1J23 (invalid, first character, not a letter)
JST (invalid, No number included, FSBuild will interpret as either a VOR or NDB)
UJMST (invalid, No number included, FSBuild will interpret as an intersection)
UJMST1 (invalid, 4th character must be a number if the first 3 are letters, Fsbuild might interporet as SID or STAR)
UJ24EE (invalid, only '1' letter allowed after number series.)
hope the examples make things a little clearer.
There are however a few real world airways that would not conform to this convention, example the 'PTSP' or
'PTSR' Airways in Europe.
For a few selected real world airways I have hard coded an exeption to the above rules so that they
will be treated as airways in FSBuild. Basically any airway contained in the FSB_AWY.TXT file is of an
A special exception is made for North Atlantic Tracks.
For NA tracks use the word 'TRACK_' (ending with the underscore) following by a single letter for the NATS Ident.
For now I have included just the SATCO standard (static) North Atlantic Track routes. The Stored Flight Plans do
make use of the SATCO NATS. I normally keep the North Atlantic Tracks at the top of the file.
**EASTBOUND SATCO STATIC NA_TRACKS:
**WESTBOUND SATCO STATIC NA_TRACKS
Example usage eastbound North Atlantic Track 'W' in KJFK - EGLL Flight Plan
Field 2 Airway waypoint listing.
The Airway waypoint listing has a 1300 character limit at the moment, the limit for the actual number of waypoints
used in an airway is 100. If you need it to be longer or more, let me know, and I will update the .EXE to accomdate.
The hyphen '-' character separates the waypoints, and indicates a 2 way airway segment.
For single direction Airway segments use the '>' or '<' sign as the waypoint separator.
Example above, the 'J24' airway the airway is a single direction '<' betwen STL, and VHP.
The '<' character indicates its a single direction moving left on the line. IOW you
can only use the airway moving from COWES, to STL, but you cannot use the J24 airway to
move from STL to COWES. To make it a single direction airway from COWES to STL you would use
the reverse direction symbol '>' (ir right '>' direction).
Note that this single airway direction distinction is only used by the Auto Generator. The 'Build' Process does not
care about the airway direction, it simply selects the airway waypoints between the specified points.
IOW this will prevent the Auto Generator from selecting a route in the wrong direction on a single
direction airway, but it will not prevent this if it is a stored or user created Flight Plan.
Finding Flight Plans In FSBuild:
You have 3 methods in Fsbuild to search/find flight plans.
1) The Stored flight plans List box.
Flight Plans are sorted by Departure City name , you can use the scroll bar to browse through
the stored flight plans list to find the city you wish to depart from. The use of 'filters' will
help reduce the number of flight plans you need to scroll through to find your plan.
2) Search by city name.
Type in a full or partial city name click the 'Departure' or 'Destination' check box
the press the 'Search by Stored FP City Name button'.
Clicking on 'both' the 'Departure' and 'Destination' check boxes will display the routes
that depart or arrive at the specified City.
3) The Auto-generator.
Since the Auto-generator will select a stored flight plan between the specified departure
arrival airports if it exists rather than create a new one from scratch. Pressing the auto
generate button is a really good way to load a flight plan that you know for sure is stored in
the database, and know the departure and destination ICAO codes.
Using the Filters:
What is a filter in FSBuild ??
A Filter is simply a way of viewing pre-determined category of flight plans. For example FSBuild
has a Filter for Canadian flight plans. If you select the 'Canada' filter you will see all
flight plans that either depart or arrive in Canada displayed in the stored flight plans
list. So by selecting a filter you can reduce the number of flight plans you browse through
and be able to see and choose from the flight plans your most interested in .
Defining a filter.
To use a filter it must first be defined. The definition of a filter is simply a name for the
filter, and a single character to assign it. Filter definitions are contained in the 'FSBuild.cfg'
In the 'Fsbuild.cfg' file there is a section header labeled '[FILTERS]' below this header is
where all the filters are defined.
Its very simple, you give the filter a name and a character separated by the '=' sign.
Its important to note there should be no spaces on these lines.
The 'DEFAULT' filter is the startup filter. If you wish to have a certain filter displayed on
Fsbuild startup you would assign its letter to 'DEFAULT'. Then the next time you start FSBuild
the Filter you assign to 'DEFAULT' will be displayed on startup.
In this case 'E' refers to Europe.
The 'ALL' word refers to all the the stored (and user saved) flight plans.
Add Flight Plans to a Filter.
To add flight plans to a filter you insert the filter character for your desired filter in
the filter character box. Then highlight the flight plan(s) on the stored flight plans list
you wish to add to the filter.
You'll notice when you enter a filter character in the box the stored flight plans list
turned to a multi-select box so yu can highligh muliple flight plans to add you your filter.
After you have selected the flight plans check the 'add filter' radio button and press the
'FILTER' button. After a short wait you should recieve a message box indicating how many flight
plans were added to that filter.
Removing Flight Plans from a Filter.
Removing Flight works exactly the same way ad adding flight plans to a filter do. Except that
you click the 'Remove filter' radio button instead of the add filter radio button.
Only the very first character entered in the 'filter' box is used any other characters entered will
Preferred runways allows a default runway setting at a particular airport. All the preferred
runway setting actually does it have it displayed by default in the runway box when you
enter the ICAO code for that airport. It can be overriden at any time by simply changing
the runway on the pulldown menu.
The SID's and STAR's displayed initially in the pulldown menus are predicated by the preferred runway
setting (See how this applies in Tutorial #2.).
Field 1 Airport IDENT
Field 2 Preferred Departure Runway
Field 3 Preferred Arrival runway.
Field 4/5 Ramp/Tarmac startup coordinates.
For fields 4 and 5, this is the lat/lon value of somewhere to place the aircraft of startup in FS2000
when loading the FS2000 GPS file.
Note: I recommend you use FSUIPC if you want to avoid FS2000 from placing your aircraft on the runway on
after loading an FS2000 .PLN file.