garf25
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How far away are we from direct routings

Fri Jan 11, 2019 8:08 pm

Given today's TCAS and RNAV technology, how far away are we from "Cleared takeoff, route direct to destination"....
Please don't say it will never happen.......it will one day. VOR'S and airways will, one day, become a thing of the past.

In UK terms, some of the routings in and out of BHX are a joke. At some point things have to change.
 
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PatrickZ80
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Re: How far away are we from direct routings

Fri Jan 11, 2019 8:17 pm

Technically this is perfectly possible, however the biggest hurdle is in politics. For example in Europe each country controls it's own airspace and aircraft cannot cross the border between two countries at just any given point. This has to be done on the airway, mostly at a waypoint at the border. That's where the next ATC expects the aircraft to enter their airspace. ATC can give you a "direct" to a waypoint further up on your route, but only when that point is within their airspace. This way you can shave off a little piece of your flightplan.

The solution for this is called "Single European Skies" which is what many European airlines want, but the local governments of several European countries don't give this the priority it deserves. They just let it linger, so nothing changes.

On top of that, there'll always be areas that have to be flown around. Bad weather areas of course, but also military airspace.
 
VSMUT
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Re: How far away are we from direct routings

Fri Jan 11, 2019 8:27 pm

Depends on what part of the world we are talking. In Europe it could happen pretty soon. It's already the case parts of Europe, Hungary and Austria adopted this model. Didn't most of the former-Yugoslav countries do it as well? They generally give you direct routings from Slovenia to Greece. To a certain extent, the Germans already give you directs through most of that country.
For Europe, I would expect it to be mostly be implemented on a national basis in 10 years, possibly even as little as 5. The bigger question is how long it will take to get a direct routing from one end of Europe to another, with every nation cooperating on ATC and clearances.

I don't think we will ever see a day where you get a clearance like the one you suggest: Cleared to destination immediately from takeoff. Noise restrictions and traffic congestion will continue to demand SID and STARs. Look how crazy the Germans and Swiss can be about noise from airplanes.
 
SteelChair
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Re: How far away are we from direct routings

Fri Jan 11, 2019 8:30 pm

I don't see it happening any time soon in the USA. Delays are worse than ever. RVSM had no effect, things actually worse with the FAA now issuing AFPs-airway flow programs.

New York center fails out the vast majority of controllers attempting to check out there, guaranteeing continual manpower shortages (and lots of overtime). Cleveland and DC, which feed New York,.play by their own rules. Collectively its a mess. Government should not be operational.
 
garf25
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Re: How far away are we from direct routings

Fri Jan 11, 2019 8:37 pm

Technically, in the future we will need less controllers. Technology should be able to space, route, and communicate automatically.

Technically you should be able to take off from San Francisco today and route direct New York. No doubt it will eventually happen.
 
JayinKitsap
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Re: How far away are we from direct routings

Fri Jan 11, 2019 8:37 pm

Having a system of paths that are defined, say westbound between two waypoints is at 30K, with adequate separation horizontally does wonders for safety. There are things that can be done where routes with sufficient space would allow for steady climbs, but at crossings with other routes there is still a need for prescribed elevations. With technology improvements can be made, but tech does fail with quite regularity.
 
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PatrickZ80
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Re: How far away are we from direct routings

Fri Jan 11, 2019 8:44 pm

JayinKitsap wrote:
Having a system of paths that are defined, say westbound between two waypoints is at 30K, with adequate separation horizontally does wonders for safety. There are things that can be done where routes with sufficient space would allow for steady climbs, but at crossings with other routes there is still a need for prescribed elevations. With technology improvements can be made, but tech does fail with quite regularity.


That's why ATC uses even flight levels one way and odd flight levels the other way. Out of my head it was even flight levels heading east and south and odd flight levels heading west and north. Not really sure about that, so correct me if I'm wrong.
 
JayinKitsap
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Re: How far away are we from direct routings

Fri Jan 11, 2019 8:59 pm

PatrickZ80 wrote:
JayinKitsap wrote:
Having a system of paths that are defined, say westbound between two waypoints is at 30K, with adequate separation horizontally does wonders for safety. There are things that can be done where routes with sufficient space would allow for steady climbs, but at crossings with other routes there is still a need for prescribed elevations. With technology improvements can be made, but tech does fail with quite regularity.


That's why ATC uses even flight levels one way and odd flight levels the other way. Out of my head it was even flight levels heading east and south and odd flight levels heading west and north. Not really sure about that, so correct me if I'm wrong.


You are probably right, but the point is specific elevations for flow, in particular for crossing there is a vertical separation of 1,000 FT which can be controlled pretty well +- 250 feet and a specific horizontal separation. I recall there is separation between heading east and south so there is vertical separation.
 
Natflyer
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Re: How far away are we from direct routings

Fri Jan 11, 2019 9:09 pm

PatrickZ80 wrote:
Technically this is perfectly possible, however the biggest hurdle is in politics. For example in Europe each country controls it's own airspace and aircraft cannot cross the border between two countries at just any given point. This has to be done on the airway, mostly at a waypoint at the border. That's where the next ATC expects the aircraft to enter their airspace. ATC can give you a "direct" to a waypoint further up on your route, but only when that point is within their airspace. This way you can shave off a little piece of your flightplan.

The solution for this is called "Single European Skies" which is what many European airlines want, but the local governments of several European countries don't give this the priority it deserves. They just let it linger, so nothing changes.

On top of that, there'll always be areas that have to be flown around. Bad weather areas of course, but also military airspace.


Not correct really, flying across Europe I frequently get direct cross border clearances. Departing HEL recently during climb we got a clearance across both Sweden and Norway to a point entering the Reykjavik FIR. Maastricht routinely gives clearances across the UK to an Oceanic Entry Point, easier on weekends when there are no wargames in the North Sea.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: How far away are we from direct routings

Fri Jan 11, 2019 9:23 pm

The only time I heard of, “cleared direct to destination (KEWR, in this case) was the night of 9/12/2002 from Travis Departure Control. One of our crews taking a USAR team to NY.

GF
 
Busyboy2
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Re: How far away are we from direct routings

Fri Jan 11, 2019 9:31 pm

garf25 wrote:
Technically, in the future we will need less controllers. Technology should be able to space, route, and communicate automatically.

Technically you should be able to take off from San Francisco today and route direct New York. No doubt it will eventually happen.



direct routes are not always the shortest.
 
VSMUT
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Re: How far away are we from direct routings

Fri Jan 11, 2019 9:46 pm

PatrickZ80 wrote:
That's why ATC uses even flight levels one way and odd flight levels the other way. Out of my head it was even flight levels heading east and south and odd flight levels heading west and north. Not really sure about that, so correct me if I'm wrong.


Normally it's even levels going west, uneven going east. Italy, France and Portugal jumble it up because most flights there go north-south, so they go even to the north and uneven to the south. New Zealand does it the opposite way, even to the south and uneven to the north. IFR is at full levels (4000', 5000', 6000'), VFR is offset by 500 ft (4500', 5500', 6500').
It's not always applied though, you can often request an opposite level if it isn't occupied. Some places they even give it to you without your asking.

But that isn't a guarantee to avoid collisions. Flight paths can still intersect.
Last edited by VSMUT on Fri Jan 11, 2019 9:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
mxaxai
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Re: How far away are we from direct routings

Fri Jan 11, 2019 9:46 pm

JayinKitsap wrote:
PatrickZ80 wrote:
JayinKitsap wrote:
Having a system of paths that are defined, say westbound between two waypoints is at 30K, with adequate separation horizontally does wonders for safety. There are things that can be done where routes with sufficient space would allow for steady climbs, but at crossings with other routes there is still a need for prescribed elevations. With technology improvements can be made, but tech does fail with quite regularity.


That's why ATC uses even flight levels one way and odd flight levels the other way. Out of my head it was even flight levels heading east and south and odd flight levels heading west and north. Not really sure about that, so correct me if I'm wrong.


You are probably right, but the point is specific elevations for flow, in particular for crossing there is a vertical separation of 1,000 FT which can be controlled pretty well +- 250 feet and a specific horizontal separation. I recall there is separation between heading east and south so there is vertical separation.

Computer-controlled routings should be able to keep aircraft on "random" routings and altitudes away from each other. We already have TCAS for last minute changes. For high-traffic areas it might still be better to bundle traffic (e. g. TATL) but I'm sure some smart people can derive an algorithm that creates the most efficient flow.
Example: You file the optimum flight plan for your flight. Sometime later, another flight files a flight plan that intersects with yours. The traffic control computer then adjusts both your routings to achieve the desired seperation. As the flights progress, the real-time positions and any flight plan change requests (computed by the FMS) get transmitted to traffic control, which dynamically adjusts both your routings. Same thing happens if there's a malfunction that keeps you from contiuing as planned. You file a flight plan change request and the computer handles it. No human intervention necessary. I mean, we don't have little green men manually switching the worlds internet, do we?
 
remingtonbox
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Re: How far away are we from direct routings

Fri Jan 11, 2019 9:59 pm

SteelChair wrote:
I don't see it happening any time soon in the USA. Delays are worse than ever. RVSM had no effect, things actually worse with the FAA now issuing AFPs-airway flow programs.

New York center fails out the vast majority of controllers attempting to check out there, guaranteeing continual manpower shortages (and lots of overtime). Cleveland and DC, which feed New York,.play by their own rules. Collectively its a mess. Government should not be operational.


Out of C airports and smaller, I get direct destination with the takeoff clearance more often than not.
 
bigb
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Re: How far away are we from direct routings

Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:14 pm

Will not happen at bigger airports with large volume of traffic or busy airspace’s like New York Center, Boston Center, Washington Center and Atlanta Center.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
32andBelow
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Re: How far away are we from direct routings

Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:16 pm

garf25 wrote:
Given today's TCAS and RNAV technology, how far away are we from "Cleared takeoff, route direct to destination"....
Please don't say it will never happen.......it will one day. VOR'S and airways will, one day, become a thing of the past.

In UK terms, some of the routings in and out of BHX are a joke. At some point things have to change.

first of all most commercial flights don't use airways so a VOR is basically just a waypoint. They file point to point through radar coverage. However in non radar like over the ocean or non populated areas they file on airways or tracks.

Second, they need routes in and out of airports so the planes that takeoff and land don't touch. And they need different configurations depending what runway they are landing. And that is dictated by weather. There is also terrain. In some airports direct off the ground would but it right into a mountain so a departure procedure ensures clearance from terrain.

Once the plane is up above terrain and out of the terminal ATC does give direct a lot. In ANC they will give direct YYJ which is the IAF for the arrival procedure in Seattle. That is direct besides the departure procedure and the arrival procedure.

Also direct isn't always the fastest route. It could be faster to go a couple hundred miles out of your way so you can hit a jet stream. Long haul flights will do this all the time. ATC will offer them direct and the crew will decline.

Also todays dispatch systems are very good. Some airlines don't even file named points they just file lat longs that basically form the most efficient route that day due to winds aloft.

There is also ride concerns. An Airline will route around a certain area due to forecasted turbulence or turbulence reported from other aircraft.
 
32andBelow
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Re: How far away are we from direct routings

Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:19 pm

mxaxai wrote:
JayinKitsap wrote:
PatrickZ80 wrote:

That's why ATC uses even flight levels one way and odd flight levels the other way. Out of my head it was even flight levels heading east and south and odd flight levels heading west and north. Not really sure about that, so correct me if I'm wrong.


You are probably right, but the point is specific elevations for flow, in particular for crossing there is a vertical separation of 1,000 FT which can be controlled pretty well +- 250 feet and a specific horizontal separation. I recall there is separation between heading east and south so there is vertical separation.

Computer-controlled routings should be able to keep aircraft on "random" routings and altitudes away from each other. We already have TCAS for last minute changes. For high-traffic areas it might still be better to bundle traffic (e. g. TATL) but I'm sure some smart people can derive an algorithm that creates the most efficient flow.
Example: You file the optimum flight plan for your flight. Sometime later, another flight files a flight plan that intersects with yours. The traffic control computer then adjusts both your routings to achieve the desired seperation. As the flights progress, the real-time positions and any flight plan change requests (computed by the FMS) get transmitted to traffic control, which dynamically adjusts both your routings. Same thing happens if there's a malfunction that keeps you from contiuing as planned. You file a flight plan change request and the computer handles it. No human intervention necessary. I mean, we don't have little green men manually switching the worlds internet, do we?

There is no radar over the ocean. Until there is worldwide satellite radar then you have to be on an assigned route over the ocean.

You really want to rely on TCAS working in both aircraft 100% of the time?
 
32andBelow
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Re: How far away are we from direct routings

Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:20 pm

VSMUT wrote:
PatrickZ80 wrote:
That's why ATC uses even flight levels one way and odd flight levels the other way. Out of my head it was even flight levels heading east and south and odd flight levels heading west and north. Not really sure about that, so correct me if I'm wrong.


Normally it's even levels going west, uneven going east. Italy, France and Portugal jumble it up because most flights there go north-south, so they go even to the north and uneven to the south. New Zealand does it the opposite way, even to the south and uneven to the north. IFR is at full levels (4000', 5000', 6000'), VFR is offset by 500 ft (4500', 5500', 6500').
It's not always applied though, you can often request an opposite level if it isn't occupied. Some places they even give it to you without your asking.

But that isn't a guarantee to avoid collisions. Flight paths can still intersect.

Yah but this doesn't ensure separation on a random route. You can have a plane flying SEA-FLL and one SAN-BOS and there route will cross and they could both be at the same "correct" east bound odd altitude.
 
32andBelow
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Re: How far away are we from direct routings

Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:22 pm

garf25 wrote:
Technically, in the future we will need less controllers. Technology should be able to space, route, and communicate automatically.

Technically you should be able to take off from San Francisco today and route direct New York. No doubt it will eventually happen.

We already have less controllers than in the past. It's not like airlines don't file basically straight line when they make their point to point flight plans.
 
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UPlog
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Re: How far away are we from direct routings

Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:24 pm

Going direct ignores things like the jetstream and thing like overflight cost. Better to stick to routing that makes the best use of jetstream and manages cost.

Direct very often not the most efficient (or quickest) between two points.

I will often decline ATC direct offers and stick to the planned optimal flight plan.
Last edited by UPlog on Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
SteelChair
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Re: How far away are we from direct routings

Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:25 pm

Keep in mind that "basically straight" changes every day, and changes throughout the day. Most optimum is great circle route corrected for winds.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: How far away are we from direct routings

Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:30 pm

32andBelow wrote:
VSMUT wrote:
PatrickZ80 wrote:
That's why ATC uses even flight levels one way and odd flight levels the other way. Out of my head it was even flight levels heading east and south and odd flight levels heading west and north. Not really sure about that, so correct me if I'm wrong.


Normally it's even levels going west, uneven going east. Italy, France and Portugal jumble it up because most flights there go north-south, so they go even to the north and uneven to the south. New Zealand does it the opposite way, even to the south and uneven to the north. IFR is at full levels (4000', 5000', 6000'), VFR is offset by 500 ft (4500', 5500', 6500').
It's not always applied though, you can often request an opposite level if it isn't occupied. Some places they even give it to you without your asking.

But that isn't a guarantee to avoid collisions. Flight paths can still intersect.

Yah but this doesn't ensure separation on a random route. You can have a plane flying SEA-FLL and one SAN-BOS and there route will cross and they could both be at the same "correct" east bound odd altitude.


It’s not just international boundaries that crossed at specific waypoints, entering new ARTCC areas also are expected at points in a Letter of Agreement between facilities. Years ago, two transcon night flights, one FDX, the other a pax redeye, were cleared directly across the country. With everything quiet, a frequency change was missed by both crews. When entering or crossing another controller’s airspace, the controlling with the flight can call the next sector and “point out” traffic that on a direct clearance will cross a corner of the next sector. That controller might say, “no conflict, have him contact xxx” another sector down line. Well, that’s what happened this night, loss of comms with both wide body planes until a near miss over OK while one crew was trying raise FSS to get a center frequency while FDX was getting SELCAL’d by a dispatcher.

Times and the system have changed but their are reasons for airways, letters of agreement and clearances that specify routing, mostly having to do with maintaining positive control.

EDIT: I looked up the story, the NMAC actually occurred in daylight, involved a L1011 and a DC-10

https://www.avweb.com/news/sayagain/186966-1.html

GF
Last edited by GalaxyFlyer on Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
Kilopond
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Re: How far away are we from direct routings

Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:40 pm

Airlines are notriously ignorant as far as electronics are concerned: some CEO´s even pay real money for totally outdated dinosaur IFE boxes that actually shouldn`t be larger than match boxes by today`s standards.

If there was a will, aviation navigation could completely switch to GNSS today. No more VORs, no mor ILS systems. Just EGNOS/WAAS or equivalents with an accuracy of plus/minus one decimeter..

But the equipment OEMs aren`t very helpfull either. They mainly concentrate on the huge market of mobile devices which accounts for billions of samples. At the same time devices with fewer sales perspectives are widely ignored. For example, my nasty DOCSIS modem consumes as much electricity as my chest-high frigde-freezer combo. MAD!!!
 
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atcsundevil
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Re: How far away are we from direct routings

Fri Jan 11, 2019 11:10 pm

garf25 wrote:
Given today's TCAS and RNAV technology, how far away are we from "Cleared takeoff, route direct to destination"....
Please don't say it will never happen.......it will one day. VOR'S and airways will, one day, become a thing of the past.

In UK terms, some of the routings in and out of BHX are a joke. At some point things have to change.

What you're referring to is a concept called "Free Flight". It would require technology to replace the current system of ATC. However, it is exactly that — a concept. TCAS is by no means a method of separation; it's a last line of defense. VORs essentially are already a thing of the past. Many are permanently offline, and the remainder will be offline in the coming few years in the US.

Free Flight will eventually be a thing (or something that resembles it), but it's probably not too likely to happen in either of our lifetimes in most parts of the world...certainly not the US. The funding just isn't there even if the technology existed, which it doesn't. We'd just settle for our paychecks at this point :banghead:

SteelChair wrote:
Cleveland and DC, which feed New York,.play by their own rules.

Huh..? Examples?
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: How far away are we from direct routings

Fri Jan 11, 2019 11:28 pm

Kilopond wrote:
Airlines are notriously ignorant as far as electronics are concerned: some CEO´s even pay real money for totally outdated dinosaur IFE boxes that actually shouldn`t be larger than match boxes by today`s standards.

If there was a will, aviation navigation could completely switch to GNSS today. No more VORs, no mor ILS systems. Just EGNOS/WAAS or equivalents with an accuracy of plus/minus one decimeter..

But the equipment OEMs aren`t very helpfull either. They mainly concentrate on the huge market of mobile devices which accounts for billions of samples. At the same time devices with fewer sales perspectives are widely ignored. For example, my nasty DOCSIS modem consumes as much electricity as my chest-high frigde-freezer combo. MAD!!!


You are way too optimistic of OEMs, the regulators and the operators who will have to pay for the equipment and the natural conservatism of aviation. GNSS navigation as you propose is at least a decade away. Mandating a changeover is very difficult. The FAA has been working on NextGen for 15 or 20 years now.

GF
 
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SuseJ772
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Re: How far away are we from direct routings

Sat Jan 12, 2019 12:15 am

A couple of thoughts.

Direct is always shortest. It is NOT aways quickest.

TCAS is not a last line of defense. It’s usually my first line of defense as I have traffic there before being advised by ATC. That being said, it is no replacement for ATC.

Most routes - especially at airliner speeds - are almost negligible in their difference to direct. Even in GA it isn’t too bad.

I think the biggest issue with the clearance as described by the OP is the SID/STAR. That’s where you need designated routes for spacing and flow control. But I could absolutely see departure airport -> sid -> direct -> star -> arrival airport. That might not be what you get in clearance now, but a lot of the time that is what you get once airborne and clear of the SID.
Currently at PIE, requesting FWA >> >>
 
strfyr51
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Re: How far away are we from direct routings

Sat Jan 12, 2019 7:41 am

I'm not sure what you mean, In 1975 I was on a flight in the Navy that took of from, Moffett Field California routed INS direct to Lossiemouth Scotland leading a flight of US Navy/ Marine A-6D's to Rota Spain. We landed at Mildenhall AB England and the A6's kept right on going. It was routed INS Direct. And we had the Litton-72 Inertials on Board. So you can imagine how long Ago that generation was. The "Ring Laser Gyro" INS was still in research. I didn't see my first one until 1985 Aboard the B767-222 while at United. I never saw GAC's And Flux Gates Mounted in the wings once I got out of the navy. But I flew all over the Atlantic and Pacific with them. Most of the time they were pretty Reliable.
 
JayinKitsap
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Re: How far away are we from direct routings

Sat Jan 12, 2019 7:54 am

Another industry, but the frigate Helge Ingstad, a new $500 M Norwegian Navy vessel managed to not have its locator beacon on and its bridge couldn't figure out that what they thought was the shore was in fact a Huge tanker. An example of how it is good to drive on the correct side of the road, so to speak. If the traffic plans keep everyone separated without technology, with technology being for determining that yes the road is clear, the chance of an accident is probably cut by a factor of 100 or more.

https://www.defensenews.com/naval/2018/ ... t-we-know/
 
strfyr51
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Re: How far away are we from direct routings

Sat Jan 12, 2019 8:13 am

strfyr51 wrote:
I'm not sure what you mean, In 1975 I was on a flight in the Navy that took of from, Moffett Field California routed INS direct to Lossiemouth Scotland leading a flight of US Navy/ Marine A-6D's to Rota Spain. We landed at Mildenhall AB England and the A6's kept right on going. It was routed INS Direct. And we had the Litton-72 Inertials on Board. So you can imagine how long Ago that generation was. The "Ring Laser Gyro" INS was still in research. I didn't see my first one until 1985 Aboard the B767-222 while at United. I never saw GAC's And Flux Gates Mounted in the wings once I got out of the navy. But I flew all over the Atlantic and Pacific with them. Most of the time they were pretty Reliable.

also? The Flight plan was a Lockheed "Jetplan" Used By Military and Civilian pilots
 
mxaxai
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Re: How far away are we from direct routings

Sat Jan 12, 2019 11:11 am

32andBelow wrote:
mxaxai wrote:
Computer-controlled routings should be able to keep aircraft on "random" routings and altitudes away from each other. We already have TCAS for last minute changes. For high-traffic areas it might still be better to bundle traffic (e. g. TATL) but I'm sure some smart people can derive an algorithm that creates the most efficient flow.
Example: You file the optimum flight plan for your flight. Sometime later, another flight files a flight plan that intersects with yours. The traffic control computer then adjusts both your routings to achieve the desired seperation. As the flights progress, the real-time positions and any flight plan change requests (computed by the FMS) get transmitted to traffic control, which dynamically adjusts both your routings. Same thing happens if there's a malfunction that keeps you from contiuing as planned. You file a flight plan change request and the computer handles it. No human intervention necessary. I mean, we don't have little green men manually switching the worlds internet, do we?

There is no radar over the ocean. Until there is worldwide satellite radar then you have to be on an assigned route over the ocean.

You really want to rely on TCAS working in both aircraft 100% of the time?

You don't need radar, you know? We already have satellite coverage over 100% of the worlds surface, and even redundant coverage in most areas except the poles. The bandwidth may not suffice to upload to youtube in flight but periodic short status updates should work fine. I also recall a satellite based network of ADS-B receivers is being set up currently so that could work as well.

Re TCAS, if you detect a malfunction you'd obviously need to either leave the "direct routing zone" or you could make the neccessary buffer zone around your jet larger. Compare this to RVSM, where you need to rely on precise altitude measurements, ILS failures that might prevent your landing at a foggy airport, or engine failures that require a change in altitude and speed and thus may force you out of the north atlantic track system.
Also, while TCAS only reccomends actions when absolutely necessary, it knows about the upcoming threat far earlier. You could tune it to ask nicely for a small course change 10 minutes ahead instead of demanding an immediate action 30 seconds before impact.
 
SteelChair
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Re: How far away are we from direct routings

Sat Jan 12, 2019 11:46 am

atcsundevil wrote:

SteelChair wrote:
Cleveland and DC, which feed New York,.play by their own rules.

Huh..? Examples?


They do unpublished stops almost every day.....plus unpublished TMA/TBFM. "Overhead stream."
They're horrible. Its like RVSM never even happened
 
timz
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Re: How far away are we from direct routings

Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:47 pm

garf25 wrote:
how far away are we from "Cleared takeoff, route direct to destination"

If flights are converging on JFK from all over the US, they can't all converge on JFK -- they have to converge on a point west of JFK so approach control can sequence them. Years ago I heard a night flight climbing out of SFO cleared direct to Wilkes-Barre -- don't plan to get cleared directer than that.

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Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos