Cycling in heavy a headwind drains your energy fast. It’s the same with an aircraft – the more favorable the winds are, the less fuel is needed. This is where AVTECH’s new cruise optimizing tool comes in handy; it continually calculates the best cruising altitude on a single aircraft’s trajectory, using a unique and highly precise 10K weather forecast.
A cruise optimization service can only be as good as the quality of its weather data input – good data in, good data out, and vice versa. AVTECH has unique API access to the best aviation weather forecast in the world, 10K weather forecast by the UK Met Office, one of two global aviation weather providers along with NOAA in the US.
“The normal standard aviation forecast used by the aviation service community has a global resolution of 140 km horizontally”, says David Rytter, Chief Technical Officer at AVTECH. “Internally, however, the Met Office runs a weather forecast at a much higher resolution of 10 km. Much of this useful information is thrown away when the forecast is downscaled to standard resolution.”
The 10K data from the Met Office in combination with AVTECH’s advanced algorithms and computing power results in a 4-dimensional trajectory (latitude, longitude, altitude and time) divided into cubes of only 10 km horizontally, which reduces up to 50% of the normal wind forecast error.
“Our service gives 200 times higher horizontal resolution and two times higher vertical resolution compared with the standard weather”, Rytter says. “That is how we can find the optimal levels to fly at different stages during an individual flight. This is possible thanks to the dynamic programming algorithm we have developed on top of the Met Offices high-definition weather data.”
Try it out for free
AVTECH’s in-flight cruise optimization is a brand-new service for aircraft to optimize the cruise segment of a flight. It means that pilots have an easy-to-use tool that helps them to choose the most cost-optimal path in the skies, based on selected cost-index, actual performance data and the current weather.
“The problem is that the flight management computer in the aircraft only sees weather data at normal waypoints and that the data only is available for limited altitudes”, Rytter says. “Our system can highlight more optimal altitudes at every stage of the flight. This is why it is a great decision-making tool for pilots who struggle with keeping fuel consumption down while also having a time schedule to keep.”
Rytter points out that the route optimization tool is an easy to deploy, inexpensive service that also supports dynamic cost index. All the calculations are done in AVTECH’s computers and uploaded through normal channels to the aircraft, where they can be shown from a printer, display or EFB. As the information is always tailored for a single flight, the size of the data sent to the aircraft is very small, and a new cruise profile can be requested any time during a flight.
“Case studies show that the fuel saving potential is in the range of 0,5–6,5 per cent of the cruise segment, depending of the length of the flight and the actual weather along the route”, Rytter says. “This means that we offer a very durable tool for airlines to reduce the fuel costs. The really good news is that we are offering a free trial of this service for airlines in order to calculate the saving in their own operations.”