Much as I appreciate using Simbrief daily I have an issue with it.
When narrowing down the problem, I can honestly say that I do not fully understand how it calculates Flight Level. I do believe this calculation to be either random or wrong. Reason will be explalained in this example!
ENAL (AES) Ålesund Airport Vigra
ENGM(OSL) Oslo Airport Gardermoen
Now, Simbrief outputted FL370 for this flight. If not familiar with real world operaton based on the
airframe type, engines and weight balance, it would mean that end user take this height and predict it as is. Now Airbus has an OPT FL and MAX REC FL figures for any takeoff performance calculations. In this case the Optimal Flight Level, I belive this was FL368 with MAX REC F
The end point to this example is that the plane obviously struggled to reach this suggested Flight Level provided by Simbrief, as seen in this image where Top of Climb is depicted after Top of Decent.
Now this optimal suggested flight level was calculated by Simbrief, based on weather, cost index and these airframe data:
When turning to Simbrief Manual, one can read:
The desired cruising altitude, in feet. Leave this blank to let SimBrief choose one automatically. When setting a custom cruising altitude, make sure to keep your aircraft’s weight in mind. Most aircraft can only reach higher altitudes if they are light enough, and SimBrief will not prevent you from choosing an altitude that is too high for the planned weight. In most cases it is safer and easier to leave this blank and let SimBrief choose an altitude for you.
After extensive search, I found that in real life the most average occurance in Flight Level for this leg based on Scandinavian Airline Airbus A320 (which was used in above example) the frequent height clearance given as 31,000feet on ENAL to ENGM and 36,000 feet on leg ENGM - ENAL
ENAL - ENGM (data from Flight Aware)
ENGM - ENAL (data from Flight Aware)
Now variations will occure, that could be leg shorten by ATC, diversions due to weather etc.
How does Simbrief calculates these flight level, does it take into considerations such things as weight, wind, cost index, leg distance, restrictions etc.
If one cannot rely on AUTO, or if this is random set or just an estimation, I would hope this will be provided as a hover description or if anything else to the end user. So that he/she can enter a manuel flight level contrary to what your manual says?
Cheers and again thanks for all your services