Simbrief and 'Winds Aloft'

Can I start by saying that I think you have done (and are doing ) a magnificent job with both your original site Navigraph and the recently acquired Simbrief flight planning site.

I use them both all the time, and along with many many others consider that the additional immersion they bring to the Flight Sim experience is fantastic and it would be almost impossible to think of flying without either them.

I have a question (a simple one I hope) that relates to Simbrief and whether or not it fully takes into account ‘winds aloft’ when generating a flight plan. ?

As an experienced ‘simmer’, I fly with a couple or three VA’s and now only fly using ‘real weather’…generally via the ASXP weather plug-in. To bump up logged flight hours, I invariably fly ‘long haul’ routes, and use both ASXP in game, and the excellent ‘Windy’ app (which I also use in real life sailing and wouldn’t put to sea without it), to identify and accommodate ‘real wind’ patterns expected during the flight. I always err on the side of safety when calculating fuel burn.

On a couple of occasions on recent long haul flights, the fuel requirement in the Simbrief flight plan has varied considerably from my own calculation…given the real weather predictions (ASXP) and the indicated wind directions and speed at cruise altitude as indicated by ‘Windy’. I nearly ran out of fuel !!

By the way, I don’t take too much notice of the ‘real weather’ as indicated in the X Plane generic weather system…I recently swapped from it to ‘ASXP’ mid flight when the ‘XP’ weather indicated a tail wind at FL370 of +20Kts, when at the same position and flight level ‘Windy had the tail wind indicated at +90Kts. Switching over to ASXP gave me an addition 50Kts ground speed, and on an Atlantic flight meant I saved over 45 mins flight time ( and of course a major fuel saving).

I’m sorry this is a bit long winded …but you guys are so good at what you do, and the flight experience is now so realistic, that many ‘anoraks’ like me want each flight to be just as if it were ‘real life’.

For what it’s worth, I started flying MS Flight simulator when it was first released…spending hours going nowhere at very slow speeds from Meigs Field, with equally poor graphics in an incredibly basic Cessna 172…my how the world has changed for the better.

Love the ‘new’ Simbrief layout and re-organisation by the way…it’s great !!

Hi, thanks for the kind words and glad you like SimBrief.

SimBrief’s winds are extracted from the NOAA GFS forecast model. I believe many (perhaps most) flight simulator weather add-ons also use the GFS model, and there is also an option on Windy to view the GFS data in the bottom-right corner.

At any given time, SimBrief stores the historical and forecast winds from 7 days in the past up to ~36 hours in the future. Using forecast winds means greater accuracy when planning long haul flights, since the winds can change significantly over a 15 hour flight.

In other words, when planning a 15 hour long haul flight, SimBrief doesn’t simply use a snapshot of the current global winds. But rather, it will also consider how the winds will shift over the next 15 hours, and gradually transition through the various wind forecasts as the flight progresses (so your descent will be planned using the forecast winds 15 hours from now, rather than the current winds at time of flight planning).

Not sure if this answers your question, but hope this helps!

Thank you for such a speedy and comprehensive reply.
I guess I should have realised that the selective programming behind Simbrief weather would be far more detailed than I thought.
And of course, (living inthe UK, where we can experience four seasons weather in as many days), the weather is controlled by ‘Mother Nature’, and to avaoid any kind of complacency on our behalf, She throws in the odd curve ball just to keep us on our toes.
Thanks again for the reply…excellent. :ok_hand: :+1: