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Three, two, one, take off…Route optimization for planes 

Three, two, one, take off…Route optimization for planes
Three, two, one, take off…Route optimization for planes

Dassault Aviation has a new flight planning tool for Falcon planes called FalconWays to help pilots select the most fuel-efficient route using updated global wind data. 

It will be offered as an app on Dassault’s FalconSphere iPad electronic flightbag, and according to Skies magazine, it will also be compatible with Jeppesen and Universal flight planning tools.

During the pilot project and several long-haul flights using FalconWays, it saved at least 7% fuel consumption. 

Designing FalconWays

Pilots are able to download worldwide wind information and integrate it with operational flight plans, in-house performance tools, and optimization data to recompute the flight plan.

FalconWays is a pilot-dedicated application designed by local Dassault engineers and flight operations teams. “Their efforts have generated seven patents and led to the creation of several advanced algorithms for improving flight efficiency,” reads the statement. 

“Implemented across the Falcon fleet, the app will permit significant fuel savings, thousands of tons of carbon dioxide,” says Dassault. 

Green wings

Dassault Aviation CEO Eric Trappier says one of its main priorities is creating more sustainable flights. “It will help Falcon customers reach a new level of operational efficiency while reducing aviation emission levels.”

The new app is currently being demonstrated on the Dassault static display at the NBAA Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition from today until Thursday.

From next year, the app will be available on the Falcon 8X, while it will only be available on the 7X much later in 2024.

Route optimization with a twist

It’s not necessarily the same route optimization used for cars and vans, but many courier companies like FedEx and UPS use chartered aircraft.

“In a plane, you have wind, which impacts the speed. It also affects how much fuel that plane will consume during that period. They take the historical wind data and turn that into an algorithm,” says Locate2u CEO Steve Orenstein. 

“It can make a significant difference for a longer plane trip as to the wind and how much wind there’s been. Being able to leverage the wind to save fuel. It’s also going to save them a bunch of money as well.”

Route optimization for robots and drones

With cars and bikes, route optimization picks the fastest and shortest path, given the interference from traffic and other elements. Orenstein believes it’s the same simplicity for drones and robots. “It’s quite simple because the drone is just going in a straight line.  Generally, it will probably not carry too many parcels in one go.”

Orenstein says there might be an opportunity to design software for route optimization for drones. “If drones can carry a lot more [parcels], then it might become a lot more sensible.”

About the author

Mia is a multi-award-winning journalist. She has more than 14 years of experience in mainstream media. She's covered many historic moments that happened in Africa and internationally. She has a strong focus on human interest stories, to bring her readers and viewers closer to the topics at hand.

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