Free spreadsheets!

I’m pleased to announce that my rotorcraft spreadsheets for calculating weight and balance on Robinson aircraft and the Bell 206B are now completely free! Please download and use as you wish.

Similarly, my basic flight planning spreadsheet now has no restrictions and can be updated or changed however you like.

All files and tools are provided “as is” with no express or implied warranty for accuracy or accessibility. Use at your own risk. All calculations should be checked before being relied upon for flight planning purposes.

2011 June 4

Part of the 365 Days project.

First flight of the year. We popped out for lunch to Lake Vyrnwy in North Wales. Unfortunately we were too late for lunch and they didn’t start serving dinner until 7pm! Oh well, back home for curry it is then!

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Bell Jetranger Weight and Balance

Following the success of my CG calculator for the Robinson R22 and R44, I have now produced a version for the Bell Jetranger 206B. Unlike many of the other weight and balance spreadsheets available on the internet, this CG calculator has a clean and readable layout. It is also very easily customised to match the details of your own aircraft.

Bell 206B Weight and Balance Calculator

Bell 206B Weight and Balance Calculator

Simply enter your weight, and the weight of your passengers plus their baggage, and the calculator will tell you how much fuel you can load to reach MTOW, and also show you the CG position on the charts taken from the POH. Simple drop-down lists allow you to choose your doors and dual-control configuration, and see how the change in weight affects your CG position. If things start to light up red – you know you’re overloaded! All you need to do is add the details of your aircraft to the data tables, and you’re good to go.

  B206 Weight and Balance spreadsheet (30.7 KiB, 3,550 hits)

Legal Stuff

All files and tools on this page are provided “as is” with no express or implied warranty for accuracy or accessibility. Use at your own risk. All calculations should be checked against the relevant pilot’s operating hand book before being relied upon for flight planning purposes.

Digital Flight Planner – Version 2!

I’ve made some improvements to my flight planning spreadsheet, and I’m please to announce that version two has now been released!

Not only does it include the solution to the Triangle of Velocities to allow automatic calculation of heading and groundspeed based on the given wind forecast, but it now also calculates your track and distance using the Rhumb line between your waypoints.

Flight planning has never been so easy!

Flight Planner – Version 3!

Compiling a flight log is a prerequisite to making a cross-country flight. It is used to record the calculations and measurements made in the briefing room, and provides a plan to follow on your knee-board during the actual flight.

The flight log allows you to calculate the heading correction required to achieve a certain track given the forecast wind velocity, and also to estimate your ground speed and thus the time and fuel required for the flight. These calculations are usually done by hand using an E-6B or similar flight computer. This is fine until you realise you’ve made a mistake and need to go back and correct everything. Or maybe you want to set up your flight log the night before, and want to just plug in the wind forecast on the day without having to waste valuable time using the whiz-wheel.

It is much more efficient to use a PC for these simple, but repetitive, calculations. This MS Excel spreadsheet does just that.

Flight Plan

Flight Plan

The spreadsheet contains a lookup table of waypoints that can be easily updated with the latitude and longitude of your own airports and private landing sites. Then simply select the waypoint codes of your departure point and destination on the flight plan, and your required track and distance are calculated automatically. Given the forecast wind velocity, the spreadsheet then calculates the heading you require, your ground speed, and your estimated time enroute.

If you would like more information on the wind calculations done by the flight log, have a look here at the solution to the triangle of velocities. The track and distance are calculated based on the Rhumb line (or loxodrome) between your two coordinates.

The flight log also contains some useful mnemonics for various procedures, and also the available manifold pressure requirements for limited-power operations in the Robinson R22 helicopter. These can all be easily changed to your own needs.

The spreadsheet requires Microsoft Excel 2003 or later.

Please feel free to leave any comments or suggestions on how the Flight Planner could be improved.

  Flight Planner v3.01 (9.7 KiB, 1,834 hits)

Legal Stuff

All files and tools on this page are provided “as is” with no express or implied warranty for accuracy or accessibility. Use at your own risk. All calculations should be checked against the relevant pilot’s operating hand book before being relied upon for flight planning purposes.

Circling downtown Los Angeles

Decending back down to around 1000ft we visit downtown LA. After circling around the skyscrapers (try doing that in the UK!) we head back home to Long Beach. What an awesome flight!!

Mt. Wilson from the air!

We leave Burbank airspace, and it’s time to pull the collective up to maximum continuous power, bring the speed back to 60kts, and start a climb up to 6500ft as we take in the Mt. Wilson Observatory.