A new software tool that allows pilots to easily adjust altitude settings based on a visual display of wind data is helping aviators to reduce fuel use and mission time.
Called Vertical Visual Optimiser (VVO), the software was developed by QinetiQ North Americas Systems Engineering Group for the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and works with U.S. Portable Flight Planning Software (PFPS). Applicable to both fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft, the pre-flight planning solution is now available to all U.S. military aviation platforms and those of allied nations.
VVO retrieves wind data at user-defined altitudes from defence weather sites and other sources and then graphically displays head and tail wind speeds on a desktop, laptop or knee-board computer so that pilots can quickly adjust altitude settings that take advantage of favourable winds. The altitude adjustments and wind data can then be used in an aviators mission planning system, resulting in an immediate update to the mission plan. With VVO, pilots can vary their route altitudes to achieve the optimal route based on fuel and time savings, said Lieutenant Colonel Dean Wild, Systems Manager, Australian Defence Force. VVO is the newest component in QinetiQ North Americas offering of Confidence, a suite of integrated mission planning software for aviators. Comprised of Flight Performance Models (FPMs), Performance Planning Calculator (PPC), Stores, Loading and Balance (SLAB) and other key elements, Confidence provides a holistic mission planning solution that ensures safety from take-off to landing by accurately predicting aircraft performance and configuration based on planned operating environments. QinetiQ North Americas advanced mission planning software has been successfully fielded to the Army, Navy and Air Force branches of the ADF, and is currently in development for aviation organisations of the U.S. Departments of Defense and Homeland Security.