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Map Route Leg Planning Notation (numbers)

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Post by (A/229) Bearfoot Thu 07 Dec 2017, 18:53

I asked this question on the DCS forums, but so far it seems like many folks are in the same boat as me.

Can someone point out where the notation used on the briefing maps might be documented? In particular, is it a standardized convention in some aviation circles (GA, military, etc.)?

Map Route Leg Planning Notation (numbers) 7P3HOOY

Map Route Leg Planning Notation (numbers) JRpnKVd

Can infer from context that, in the first case we are probably looking at distance/time, followed by heading, while in the second it is heading/distance. Anyone seen anything like this outside of DCS? I vaguely recall seeing something like this that might have been in an FM manual or even maybe 229 documents ... but am now not sure where of even if I saw it.

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Post by (D/229) Xtra Fri 08 Dec 2017, 09:41

Not familiar with this way of noting navigation information but the basics are the same.
The first one you see are kilometers and underneath minutes as you said.
A basic way of navigating is using heading and time to fly from waypoint to waypoint. Some call it clock to map to ground. Basically you identify turnpoints with time inatead of reading the map all the time.
Secondly you can either recalculate the eta when flying with wind or adjust your airspeed to fly a fixed time (mission depending).
The way people write down navigation stuff on maps will differ per country, branch, unit, aircraft type and a bit per person. Probably written down in a units SOP or TM.
We always had maps filled with planned routes waypoints targets and other mission related information with us.
If you fly 90kts in the UH1 you cover 1.5nm per min. 100kts gives you around 3km/min. If you also add minute tick marks along the route, you can relate on the map where you are and also update/recalculaten your arrival time and wind correction angle or adjust airspeed accordingly when using a fixed time.
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Post by (A/229) Bearfoot Fri 08 Dec 2017, 22:20

Thanks, xtra and flyer!

Xtra: I guess everyone got very good at mentally adjusting times in their heads to correct for deviances in speed etc. from the route map? I suppose it was easier to keep track of times while in flight rather than distances, at least, without e.g., assistance of a doppler nav system like the Mi-8 has?

Flyer: when you say, "this is the way we were trained to notate our maps when doing mission planning", do you mean your unit in particular or more generally?


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Post by (D/229) Xtra Sat 09 Dec 2017, 15:51

Its just basic mathematics. Lets say a leg is a total of 10min. At 2 min you make a time update by using an outside reference (bridge, treecomplex, intersection, must be easy to identify). Lets say you fly over that point at 2:10 bcause of a headwind. This will give you +5sec per min. So you arrive 10x5 sec later at youre turnpoint. Amost every aircraft has a stopwatch built in or you use your own watch.
With the helo when doing low level nav the pic would be reading the map more instead of using the clock map grou nd procedure. High level and long distances, we switched to that procesure (nav training,these days its all gps and the aircraft calculates all that stuff for you). Still you always carry atleast one map with you.
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Post by (D/229) Xtra Sat 09 Dec 2017, 15:55

Also time is something that you use to coordinate with other units. In missions you have a lot of set times when stuff happens.
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Post by (HHC/229) GunfighterSIX Sat 09 Dec 2017, 19:57

My post didn't go through the other day sorry.  Often we still train route card and maps only at work, no GPS.  We are planing for future wars were GPS is not an option.  Also I often use magnetic course over magnetic heading in my planing and flying, but my route card has both.  

The top map and the bottom map are both are grid course not magnetic heading.  No wind correction or variation corrections put in.  I checked, so you need to do that your self if your flying off those maps.  The top map also give you distance KM over time in minutes.  But it should be Minutes seconds.  The bottom map is Grid course over distance again.  You also don't want to use stop watch time, you should be planing your mission for actual time.  I want to fly over a point at 18:33:35 seconds.  If I am late I need to speed up, If early slow down.  We do this because we plain to hit our objective at a specific time, not a specific time after I decided to takeoff.

Here is am example. But I would add clock time to ever turn point on the map.

Map Route Leg Planning Notation (numbers) Map10
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Post by (A/229) Bearfoot Sun 10 Dec 2017, 14:30

Thanks, xtra and GunfighterSix!

It makes sense that when co-ordinating the effort of a lot of different units/people/things in the real world (or simulated!) wall clock time is of paramount importance. Of course, in the simulated world in single player it is easier to keep track of elapsed time, and, in the Mi-8, even easier to keep track of elapsed distance (or distance to go). So it is going to take extra effort to practice/train for real-world conditions rather than game!

Either way, thank you all so much for contributing your own experiences, real-world or otherwise!

(A/229) Bearfoot

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