351. IBM 1620 Data Processing System Flight Planning Program


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G D McLean, J C Cosgrove: 351. IBM 1620 Data Processing System Flight Planning Program. 1962.



This paper was presented at the Twenty-first Annual National Conference of the Society of Aeronautical Weight Engineers at Seattle, Washington, May 14-17, 1962. The objective of using an IBM 1620 Data Processing System for Jet Flight Planning is economical on time performance of aircraft. The importance of pre-planning flights has been evident since the early days of aviation. A great amount of time and effort has been put into developing new and more accurate aids to assist in planning faster and more economical flights. Flight performance engineers have labored long and hard to formulate the conditions involved in optimum aircraft performance. Meteorologists, with their increasing knowledge of the intricacies of the upper air, are producing additional and more accurate data used in the calculations of flight plans. The result is that flight planning has become more complex.
Manual computation of flight plans is a time consuming effort and because of this, much of the data available is not used in producing the optimum plan. Presenting this mass of data to a computer which has the capability of calculating and selecting optimum flight plans over numerous routes at varying flight levels at electronic speeds is the next step in the advancement of the art of flight planning.
During the calculation of each flight plan, a direct operating cost is also calculated for each plan. The direct operating cost is an approximate value based on information taken from a recent C.A.B. Form 41. It includes such factors as crew pay, maintenance, and the cost of fuel. This cost factor was not computed on a manual basis and its incorporation into the program provides a wider range of standards on which to base computer selection of the optimum flight plans.
The selection of flight plans can be based on one of the following depending on the conditions that prevail at the time:
1. Minimum operating cost
2. Minimum operating time
3. Minimum fuel burn
4. Minimum cost operating within published schedule
5. Combination of criteria 2 and 4.


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