Inside the FMS
Inside the FMS
Understanding Fix Info on Next Gen (NG) FMS
Next Generation (NG) FMS introduces an additional feature named Fix Info that has numerous uses in day-to-day operations. Longtime operators of Honeywell equipment may remember the Crossing Points functionality that existed on NZ and EPIC platforms. These were labelled “CROSS PTS” on the Nav Index (Figure 1) menu and when selected, gave the crew position information relative to the desired waypoint (Figure 2).
Figure 1. Cross Pts on Nav Index
Figure 2. Crossing Points Menu
Fix Info allows the pilot to display radials, distance rings, or abeam points from any database waypoint which can also be inserted directly into the flight plan. This function is available on the NAV INDEX page 2/2 (Figure 3) of MCDU based platforms or the Tools page (Figure 4) of Touch Screen Controller (TSC) based platforms. Examples for both platforms are provided for reference.
Figure 3. NAV INDEX 2/2
Figure 4. Tools Page
When selected, the FIX INFO page is displayed (Figure 5) which allows waypoint entry on the 1L LSK (one left line select key) or the Touch Screen Controller. In these images PXR (Phoenix VOR) has been entered. In the center of the MCDU image directly under BRG/DIS FR, the current aircraft position relative to the entered waypoint is displayed. This can be confirmed on the INAV Map displaying the aircraft 3NM on a 256 bearing from the PXR VOR. It also shows a cyan circle noting the waypoint has been selected on the FIX INFO page. This function provides an increase in situational awareness by selecting a reference waypoint that may require distance or bearing information but not necessary to insert it into the active flight plan.
Figure 5. FIX INFO PXR VOR and INAV Map Display
Entering a bearing on the 2L LSK or the TSC window results in a bearing drawn infinitely from the reference waypoint. In Figure 6, the PXR 336 bearing is entered and displayed on the INAV map by a dashed cyan line. This function helps the pilot maintain awareness of a waypoint bearing that may not be contained in the navigation database directly as in the case of a contingency procedure such as an engine out procedure.
Figure 6. FIX INFO PXR 336 Radial
Figure 7 provides an example with the KONIL 4J departure in Geneva Switzerland (LSGG). As depicted in note 2, aircraft unable to comply with the climb gradient must continue on a 225-degree radial from the GVA VOR and hold at KEMIT. This can easily be setup prior to departure on the FIX INFO page to provide immediate reference to the GVA R-225 until the appropriate NAV SOURCE or FMS could be tuned/programmed.
Figure 7. LSGG KONIL 4J Departure
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Furthermore, distance rings can also be displayed. As shown in Figure 8, use of a forward slash and a distance value in nm. In this example, /3 has been entered, inserting a distance ring on the INAV map. This function adds tremendous value when it is necessary to reference a certain distance from a waypoint.
Figure 8. Distance Ring PXR 3NM
Figure 9 shows how a bearing and distance can be combined to define a cyan waypoint at the specified distance on the INAV map.
Figure 9. Bearing and Distance
Figure 10 illustrates the use of multiple bearings entered to define crossing radials of two VORs. Bearing and distance information may be based off of any navaid, waypoint or airport.
Figure 10. INAV MAP Multiple FIX INFO Entries
When a navaid, waypoint, or airport is entered that is also part of the active flight plan the BRG will automatically populate (small font) showing where the flight plan will cross the entered distance. ETA, DTG, and ALT are also referenced based on the performance predictions of the FMS. Pressing the selection prompt arrow (MCDU) or Apply FPLN (TSC) next to the BRG/DIS entered will place a temporary waypoint in the scratchpad for up-selection for MCDUs or into the flight plan when selected on the TSC (Figure 11).
Figure 11. Fix part of active flight plan
The final example is the ABEAM at the L5 LSK position or Abeam selection on TSC. When the flight plan passes abeam the entered FIX an abeam point is calculated and displayed. This can also be selected as a temporary waypoint and added into the active flight plan (Figure 12).
Figure 12. FIX INFO – ABEAM
As illustrated, there are numerous uses for the FIX INFO page. Be sure to send us feedback on how you utilize these functions so we can share with the rest of the Honeywell users.
Program Pilot David Rogers supports EPIC and NG FMS-equipped aircraft for Honeywell Flight Technical Services. He can be reached via email at David.Rogers@honeywell.com.