Catch the wind

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.

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 America’s Systems Engineering Group for the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and works with US Portable Flight Planning Software (PFPS).

Applicable to fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft, the pre-flight planning solution is now available for deployment in all US military aviation systems 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 aviator’s 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 America’s offering of ‘Confidence’, a suite of integrated mission-planning software for aviators.