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Evan Reiter

Navdata Updates for Default, Freeware, and Payware Aircraft

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Navigation data (navdata) consists of waypoints (intersections/fixes), navaids (VOR, NDB, etc.), and terminal procedures (SIDs, STARs, and IAPs). For FSX, Prepar3D (P3D), and X-Plane, the navdata contained in your simulator is a snapshot of the current data available at the time. As a result, although the information was accurate when the simulator was first released, it will not be kept up-to-date.

 

Microsoft Flight Simulator (MSFS) is the only simulator that has announced it will be continuously updating navdata to reflect real-world changes. However, it's unclear whether this functionality will be enough to support the type of VFR and IFR flying pilots choose to do on the network. 

 

As a result, regardless of the simulator you fly, you may not see waypoints that have been added since the last time your navigation database was updated. In addition to the simulator's database, some in-sim aircraft have their own navdata that requires updates. This post details where these navigation data updates come from and how to access them, by simulator type.

 

In general, navigation data comes from the creation of new terminal procedures (SIDs/STARs/IAPs) or from the creation of new RNAV/GPS or conventional routes. These revisions and additions are provided to the world on a 28-day cycle known as an Aeronautical Information Regulation And Control, or AIRAC, cycle. At the time of writing (January, 2021), the current AIRAC cycle was 2101, effective January 28, 2021. The next update date was February 25, which would be 2102.

 

For FSX and P3D:

 

There are two primary sources for navdata: the simulator itself (all pilots) and an aircraft's database (for complex, primarily airliner, add-ons). Both sources should be kept current to the latest AIRAC for the best results. 

 

For base simulator navdata, Hervé Sors has been providing free updates for years. To download the files, click the links below:

 

These freeware updates are highly recommended to keep navigation data current, even if you use add-on aircraft. The cycle available from that website is frequently updated so it is worth checking back regularly.

 

To keep payware aircraft databases current, two payware options are available: Aerosoft’s NavDataPro and Navigraph’s FMS Data. Pricing is similar, with an annual subscription at approximately $30 and monthly options available. Once you've purchased a subscription, you can download as many formats (to update as many aircraft) as needed. Aerosoft's data comes from Lufthansa while Navigraph provides Jeppesen (Boeing)-source data, both real-world sources that should be synonymous. However, within BVA and VATSIM, Navigraph seems to be the go-to choice for most simmers. In either case, the updates are compatible with a wide range of payware products and are considered "must-haves" if you want to be able to retrieve and fly the latest procedures in aircraft databases. 

 

For X-Plane:

 

In X-Plane, one database is designed to define all navdata in the simulator. Thus, unlike with FSX/P3D, it shouldn't be required for users to update both the base navdata and aircraft databases. Once again, we recommend Aerosoft’s NavDataPro and Navigraph’s FMS Data, which both have options to update X-Plane's database. Although not as effective, one free option to keep (some parts) of X-Plane's navdata current is to access and install free FAA information (scroll to the "The updated approaches - what we get from the FAA for free" header.

 

For MSFS:

 

Although the simulator is supposed to be kept current through a partnership with real-world provider NAVBLUE (an Airbus company), the default navdata available in the simulator includes several missing or incorrect waypoints. Payware flight simulation add-on company Navigraph has offered a beta update service for MSFS. The service adds missing airports, procedures, and updates more than 70,000 enroute waypoints. For more information and instructions for getting started, visit the Navigraph forums.

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Evan Reiter

Community Manager
Administration Team

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This post has been updated with a new freeware source for default GPS aircraft and the FSX radar. I strongly recommend all users, even those who only fly payware aircraft, use these links to update their fixes, navaids, and magnetic variation data. It is great stuff -- so great that it even removes the now-decommissioned BDL VOR!

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Evan Reiter

Community Manager
Administration Team

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Guest Jordan Koulov

So just to clarify, those of us that have NAVIGRATH should still use the updates above to update the aircraft that don't have FMCs?

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So just to clarify, those of us that have NAVIGRATH should still use the updates above to update the aircraft that don't have FMCs?

Yes, as well as the magnetic variation correction (that will impact even those aircraft updated by Navigraph as I understand things).

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Evan Reiter

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I want to troubleshoot this more with Evan when he's on Center one night, but has anyone else encountered anything like this?

 

In FSX using default or add-on GPS, it's not hard to figure out what your Ground Track is. (your course heading along the ground)

 

I also utilize my iPad foreflight app hooked wirelessly to my FSX through FSXConnect. It has always worked well, and I've never noticed the ground track to NOT be coincident when in straight and level flight. After doing all these updates, I was flying in-server with ATC on, and getting vectored for an ILS. I kept getting heading changes from ATC (more than usual) and that made me wonder if I was off somewhere. I usually use ground track to make heading changes when vectored by ATC as to remove any possible problems with wind drift. So I looked at my ground track on foreflight, and cross-referenced it with the GNS 430 in cockpit, and it was a full 10 degrees off.

 

Why would my fsx, which i just updated to the most recent MagVar correction, not be coincident with foreflight all of a sudden?

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I couldn't answer your question, however, a minor note on heading vs track. When a controller gives an instruction to "turn to heading xxx," they mean heading. It is the controllers' job to account for wind. I wouldn't expect for this to account for your continued re-vectoring, as it would only be a few degrees unless the wind is a very large crosswind.

 

For adequately equipped aircraft such as yours, a controller can also issue a "track" instruction, such as "track the xxx outbound radial from BOS," but the controller has to specify track instead of heading.

Erik VanderWerf

Occasional Flyer

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When a controller gives an instruction to "turn to heading xxx," they mean heading. It is the controllers' job to account for wind.

 

I did not know this. Thanks for that info. But yes, this still does not explain the 10 degree track difference between FSX and Foreflight.

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I am starting to second guess myself. I think the problem was Foreflight and FSX GPS showed 1 track, and the controller saw me 10 degrees off.

 

With that said, can someone clarify? within FSX, do the controllers see what my planes mag heading is, or what my ground track is?

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Guest Jorge Salguero

They do see your heading in the radar info, but I'm not sure whether it is ground heading or not.

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New response to an old topic. Yes, I don't get on here much, as you can tell.

 

Anyway, I wanted to elaborate slightly on what yos233 said. He was absolutely correct that when a Controller asks you to fly a specific heading, that IS the heading he wants you to fly. As yos said, he will adjust for the wind based on what he's been seeing. Example...

 

I want my string of traffic to fly over point A then point B before I turn them for final vectors. The "no wind" heading (i.e. the bearing) from point A to point B is 090 degrees. Now, if I have N123 over A and I tell him to "fly heading zero niner zero, vectors to the final approach course" blah blah, but I see him tracking over the ground on about a one two zero degree track, I'm thinking that the wind at his altitude is pushing him south about thirty degrees off course so I'll adjust his heading to the left to compensate and get him back towards point B. Now when N456 is over point A, hopefully I've wised up and I'll assign him a heading of 060 for vectors to, blah blah. Now with that wind pushing him south, he should TRACK about 090. Cool. Now here comes N789. I tell him, over A, to fly heading 060 but he TRACKS 060 using his nav equipment. Now he's gonna be WAY north of where I need him to be. He's probably HEADING about 030.

 

In other words, flying a track to match an assigned heading, while it might SEEM to be helping is really going to make it hard for the Controller. I'd think there must've been a frontal passage or something so when the next guy hits point A, I might just assign him the 090 heading thinking my crossing wind was gone - and, of course, he'll track 120 and now I'm beating my head against the console and whining for a break!

 

Hope that helped.

----M B Ingersoll

----FAA Retired

----ZFW 1984-2008

----USAF 1973-1983

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hi all:

 

sorry if this has come up, I read the letter to airman but not sure what to do. first question: the updates for ther airport mentioned is already in the download section for memmbers right?  we don't have to add those runways said in the letter.

 

second question I updated de navupdates using the French site I don't have a navigraph account just yet , but I do have easy FMC that can be placed in any aircraft, for the moment I have the virtualcol embraer 190, captain sim 737-200 , and CLS A330-200 and A330-400 . now in conflicts I get the following please see attachemnets , should I just go to the path and delete them ?  or just leave them ? 

pc : CPU i7-4790K ,  asus z97 vii hero mobo, 24 gb ram 1866mhz.  gpu :  gtx 1080 8gb. Add Ons : Gex North America and SA ,Zinertek HD airport V3,  , Rex soft clouds , ASN, Rex essentials . 3 saitek panels and 1 throttle,   win 7 utlimate 64. psu 1000

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first question: the updates for ther airport mentioned is already in the download section for memmbers right?  we don't have to add those runways said in the letter.

Correct, if you're using the BVA scenery updates from the "Required Downloads" section of the website -- and you have KBOS installed -- then you don't need to take any other action.

 

second question I updated de navupdates using the French site I don't have a navigraph account just yet , but I do have easy FMC that can be placed in any aircraft, for the moment I have the virtualcol embraer 190, captain sim 737-200 , and CLS A330-200 and A330-400 . now in conflicts I get the following please see attachemnets , should I just go to the path and delete them ?  or just leave them ?

I'm not sure what those conflicts are about. I've never seen that...is the message coming from the FMC that you have? Did you only start getting them after installing the navdata updates or were they there previously? From what I can tell, it looks like the conflicts are referencing the scenery files, not the navdata.

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Evan Reiter

Community Manager
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the screen shot of the conflicts is from the KBOS download for members, but I went one by one in the path eliminating each one , now its clean, but ill try to re install it just in case , but its not from any  FMC , but its all good now, ty , regards

leo

 

 

pc : CPU i7-4790K ,  asus z97 vii hero mobo, 24 gb ram 1866mhz.  gpu :  gtx 1080 8gb. Add Ons : Gex North America and SA ,Zinertek HD airport V3,  , Rex soft clouds , ASN, Rex essentials . 3 saitek panels and 1 throttle,   win 7 utlimate 64. psu 1000

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A renewed "THANK YOU" for this thread.  I'm just "re-engaging" with FSX and BVA after a lengthy post-new-computer delay.  Followed all the "new guy" tutorials to get my FSX installed and running, vPilot, reloaded my ASNext and so on.  But as I discovered about 40 NM west of KACK, I had neglected to upgrade my nav data from the 2006 FSX database.  No OBUBE and no YIVUP for the ILS 24.  Yikes!

 

I knew we had nav update data somewhere on the site - I remember having to use a site in France.  Took a while but I found this thread and I'm updating now.

 

SUGGESTION:  Maybe we should have a link to this thread in the new pilot tutorials OR turn the info here into its own page(s) as part of the set-up guide.

 

Back to my updating....

----M B Ingersoll

----FAA Retired

----ZFW 1984-2008

----USAF 1973-1983

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21 hours ago, M. B. Ingersoll said:

SUGGESTION:  Maybe we should have a link to this thread in the new pilot tutorials OR turn the info here into its own page(s) as part of the set-up guide.

Good idea! We're just starting the process of re-writing those documents for the modern age. Will incorporate some of this content. 

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Evan Reiter

Community Manager
Administration Team

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Going through the Pilot Rating Program, i was able to get by with FSX default 172 and and Baron58 G1000 after install the three updates (fixes, navaids, Mag variation) listed above.  Until recent flight (PRP IFR13), I started to find a lot of approach procedures (examples: ILS Rwy 29 at KBED, RNAV Rwy 1 and 33 at KBTV) are missing from the MFD, or FMC.  how do I go about updating these approach procedures?  Does Navigraph offer product to update the FSX default aircrafts' procedure data? 

 

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I'm not aware of a way to do what you've described, other than by flying an add-on aircraft and using Navigraph to update its navigation data (at least for P3D/FSX). Not sure if the same is true for X-Plane.

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Evan Reiter

Community Manager
Administration Team

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The original post has been edited to provide information for pilots of MSFS and X-Plane, and to reference the availability of Aerosoft's NavDataPro service.

(For the detail-oriented community members, note that I cheated and called the current AIRAC 2101, even though it's not effective until later this month. I thought saying "the current AIRAC in January 2021 is 2013" might be a little confusing for people new to the concept.)

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Evan Reiter

Community Manager
Administration Team

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