2.3_ Airways

2.3.1_ Description

In most cases, aircraft, especially airliners, cannot simply fly from one point directly to another. Rather, they must follow designated airways. Airways are an invisible three-dimensional network of roads that zigzag within controlled airspace, linking a series of waypoints (usually VORs and fixes) into an easy to remember route. Sometimes called corridors, most are eight nautical miles wide.
Each airway carries its own name, required airspeed, radio and cockpit instrument procedures, operating altitudes, and rules for entering and leaving the airway.

The low-altitude Airways (Victor airways in Canada and the US) run from 700 feet above ground level to FL245 (FL180 in North America), while High altitude airways (Jet Routes in Canada and the US) run from Fl245 upward (FL180 upward in North America). Within these broad groups, all navigation aids such as radio transmission stations, visual and satellite checkpoints, and the responsible control center have names and unique abbreviations. This complex language is printed on pilot charts and in thick directories. Low-altitude airways are shown on a sectional aeronautical chart.

At points where these invisible roadways intersect, radio signals from ground stations mesh to form an electronic picture on cockpit instruments that looks like a road intersection. The National Aviation Regulations and air traffic control sets rules on how to cross airways and at what altitude, what intersections to use, and at what angle and speed of flight to enter and leave them.

Airways are for civilian aircraft and airliners. A separate system of airways exists for military aircraft that protectscivilian aircraft from the very high-speed military operations and which protects military or government areas from unauthorized flights over their land.


2.3.2_ Flying airways

Flying airways in X-Plane is usually a matter of getting the full waypoint list of an airway (use Goodway's ICAO plan parser to do this or look up the appropriate charts for the area if you can get them), and simply fly point to point within in the airway using the GPS or FMC. At this time, X-Plane does not natively support airways, meaning we have to do everything the manual way.

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