Surely, airline crews must have manuals/apps by which they calculate the (minimum) amount of refueling before departure to a given destination. I have been looking online for such sources, with zero hits.

Specifically, I'm intersted in such free manuals/apps for the Airbus A318...A321 and Boeing B737 families.

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    $\begingroup$ I suspect that you will only find them for flight simulation since there is no need for real world manuals to be online. Also related $\endgroup$
    – Simon
    May 21, 2016 at 9:28
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    $\begingroup$ Fuel calculation is part of flight planning, using the information usually provided by the manufacturer to the customer in the FCOM (I believe it's under a non-disclosure agreement albeit some appear from time to time on sites like Scribd!) Simmers use tools like Advanced Flight Simulation Fuel Planning. $\endgroup$
    – mins
    May 21, 2016 at 13:37

1 Answer 1


Very rarely will a manual directly be used by flight crew for calculation of fuel uplift.

Flight crews generally receive an Operational Flight Plan prepared by the operator (the airline), or an agent of the operator, where calculations have been made for how much fuel will be required for the specific flight, and necessary reserves. Flight crew may elect to revise the fuel required to provide additional margin for weather, traffic or other factors.

The calculations made for the Operational Flight Plan are made with flight planning software, which in its turn uses data from performance manuals/data sets, and takes a large amount of parameters into account (routing (duh!), wind, flight altitude, speed, aircraft weight, load distribution (c.g.), alternate airport availability etc).

Flight crew can however make simplified fuel calculations using the FPPM for the aircraft type (Flight Performance and Planning Manual) (Boeing). The flight profile is however generally quite limited to a few climb/cruise/descent schedules, and the data is not what would be used on a normal line day. Distribution of FPPM (and other manuals) is generally restricted. If you however would come across a replica of a FPPM, you could probably make a usable fuel calculation using the instructions within it.

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    $\begingroup$ I believe the FMS also calculates fuel estimate when the flight plan is programmed. It is still less precise than the one provided by dispatcher, because FMS does not have the detailed wind forecast the dispatch system used. $\endgroup$
    – Jan Hudec
    Jun 22, 2016 at 20:08

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