Hope someone can help,
I've searched the web and cannot find any useful information about how to work about fuel quantities needed for flights on FSX. I've learn't the basics but cannot figure out how you can get a correct fuel amount for a flight. I seem to run out of fuel way before I reach the destination.
Any hints and tips are welcome as I am lost!
What I've learned from working on aircraft in both military and civilian life as well as getting involved into this flight sim hobby is that there are several factors that effect what your aircrafts range is... For example, altitude effects the surrounding air which would effect the fuel/air mixture, headwinds would decrease your range as opposed to tailwinds increasing your range, etc... A good starting point for me is to research the aircraft that I'm flying. What is the range of that aircraft? Am I trying to fly 3000 miles in an aircraft that has a range of 1000 miles? You'll end up ditching. So, there's a good start point, use an aircraft that has the type of range for the distance that your trying to fly and keep in mind that winds will effect this. As well, some aircraft operate more efficiently at, say, 35,000 feet were as an old vintage bomber might fly best at around 20,000 feet. So finding that altitude sweet spot can save you a lot, and that can also be dependant on barometric pressure and a few other related elements. And as well, one of the biggest factors affecting your effective service range is your throttle position... Think of it like an old muscle car, the more you put your foot into it, the quicker your fuel needle is going to descend. So if the throttles on your aircraft are crammed forward to the stops, your going to run out of gas quicker. A good idea there is to find out the cruising speed/rpm and prop speed/rmp (if flying in a prop aircraft). In the real world, which this sim is based upon, pilots don't fly with the throttles to the stops. Also check that your aircraft has no unnecessary friction such as flaps/slats extended while flying, gear up, spoilers retracted, etc. There's no quick answer to your question, but I hope that helps you out a little.
Set your fuel to unlimited (click the box) in settings. If you are flying propeller aircraft, lean your engine above 3000 feet. Ease the mixture back until the RPMs max, then pad it just a bit. Do this at your cruising altitude. It will save greatly on fuel consumption, especially at 10,000+ (IFR) altitudes.